Irony of ironies: after being booed by an unimpressed crowd at the NAACP convention yesterday, Presidential candidate Mitt Romney turned around and tried to use those boos to get his rich white friends to give him more money at a fundraiser. "Support my run for President! Black people hate me!" And less than twenty-four hours after that, it's been revealed that Mitt Romney probably lied about when he left Bain Capital on financial disclosure documents, which wouldn't be that big of a deal if falsifying information on financial disclosure documents wasn't a felony.
First, to the race baiting! Romney's appearance at the NAACP convention may have seemed confusing — after all, according to 2008 exit polling, 96% of black voters supported Barack Obama for President. But Mittens Romney is a shrewd character who knows his base, and apparently his appearance before a mostly black crowd was nothing but a BOO gathering mission designed to rile them up and open their wallets. At a fundraiser last night, Romney hoisted his poor reception like a persecution trophy ripe for admiration from a crowd that believes that liberals are racist against white people, telling the Montana crowd, "Remind them of this: if they want more stuff from the government, tell them to go vote for the other guy. More free stuff." Yiiikes.
Okay, now let's switch gears for a moment as we follow the last 24 pretty bad hours for the Romney campaign. The lying.
The Boston Globe isn't the first media outlet to point out that it sure looked like Mitt was fibbing about leaving Bain Capital in February 1999, but it's getting more attention this time, since they've got the Bain Capital documents to prove it and it looks like that little lie might actually be a big felonious whopper. According to the Globe, although Mitt Romney states on his federal financial disclosure forms that he left the company before the Y2K panic came and went, the company's filings with the SEC tell a different story — they show that Romney was listed as Bain's CEO until 2002.
But public Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed [after 1999] 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.
So, why does this matter? First, it shows that it sure looks like Romney was actually involved in activities that the GOP Presidential candidate has disavowed — that thing about the fetus disposal company, layoffs and downsizing and outsourcing of jobs — even though the paper trail shows that his income as a CEO was, according to a former Bain employee, suspiciously low. For Romney's sake, let's hope that this all gets sorted out, because according to FactCheck, if Romney had falsified federal financial disclosure forms, he's got some 'splaining to do. Because that's a felony.
Awkward white dude gives poorly-received NAACP speech and 24 hours later, there are whispers that he's a felon? Someone please get Chris Rock to say something about this.
Update: Fortune is reporting that documents prove that while Romney was collecting his $100,000 salary as "CEO" of Bain after 1999, he wasn't actively involved in management of any of Bain's funds since he was off running the Salt Lake City Olympics bid. I'd love to make six figures to not do a job!