Mitt’s Lies are Actionable

For a long time Mitt romney has said he left Bain Capital to run the 2002 Olympics in 1999.  He has done so, in part to protect him from allegations that Bain profited from bankrupting companies and from outsourcing jobs.  After all, both of those actions plays against the Romney narrative that his tenure at Bain qualifies him as a job creator here in the USA.  Alas, he lied. 

He lied in one way for supporting a Chinese firm that made its money exactly from outsourcing.  How many millions did Romney reap from this bleeding of American jobs?  Nobody knows, because Mitt won’t tell us.  But this certainly puts the lie to Romney’s statement in February, from the Telegraph:

“If I’m President of the United States, I will finally take China to the carpet and say ‘look you guys, I’m going to label you a currency manipulator and apply tariffs unless you stop those practices.’ We will not let China continue to steal jobs from the United States of America,” Mr Romney said in a speech in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

He claims that if someone cheats and steals, in order to grow their personal wealth, we should make them pay.  Sure, Mitt was talking about the Chinese, but Mitt Romney’s own biography is showing that he cheats and steals to grow his own personal wealth.  Forget that Barack Obama is already enforcing fair trade at a more aggressive rate than any President for the last 20 years

But this is about Romney’s lie.  His campaign has said repeatedly that he left the management of Bain Capital in 1999.  That ain’t so, at least according to the SEC documents submitted by Bain in 2000, 2001 and 2002, and signed by Mitt Romney.  According to the Boston Globes uncovering of those documents.  Indeed, Romney was paid as the principal of Bain well after 1999:

Government documents filed by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital say Romney remained chief executive and chairman of the firm three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time.

Romney has said he left Bain in 1999 to lead the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ending his role in the company. But public Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed later by Bain Capital state he remained the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.”

Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.

Do we need reports about Romney supporting the Chinese outsourcing firm, as reported by David Korn?  No.  The differences between what Romney is reporting to the FEC conserning his wealth, and what he reported to the SEC are enough to show he lied, lies that for other American citizens would cause investigations into fraud and crimes.  Why isn’t Romney subject to criminal investigation, as asked by Americablog

The real issue here is that Mitt Romney lies, time and time again, and that he isn’t called on it in the national media.  He is an elitist snob who thinks he can get away with it.  But the bottom line is that Romney would not be even a Vice Presidential candidate by his own vetting if he were the subject of that vetting.  Joe Trippi is right on that count.  Romney’s failure to show the American public the 23 years of tax returns he showed John McCain 4 years ago are telling, and it is high time the mainstream press pressed him on this issue. 


Vote with Integrity

My son Jack pooped his pants twice today.  Each time while cleaning it up I mused about how much easier and more sanitary it was than it is cleaning up the mess that Walker gave us.  My son has more integrity in his poops than Walker can ever dream of.  Maybe I should market those poops to Walker’s billionaires. . . . hmm. . . .

Go vote!  Less than four hours left.

Yes, Scott Walker Stonewalled, According to Indicted Walker Crony Tim Russell

The news today is from the courtroom, where the judge in the John Doe squeezed the information out of Tim Russell’s lawyer.  I’m going to get in trouble for copying this, but I’ll do it almost in its entirety nonetheless.  From Esquire

Lon Robinson sat down at the defendant’s table in Room 634 of the stunningly un-air-conditioned Milwaukee County Courthouse with Waupun already in his eyes. He was a junkie who’d stolen an old lady’s checks from her mailbox, clumsily erased the payee’s name, and replaced it with his own. He got away with it once, for eight bucks. But then he’d gone back to the same bank, twice, for over a grand each time. He’d even helpfully supplied his fingerprints to the bank officer who, neither having been born a fool nor worked hard to become one in later life, called the cops. So Lon Robinson sat in Judge David Hansher’s courtroom and got himself sent away for two years for what Hansher kept calling, with admirable understatement, “a crime that was truly lacking in sophistication.”

(While reading Robinson the list of rights he would surrender with his guilty plea, Hansher explained that Robinson would lose the right “to vote in any election… or any recall election.” This got something of a laugh from the assembled suits. Robinson didn’t seem to get the joke.)

Then, the next defendant got up. The crimes with which is charged are a lot of things, including hilariously venal and awfully illustrative of the kind of governance of which Wisconsin has a chance to rid itself here on Tuesday. But unsophisticated, they are not. The reason you know they’re not is that Tim Russell, his lawyer, the prosecutors, and Judge Hansher immediately went into chambers to talk while, outside Room 634, on the benches in the hall, all the other defendants sweltered and waited their turn. While it may be true, as Lenny Bruce once said, that in the halls of justice, the only justice is in the halls, but, even in the halls, there are two different justice systems. You and your drug case will have to wait an hour or so, because an important guy is inside giving up the governor. Maybe.

It is no exaggeration to say that, without Tim Russell, Scott Walker would just be another Marquette drop-out working nights in Wauwatosa. Russell was a strange mixture of Gordon Liddy and H.R. Haldeman to Walker’s Nixon. Russell used to brag to the state’s Democrats about stealing yard signs and knocking down banners. (Walker always has had a sweet tooth for this kind of thing; he got disciplined by the university for dirty tricks when he was running for student government at Marquette.) It was Russell who used to poke political opponents in the chest and yell at them, “Where will you be in two years?” That’s an interesting question right now for Tim Russell, because it is entirely possible that he’ll be sharing a cell block with Lon Robinson.

At the same time, Russell was a close political confidante as Walker rose to be Milwaukee county executive and then into the state capitol in Madison. Walker promoted Russell eight times during Walker’s time as county executive. He kept promoting him even though, in 1993, Russell got bounced from the state’s Housing And Economic Development Office for improperly billing the state for over $1100 in expenses, and for providing false information to investigators. They stayed close; at one point, Russell was the only person working for Walker’s website. When Walker was elected governor, he named Russell to be his deputy chief of staff. Then, last year, Walker mysteriously removed Operation Freedom — a fund set up to provide for the orphans of Wisconsinites killed in Afghanistan and Iraq — from the supervision of the American Legion, and handed it over to Tim Russell. This, the prosecutors said, was tantamount to letting Lon Robinson rummage through the state payroll department.

As a kind of adjunct element of the sprawling John Doe investigation into Walker’s behavior as county executive, an investigation that already has produced almost 20 indictments and three convictions, the state has charged Russell with embezzling over $20,000 from the Operation Freedom accounts. In essence, he took money that was meant to take the children of the war dead to the zoo and took himself to the Caribbean and to Hawaii. If convicted, Russell is looking at 10 years in prison and $50,000 worth of fines. Courthouse sources say that the prosecutors are using these charges — on which Russell appears to be in serious danger of being convicted — to leverage testimony from him about what he knows regarding Walker and the John Doe investigation, which concerns Walker’s alleged use of his job as county executive for campaign and other political purposes. What Russell knows is presumed to be considerable and more than a few people around the case believe that, if Russell should flip on his boss, that would pretty much be the ballgame. Walker would have to start drawing on the $100,000 he’s got in his criminal defense fund. There is nothing that Scott Walker has done that Tim Russell doesn’t know about.

(Russell’s attorney, former Republican assistant district attorney Dennis Krueger, has thus far fruitlessly argued that the the charges against his client be dismissed on the grounds that they go beyond the scope of the John Doe investigation.)

The John Doe investigation has been the elephant in the room of the recall election ever since it was launched. Democratic candidate Tom Barrett has been hammering at it over the past two weeks, and he appears to be getting some people to notice the possibility that Walker could win the recall and end up indicted anyway. The most significant turn of events came last week, on May 31, just as Walker and Barrett were preparing to debate that night, when Daniel Bice, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter who’s been an absolute bulldog on this investigation, published a damaging piece in which Bice said that, contrary to Walker’s repeated insistence that he had called for the John Doe investigation himself, the investigators on the case opened the investigation themselves after two years of stonewalling by Walker and his administration. Bice’s story was based on a document filed with the court in the Russell case.

The conference in chambers lasted a little more than an hour. Once court resumed, Judge Hansher ruled that the trial itself would not begin until September, which, he said, would give the publicity surrounding the recall election a chance to die down, and ensure that Russell got a fair and impartial jury. Then, Hansher began talking about the document that had somehow gotten into the hands of Daniel Bice. “In chambers,” the judge said, “Mr. Krueger admitted that he had given the material to Mr. Bice and that he had done so with his client’s consent. Is that true?”

“Yes,” said Dennis Krueger.

That got heads snapping to attention. Tim Russell’s lawyer — and, therefore, Tim Russell — had made public damaging information about Scott Walker and undermined the whole ethical basis of the governor’s response to charges that he had misused his public office for private gain. It is not unreasonable to assume that this either was a warning shot — take care of me or you’re going down, too — or evidence that Russell already has rolled. (Sources close to the case say that Russell already has given the prosecutors some information, but that it was more in the realm of confirmation of knowledge that the prosecutors already had obtained from other cooperating witnesses.) In either case, the John Doe investigation — and the attendant case of Tim Russell — has gone spiraling into hyperdrive. It may not materially affect the election either way, but, no matter what happens on Tuesday, Scott Walker is going to wake up Wednesday feeling just a little bit like Lon Robinson.

As he and Russell quick-stepped down the hall, one step ahead of the cameras, attorney Krueger kept saying, over and again, that “This was a public document. It was open to anyone who wanted to see it.” Which does not explain why Krueger found it necessary to slip it to the one reporter whose work has so bedeviled the Walker campaign, and on morning of a debate between the governor and his opponent. The hall fell silent again. Less sophisticated criminals sat, patiently waiting their turns.

No, it isn’t a Democrat who made up stuff about Scott Walker.  It’s his trusted aide who testified, and will be testifying later.  Yeah, it looks more and more like the indictment of Scott Walker is only a matter of time. 



Only Under Scott Walker — Millionaire’s Kids on Badgercare

Technically, anyone can sign up for Badgercare and pay the full freight, but I’m willing to bet that the program is seen by 99% of Wisconsin see Badgercare as the vehicle by which poorer Wisconsin citizens, espcailly children, get access to healthcare coverage.  Well, 22,000 Wisconsin citizens no longer get access to healthcare via Badgercare because of the policies of Robin Vos and Scott Walker , but the children of millionaire Michael Eisenga, a big donor to Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefish, are on the Badgercare roles

Mr. Eisenga was required by his divorce decree to provide health insurance for his children, so he enrolled them in Wisconsin’s program for low-income families.  He took advantage of scarce state resources because, well, he felt entitled.

On the Edge of Prediction: How Low Will Mitt Romney Go?

I have walked the edge of prediction for about two weeks now, and I am near.  The prediction is about who Mitt Romney will nominate as his Vice President.  Could it be Marco Rubio, the Teabag favoriteChris Christie, the Round Mound of Republican?  Will Romney pull a McCain and make a disastrous choice, or will he play it safe? 

I made my prediction in 2008 in April of 2008, and was correct.  OK, I lucked into running across a fanatical proto-teabagging site that was pushing the Palin choice, and I jumped on the bandwagon.  It seemed funny to me then, that John McCain, the maverick, would choose a whackjob merely because she was a woman and an unknown populist in her state.  We all know how that worked out.  This year is Mitt Romney makes this prediction much more difficult, though I will exercize my skills at prognostication soon.  Still, I mostly expect Mitt Romney to do something sane.  I wonder, as does Johnathan Capehart in the Washington Post

But when pressed for a reason why he would associate himself with someone so openly embracing a proven lie — and a racist one, at that — Mitt Romney could only muster this inadequate response. “You know I don’t agree with all the people who support me, and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” he told reporters on his campaign plane on yesterday. “But I need to get 50.1 percent or more, and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

This explanation has the same feel as the one Romney gave last year during a debate to swat back accusations that he hired undocumented workers. “So we went to the company, and we said, ‘Look, you can’t have any illegals working on our property. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake! I can’t have illegals!’ ” The propriety of hiring illegal workers didn’t seem to bother the former governor as much as the impact of doing so would have on his political ambitions.

At what price does Romney put political ambition aside to do or say the right thing? To stand up to the absurdity in his own party? To shut down the ignorant talk of his prominent supporters? Trump is hosting a fundraiser in Las Vegas for Romney this afternoon with a goal of $2 million. So Romney’s price is well north of that, it would seem.

Mitt Romney has taken too much, and too often, to his nickname of “R Money” to make this prediction easy.  He’s shown himself to be willing to sacrifice all semblance of sanity in the quest to “win,” like some sort of Charlie Sheen politician bent on “WINNING” above any semblance of morality or truth.  We’ve all seen the distortions and lies promulgated by the Romney campaign, lies and distortions that his own Mormon religion would not normally countenance, except for the emphasis on “WINNING,” a moral compass that has become the true core value of the Republican Party.  Perhaps this is not ever so clear as in Mitt Romney’s embrace of Donald Trump and his ugly birtherism.  As asked in this MSNBC article, why would Mitt romney associate himself with Donald Trump, clowny opportunist as he is?  Why would he stain himself so?  Is this simply about money, and the chance of WINNING?  The same question is asked here on Huffington Post, and also by Old School Republican George Will

“I do not understand the cost benefit here,” Will said. “The costs are clear. The benefit — what voter is going to vote for him because he is seen with Donald Trump? The cost of appearing with this bloviating ignoramus is obvious, it seems to me. Donald Trump is redundant evidence that if your net worth is high enough, your IQ can be very low and you can still intrude into American politics.”

There’s my dilemma.  I wish to make a sound prediction about who Mitt Romney will choose as his Vice President, but R Money, the man who has no moral compass besides “WINNING” keeps getting in the way.  DAMMIT, I hate agreeing with George Will, except as it pertains to baseball and arcane usages of the English language.  But Will is right as he notes that Romney will be R Money as much as it takes to win.  So who will he choose in the R Money role? 

I’m still thinking, but I’ll get back to you in the next week or so.