McCain’s Opposition Research – Part 33


Via or from BuzzFeed comes an opposition research file compiled by the McCain campaign in 2008.  The document is 194 pages long.  This post begins  at the top of 133 and ends near the bottom of 138. .

I have bolded the first word in each entry for ease of reading.

VETERANS ISSUES 

Shortly After Taking Office, Romney Proposed Cutting State Hiring Preferences For Veterans And Merging Veterans Care Facilities Into Jurisdiction Of Social Welfare Administrators In One Of His Earliest Moves In Office, Romney Proposed Cutting State Hiring Preferences For Veterans nd Aligning Veterans Services With State Welfare Programs.

“Proposals by Gov. Mitt Romney to reduce hiring preferences for veterans and align veterans services with state welfare programs have triggered a harsh reaction among veterans groups and their supporters. ‘A veteran should not have to sit in a welfare line waiting for help,’ said Paul G. Keough, chairman of the Unified Veterans of Massachusetts. He criticized administration proposals to have veterans programs administered by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and Department of Elder Affairs.”

(John J. Monahan, “Veterans Groups Critical Of Romney Plan,” Telegram & Gazette[Worcester, MA],3/18/03)

Romney Proposed Putting Veterans’ Care Facilities In Same Agency Handling Welfare Services.

“Another provision of the governor’s reforms would place operation of the Soldiers’ Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke with the same agency that handles welfare services for the disabled.”

(John J. Monahan, “Veterans Group Critical Of Romney Plan,” Telegram & Gazette [Worcester, MA], 3/18/03)

Romney Planned To Eliminate Veterans Hiring Preference And Replace It With A Point System.

“The preference puts veterans at the top of civil service hiring lists for many state and municipal jobs, including police and fire positions. Mr. Romney has proposed eliminating the preference and instead giving veterans civil service exam bonus points.  Disabled veterans would get five extra points and other veterans would receive two bonus points on the tests.”

(John J. Monahan, “Veterans Groups Critical Of Romney Plan,” Telegram & Gazette [Worcester, MA], 3/18/03)

State AARP President Called Romney Plan To Combine Veterans Affairs With Elder Affairs“Incomprehensible.”

“Gov. Mitt Romney’s plan to restructure the Executive Office of Elder Affairs was expected to draw pointed criticism today at a state forum in Worcester. … The move to combine elder affairs with veterans affairs is ‘incomprehensible,’ said Walt Sanders, president of AARP Massachusetts.”

(Sue Scheible, “Elder Affairs Advocates Oppose Romney Plan,” The Patriot Ledger[Quincy, MA], 3/14/03)

AARP President: Proposal Did Not Make Sense.

“Combining veterans services with elder affairs does not make sense because ‘not all veterans are elders and not all elders are veterans,’ Sanders said.  ‘If your intention is to truly eliminate the current confusing maze of bureaucracy, this runs completely counter to that goal.’”

(Sue Scheible, “Elder Affairs Advocates Oppose Romney Plan,” The Patriot Ledger [Quincy, MA], 3/14/03)

2003: Legislators Overturned Romney Veto Of Tens Of Thousands In Funding For Veterans Cemetery.

“[T]he Legislature last night restored more than $150 million of the $201 million cut by Gov. Mitt Romney. …Among the vetoes the Legislature overrode yesterday, on what was the final day of formal deliberations before lawmakers broke for a summer recess, were: … $86,018 for the Agawam-Winchendon Veterans Cemetery.”

(John Monahan, “Most Romney Vetoes Restored,” Telegram & Gazette[Worcester, MA], 7/18/03)

Romney Tried To Cut $165,000 From Veterans Outreach In 2003.

(Massachusetts Budget And Policy Center, “A Review Of The FY 2004 Vetoes And Overrides,”www.massbudget.org, 7/28/03)

Romney Spokesman: “There were line-item reductions in the veterans’ budget, as there were in all areas ofstate government, but these reductions did not directly impact veterans’ services …”

(Yvonne Abraham, “Democrats Slam Romney On Tunnel Name,” The Boston Globe, 10/16/03)

Under Romney, State Sought To Increase User Fees For Long-Term Care At The Chelsea Soldiers’ Home.

“Gov. Mitt Romney is vehemently opposed to raising taxes. Yet new fees proposed in his budget would hit abroad spectrum of people … The changes include … increasing user fees for long-term care at the Chelsea  Soldiers’ Home.”

(Jennifer Fenn, “Romney Budget Raises Fees, Which Democrats Say Are Taxes In Disguise,” Lowell Sun, 2/28/03)

 

The Chelsea Soldiers’ Home/Quigley Memorial Hospital Is A State Run Veterans’ Hospital With Acute, Long Term Care And Domicilary Units.

“Eligible veterans are provided a dorm style room with full meal service. As veterans need more care, they may progress to supervised programs with 24 hour nursing care or may become eligible for Skilled Nursing Care placement on one of the eight inpatient skilled nursing units.”

(MA Commission on End Of Life Care,www.endoflifecommission.org, Accessed 2/9/07)

Romney Staff Spent Tens Of Thousands On New Televisions And Cross-Country Travel While “Making Funding Cuts To Programs Including Ones Serving Veterans…”

“Governor Mitt Romney’s staff spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on cross-country travel and new televisions, VCRs and furniture for their offices in their first six months in office, according to a published report. … Romney’s aides spent almost $40,000 on new office equipment and more than $22,000 on travel … The spending came as Romney was making funding cuts to programs including ones serving veterans, the mentally disabled and the elderly.” (“

Romney’s Staff Spent Thousands Of Tax Dollars On New Office Equipment, Travel,” The Associated Press, 11/16/03)

 

Romney Tax On Being Blind Was Opposed By Veterans Groups.

“It now costs to be blind in Massachusetts.The state’s approximately 35,000 blind and legally blind residents must now pay $10 annually for a certificate of blindness and $15 every four years for a blind identification card. … The fees originated in February, in Gov. Mitt Romney’s budget proposal for fiscal 2004. … ‘It’s just another form of taxation,’ said Stephen Matthews, a national service officer for the Blinded Veterans Association, who has lobbied against the fees. ‘They’re burdening the people who can least afford it.’”

(Shaun Sutner, “Advocates Fight Fees For The Blind,” Telegram & Gazette[Worcester, MA],8/5/03)

 

Veteran Speaks Out: “I Just Don’t Understand This Foolishness.”

“Previously, both the certificates and the ID cards were given out free to the 35,000 blind people living in Massachusetts. Romney proposed the new fees and the Legislature built them into the budget that took effect July 1. John Ray, an 85-year-old Army veteran of three wars who is blind, called the new fees ‘an amateurish act’ to bleed residents. ‘I just don’t understand this foolishness,’ he said.”

(Elizabeth W. Crowley, “Pols Reconsidering Fee Hikes,” The Boston Herald, 8/2/03)

1994 Romney Remark On Homeless Veterans “Not One Of The Brighter Moments Of His Campaign.”

“From all accounts, Mitt Romney’s visit to that veterans shelter just behind Boston’s City Hall Plaza was not one of the brighter moments of his campaign for US senator. When director Ken Smith told him that one of the things the shelter needed was fresh milk, Romney replied jokingly that maybe the veterans should be taught how to milk cows.”

(Michael Kenney, “Romney Comment Leads To Milk Run,” The Boston Globe, 11/27/94)

BUSINESS RECORD

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • Romney spent most of his business career as CEO of private equity firm Bain Capital – as of June 2007 he maintained an investor’s stake in the company.
  • Bain Capital has been criticized for relentless focus on bottom line at expense of workers and jobs.
  • Romney describes himself as a “business legend” in his campaign ads and once said of himself: “I’m basically in the investor’s Hall of Fame.”
  • Bain Capital and Bain & Co. employees donated at least $171,000 to Romney’s presidential campaign in Q1 2007 and gave tens of thousands more in support of his previous political activities.
  • Bain Capital financed 1988 buyout with junk bonds issued by Drexel Burnham – when SEC filed charges against the firm and CEO Michael Milken, Bain Capital maintained their business relationship; Romney later reminisced about “the glorious days of Drexel Burnham.”
  • In 2004, Bain & Co. received a multi-million dollar contract from the National Iranian Oil Company.
  • Romney sat on board of directors of Bain portfolio company Damon Clinical Laboratories, which in 1996 was fined over $100 million for Medicare fraud committed during Romney’s tenure.
  • Bain Capital owned company named Ampad that purchased an Indiana paper plant, fired its workers and offered to bring them back at drastically reduced salary and benefits – the firings became an issue in the 1994 Senate race when workers blamed Romney for their situation and appeared in Kennedy campaign ads.
  • After Romney became governor, Bain Capital teamed up with Chinese appliance maker Haier Group in 2005 in effort to purchase Newton, IA-based Maytag Corp. and send jobs overseas.
  • At least two Bain Capital companies – Stream International and Modus Media – focused on outsourced technical support services, expanding facilities abroad while contracting operations in the United States.
  • Bain Capital operated steel company called GS Industries which went bankrupt in 2001 after years of labor strife, closing a plant in Kansas City and laying off over 700 workers.

GENERAL BAIN OVERVIEW

Romney Remains An Investor In Bain Capital, The Private Equity Firm He Funded In 1984 – Partners Running The Company Today Were Brought On Board During Romney’s Tenure As Of June 2007, Romney “Remains An Investor In Bain Capital.”

“Mr. Romney, who remains an investor in Bain Capital, said he had not been involved in those decisions but acknowledged that such payments became part of the buyout business ‘very early on.’”

(David D. Kirkpatrick, “Romney’s Political Fortunes Tied To Riches He Gained In Business,” The New York Times, 6/4/07)

“Romney Started Bain Capital In 1984, Made His Fortune There, And Ran It Before Moving Into The Governor’s Office Four Years Ago.”

(Brett Arends, “American Workers’ Bane,” Boston Herald, 6/22/05)

 

Current Bain Capital Managing Partner Josh Bekenstein Founded Company With Romney In 1984.

“Mr. Bekenstein joined Bain Capital at its inception in 1984. He has been a Managing Director since 1986. Prior to joining Bain Capital, Mr. Bekenstein spent several years at Bain & Company where he was involved with companies in a variety of industries.”

(Bain Capital Website,www.baincapital.com, Accessed 2/26/07)

Romney Ran Day-To-Day Operations At Bain Capital From Its Inception In 1984 Through Early 1999, WhenHe Left To Assume Control Of The Salt Lake Winter Games.

“When Mr. Romney finally set up shop just across the hall from Bain consulting in 1984, his initial plan centered on providing venture capital – seed money – for ideas spun off by Bain consultants. … By the time Mr. Romney left the firm in 1999, the investments it had sold off had made enough money to deliver an average annual return that amounted to as much as 100 percent before fees, several of its investors said.”

(David Kirkpatrick, “Romney Political Fortunes Tied To Riches He Gained In Business,” The New York Times, 6/4/07)

Romney Served As CEO Of Bain Capital Through August 2001, Even Though He No Longer Ran Daily Operations.

“Although he gave up running day-to-day operations at the venture capital firm in order to head the Salt Lake Winter Olympics, he remained CEO and held his financial interest in the company through August2001.”

(Stephanie Ebbert and Yvonne Abraham, “Camps Spar Over Romney Word Choice,” The Boston Globe, 10/31/02)

Bain Capital Is “Remains Romney’s Creation” As Over Three-Quarters Of Its Partners Came On Board During Romney’s Tenure,  Joining The “Corporate Culture … He Nurtured Over 17 Years.”

“Bain Capital remains Romney’s creation. The corporate culture is one he nurtured over 17 years. A Herald analysis of the firm’s leadership shows that more than three quarters of the managing partners joined when he was the boss.”

(Brett Arends, “American Workers’ Bane,” Boston Herald, 6/22/05)

Romney: “I’m Basically In The Investors’ Hall Of Fame.”

(John McElhenny, “Romney,  O’Brien Spar At Gubernatorial Debate,” The Associated Press, 10/25/02)

Romney Relies On Employees At Bain Capital And Bain & Co. For Sizeable Campaign Contributions Employees At Bain Capital And Bain & Co. Donated Over $171,000 To Romney’s Campaign In The First Three Months Of 2007.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, persons affiliated with Bain Capitaldonated at least $99,800 to Romney’s campaign in the first quarter of 2007 and he received another $71,250 fromemployees of Bain & Co.

(Center For Responsive Politics Website,www.opensecrets.org, Accessed 6/15/07)

“Republican Mitt Romney Received Almost $100,000 From Staff At Bain Capital, The Private Equity Group That The Former Governor Of Massachusetts Founded.”

(Alex Barker, “New Tycoons Are Taking A Not Entirely Altruistic  Interest,” Financial Times, 5/30/07)

Bain Executives Also Donated Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars To Support Romney’s Pre-Presidential Campaign Activities.

“[R]ecords of Mr. Romney’s political action committees indicate that he also accumulated a valuable Rolodex during his years at Bain. Executives of Bain Capital and its sister firm, Bain Consulting,  contributed more than $64,000 over the last two years to Mr. Romney’s federal political action committee, Commonwealth PAC, and in 2002 they gave more than $14,000 to his campaign for governor.”

(David D. Kirkpatrick,“Romney Reaps $20 Million To Top G.O.P. Rivals,” The New York Times, 4/3/07)

Romney’s Background As CEO And Corporate Dealmaker Seen As Influence On His Political Tactics Romney’s “Flip-Flops And Business Success” Are Connected Because “Abandoning Deeply Held Attitudes And Reversing Positions Are Job Requirements” For CEOs.

“So, how are Romney’s flip-flops andbusiness success connected? People suspect, perhaps correctly, that Romney really doesn’t believe all the thingshe’s saying. … [S]uch hypocrisy, which turns off voters, is something like a job requirement for CEOs. In theexecutive suite, abandoning deeply held attitudes and reversing positions are job requirements. How often haveyou seen a CEO proclaim that a struggling unit is not for sale, only to put it on the block a few months later? ACEO will praise a product to the skies one day and then cancel it the next. He’ll boast, sincerely, that his companyis No. 1 in the industry and then, when he quits the next day to run a rival, claim that the new firm is tops.”

(DanielGross, “The CEO Candidate,” Slate.com, 2/26/07)

 

“Good CEOs … Devise New Business Strategies And Business Plans To Cope With Changing Market Conditions.”

“These business flips are fine, because in the corporate world, people don’t confuse advocacy of acompany’s strategy or products and services with personal honor or integrity. … Good CEOs don’t simply stakeout public positions and stick to them for 20 years. They devise new business strategies and business plans to cope with changing market conditions.”

(Daniel Gross, “The CEO Candidate,” Slate.com, 2/26/07)

Romney “Doesn’t Run In Elections, He Competes In Markets.”

“It is clear that Romney approaches politics not as a crusade but as a business case study. He doesn’t run in elections, he competes in markets. In 1994, the former management consultant knew his market. … Today, Romney correctly recognizes that what is appropriate for one market (Massachusetts voters) clearly is not appropriate for another market (Republican-primary voters).”

(Daniel Gross, “The CEO Candidate,” Slate.com, 2/26/07)

Romney’s Business Acumen Was “Forged In The Often-Overheated 1980s.”

“An examination of Romney’s nearly 20-year business career in Boston – as a consultant, venture capitalist, entrepreneur and chief executive –shows a man whose uncanny ability to smell a deal, take a risk and turn a profit was forged in the often-overheated 1980s.”

(Mitchell Zuckoff and Ben Bradlee Jr., “Romney’s Business Record Gives Larger Picture,” The Boston Globe, 8/8/94)

As CEO, Romney “Insisted On Having Almost Dictatorial Powers. … That Was Essential.”

“The Boston-based venture capitalist likes to be in control. ‘(At SLOC) I don’t have the kind of control I’m used to in the business world,’ he said. ‘When I was involved in (the resurrection of the beleaguered international firm Bain Consulting), I insisted on having almost dictatorial powers. … That was essential.’”

(Lisa Riley Roche, “Mitt Exemplifies The New Openness Sought For SLOC,” Deseret News, 2/12/99)

Former Business Colleague Said Romney Possessed “Ability To Identify People’s Insecurities And Exploit Them To His Own Benefit.”

“[S]ome colleagues found Romney to be manipulative. Romney had an‘ability to identify people’s insecurities and exploit them to his own benefit,’ says a source who worked with Romney but refused to be quoted for ‘fear of retribution.’ This source says that Romney would vary bonuses among his partners just enough to put people on edge, giving $3.1 million to one, $3 million to another and $2.9million to another.”

(Evan Thomas et al, “Is Mitt Romney Ready For Prime-Time Politics?” Newsweek, 4/16/07)

Romney, On His Business Record: “I Won The Lottery … I Was Absolutely In The Right Place At The Right Time.”

“Romney said he can afford to do this because ‘I won the lottery. I got into something called venture capital just when the stock market went from, I don’t know, a couple thousand to almost 10,000. I was absolutely in the right place at the right time.’”

(Lisa Riley Roche, “Mitt Exemplifies The New Openness Sought For SLOC,” Deseret News,2/12/99)

Under Romney’s Leadership, Bain Capital Had History Of Relentless Focus On Bottom Line, Improving Corporate Profits At Expense Of Local Workers Under Romney’s Stewardship, “Bain Left Companies In Bankruptcy Or Near Collapse After Selling Off Its Interests And Made Huge Profits.”

“Romney was tremendously successful as CEO of Bain Capital and he helped build many companies. But his work also involved controversial ventures … that resulted in downsizing or layoffs. In some cases, Bain left companies in bankruptcy or near collapse after selling off its interests and made huge profits. Some companies Bain invested in, such as American Pad & Paper of Dallas, Stage Stores of Houston, and Dynamic Details (DDI) of Orange County, Calif., crashed after Bain went public with the company’s stock, and then immediately sold its own interest.”

(Frank Phillips, “Romney Profited On Firm Later Tied To Fraud,” The Boston Globe, 10/10/02)

Bain Culture: “Possessed By A Mission To Increase The ‘Total Economic Value’ Of Their Clients.”

“Notoriously secretive about itself and its work for clients, Bain has over the years been labeled the ‘KGB of Consulting’ … Bain consultants seem possessed by a mission to increase the ‘total economic value’ of their clients. Like religious zealots, they single-mindedly dedicate themselves to improving their customer’s competitive position. Business is a holy war that the client must win and the competition must lose.”

(Nancy Perry, “A Consulting Firm Too Hot To Handle?” Fortune, 4/27/87)

“Bainies” Were Known For Company Songs And Secrecy, Compared To KGB.

“Bain & Co. also was knownf or the strict discipline, team spirit – including company songs – and relentless work ethic of its troops. With their uniforms of white shirts and red power ties, the clean-cut Bain consultants were known as ‘Bainies,’ a knockoff of the term ‘Moonies’ for followers of Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Bain & Co. also was known for its secrecy, earning sobriquets like ‘the KGB of consulting.’”

(Mitchell Zuckoff and Ben Bradlee Jr., “Romney’s Business Record Gives Larger Picture,”  The Boston Globe, 8/8/94)

Code Names And More: “From the beginning, Bain cultivated a mystique around the secretive firm, whichwas once dubbed ‘the KGB of consulting.’ Partners didn’t carry business cards and referred to clients by codenames. … And it inculcated in the recruits such a sense of mission that young consultants became known asBainies, a reference to the Unification Church’s Moonies.”

(Paul Hemp, “Did Greed Destroy Bain & Co.?”  The Boston Globe, 2/26/91)

Bain Got “Their Hands Deep into The Trousers Of A Company,” According To One Executive.

“How coulda respected, albeit highly aggressive, firm like Bain have left itself open to being tainted by the scandalous behavior of a client? The answer may lie in Bain’s approach to business: ‘They get their hands deep into the trousers of a company,’ says an executive who knows the firm well.”

(Nancy Perry, “A Consulting Firm Too Hot To Handle?” Fortune, 4/27/87)

“Like Religious Zealots … Business Is A Holy War That The Client Must Win And The Competition Must Lose.”

“Notoriously secretive about itself and its work for clients, Bain has over the years been labeled the ‘KGB of Consulting,’ or a ‘Moonie commune’ run by the ‘Reverend’ Bain. Bain consultants seem possessed by a mission to increase the ‘total economic value’ of their clients. Like religious zealots, they single-mindedly dedicate themselves to improving their customer’s competitive position. Business is a holy war that the client must win and the competition must lose.”

(Nancy Perry, “A Consulting Firm Too Hot To Handle?” Fortune, 4/27/87)

“Stand Aside, Asshole. Here We Come.”

“The real problem for Bain & Co., though, may be the firm’s tendency to alienate and weaken lower-level managers at the companies where it works. … Notes the chairman of another management consulting firm: ‘Their product is brilliant. It’s the package that has been a problem. Five million Bainies saying, ‘Stand aside, asshole. Here we come.’”

(Nancy Perry, “A Consulting Firm Too Hot To Handle?” Fortune, 4/27/87)

Romney “Often” Tapped Bain Partners For Management Roles In Bain Capital-Funded Companies, Raking In Millions In Fees For Bain & Co.

“Romney still works very closely with his old company, often hiring Bain partners to take over management of the outfits he invests in. Last December Bain Capital Partners paid $2million for a 40% stake in GS Roofing Products, a division of GenStar Inc., which lost in excess of $10 million in1986. The company, under direction of majority stockholders Berkshire Partners, immediately hired – you guessed it – Bain & Co. to try to stem the losses. Fees so far: close to $2 million.”

(Laura Jereski, “Putting It On The Line,” Forbes, 11/30/87)

Romney Blasted Critics Of Bain Management Style For “Naivete,” Claiming “There Is Nothing Wrong With  Companies … Trying To Make Money” And “This Is Not Fantasy Land.”

“Romney said yesterday that layoffs can be a part of doing business. ‘This is not fantasy land,’ said Romney. ‘This is the real world and in the real world there is nothing wrong with companies trying to compete, trying to stay alive, trying to make money.’ …‘Clearly there is a naivete which sometimes exists in people who have not been in the real world, working with real businesses with real competition trying to keep jobs and businesses alive,’ Romney said. ‘They live in a never-never land where not all businesses get better, not all businesses grow.’”

(Frank Phillips, “Romney Firm Tied To Labor Fight,” The Boston Globe, 9/23/94)

Romney Defended Layoffs At Bain Capital-Controlled Indiana Paper Plant In 1994.

“In July 1994, Ampad [a paper company Bain Capital controlled] bought an Indiana paper plant, fired the existing workers, and gave most employees their jobs back at reduced wages and benefits. Even though Romney was on leave from Bain for the campaign, the workers came to Massachusetts and dogged his campaign. Romney initially tried to justify the layoffs, defending them as necessary in corporate restructuring.”

(Stephanie Ebbert, “Romney Seeks High Office With Confidence, Pedigree,” The Boston Globe, 8/14/02)

Bain Capital Called “Bully On The Block,” Blamed For Closing Of Kansas City Steel Plant In 2002.

“Out-of-work steelworkers in Kansas City, for example, blame Romney and Bain Capital for decisions that led to last year’s bankruptcy of a steel mill that opened its doors in 1888. Bain bought the operation, GST Steel Co., in 1993.Workers said the new owners cleaned house and brought in an inexperienced management team. Dan Misel,who worked at GST Steel for 35 years, said Bain came in ‘like the bully on the block,’ assuming its managers new how to run the operation better than anyone already in place. … In 1997, two years before Romney left Bain to run the Winter Olympics, the Kansas City plant endured its first strike in four decades. After a 10-week walkout,union officials said they offered to work with managers to improve the plant’s competitiveness, but that the Bain-imposed managers weren’t interested. … When the plant closed earlier this year, amid a generally gloomy climate for US steel companies, workers lost severance packages and health insurance coverage.”

(Thomas Farragher and Scott Bernard Nelson, “Business Record Helps, Hinders Romney,”  The Boston Globe, 10/24/02)

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