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Gender: Female
Hometown: Upstate NY
Home country: USA
Current location: Houston Area TX
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 05:30 PM
Number of posts: 135,060

Journal Archives

How The Romney Campaign Decided To Take The Gloves Off


Indeed, facing what the candidate and his aides believe to be a series of surprisingly ruthless, unfounded, and unfair attacks from the Obama campaign on Romney's finances and business record, the Republican's campaign is now prepared to go eye for an eye in an intense, no-holds-barred act of political reprisal, said two Romney advisers who spoke on condition of anonymity. In the next chapter of Boston's pushback — which began last week when they began labeling Obama a "liar" — very little will be off-limits, from the president's youthful drug habit, to his ties to disgraced Chicago politicians.

"I mean, this is a guy who admitted to cocaine use, had a sweetheart deal with his house in Chicago, and was associated and worked with Rod Blagojevich to get Valerie Jarrett appointed to the Senate," the adviser said. "The bottom line is there'll be counterattacks."

The reference to Obama's past drug use seems to suggest that former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu wasn't going off-script after all when he dinged the president for spending "his early years in Hawaii smoking something" during a Tuesday morning Fox News appearance.

Returning fire with personal attacks on Obama offers both emotional satisfaction to Romney and many Republicans, and an answer of sorts to relentless Democratic attacks on Romney's time as an executive. It has so far failed, however, to quiet the growing, bipartisan chorus of voices demanding Romney release more of his personal tax returns. Obama campaign officials privately admit that the Republican has, at times, been effective in beating down attacks on his business record — but they've yet to see a way out on the tax issue.

more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mckaycoppins/how-the-romney-campaign-decided-to-take-the-gloves

Why won't Romney release more tax returns? Swiss Accts, Magic IRA, 13.9% Fed. Tax rate?


The first is Romney's Swiss bank account. Most presidential candidates don't think it appropriate to bet that the U.S. dollar will lose value by speculating in Swiss Francs, which is basically the rationale offered by the trustee of Romney's "blind" trust for opening this account. What's more, if you really want just to speculate on foreign currencies, you don't need a Swiss bank account to do so.

The Swiss bank account raises tax compliance questions, too.

The account seems to have been closed early in 2010, but was the income in fact reported on earlier tax returns? Did the Romneys timely file the required disclosure forms to the Treasury Department (so-called FBAR reports)?

The IRS announced in 2009 a partial tax amnesty for unreported foreign bank accounts, in light of the Justice Department's criminal investigations involving several Swiss banks. To date, some 34,500 Americans have taken advantage of such amnesty programs. Did the Romneys avail themselves of any of these amnesty programs? One hopes that such a suggestion is preposterous, but that is what disclosure is for -- to replace speculation with truth-telling to the American people.

Second, Romney's $100 million IRA is remarkable in its size. Even under the most generous assumptions, Romney would have been restricted to annual contributions of $30,000 while he worked at Bain. How does this grow to $100 million?


Did Mitt Romney Take the 2009 Swiss Bank Account Amnesty

When attempting to engage in baseless speculation over what it is that's in Mitt Romney's tax statements that's so embarassing he'd rather take the heat for non-disclosure, I think it's important to remember that he was actively running for president in 2007 and 2008. That means it's relatively unlike he was doing anything during those years that he thought couldn't withstand scrutiny. So why not release a nice even five years of tax data? Perhaps because of something that happened in 2009.

Something like this:

Wealthy U.S. taxpayers, concerned about an Internal Revenue Service crackdown on the use of secret overseas bank accounts as tax havens, are rushing to meet a Thursday deadline to disclose those accounts or face possible criminal prosecution. The concern was triggered this summer when Switzerland's largest bank, caught up in an international tax evasion dispute, said it would disclose the names of more than 4,000 of its U.S. account holders.


Romney might well have thought in 2007 and 2008 that there was nothing to fear about a non-disclosed offshore account he'd set up years earlier precisely because it wasn't disclosed. But then came the settlement and the rush of non-disclosers to apply for the amnesty. Failing to apply for the amnesty and then getting charged by the IRS would have been both financially and politically disastrous. So amnesty it was. But even though the amnesty would eliminate any legal or financial liability for past acts, it would hardly eliminate political liability.


Romney explains Cayman accounts, confusingly, as a benefit to "Foreign Investors"

By Reid Pillifant

1:47 pm Jul. 17, 2012

Today, after a couple weeks' worth of unshakeable attacks from Democrats about his extraordinary off-shore tax sheltering, Mitt Romney made his most direct attempt to date to explain his system of personal investments, in an interview with National Review.


The exchange:

From a political perspective, a lot of pundits wonder why you haven’t gotten rid of your offshore accounts. Can you explain why you have not done that?

Well, first of all, all of my investments are managed in a blind trust. By virtue of that, the decisions made by the trustee are the decisions that determine where the investments are. Secondly, the so-called offshore account in the Cayman Islands, for instance, is an account established by a U.S. firm to allow foreign investors to invest in U.S. enterprises and not be subject to taxes outside of their own jurisdiction. So in many instances, the investments in something of that nature are brought back into the United States. The world of finance is not as simple as some would have you believe. Sometimes a foreign entity is formed to allow foreign investors to invest in the United States, which may well be the case with the entities that Democrats are describing as foreign accounts.

The obvious problem with that explanation would seem to be that Romney isn't a foreign investor. In his case, particularly with regard to his I.R.A., employing an island pass-through allows him to avoid paying the Unrelated Business Income Tax on that investment.

the NRO interview if anyone is interested:

Romney Aide's Hypocritical Attack on Obama "Crony Capitalism"

On Sunday's CNN "State of the Union," Mitt Romney senior advisor Ed Gillespie explained how a second Obama Administration would reward its rich friends: "If you're a political donor to Barack Obama, you're going to do fine, because you're going to get a payoff."


Romney has pledged to put the nail in the coffin of this common-sense provision. Why? One possibility is that the for-profit college owners are his friends and business associates. On the campaign trail, Romney has pointed to a for-profit college, Florida's Full Sail University, as an innovative leader in higher education that knows how to "hold down the cost of their education." But Full Sail turns out to be the third most expensive college in America, and one of its programs flunked the gainful employment test and could lose eligibility for federal aid under the Obama rule. Romney did not inform voters that his campaign and Super PAC have received about $240,000 from Full Sail CEO Bill Heavener and from C. Kevin Landry, chairman of TA Associates, the private equity firm that owns Full Sail.

Nor did Romney tell voters about the private equity fund Solamere Capital, which is run by Mitt's son Tagg Romney and Spencer Zwick, who also serves as the top fundraiser on the Romney campaign staff. Solamere was launched with a $10 million investment from Mitt and Ann Romney, and Mitt also has provided strategic advice. Solamere Capital offered its clients a stake in TA Associates, which owns not just Full Sail but a number of for-profit schools, including troubled Vatterott Colleges, marked by exploitative recruiting practices and high student loan defaults. Eight of Vatterott's 39 college programs failed the Obama gainful employment test that Romney now pledges to eliminate.

That's not all. The political action committee of the Apollo Group, owner of the largest for-profit education business, the University of Phoenix, which Romney has also praised by name on the trail, has contributed $75,000 to Restore Our Future and the maximum $5,000 to Romney's campaign, the company's only contribution to a 2012 presidential candidate. Goldman Sachs, the number one source of contributions to Romney, owns 41 percent of EDMC, one of the largest for-profit college businesses, currently being sued by the Justice Department and investigated by state attorneys general for fraud.

more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/davidhalperin/gillespie-romney-donors_b_1679506.html

Romney fears tax returns would be distorted

Source: AFP

WASHINGTON — US presidential challenger Mitt Romney said Tuesday that he will not release his tax records from before 2010 because his opponents would "pick through, distort and lie about" them.

The Republican hopeful is under pressure from Democratic incumbent Barack Obama's campaign -- and from many on his own side -- to quell speculation about his wealth by releasing his financial records to public scrutiny.

But, in an interview with the conservative website National Review Online, Romney said he had already released his most recent records from 2010 and would not be going further back to quiet his critics.


"And I'm simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort and lie about."

Read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gCj9XssQbQNKDm4SZweaEz3JGHmA?docId=CNG.c1aac5c4ed94abe59fc19169ba09017c.e1

oh boo hoo he's scared.

Romney campaign declines to name bundlers

top Mitt Romney adviser signaled Monday the campaign would continue to keepRomney senior adviser Ed Gillespie signaled the campaign would continue to keep the names of the campaign's bundlers private.
CAPTIONBy Josh Reynolds, AP the names of its bundlers private, even as he accused President Obama of giving special favors to those who have raised campaign cash.

Unlike the Obama campaign, Romney has not revealed the names of his top political fundraisers, called "bundlers" because they bundle together contributions in small increments from family, friends and business associates. These individuals are so important they are often rewarded with ambassadorships.

"The issue here is not so much the appointments and that kind of thing, it's the contracts, the subsidies, the loan guarantees, the waivers and that's what we are going to be focused on," Ed Gillespie, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, said when asked whether the campaign would reveal its top donors. "Governor Romney's contributors are made public, they are disclosed and we'll continue to do that."


Obama senior strategist David Axelrod shot back at the Romney campaign via Twitter, writing, "Only Mitt could cry cronyism while refusing 2 disclose his $$$ bundlers--as every candidate, R and D, has done for decades? #Mittsecrets"

more: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/onpolitics/post/2012/07/romney-campaign-declines-to-name-bundlers/1

The Globe Editorial: Did Romney approve of Bain’s practices after 1999?

Depending on his political circumstances, Mitt Romney has argued that he had nothing to do with Bain Capital after 1999 — or something to do with Bain Capital after 1999.

As a presidential candidate, Romney insists that he quit the firm in 1999 to lead the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and is not responsible for Bain Capital companies that went bankrupt or laid off workers after that date. But in 2002, when he was running for governor of Massachusetts, Romney put a different spin on his departure from Bain Capital. In testimony before the state Ballot Law Commission, he described his exit as a “leave of absence” and said he met the residency requirement because social and Bain Capital-related business trips brought him back regularly to Massachusetts. He also testified that he remained on the board of several companies in which Bain had a stake until 2001.

In fact, documents filed after 1999 with various regulatory agencies appear to show that Romney continued to be involved with Bain Capital. Last week, the Globe reported that documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission after 1999 listed Romney as the firm’s sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president. Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form that Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002 and earned at least $100,000 as a Bain Capital “executive” in 2001 and 2002. Other media outlets have turned up documents that describe Romney as a managing director or member after 1999.


The larger question is what Romney thinks of the company’s business decisions, whether or not he had any say in them after 1999. Bain Capital was his baby. He built it, nurtured it, and reaped great financial rewards from its successes. Does he approve of how the company operated during his leave of absence, even if its approach sometimes called for dismantling companies and cutting jobs? Defenders argue that private-equity firms deliver tough but necessary medicine for failing companies. Does Romney believe that decisions Bain Capital made after 1999 fall into that category? If not, what would he have done differently?

more: http://bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2012/07/17/did-mitt-romney-approve-bain-capital-practices-after/telhzHOtinlrcyooJJwjhI/story.html

John Kerry’s office blasts Mitt Romney over inaccurate claims about tax returns

Source: The Globe

Senator John Kerry has been working on his Mitt Romney impersonation since being cast as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in mock debates with President Obama, but lately it has been Romney likening himself to Kerry, as he seeks to justify releasing only two years of tax returns.

Romney and his surrogates have repeatedly claimed that Kerry, the Democratic nominee in 2004, made public just two years of tax returns, despite the fact that Kerry released five years of tax documents and consistently released earlier returns during his Senate races.

On Monday, after Romney brought Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, into the argument, the senator’s office blasted Romney, accusing him of “conjuring up false and convoluted alibis.”

“As Senator [Daniel Patrick] Moynihan once said, people are entitled to their own opinions, but they’re not entitled to their own facts,” said David Wade, Kerry’s chief of staff and the Democrat’s national spokesman during the presidential race eight years ago.

“The Romney campaign needs to stop getting their facts wrong about John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry,” Wade added, saying Kerry had put a total of 20 years of tax returns into the public domain by the time he ran for president.

Read more: http://www.boston.com/politicalintelligence/2012/07/16/john-kerry-office-blasts-mitt-romney-over-inaccurate-claims-about-tax-returns/PJibKCCrwcbusf3g0K5nXK/story.html

Well done JK.

Mitt Romney Bain Capital Filings Link Him To Politically Problematic Companies After 1999


The presumptive Republican nominee insists he never signed off on the business decisions related to outsourcing that turned the private equity firm into a political lightning rode. But neither he nor his campaign have said whether he agrees with those decisions, even if he was powerless over them when they were made. The Huffington Post asked top Romney adviser Kevin Madden this very question Monday morning during an appearance on MSNBC and received the following response:

Those decisions were made by folks that were running the company differently. So I don't have the details of what decision-making went into it. Oftentimes what happens with those type of decisions is that you have software companies, you have different types of companies that have to go out and have manufacturing needs, and when they go to look for companies that have manufacturing needs that they don't have, oftentimes those are manufacturing outposts around the globe. But the most important thing that we can answer is what we're going to do to create more jobs here in the country, and that's where Governor Romney has a much superior plan than President Obama.

In April 1999 and March 2000, for example, SEC filings by the American Pad & Paper Company noted that Bain Venture Capital, an arm of the private equity firm, "may be deemed to be the beneficial owner" of entities that held millions of shares of company stock. Among the "general partners of BVC" listed in that filing was "W. Mitt Romney."

A Huffington Post review of SEC files unearthed six separate occasions in which Romney was listed as a member of "the Management Committee" of both Bain Capital Investment Partners and BCIP Trust, "deemed to share voting and dispositive power with respect to" shares held of DDi. In one of those filings, Romney is listed as President and Managing Director of Bain Capital, Inc.

more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/16/mitt-romney-bain-capital_n_1677133.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012
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