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SEC Documents Show Romney Lied About Bain, Involvement In Medical Waste Scandal

ProudProgressive 2012/07/02 16:45:48
Romney Invested in Medical-Waste Firm That Disposed of Aborted Fetuses, Government Documents Show

And these documents challenge Romney's claim that he left Bain Capital in early 1999.

By David Corn
Mon Jul. 2, 2012

Earlier this year, Mitt Romney nearly landed in a politically perilous controversy when the Huffington Post reported that in 1999 the GOP presidential candidate had been part of an investment group that invested $75 million in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that has been attacked by anti-abortion groups for disposing aborted fetuses collected from family planning clinics. Coming during the heat of the GOP primaries, as Romney tried to sell South Carolina Republicans on his pro-life bona fides, the revelation had the potential to damage the candidate's reputation among values voters already suspicious of his shifting position on abortion.

But Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded, tamped down the controversy. The company said Romney left the firm in February 1999 to run the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and likely had nothing to with the deal. The matter never became a campaign issue. But documents filed by Bain and Stericycle with the Securities and Exchange Commission—and obtained by Mother Jones—list Romney as an active participant in the investment. And this deal helped Stericycle, a company with a poor safety record, grow, while yielding tens of millions of dollars in profits for Romney and his partners. The documents—one of which was signed by Romney—also contradict the official account of Romney's exit from Bain.

But the company had its woes, accumulating a troubling safety record along the way. In 1991, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited its Arkansas operation for 11 workplace safety violations. The facility had not provided employees with sufficient protective gear, and it had kept body parts, fetuses, and dead experimental animals in unmarked storage containers, placing workers at risk. In 1995, Stericycle was fined $3.3 million—later decreased to $800,000—by Rhode Island for knowingly exposing workers to life-threatening diseases at its medical-waste treatment facility in Woonsocket. Two years later, workers at another of its medical-waste processing plants in Morton, Washington, were exposed to tuberculosis. In 2002—after Bain and its partners had bought their major interest in the firm—Stericycle reached settlements with the attorneys general in Arizona and Utah after it was accused of violating antitrust laws. It paid Arizona $320,000 in civil penalties and lawyers' fees, and paid Utah $580,000.

Despite the firm's regulatory run-ins, the deal worked out well for Bain. In 2001, the Bain-Madison Dearborn partnership that had invested in the company sold 40 percent of its holdings in Stericycle for about $88 million—marking a hefty profit on its original investment of $75 million. The Bain-related group sold the rest of its holdings by 2004. By that point it had earned $49.5 million. It was not until six years later that anti-abortion activists would target Stericycle for collecting medical waste at abortion clinics. This campaign has compared Stericycle to German firms that provided assistance to the Nazis during the Holocaust. A Stericycle official told Huffington Post that its abortion clinics business constitutes a "small" portion of its total operations. (Stericycle declined a request for comment from Mother Jones.)
In 1995, Stericycle was fined by Rhode Island for knowingly exposing workers to life-threatening diseases at its medical-waste treatment facility.

In response to questions from Mother Jones, a spokeswoman for Bain maintained that Romney was not involved in the Stericycle deal in 1999, saying that he had "resigned" months before the stock purchase was negotiated. The spokeswoman noted that following his resignation Romney remained only "a signatory on certain documents," until his separation agreement with Bain was finalized in 2002. And Bain issued this statement: "Mitt Romney retired from Bain Capital in February 1999. He has had no involvement in the management or investment activities of Bain Capital, or with any of its portfolio companies since that time." (The Romney presidential campaign did not respond to requests for comment.)

But the document Romney signed related to the Stericycle deal did identify him as a participant in that particular deal and the person in charge of several Bain entities. (Did Bain and Romney file a document with the SEC that was not accurate?) Moreover, in 1999, Bain and Romney both described his departure from Bain not as a resignation and far from absolute. On February 12, 1999, the Boston Herald reported, "Romney said he will stay on as a part-timer with Bain, providing input on investment and key personnel decisions." And a Bain press release issued on July 19, 1999, noted that Romney was "currently on a part-time leave of absence"—and quoted Romney speaking for Bain Capital. In 2001 and 2002, Romney filed Massachusetts state disclosure forms noting he was the 100 percent owner of Bain Capital NY, Inc.—a Bain outfit that was incorporated in Delaware on April 13, 1999—two months after Romney's supposed retirement from the firm. A May 2001 filing with the SEC identified Romney as "a member of the Management Committee" of two Bain entities. And in 2007, the Washington Post reported that R. Bradford Malt, a Bain lawyer, said Romney took a "leave of absence" when he assumed the Olympics post and retained sole ownership of the firm for two more years.

All of this undermines Bain's contention that Romney, though he maintained an ownership interest in the firm and its funds, had nothing to do with the firm's activities after February 1999. The Stericycle deal may raise red flags for anti-abortion activists. But it also raises questions about the true timing of Romney's departure from Bain and casts doubt on claims by the company and the Romney campaign that he had nothing to do with Bain business after February 1999.

Read More: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/romney...

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Top Opinion

  • Rebel Yell 2012/07/02 18:09:15
    Rebel Yell
    +6
    Romney was a corporate raider, and a sleazy one at that too. Three days after the SEC announced its investigation into Michael Milken and Drexel, Romney went to Milken to cut out a junk bond deal so that he could raid a company and fire a few thousand people . Any dignified business person would have said "I'm going somewhere else to get funding," especially in the 80's bull market.

    Bain companies that lost jobs include American Pad & Paper (385), Dade International (1,900), DDi Corp. (2,100), Clear Channel Communications (2,500) and KB Toys (3,400). That's 10,285 jobs. Yet Romney runs around insisting he is a job creator. As for his MA governorship, why did he destroy his official records on all computers before he left the office?

    Mitt is trying to convince Americans that what we need is an unprincipled vulture capitalist running the country so he can continue the proud Republican tradition of spitting on the poor, the elderly, and the infirm so that the wealthy can gain even more tax cuts and corporate welfare can become a cabinet post. .

    Romney has highly dubious qualifications to be president, hangs out with the prancing horse crowd, and has a sort of reptilian quality about him. I wouldn't be surprised if he picked Jamie Dimon of Chase to be his running mate.

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  • Jrogers 2012/07/17 22:22:31
    Jrogers
    It cant get much worse than wheeling and dealing in aborted fetuses - but then again lying to the SEC? Maybe it can get much much worse. Time will tell
  • taitaFalcon23 2012/07/03 01:40:05
    taitaFalcon23
    +1
    talk piously for political gain; if you can't be pious ,make buck off it anyway... anybody gettin' this man's drift?
  • twocrows 2012/07/02 22:39:27
    twocrows
    +1
    Romney lied????? stop the presses! what's the date? omg - my world is falling apart . . . .
  • rustyshackelford 2012/07/02 21:13:56 (edited)
  • Jrogers rustysh... 2012/07/17 22:29:04
    Jrogers
    Really? This is your argument for why he would make a great President? Have you not been reading about all of the jobs that were lost to your fellow Americans? As far as the Olympics go - I am quite sure they bring in millions of dollars every year they are held - as a matter of fact I think I will go and look that one up because I seriously doubt that the only time the Olypmics made one million profit was in 2002 - that makes him a great presidential candidate?
  • rustysh... Jrogers 2012/07/18 05:54:24
  • Jrogers rustysh... 2012/07/19 21:58:19
    Jrogers
    He has done a great job - and he will do it all over again in 2012 - Mitt is a Vulture Capitalist - look it up - it is not a compliment
  • rustysh... Jrogers 2012/07/20 05:50:23
  • Rusty Shackleford 2012/07/02 19:45:11
    Rusty Shackleford
    Does this mean you're going to change your vote?
  • tdterry1999 2012/07/02 19:40:38
    tdterry1999
    Mother jones really,
  • dallas tdterry... 2012/07/02 20:37:53
  • Rebel Yell dallas 2012/07/02 20:47:51
    Rebel Yell
    +1
    "He can argue any side of a question. And sometimes you think he's really believing his argument, but he's not." - Ann Romney

    His own wife knows he's a liar, but why should she care. She gets a couple of Caddies and a pricey prancing horse.
  • dallas Rebel Yell 2012/07/02 21:19:31
  • tdterry... Rebel Yell 2012/07/03 09:53:21
    tdterry1999
    And Obama is Mr Truthful.You need to weake up before you walk off that cliff.
  • Nimitz 2012/07/02 18:49:00
    Nimitz
    Politicians lie. Shocked I'm not.
  • dallas Nimitz 2012/07/02 20:24:56 (edited)
  • Nimitz dallas 2012/07/02 20:28:04
  • dallas Nimitz 2012/07/02 21:26:08 (edited)
  • Nimitz dallas 2012/07/02 23:13:43 (edited)
    Nimitz
    Like everything else in life, things aren't quite that simple. First, some Christians lie just as much as everybody else. Second, stereotypes (yeah, even mine) are wrong by definition. Third, most Christians agree on ONE point: God has a SPECIAL place in hell reserved for child molesters. Fourth, we see the monsters we want to see. You got a hard-on against Christians. OK/Fine. . .just so long as you don't mind me having a hard-on against statists. :-)
  • dallas Nimitz 2012/07/02 23:23:03 (edited)
  • Nimitz dallas 2012/07/02 23:25:13
    Nimitz
    Ahem. I've never read that in the rule book anywhere, and I'm a pretty fair student of various religious text. :-)
  • dallas Nimitz 2012/07/03 14:55:05 (edited)
  • Morningstar 2012/07/02 18:44:46
    Morningstar
    +2
    Doesn't surprise me!
  • Rebel Yell 2012/07/02 18:09:15
    Rebel Yell
    +6
    Romney was a corporate raider, and a sleazy one at that too. Three days after the SEC announced its investigation into Michael Milken and Drexel, Romney went to Milken to cut out a junk bond deal so that he could raid a company and fire a few thousand people . Any dignified business person would have said "I'm going somewhere else to get funding," especially in the 80's bull market.

    Bain companies that lost jobs include American Pad & Paper (385), Dade International (1,900), DDi Corp. (2,100), Clear Channel Communications (2,500) and KB Toys (3,400). That's 10,285 jobs. Yet Romney runs around insisting he is a job creator. As for his MA governorship, why did he destroy his official records on all computers before he left the office?

    Mitt is trying to convince Americans that what we need is an unprincipled vulture capitalist running the country so he can continue the proud Republican tradition of spitting on the poor, the elderly, and the infirm so that the wealthy can gain even more tax cuts and corporate welfare can become a cabinet post. .

    Romney has highly dubious qualifications to be president, hangs out with the prancing horse crowd, and has a sort of reptilian quality about him. I wouldn't be surprised if he picked Jamie Dimon of Chase to be his running mate.
  • Fallout 2012/07/02 17:53:39
    Fallout
    +2
    Back off, Romney needed a car elevator in his mansion.

    Waits for the fictitious Romney defense.
  • Risk 2012/07/02 17:27:26 (edited)
    Risk
    +1
    He Lied ? He really Lied ? Oh my God if he gets elected he may turn out to be another Liar just like Obama, but I guess time would tell. Whats to lose ? Lets try a new Liar
    for a change !



    obama the liar
  • dallas Risk 2012/07/02 20:30:46 (edited)
  • Risk dallas 2012/07/03 13:44:54
    Risk
    Does Reid lie ? Like a rug ! Obama has told more lies then any president in history so he must be disgusting and a bad example to the children also ... right ?
  • Outta' Here. 2012/07/02 16:58:42
    Outta' Here.
    So what.
  • HarleyCharley 2012/07/02 16:58:24
    HarleyCharley
    a politician lying.....

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