That would be the alternate headline to this AP story about Romney’s Bain Capital timeline:
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he had no active role in Bain Capital, the private equity firm he founded, after he exited in February 1999 to take over Salt Lake City’s Winter Olympics bid. But according to Bain associates and others familiar with Romney’s actions at the time, he stayed in regular contact with his partners over the following months, tending to his partnership interests and negotiating his separation from the company.
Those familiar with Romney’s discussions with his Bain partners said the contacts included several meetings in Boston, the company’s home base, but were limited to matters that did not affect the firm’s investments or other management decisions. Yet Romney 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, according to financial reports reviewed by The Associated Press.
Keep in mind the categorical statement Romney made on his FEC financial disclosure form:
In August 2011, Romney told federal authorities, as part of the financial disclosure process, that he “retired from Bain Capital on February 11, 1999 to head the Salt Lake Organizing Committee [for the 2002 Winter Olympics]. 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.”
That’s just not true. Signing the legal documents alone connotes an active role with Bain and its entities. And attending meetings in Boston would be enough to suggest involvement in the operations of Bain “in any way.” He attended board meetings for Staples. He flew back to Boston repeatedly for meetings with Bain principals. He met with Bain partners at their 15th anniversary party in Palm Beach, Florida in 1999. On practically every corporate form in this period – dozens of them – Romney is listed as having a role, as President, CEO and sole shareholder, with the company. One former partner said that Romney would make “suggestions” on business matters to the partners.
Everyone can get their lawyers out and massage the words to try and fit Romney’s circumstances. But it really does look like a lie. And that lie happens to be a federal felony.
Now, the FEC as an organization barely exists at this point, so this will become the latest in a long lines of felonies that do not get prosecuted. That does not diminish the act. For the supremely silly reason of trying to deny a talking point about outsourcing, Mitt Romney directed his campaign to lie to a federal agency. That’s the whole story here.
Of course, Romney could clear all this up by being more forthcoming about his post-1999 time at Bain. I could be over-reading all of this. I await the clarification. From both Romney and the now-pathetic Glenn Kessler.