Mitt Romney accused of supporting Chinese sweatshop labor

Report from the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights: 

When he was the CEO of Bain Capital and the president of its affiliated corporations, investments in Global-Tech factories directly contributed to abominable labor practices, records show.

more at  Mitt Romney accused of supporting Chinese sweatshop labor.

Chinese firm promoted its low-wage, low-tax liability to investors shortly before Mitt Romney made investment – Political Intelligence – A national political and campaign blog from The Boston Globe – Boston.com

Oops!

Less than two weeks before an investment firm controlled by Mitt Romney decided to invest in a China-based home appliance company, the company put out a detailed document to investors promoting itself as a low-wage, low-tax firm that would not be subject to taxes in the United States.

It used “inexpensive labor,” Global-Tech Appliances wrote in a prospectus meant to attract investors on April 8, 1998. Its location in China meant “an overall effective tax rate that may be less than that of US corporations.” It said its current operations would not be subject to “material US taxes because it should not be considered to have significant income effectively connected with a trade or business in the US.”

The company also noted its working conditions: peak production periods required six-day work weeks, and two 10-hour shifts per day in the case of the metal stamping department. The main manufacturing facility, located in Dongguan, China, included 14 buildings that served as dormitories accommodating up to 3,700 workers.

Nine days after the document was released – on April 17, 1998 — an affiliate of Bain Capital called Brookside Capital Partners Fund acquired about 6 percent of Global Tech, according to Securities and Exchange Commission documents that were first reported by Mother Jones magazine.

Romney was listed as the “sole shareholder, sole director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brookside Inc. and thus is the controlling person of Brookside Inc.”

more at Chinese firm promoted its low-wage, low-tax liability to investors shortly before Mitt Romney made investment – Political Intelligence – A national political and campaign blog from The Boston Globe – Boston.com.

How Mitt Romney plans to spend all that money

Several new developments in the 2012 Presidential campaign of late…

Since we are starting to learn more about how Mitt plans to spend all the money he’s received from those rich, secretive donors, what little we know of them – and what they want for their money – seems like a good place to start.

Right-Wing Billionaires Behind Mitt Romney:  They’re trying to buy a presidency – and they expect a big payoff on their investment

We learned from the Washington Post that a good deal of this money is going to a team of supposed advertising gurus that includes the guy that came up with the slogan “Where’s the beef?”

Mitt Romney’s team of ‘Mad Men’ creates ads to sell a nation on a candidate

Now the ad wizards job might be a whole lot easier if they could just keep Mitt Romney quiet

Romney: ‘No ones ever asked to see my birth certificate’

Not that anyone should be too surprised with Romney’s pandering to his base. In fact, there will be 7 birther speakers at the Republican National Convention, and Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach – a known birther – is the immigration adviser to the Romney campaign:

7 Birther Speaking at Republican National Convention

Former Michigan Governor, Jennifer Granholm, had one of the best reactions to Mitt’s birther comment:

Jennifer Granholm’s Response to Mitt Romney’s Birther Remark is a Doozy

But back to how Mitt’s donations. We also learned that the GOP is using data mining to search for rich, religious donors according  the AP:

Romney uses secretive data mining, exec says

This is not the only way the GOP is apparently planning on using large databases – they also come in handy for voter intimidation:

How the Right’s Building a Poll Watcher Network for November.

Now whether the effort by True the Vote is related in anyway to this despicable ad by the Conservative Majority Fund – also seeming to try to collect names – is hard to say:

Birther Group Launches National Ad Campaign Seeking to Disqualify Obama from Reelection

There is no law anywhere that says collecting 10,000 signatures in each congressional district can have a candidate removed from the ballot. A whois search of the website mentioned in that ad tracked back to a long time GOP operative, big surprise. It may still, if they haven’t already covered their tracks (which one thinks they should have done before running the ad).

One more that worth checking out before it’s gone. Someone apparently filmed Mitt talking to some rich donors at a $50k per plate fund raiser on the “good” Bain was doing by using outsourced Chinese sweatshop labor:

Mysterious Video Appears to Show Romney’s Private Remarks on Chinese Labor Conditions

or the original post:

Mitt admits to using Chinese slave labor at Bain (which was not posted by Rachel Maddow, by the way).

There is actually even more than this going on, but given the RNC’s convention is next week, there will be plenty of time for more links.

Bain Capital’s Ties to Salvadoran Death Squads | The Nation

What else is Mitt hiding?

Some of the first investors in Mitt Romney’s firm Bain Capital, according to a report on the Los Angeles Times, were Salvadoran families living in Miami with members accused by the US government of funding death squads in the brutal civil war in El Salvador.

When Bain Capital was founded in 1984, Romney and his partners had trouble raising funds for their initial investments. “$9 million came from rich Latin Americans,” the Times reports, “including powerful Salvadoran families living in Miami.… At the time, U.S. officials were publicly accusing some exiles in Miami of funding right-wing death squads in El Salvador. Some family members of the first Bain Capital investors were later linked to groups responsible for killings.”

more at Bain Capital’s Ties to Salvadoran Death Squads | The Nation.

Romney’s Bain case crumbles a bit more – The Plum Line – The Washington Post

The Associated Press reports this morning that Mitt Romney “stayed in regular contact” with his partners at Bain in the months after the 1999 date that he has given as the time he left the company. The story also claims he “continued to oversee his partnership stakes even as he disengaged from the firm, personally signing or approving a series of corporate and legal documents through the spring of 2001.”

more at Romney’s Bain case crumbles a bit more – The Plum Line – The Washington Post.

Romney’s Bain Yielded Private Gains, Socialized Losses – Bloomberg

Mitt Romney touts his business acumen and job-creation record as a key qualification for being the next U.S. president.

What’s clear from a review of the public record during his management of the private-equity firm Bain Capital from 1985 to 1999 is that Romney was fabulously successful in generating high returns for its investors. He did so, in large part, through heavy use of tax-deductible debt, usually to finance outsized dividends for the firm’s partners and investors. When some of the investments went bad, workers and creditors felt most of the pain. Romney privatized the gains and socialized the losses.

What’s less clear is how his skills are relevant to the job of overseeing the U.S. economy, strengthening competitiveness and looking out for the welfare of the general public, especially the middle class.

more at Romney’s Bain Yielded Private Gains, Socialized Losses – Bloomberg.

Bain offshoring victims ask Romney for help – Salon.com

Bain is STILL outsourcing  jobs…

While Mitt Romney struggles to explain his retroactive retirement from Bain Capital, the company he created keeps offshoring U.S. jobs.  Among them: the jobs of 170 workers in Freeport, Ill., now training the workers who will replace them when Sensata moves their jobs to China. SEC filings reveal that the U.S. share of Sensata’s workforce has been dropping ever since Bain acquired it in 2006.  And the Sensata workers aren’t Bain’s only recent casualties.

Some Sensata employees blame Romney for their impending layoffs. “He designed the business model for that company,” says production associate Tom Gaulrapp. “Venture capitalism, where they’re out for every last dollar, no matter what … that’s the attitude they still have.” (The Romney Campaign and Bain Capital did not answer inquiries from Salon.)

more at Bain offshoring victims ask Romney for help – Salon.com.

Is This SEC Document The Hardest One For Romney To Explain?

Oops!

With the Romney campaign aggressively pushing back against reports that the candidate’s tenure at Bain Capital lasted longer than he once claimed, one 2000 document filed by Romney could prove particularly difficult to explain away. Among other things the Jan. 3 2000 SEC filing says, “W. Mitt Romney is principally engaged in the business of serving as sole stockholder of BCI VI, Inc. (Bain Capital Investors VI)” — and it contains his signature. That stands in contrast with various financial disclosure forms filed by Romney in recent years claiming that he left the company entirely to run the Salt Lake City Olympics in 1999. H/T James Carter, who sent the document to BuzzFeed.

via Is This SEC Document The Hardest One For Romney To Explain?.

Mitt Romney’s Own 2002 Testimony Undermines Bain Departure Claim

And what about perjury?

Mitt Romney’s repeated claim that he played no part in executive decision-making related to Bain Capital after 1999 is false, according to Romney’s own testimony in June 2002, in which he admitted to sitting on the board of the LifeLike Co., a dollmaker that was a Bain investment during the period.

Romney has consistently insisted that he was too busy organizing the 2002 Winter Olympics to take part in Bain business between 1999 and that event. But in the testimony, which was provided to The Huffington Post, Romney noted that he regularly traveled back to Massachusetts. “[T]here were a number of social trips and business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth,” he said.

Romney’s sworn testimony was given as part of a hearing to determine whether he had sufficient residency status in Massachusetts to run for governor.

Romney testified that he “remained on the board of the Staples Corporation and Marriott International, the LifeLike Corporation” at the time.

Yet in the Aug. 12, 2011, federal disclosure form filed as part of his presidential bid, he said, “Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.”

Bain, a private equity firm, held a stake in the LifeLike Co. until the end of 2001, including during the period in which Romney claimed to have no business involvement with Bain entities. Bain had heavily invested in LifeLike, a company that Romney identified personally as an opportunity, in 1996 and sold its shares in late 2001. His involvement with LifeLike contradicts his assertion that he had no involvement with Bain business. His testimony is supported by his 2001 Massachusetts State Ethics Commission filing, in which he lists himself as a member of LifeLike’s board.

more at Mitt Romney’s Own 2002 Testimony Undermines Bain Departure Claim.

Did Romney Make a False Statement on His Financial Disclosure? | Mother Jones

Making a false statement on a federal financial disclosure form is a felony, punishable by up to one year in prison and a $50,000 fine. Is this why Romney keeps insisting he left Bain in February 1999?

Like all presidential candidates, Romney has to submit a financial disclosure statement to the Office of Government Ethics. He filed his most recent one last month, and the disclosure contains a very clearly stated footnote:

Mr. Romney retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake [Olympics] Organizing Committee. Since February 11, 1999, Mr. Romney has not had any active role with any Bain Capital entity and has not been involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way.

There’s no ambiguity there: not involved in Bain operations in any way. But that’s not true.

More at Did Romney Make a False Statement on His Financial Disclosure? | Mother Jones.