This is the kind of moment that can define a candidate and a campaign.
Here’s Vanity Fair with an in-depth investigation of the shady world in which Mitt Romney made and keeps his money (Swiss bank accounts, multiple corporations and accounts in tax havens like Bermuda and the Cayman Islands). “The assertion that he broke no laws is widely accepted. But it is worth asking if it is actually true. The answer, in fact, isn’t straightforward. Romney, like the superhero who whirls and backflips unscathed through a web of laser beams while everyone else gets zapped, is certainly a remarkable financial acrobat. But careful analysis of his financial and business affairs also reveals a man who, like some other Wall Street titans, seems comfortable striding into some fuzzy gray zones.”
Here’s the Boston Globe (building on reporting done by Mother Jones and TPM) finding more evidence that Romney didn’t leave Bain Capital in 1999 as he’s repeatedly maintained in an effort to avoid responsibility for the consequences of Bain’s actions in the early 2000s. “In 2002, facing a ballot challenge from Democrats — who contended he had moved his residence to Utah — Romney testified before the state Ballot Law Commission as a gubernatorial candidate that…he remained on the boards of several companies, including the Lifelike Co., in which Bain Capital held a stake until 2001.”
Here’s Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh (a veteran Massachusetts political reporter) recalling Romney’s attempts to avoid releasing embarrassing tax returns when running for governor in 2002. “As we in Massachusetts found out a decade ago, mysterious mistakes, misunderstandings, and misapprehensions — and even some mendacious misdirection — sometimes plague the Mittster when it comes to taxes and tax returns.”
Here’s NY Times columnist Paul Krugman drawing the contrast between Mitt Romney and a previous wealthy Republican businessman running for president. “Unlike his father, however, Mr. Romney didn’t get rich by producing things people wanted to buy; he made his fortune through financial engineering that seems in many cases to have left workers worse off, and in some cases driven companies into bankruptcy. And there’s another contrast: George Romney was open and forthcoming about what he did with his wealth, but Mitt Romney has largely kept his finances secret.”
If he’s not careful, Mitt Romney could end up with most American voters thinking he’s a guy who:
- was born rich;
- got richer as a businessman engaging in shady financial manipulations;
- keeps much of his wealth invested in overseas tax shelters;
- doesn’t want voters to know how rich he really is; and, if elected president;
- wants to lower taxes for rich people like him while raising them for most working people.
Wouldn’t that be a shame?
Crossposted at: http://masscommons.wordpress.com/