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Bain drip drip drip

Bain drip drip drip

It’s so frustrating, the failure of conservative media and Republican campaigns to vet Mitt Romney’s Bain days.

Instead of hiring cartoonists to turn Newt into Marvin the Martian, National Review should have been digging deep into the public filings, court filings, and the financial history of the companies Bain acquired and sold.  You better believe there isn’t a court document or SEC filing which the Obama campaign hasn’t digitized and analyzed.

Maybe there is nothing damaging, but my gut tells me otherwise.  That Romney inexplicably refuses to release his tax returns should have leading conservative pundits screaming warnings at the tops of their lungs; instead we get psycho-babble comparing Newt to Ahab seeking the Great White Mitt.

In Bain drip drip I noted a NY Times article about Romney’s post-Bain deal participation.

Now Reuters has a damaging story about how one of the companies bought by Bain left the feds to deal with underfunded pensions, Special report: Romney’s steel skeleton in the Bain closet:

The young men in business suits, gingerly picking their way among the millwrights, machinists and pipefitters at Kansas City’s Worldwide Grinding Systems steel mill….

Apparently they liked what they saw. Soon after, in October 1993, Bain Capital, co-founded by Mitt Romney, became majority shareholder in a steel mill that had been operating since 1888.

It was a gamble. The old mill, renamed GS Technologies, needed expensive updating, and demand for its products was susceptible to cycles in the mining industry and commodities markets.

Less than a decade later, the mill was padlocked and some 750 people lost their jobs. Workers were denied the severance pay and health insurance they’d been promised, and their pension benefits were cut by as much as $400 a month.

What’s more, a federal government insurance agency had to pony up $44 million to bail out the company’s underfunded pension plan. Nevertheless, Bain profited on the deal, receiving $12 million on its $8 million initial investment and at least $4.5 million in consulting fees.

Not illegal, part of that “creative destruction” thing.  I get it.  And I’m sure there is plenty of blame to go around.  My concern is we’re only hearing about it in drips.  You can be sure Team Obama is holding the good stuff back.

When Newt raised the negatives of Bain deals, Charles Krauthammer claimed Newt was talking like a socialist, and that was one of the kindest things said by the conservative media.

We are heading headlong into the unknowns.

Update:  Why does it matter that everything get out now, not later?  This video, in which an AP reporter is aggressive in a way no mainstream reporter ever would be with Obama, is a good example of how aggressively the media will treat every real or imagined problem with a Republican nominee.  The issue is not that Bain is a disqualifier, but that we are being asked to maked judgments based primarliy on electability without the facts:

Update No. 2: New Anti-Romney Video Attacks Bain Capital Work:

The effort to derail Mitt Romney’s presidential quest heightened dramatically on Friday when a super PAC associated with Newt Gingrich outbid all comers for the rights to a scathing 30-minute attack video depicting Romney as a greedy, job-killing corporate raider “more ruthless than Wall Street.”

In a season filled with negative ads and rhetorical crossfire, the striking feature of the film, aside from its mini-documentary length, is its authorship. The film was made by Jason Killian Meath, a former associate of Romney’s top strategists, Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer. Meath had worked for the Romney campaign in 2008, creating much of the ad content for that failed effort. He left Stevens and Schriefer’s firm, SSG, in 2010. Meath declined to comment on his project, referring inquiries to the pro-Gingrich PAC Winning Our Future.


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And Romey will come back with names like: Staples, Sports Authority, and Domino’s Pizza to name some headliners. Not to mention the fact Romney would only take about 10% from the deals.
What is Newt going to do when the Obama machine turns to him? Say he hasn’t cheated on his current wife, yet?

Also I would love to see Barry try this in a debate. Then Romney could just shoot back “What about your crony investments in Solyndra and Beacon Power Mr President? At least at Bain capitol I wasn’t stealing tax payer money to help my friends.”

    That’s the problem when you have a record on which to run. Romney’s record is one of mostly job creation and Obama’s is one of mostly job destruction.

      I forgot to mention all of the people who lost their jobs as a result of the Solyndra failure, the people who lost their lives as a result of the “Fast and Furious” scandal and the GM bondholders who lost their investments as a result of the bailout.

NC Mountain Girl | January 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm

This will never be raised in a debate. Instead it will be the fodder of a series of TV/radio ads and news features. A lot of Main Street America can’t stand smarmy Harvard MBA types to begin with. This only reinforces the image that the breed as a whole is only good at capitalizing on connections and rearranging what was built by others.

Looting is looting. Be it an guarantee program for alternative energy or the federal pension insurance program. In the end we are all on the hook for the losses.

I think you’re way ahead of the curve on this one. Even if this is a horrible twisting of the facts, Gov. Romney’s lack of ability to connect with voters on a personal level fits the “heartless” 1% template. The public is pro small business, but Romney, never having run a small business, can’t even tap into that.

McCain flattened NYT’s philandering charges because the public believed in his upright character. Palin has flattened the big spending wardrobe diva charges (through the Alaska series) and the media itself smashed the incompetent governor charges with the release of 24,000+ pages of her official e-mails. Gov. Romney hasn’t the image like McCain or time and perseverance like Palin to undo the likely morphing of his business competence into uncaring greed.

The steel firm went bankrupt and required the infusion of federal funds to cover pension benefits 2 years after Romney left Bain Capital. I get the point, Obama can shout about this and make it look bad, but Romney can respond pretty easily to such accusations and expose them as the distorted attacks they are.

I think Obama will hammer him on being part of the financial system and shutting down companies too. Along with being part of the “1%”. Maybe Romney can come back with some headliner names of companies he saved or created, but it would be better to develop that response in the primaries before more of the nation is watching.

However, I still think that what Gingrich said was problematic because he was saying that all private equity was is bankrupting firms and firing people. He should have attacked some Bain’s practices, but my guess is that he didn’t know about them. He was upset so he was just calling the whole industry evil because it was convenient for him (and that is my problem with Gingrich more generally).

After the way Willard and his corporate raiding friends picked over the bones of KB Toys a few years ago so that they could get paid, it wouldn’t surprise me any to see the Republicans field a Romney-Gekko ticket this Fall.

Gayle Spencer | January 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Romney does NOT have the fire in the belly to do what’s necessary to get elected. He’s Malcolm Milquetoast a la Dole and McCain, afraid to get into a nail-scratching, hair-pulling fight.

Mitt as nominee means 4 more w/bho, YIKES.

OWS is team Obama’s foundation to paint Romney as Wall Street. Newt scared team Obama and was unexpected. But the Media rallied to kill Newt and user in Newt for the sacrifice. The Republican establishment is being played like a fiddle.

Best thing he can do to counter story is divert attention to other Bain holdings companies that did well. But agree with Legal Insr., how much of that mini-bailout ended up in his pocket?

Team Obama may think otherwise about using this at the risk of Mitt firing back with Solyndra.

    JayDick in reply to Aucturian. | January 7, 2012 at 8:34 am

    How many jobs were sacrificed to save GM and Chrysler? And, who got paid? It wasn’t the bond holders, who were supposed to have high priority. It was the labor unions.

    The point is that when a company is failing, jobs have to be cut in an effort to save it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but the effort is almost always worthwhile.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | January 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm has released a brutal video about the company featured in the Reuters story. I assume that means MoveOn sourced the story to Reuters. But as corrupt as our media is now, maybe Reuters fed it to MoveOn, who knows.

I thought Willard might be able to survive the Gekko-izaton process by pointing out that many of Bain’s investors are blue collar pension funds and endowments. Now I’m not so sure.

    Please, all, don’t come after me, but this is a good ad, for what it is. And I never thought I’d be backhand complimenting It’s a mere drop in the preliminary bucket to what Willard will undergo.

Hm. 8 mil investment over 10 years returning 12 mil is about 5% per year. (non-compounded) Even if you add the consulting fees, and use the Rule of 72, you get an average return of 7.2%. Wonder what the stock market returned as an average over that period of time.

Somehow the activities of Bain Capital just does not raise to the level of Widow and Orphan Extermination that the Left wants to make of it.

TeaPartyPatriot4ever | January 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm

The Patriotic American Reagan Conservative Tea Party movement is ready and able to support and fund, Newt and or Santorum, or any other qualified authentic Conservative candidate, to defeat that hypocrite lying 2 faced liberal Republican Party estblishment RINO Romney, at any and all costs, period.!! Mass. is the home of Liberalism, Ted Kennedy, Michael Dukakis, John Kerry, and Mitt Romney.
Any real patriotic Reagan Conservative American, would never support, let alone vote for, a liberal Mass Republican party establishment RINO elitist lying hypocrite, like Romney..  The only reason Romney is up in the polls, is because of his superpac funding campaign ads, that tell lies, deceive, distort, and subvert the facts and truth, about everything..  But they never tell the people what Romney did in Mass, raise taxes, increase big govt spending, for his all of obamacratic welfare entitlement programs, and his State Socialized forced mandated inferior and substandard medicine program, aka, Romneycare, and what he says he will not do, release his income tax records, e-mails and official records as Mass. Gov.
A glass of Orange Juice would be better than Romney.. A vote for Romney, is a vote for Liberalism and RINO Hypocrisy..  Romney is the epitome of liberal cronyism, deception, deceit, hypocrisy, and Republican party establishment elitist arrogance..

Tea Party Nation Founder: ‘The Tea Party Will Never Rally Behind Mitt Romney’
Tea Party Nation’s Judson Phillips appeared on Monday’s Martin Bashir and boldly declared, “The Tea Party will never rally behind Mitt Romney.”
“Never!” Phillips reiterated. “I think I told you this before, we’ve done surveys on our site where it shows one third to one half of the Tea Party members will not vote for Mitt Romney if he is the nominee in the general election — which is probably going to encourage Team Obama to send out people to vote for Romney in the primaries. But Iowa is the first step in this whole process. A week from now we will be talking about New Hampshire, two weeks from now, we’ll be talking about South Carolina and three weeks from now we will talk about Florida.”
“In all the national polls, Newt Gingrich is still right up there at the top,” Phllips added. “He does well in South Carolina and Florida, of course, the other good news that will be coming out of this is at least one candidate is going to dropout. Since the conservative vote is so fragmented right now, whoever drops out, presumably Bachmann, her supporters are going to somewhere. Hopefully from my point of view, it will be Newt. Wherever they go, they’re going to help one of the conservative candidates.”
Phillips later said as the race goes on, we will see “this coalescing and it will be around Newt Gingrich. It will happen. Eventually it will send Mitt Romney to the showers.”
I, and millions of other Tea Party Reagan Conservatives, completely agree with Mr. Judson Phillips.!!

Romney is the antithesis of Reagan Conservatism, period.!! Romney mine as well call himself Obama..

    “Tea Party Nation” is a new one on me. Who elected them? Or are they like the others, self-appointed hucksters trying to ride on the Tea Party name to gain power and influence for themselves and probably make a few bucks along the way?

    Face it: these jerks speak ONLY for themselves. Too bad someone didn’t think to trademark “Tea Party” so these parasites couldn’t trade on the legitimate movement.

    Mr. Obama thanks you.

Of all the things about Romney, Bain and Romney’s experience in capitalism bother me not at all.

Romney may have bought companies and sold them off and that may have resulted in a temporary unemployment for some thousands of people as they moved out of failing compaies into other jobs.

Obama has destroyed millions of jobs while throwing away trillions of dollars of taxpayer money that benefited Obama most of all. All this in 3 short years.

I am not sure Obama can win that fight…

Professor, I realize that our candidates need to be vetted (in a way that Domocrats rarely are). But I have to point out that LI is increasingly sounding like what this site so despised of Romney’s Iowa campaign (going negative early and often).

You may succeed in taking Romney down, but you still are not giving me any reason to vote for Gingrich.

    WarEagle82 in reply to bains. | January 6, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    I don’t see that at all. The professor is not launching ad hominem attacks against Romney but is pointing out obvious weaknesses in the man’s past. These stories will come out now or later.

    I took the video as displaying Romney in a favorable light as he confronted an arrogant, snarky, biased “reporter.” I wish more candidates would respond like this more often when confronted by these DNC shills…

    William A. Jacobson in reply to bains. | January 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    “You may succeed in taking Romney down” – no, I don’t think so. The point I made early and often is that Romney needed to make a positive, inspirational case for himself, not just for being not Obama. He has yet to do that, as the results in Iowa again demonstrate that he is a weak, default frontrunner. As his campaign and supporters like Ann Coulter turned vicious, I pushed back; but never have I attacked him at the personal level at which he, his campaign, his SuperPAC and his supporters have attacked others, particularly Newt. There is a lot of negativity going around, but it is of Romney’s making, just like in 2008. I don’t criticize the man, but I do criticize the way he runs campaigns. I made my positive case for Newt in my endorsement, and I stand by it,

      Professor Jacobson can’t make the case for anyone else. Each of us must go and find out for ourselves. Newt is proposing complex solutions that will be inspired by and accomplished by the people of the United States.

      No number of blog posts can convey what Newt is proposing. It’s too complex; the magnitude is too great; it’s a transformative change. We will make the government of the United States responsive again to the will of the people of the United States.

      Neither Professor Jacobson nor anyone else can write blog posts that will give anyone the depth of knowledge needed to decide whether to support Newt. This is something that a person has to learn about, and then think about. I thought about this for at least a year, while actively seeking out Newt’s old speeches to see what I thought of him.

      For anyone interested in beginning this process of discovery and analysis, I recommend an outstanding speech from the 2009: “2012: VICTORY OR DEATH.”

      Newt makes the case for smaller government and an active citizenry. He talks about George Washington and other Americans who spent years in the field, at great sacrifice, winning the Revolutionary War. The password on the night Washington crossed the Delaware was “Victory or Death” because they were losing the war, and Washington knew that if they lost the war, the British would execute him and all those with him. So it was Victory or Death. It’s an outstanding speech, which strongly criticizes the Bush administration on several points.

      We are free citizens in a free country. Others have died, lost their property, been away from home for years, lost loved ones in wars and made other enormous sacrifices so that we might be free. We are engaged in a great experiment to see if, frail and flawed as we are, we can engaged in self-government. We have a Republic; can we keep it?

      Newt has the most comprehensive approach by far of any candidate. The changes will turn the economy around on a dime.

      Newt has plans that are being worked on now for exactly what he will do on the first day in office. First, no more czars. Also, hopefully for the first day, repeal obamacare and then go to work on really reforming health care so that everyone can get good healthcare, and the patient and doctor are at the center of the healthcare system, not the federal government.

      No one can do this work of choosing a candidate for anyone else. As a citizen, it is right and fitting that we become informed. The debates are not enough. The speeches are where the information is. And there are a lot of them. But that is part of the price of freedom.

      And furthermore, this is one of the reasons we must absolutely, under all circumstances, keep the internet free. Because those speeches are on YouTube and there is not one tiny thing anyone can do to prevent you from seeing them for yourself and making up your own mind.

romneycare cannot beat president downgrade. Why is he being shoved down our throats?

    WarEagle82 in reply to sablegsd. | January 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I have been around quite a long time and am a political junkie but I cannot ever recall the GOP so loudly and continuously proclaiming one candidate “inevitable!”

    I remember Nixon in 68 and Ford in 76 and Reagan in 80 and Bush in 88 and Bush in 2000 and it was never, ever like this in another primary…

    They have been proclaiming this “over” since Romney announced! This hasn’t even started!

      Estragon in reply to WarEagle82. | January 7, 2012 at 6:29 am

      Are you so weak of mind that you have to listen to . . . who, again? Do these people have names, or are they shadowy figures doing dirty deeds dirty cheap?

    Estragon in reply to sablegsd. | January 7, 2012 at 6:27 am

    WHO is shoving Romney down your throat, and how?

    Our process is more democratic and grassroots than any in the world – including the Democrats. Far more of our delegates are directly chosen by the people, we don’t reserve 20% for party bosses, officeholders, and activists, everyone must earn their seat.

    Are you saying you don’t have the same vote you had in previous cycles? Are they fixing the count? Please explain what the heck you are talking about.

Obviously mileage varies. Many of us not in the pro-Newt camp don’t view the negative ads the pro-Mitt camps ran as ad hominem. Some of us not in the pro-Newt camp think that this site, and many of it’s commenters, are becoming a bit too fanboyish.

You can knock all the other candidates all you want, but I am still waiting for a reason why Gingrich is, in toto, better than Santorum, or Perry, or Romney.

Bachmann was my candidate of choice only because Palin and Rubio were not in the race. I’m a small-l libertarian – I want our government off our back.

    WarEagle82 in reply to bains. | January 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    Keep in mind that I am not a Newt or Romney fan. But running around stating that Newt is insane seems to fit the definition of “ad hominem.”

    Newt is a lot of things but I don’t think he is “crazy” or “zany.”

      Keep in mind that I am not a Newt or Romney fan. But running around stating that Newt is insane seems to fit the definition of “ad hominem.”

      Forgive me, but I have not seen anyone call Newt “Insane”. You’ve a link I suppose.

        WarEagle82 in reply to bains. | January 7, 2012 at 12:05 am

        From Romney

        “The same was true with regards to cap-and-trade,” Romney continued. “This was being battled on Capitol Hill and the speaker sat down with Nancy Pelosi and spoke in favor of legislation dealing with climate change. He has been unreliable in those settings. And zany? I wouldn’t think you’d call mirrors in space to light highways at night particularly practical or a lunar colony a practical idea, not at a stage like this.”

        Or watch the video at–interview-with-mitt-romney.html and listen carefully at 3:30 through 4:30.

        Or check out the links here:

        Again, I am not a Newt fan and I am not a Romney fan but there are many acceptable ways to attack either of them without resorting to this level of muck…

          Estragon in reply to WarEagle82. | January 7, 2012 at 6:31 am

          Are you saying that describing the mirrors in space and other . . . um, unusual ideas as “zany” is out of line? You believe the description is over the top, but the idea itself is fine, right?

          Just so we understand each other.

          WarEagle82 in reply to WarEagle82. | January 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm

          At this point, I doubt you understand much at all.

          One hundred and fifty years ago no one believed man could travel at unheard of speeds of 50 miles an hour. One hundred and twenty years ago no one believed man could fly. One hundred years ago no one believed that man could journey to the moon. Who knows what a free and prosperous people may achieve in another 50 or 100 years.

          If not for such “zany” ideas you would wade through a sea of horse manure to get to your horse-drawn carriage to take you to work in your office heated by coal burning stoves and lit with candles and whale oil lamps where you would write with quills and ink wells, assuming you were literate and able to write at all…

Oh my goodness, that’s gonna smell.

Newt was wrong to play Mr Above-it-all. Hope it’s not too late for him. What’s seriously weird is that Perry is looking better now.

Corporate raiding is not something to brag about. These companies like Bain come in and buy up small blocks of stock in a company until they have a majority. That leaves the founders of the companies out in the cold. Next step is to strip the company of all assets, lay everybody off and shut down the company. They do this as a write off on income taxes or for other reasons. When, in doing this, they involve funds from the federal government they are stealing from us. They take their profits and go their merry way leaving us holding the can. Companies like Bain do this over and over again. They take viable companies and shut them down leaving thousands of workers unemployed. These kind of people are the ones who give business a bad name. I had no idea that Romney was mixed up in these travesties. This is just another reason not to vote for him. The republican establishment is crazy or have a hidden agenda to back Romney with this history. Obama will destroy him with the help of the media with this stuff. Only Romney’s “crimes” will be printed or announced to the public and all the bad things obama has done will be swept under the rug.

    WarEagle82 in reply to BarbaraS. | January 6, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    I am not a “Wall Street” kind of guy but this strikes me as terribly simplistic and extremely exaggerated view of what happens in hostile takeovers.

    Companies break up, spin off, buy others, lay off, close down product lines, create new endeavors all the time. It is “creative destruction.” If the government were in charge of the economy in 1900 we would still be driving around in horse-drawn carriages with mountains of manure filling the streets and empty lots of major cities. Because the government wouldn’t want to create unemployment in carriage and saddle makers!

    Some takeovers are nasty and some people lose jobs. But I have seen stupid and inept management and idiot unions cause far more grief and loss than so called “corporate raiders.”

    And keep in mind, I don’t plan to vote for Romney, period. But his experience at Bain doesn’t bother me in the least.

    Estragon in reply to BarbaraS. | January 7, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Your comments have no bearing on reality. Bain wasn’t out looking to strip down companies and close them – there certainly are those players in the M&A sector, but Bain was a “turnaround” outfit. Romney’s network of big-money donors and bundlers include many people whose companies and futures were saved by Bain’s intervention.

    You sound like a leftist.

I really don’t like the tenor of this Bain Capital attack. Don’t get me wrong, Mitt is not my man. However, all the videos displayed find complaining employees at AMPAD and the steel mill and Lord knows where else. Bain, like all private equity firms, finds investors with capital willing to finance leveraged buyouts of firms which generally are in deep doodoo financially. All PE firms have the same modus operendi.

The value of the firm itself is used to borrow operating funds and new management sets about to put the target company’s house in good order. Jobs are cut, expenses are cut, and inefficiencies are eliminated. Sometimes the strategy works and sometimes it does not.

One thing is certain in these capitalist transactions – investors make money. By and large, LBO’s have been good for the American economy because of improvements at target companies – but not all target companies can be saved.

So lets not drip all over capitalism with socialistic arguments – OK? Romneycare, higher insurance rates, loss of medical jobs in Massachusetts, and unforced gay marriages are all issues that can be used to bring down the flip-flopping liberal-moderate-conservative.

“One thing is certain in these capitalist transactions – investors make money”

But the holders of the other 49% of the stock lose big time. When these vultures get through selling off all assets and laying off workers the stock drops to nil. And it’s not companies in deep doo-doo that get raided. Any public company is at risk if companies like Bain target them. All they need is 51% of the stock and for all intents and purposes they own the company and can do as they please. They have effectively bought the company for about half price. Bain just decides if a company is worth the rish to them.

    Estragon in reply to BarbaraS. | January 7, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Boo freakin’ hoo – some people lose money in the market?

    And that is somehow the fault of those who make money?

    You need to sign up for Team Obama – all you need is the dang tee shirt and cap.

    Awing1 in reply to BarbaraS. | January 7, 2012 at 9:44 am

    You have no understanding of how corporate finance works do you? Just because you own 51% of a company doesn’t mean you can do what you wish with it, the managers of the company must act in a manner that benefits all of the shareholders financially, not just a majority, and if they don’t the company, the managers, and whoever owns that 51% and is exerting the undue force can all be sued for failing to perform their fiduciary duty.

This is going to be a big deal. Americans don’t like shyster tactics and they sure don’t want their president to be involved in them. We already have a shyster in the WH. Even if Bain and Romney can justify takeovers the media will spin it as they please. It is really laughable that the establishment has gone after Newt and the others for far less baggage.

It is true that raiders go after ineptly managed companies but they don’t stop there. They will go after any company they feel they can make a profit on and they don’t care who gets hurt. All this might be legally justifiable but not morally. Watch and see. The media will blast the airwaves with ads about Romney not caring about the welfare of the average working joe. It might not be true but perception is everything and as we know the dims will put out any lie until it sticks.

This is great for those who haven’t seen it…

Why is Newt SO ANGRY?

If the Democrats, Republicans, the Tea Party and the Occupy Commune had their act together we would already be seeing ads aimed at “Mitt Romney – Offenses Against the 99%” or something similar. That we haven’t just shows how much in bed they all are over an “electable” Romney. I shydder to see what Romney would do as President – as far as I’m concerned ti would just be an extension of what Obama is doing now (maybe even with the unconstitutional stealing of power).

[…] “…Not illegal, part of that “creative destruction” thing.  I get it.  And I’m sure there is plenty of blame to go around.  My concern is we’re only hearing about it in drips.  You can be sure Team Obama is holding the good stuff back. When Newt raised the negatives of Bain deals, Charles Krauthammer claimed Newt was talking like a socialist, and that was one of the kindest things said by the conservative media….” […]

[…] a previous post, Professor Jacobson cited a New York Times article, and quoted a part about Bain Capital buying a century-old steel mill that closed “in less […]