Romney and the Bain bordello

No, he wasn’t just the piano player after 1999. He was still the madam: “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.” Or at least that’s what he told the SEC.

If you’re just playing the piano in a whorehouse, maybe people will believe you didn’t know what was going on upstairs. But if you claim to be the madam – “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president” – that gets a lot harder, especially if you make the claim in SEC filings, where lying is a legal no-no. Romney’s signature is one one of those filings.

The media has largely bought Romney’s claim that he stopped being responsible for Bain Capital’s misdeeds in 1999 when he left to run the Olympics. Now it turns out he was getting six-figure “executive compensation” in each of 2001 and 2002.

The Romney campaign says the report, which quotes the documents Bain Capital filed with the government, is “inaccurate.” But it doesn’t say how, or explain how the CEO of a company can be completely disconnected from its management.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

18 thoughts on “Romney and the Bain bordello”

  1. This is actually oddly comforting. Romney is attempting to be elected as the “chief executive officer and president” of the United States. If he were to be so elected, at the least we could be assured that, to borrow the concept reflected in his 2012 Public Financial Disclosure Report, he would not have any active role with any United States entity and not be involved in with the operations of any United States entity in any way. (Actually, doesn’t that roughly describe the G.W. Bush role while he was the “chief executive officer and president” of the United States.)

  2. Just out of curiosity, is there any significant difference between what Bain was up to in 99, versus 2001?

    Of course we can’t expect these captains of industry to accurately recall things like where they worked and who paid them and when. They are too highly qualified and superior for that.

    1. No, you see, they’re operating on a whole other level. With each swing of the nine-iron, or grasp of chablis, their magical cufflinks spin out little zaps of mass-temporal displacement, making jobs appear out of nowhere.

  3. I find it fascinating that the Romney campaign has decided that publicly claiming to have committed felony securities violations in the course of collecting wages for not working is the *least* toxic of the possible explanations. Far be it from me to question the wisdom of the campaign professionals running that operation, but the other possibilities must involve some champion skeletons in their closets.

    1. Remember a week ago, when Corn was breaking this “Boston Globe scoop” but the lame stream media had not bothered to look at public records? Weren’t the wingnut cognoscenti screaming for the the Mitt insiders be replaced as incompetent? Maybe we should have paid more attention and realized the wingnuts are evil and moralless but not stupid when it comes to self preservation.

      As noted elsewhere in this discussion the “not actively involved” fable was cooked as primary damage control when it became obvious Mitt was invested in a company that disposed of aborted fetuses. Now the fable has come back to bite Mitt. If we learned anything from the last 10 years, it is that high flying MBA “smartest guys in the room” are nothing but fast talking con men who are protected by status and rigged laws. No need for the skills and thinking of a real grifter. Just the complete lack of morals and contempt for the suckers.

  4. I like Bain Capital’s current explanation: Rmoney did leave Bain in 1999, honest. Bain just took three years (“for a time” in their formulation) to cross the t’s and dot the i’s and get the paperwork filed to recognize his by-then long-ago departure.

    For those of you keeping score at home, the story is now that a firm specializing in takeovers and the transfer of corporate ownership was unable to formalize a change in its own ownership until three years had elapsed. Oh, and it continued to pay him a salary for his service as executive during that time (separate from the income from his equity position).

    1. I noticed the Dems are finally getting smart about the expiry of the Bush tax cuts by saying “everyone gets a tax cut on their first $250,000.”
      Well that only took them 2 years to figure out. Perhaps they should read certain blogs and their comments.
      Along those lines, Warren Terra shows the Dems how to frame Romney’s latest pox of rich lies:

      For those of you keeping score at home, the story is now that a firm specializing in takeovers and the transfer of corporate ownership was unable to formalize a change in its own ownership until three years had elapsed.

      I hope it doesn’t take them 2 years to figure that lever works wonders…

  5. I think their answer is that they are such great job creators they went ahead and created one for Romney too.

  6. Johannes Brahms played the piano in Sankt-Pauli brothels as a teenager. He was born in the Hamburg red-light district and definitely knew what was going on upstairs. They clearly had a better class of whorehouse in the old days.

    Somehow I don’t think the Brahms Defence would be much use to Mitt Romney.

  7. From my perspective here in the provinces, the point is not so much what Bain did or didn’t do (outsourcing &/or fetus disposal) in 1999-2002 as Romney’s fancy foot-work and sleight-of-hand, trying to have it both ways: “Yeah, I signed those papers saying I was responsible for Bain but what the records don’t show is that I was winking.” With the LIBOR fraud & MF Global affair as background, what’s clear is that Mitt was gaming the system and folks who have lost homes to those big money boys aren’t inclined to cut him much slack.

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