More Questions And Lies About Romney And The Olympics
July 14, 2012
By Lisa Long
It would seem all is not as it appears in the Mitt Romney fairy tale about his “success” as CEO of the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee. Such a twisted yarn this has become; from his fictional exit as head of Bain Capital to his being the “savior” of the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
Starting with his supposed exit from Bain to be CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Committee, how is it that the CEO of a successful company, who owned 100% of a venture capital firm, had nothing to do with the decision-making or policies of this firm? This same company which went from trying to help businesses succeed, to borrowing against assets to profiting from their failure. In addition, this firm actively looked to move manufacturing overseas to countries known for using slave and child labor, one can assume to cut costs and increase profits for its privateer profit-monger partners.
And then this CEO and Chairman of the Board was asked to ride to the “rescue” the 2002 Olympic games. This was in 1999. The “abrupt” departure from the venture capital firm did not allow this shrewd businessman or his many staff, partners, consultants, lawyers, managers, accountants and MBA’s to figure out a way to document his departure.
Evidently, their combined net worth, education and experience did not give them the ability to file a few simple documents correctly. Nor did their business knowledge and success allow them to understand the importance and legality of properly filing forms with the SEC.
Despite this utter lack of professionalism, Mr. Romney was asked to go to Salt Lake City to “rescue” the 2002 Olympic games. According to many sources the “rescue” was actually a bail-out by our Federal government, as pointed out by Republican Senator John McCain in a speech on September 19, 2000, “However, as outlined, most of the money taken from taxpayers to foot the bill for the Salt Lake games is going to develop, build, and complete major highway and transit improvement projects – “especially those critical to the success of the Olympic Games.” This last phrase is vital to understanding the fleece game being played by cities like Salt Lake..$1.3 billion to Salt Lake City, this is preposterous, and it must stop.”
It would seem the real hero of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics was President Bill Clinton and the Federal government, at least according to Senator Bill Bennett (R-UT), “In fact, most of the federal money was already in place before Mitt came on,“ said Senator Bob Bennett, “The Clinton Administration was completely supportive in saying these are ‘America’s Games,’ we will do whatever we can to make sure they are successful. The one concern I had was whether we would get the same degree of support from the Bush administration, which we did.”
I wonder if a Romney Administration would be as willing to support such an effort. Evidently Mr. Romney thought government spending was a good thing before he thought it was a bad thing: “Recognizing that our government spends billions of dollars to maintain wartime capability, it is entirely appropriate to invest several hundred millions to promote peace,” this from an article on ABC.com.
The methods used by Romney the “rescuer” seem to resemble those of a long-time political hack and lobbyist, one might even call it “Chicago” style politics as usual. It would seem Mitt went to business leaders and offered a long-term strategic vision, better known in business terminology as “you scratch my back, and some day when I am elected, I will return the favor”.
Companies like Staples were offered preferential sponsor deals. But wait, wasn’t Staples one of the companies owned by Bain Capital? Would it not be considered insider trading and therefore not only unethical but illegal for the nominal head of Bain Capital to use his position as head of the 2002 Olympic Committee to offer a contract to a company he was heavily invested in personally to assist them in profiting due to his ability to direct business to them? Wait, what?
So here the tale becomes more convoluted. Did Mitt Romney use his dual CEO positions at Bain & the 2002 Olympics to personally and professionally profit? Did he leverage his future political aspirations to gain contributions to the games with promises of future legislative favors? Was his position as “savior” of the games the total fiction it appears to be, as described by two prominent Republican legislators? And finally, did Mitt Romney use insider knowledge to give his investment the inside track on sponsor and business contracts, in violation of SEC and other regulations?
Many accounts of the transition to Romney management of the 2002 games include numerous quotes from those involved who were disgusted by the heavy-handed egomaniacal management style Mr. Romney displayed. One example of such are the buttons Mr. Romney approved, one showing his image and sporting slogans such as, “Hey Mitt, we love you.”
As one former Salt Lake City council member was quoted as saying, “Mitt could have been a hero if he had just come in and been polite. What turned me sour was his demand to get all the credit and ignore everybody who had put in thousands of hours before he arrived.”
It would seem that this successful CEO used his private position to gain a public position to further his political aspirations, using his position to leverage favors and seemingly, coerce cooperation and contributions. Not quite the white knight or business leader we have been told about.
I don’t know about you, but in my mind, Mitt has earned himself a perfect 10, and he deserves a gold medal for being a liar.