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A coalition of good-government and labor groups called today (Nov.1) for the United States Office of Government Ethics to investigate presidential candidate Mitt Romney's alleged failure to disclose the massive profits he raked in from the auto bailout, which he opposed. Shortly, there will be a press conference in Toledo seeking to get the government to compel Romney to disclose his investments or divest them. Those pushing the investigation are the United Auto Workers (UAW), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Public Citizen, People for the American Way, Public Campaign, and the Social Equity Group.

The charges are based in large part on an article in the Nation Magazine last month stating that the Romney family profited at least $15.3 million, and possibly more than $100 million, from the 2009 government auto loans through his investment in private funds putting money into the Delphi Corp. auto parts company, which was bailed out by the federal government as a necessary part of the General Motors and Chrysler rescues. Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity, which recently sold the U-T to "Papa Doug" Manchester, had a plan for a Delphi takeover that would retain many Delphi jobs in the U.S. However, hedge funds in which Romney (in his wife's name) had invested outbid Platinum and got the prize. Last year, when Delphi went public, insiders raked in profits of more than 3,000 percent, according to the Nation article.

But according to the groups making the charges today, Romney's June 1, 2012 public financial disclosure report to the Office of Government Ethics did not reveal his alleged windfall because he didn't report underlying holdings of his private equity and limited partnership funds. The protesting groups suspect that Romney may have profited through offshore institutions. However, the candidate's refusal to reveal his 2009 income taxes precludes getting to the bottom of these transactions, according to those who have looked into the Delphi/hedge fund deal.

One question is how much effect will these revelations have on the election next week. I would guess they would have little effect. These are convoluted deals, deliberately made complicated to avoid public scrutiny. Incidentally, forcing Romney to divest his holdings would be an empty gesture; he has already made enormous profits, if what the investigators say is true.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 Nov. 1, 2012 @ 12:35 p.m.

However, hedge funds in which Romney (in his wife's name) had invested outbid Platinum and got the prize. Last year, when Delphi went public, insiders raked in profits of more than 3,000 percent, according to the Nation article. But he will say he "earned it"....just like the public employees.

If you wanted to know what is wrong with America this article is Exhibit A.

Obama is no better......

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Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2012 @ 3:03 p.m.

SP: Obama no better? Come now. Obama doesn't have the money to get involved in deals like this. Romney has hundreds of millions in assets and all kinds of connections in offshore tax havens, as well as among hedge funds, private equity groups like Bain, etc. It's my understanding that Obama only invests in index funds. One of the most disgusting statements Romney made in the campaign was in one of the debates, when he said that Obama MIGHT have money in the Caymans through his trust. If so (and I doubt it), it would be indirect, and certainly without Obama's knowledge. Anybody investing in index funds might unknowingly be investing in some entity tied to a tax haven. We KNOW Romney has money in offshore tax havens, but he won't release his tax returns, so we don't know how much. That Romney statement was totally disingenuous -- one of many such statements he has made in this campaign. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2012 @ 8:39 p.m.

Mindy1114: Sheldon Adelson, Las Vegas's wonder boy, said he would give $100 million to Republican PACs and candidates directly. A lot of PACs are anonymous, and I don't think there is any way to check out if he really did. Both parties raise too much dirty money. The whole thing is a disgrace. We are owned by Wall Street and corporations, just as the robber barons owned politics at all levels more than a century ago. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Nov. 2, 2012 @ 12:12 p.m.

Don Bauder, have you read about Adelson's plan for a casino in Spain? It's just an absolutely perfect example of how a white billionaire college dropout republican can talk out of his mouth and ass at the same.

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Don Bauder Nov. 2, 2012 @ 5:38 p.m.

tomjohnston: Adelson's very ample ass. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Nov. 1, 2012 @ 9:18 p.m.

As opposed to the Koch brothers who have given hundreds of millions in an effort to defeat Obama? You complain about the well-moneyed and well-connected have no problem with voting for Obama because they've gotten their share of the American dream but what about 2 guys worth about $35BILLION? The 2 guys who want to significantly lower corporate taxes, want minimal social services for the needy by fundamentally ending Medicare and Social Security, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation, whose company is one of the top ten air polluters in the United States, who vastly outspent Exxon-Mobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change. No one has ever spent as much money trying to trying to take down a sitting President in an election. Romney is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch brothers’ political enterprises.

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Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2012 @ 10:07 p.m.

tomjohnston: What the Koch brothers and their ilk don't realize is that in destroying labor unions, they are destroying the middle class -- their primary market. Milton Friedman used to say that the middle class was the backbone of the economy. But it is being sunk before our very eyes by the upper 5% that benefit from it the most. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Nov. 2, 2012 @ 7:31 a.m.

Don Bauder, I disagree just slightly. I agree that they are helping to destroy the middle class. BUt Koch Industries is so big, so diversified and brings in so much revenue, some say over $100 billion annually, That I don't think they really care about the damage to the middle class. They are old enough, early seventies I believe, and have so much money, $25-$30 billion according to Forbes, that they just seem to be blinded by their own greed and their hunger for power and control. I mean Charles Koch founded the Cato Institute for god's sake. Doesn't that say enough about then right there. I mean, anyone in favor of abolishing affirmative action, abolishing restrictions on discrimination, abolishing Social Security and Medicare, public schools, the Dept. of Education, even the FBI and CIA clearly has control issues on so many levels. And now they are trying to buy the Presidency.

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Don Bauder Nov. 2, 2012 @ 7:58 a.m.

tomjohnston: Yes, the Koch brothers' empire is diversified. Not all entities are directly dependent on consumption. But the Kochs are big in oil. The ultimate consumer of much of that output is the middle class. Consumption is 71% of the economy -- unfortunately, because an economy based on consumption is not healthy. But the destruction of the middle class is deleterious -- even to the Kochs. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Nov. 2, 2012 @ 10:05 a.m.

I don't disagree with you at all in that respect. I just believe that in the last 2 or 3 yrs, the Koch boys have turned into such megalomaniacs in their quest for power that they will do anything, even to the detriment of there own consumer base. Just my opinion. Opinions vary.

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Don Bauder Nov. 2, 2012 @ 5:44 p.m.

tomjohnston: A billionaire many times over (Adelson is something like 7th on the Forbes's 400) attracts a lot of sycophants. The Kochs are right up there. When you have $30 billion or more, you can buy a lot of power and influence. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Nov. 2, 2012 @ 5:53 p.m.

Twelfth richest in the US, actually, at $20.5 billion, and 14th in the world, coincidentally right behind the Koch boys. As for "Adelson's very ample ass", I wouldn't know; it's really not something I have an interest in. hahaha

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Don Bauder Nov. 3, 2012 @ 2:12 p.m.

tomjohnston: I was basing the ample ass description on photos I have seen of him. I have neither kissed nor kicked his ample rear end, but a helluva lot of people have kissed it, including Romney. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya Nov. 1, 2012 @ 2:56 p.m.

Omigod, and you say the Reader should have censured ME!!??

On another note, I played around with a few anagrams today. Mitt Romney equals Memory Tint, and My I'm Pretty. Replace Mitt with Willard and you get Normally Weird. You can't make this stiff up.

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Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2012 @ 3:24 p.m.

Duhbya: Obama is lucky. I love anagrams but I can't make a coherent one out of his last name. Actually, I am puzzling over his first name and haven't come up with anything. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya Nov. 1, 2012 @ 7:20 p.m.

Man, you're not kidding! I tried every combination I could conjure up, to no avail. So, in my frustration, I simply cheated: Barry Soetoro yields "Oratory bores". ; > )

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Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2012 @ 8:44 p.m.

Duhbya: Who is Barry Soetoro? Is this another rock star that I have never heard of? The only one that pops into my mind now is Elvis Presley. Sivel Pleyers? Nah. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Nov. 1, 2012 @ 9:26 p.m.

Barry Soetoro = Barack Obama. After Obama's mother divorced his father, she eventually got married again, to an Indonesian named Lolo Soetoro. At one time, in his youth I believe, Obama went by Barry as a substitute for Barack, I guess.

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Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2012 @ 10:09 p.m.

tom johnston: Oh yes, Barry Soetoro comes back to me now. But I confess I don't know that bit of history very well at all. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya Nov. 2, 2012 @ 5:17 a.m.

Sorry, Don, I should have been more explicit. This was (still is?) part of the birther movement, holding forth the contention that Obama, whose given name was Barry Soetoro, was a foreign student from Indonesia who applied for, and received a Fulbright scholarship when he attended Occidental College. A student must claim foreign citizenship when applying for the grant. The story has been classified a hoax by Snopes and other fact-checking sites. Students who attended Occidental at the time state that the President went by Barry Obama. The Fulbright administrators do not fund Indonesians for undergraduate studies in the US, just for masters or doctorate programs. There is evidence that when he was 19, he asked family and friends to use his birth name Barack, because he was not fond of Barry. Bottom line, I cheated, I'll never do it again, and would like to withdraw the counterfeit anagram. ; > )

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Don Bauder Nov. 2, 2012 @ 6:30 a.m.

Duhbya: I boycotted the birther movement the minute Donald Trump jumped aboard. Incidentally, I haven't seen what happened to Trump's Atlantic City casinos in Sandy. He may not control them anymore. The bondholders took a BK bath on at least one of them several years ago. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Nov. 2, 2012 @ 10:15 a.m.

I saw several reports Tuesday morning that the AC casinos came through mostly unscathed. About 3 hours ago ,Chris Christie's office released a statement giving them permission to reopen at 10 this morning. The Nugget is already open and I believe most of the others are reopening this afternoon. The story I read said most of them have been ready for business since Wednesday.

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Don Bauder Nov. 2, 2012 @ 5:36 p.m.

tomjohnston: You can't let the casinos close. They epitomize Joisey. When did the saloons and brothels open? Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya Nov. 2, 2012 @ 10:19 a.m.

I'm with you on the boycott. And Romney might have played a more effective Trump card.

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Don Bauder Nov. 2, 2012 @ 5:46 p.m.

Duhbya: Even Romney, it seems, distanced himself from Trump to the extent he could. But he cuddled up with Adelson. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 3, 2012 @ 12:13 a.m.

I swear- Trump as such a person I looked up to in the 1980's, and even the 1990's, but he has gone off the deep end. Obama called him a "carnival barker" which are the toothless tattooed meth addicted guys who try to get you to play the fixed games at carnivals ( I think a journalist said it originally) and that fits Trump perfectly. His $5 million offer for Obama to produce his transcripts was about as low as he has gone, and can go. He is destroying his legacy as a powerful and smart businessman and will be forever viewed as a sideshow carnival barker if he doesn't clean up his act.

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Don Bauder Nov. 3, 2012 @ 2:18 p.m.

SP: Was Trump ever a smart businessman? Remember, he got a lot of bucks from his rich daddy -- born on third base, as it were, thinking he had hit a triple. I think casino bondholders have been taken into BK twice -- once certainly. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2012 @ 8:40 p.m.

Mindy1114: If it's censored, I'm not going to watch it. Am I a blue nose from a red state? Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya Nov. 2, 2012 @ 4:39 a.m.

This is one dog to which you may NOT teach your tricks. I'll pass.

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Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2012 @ 3:17 p.m.

Mindy114: Let me correct two things: 1. I was not bounced from the U-T. You won't get anybody who was high up at the U-T at the time to say that, unless that person is uninformed or lying. I have said several times on this blog that Herb Klein, and others in the U-T hierarchy and at Copley corporate headquarters, wanted to get me out of there, but I was not fired or even approached about a buyout. Had they offered me a buyout after 30 years, I certainly wouldn't have revealed all I have revealed about the Copley operation. I would have been paid hush money, in effect. 2. At the time I left, March of 2003, I was a registered Republican. I had voted Republican all my life, and in economics was a conservative Republican. In 2004, I couldn't take it any more and registered Democrat. I'm not going to argue with you on the rest of your post. You have your opinions; I have mine. Incidentally, I enjoy your posts and hope you continue to feed us your thoughts. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2012 @ 8:47 p.m.

Mindy1114: Fit the demographic? At age 76, I don't fit any media's demographic. Media don't want us old folks. But the only blog I post on is this one, so I can still shoot off my mouth. Best, Don Bauder

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Duhbya Nov. 2, 2012 @ 4:45 a.m.

She used the word "demongraphic". Freudian slip?

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Don Bauder Nov. 2, 2012 @ 6:37 a.m.

Duhya: Demons! I didn't even notice "demongraphic." Mephistopheles and his allies sometimes elude me. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 3, 2012 @ 12:17 a.m.

Don-Your past reminds me of mine except I was a Dem. I was always a hardcore, very hardcore, democrat my entire life, until about 10-15 years ago when it became very obvious that the CA Dems were rolling the poor, middle class and everyone else so they could give the public employees-their main and IMO ONLY constituent- huge pay and benefit package, at the expense of the poor, mainly through regressive taxes like the sales tax (tobacco, booze, etc). They really imploded....funny how our views evolve, or change with the political landscape as it changes.

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Don Bauder Nov. 3, 2012 @ 2:29 p.m.

SP: My conversion was a complicated process. I had been persuaded by the University of Chicago and Austrian School economics. In fact, when I was at the U-T, I was one of Milton Friedman's favorites. But I came to believe that monetarism was not a good model for the economy. And I came to believe the Chicago and Austrian schools have a very naive view of the efficacy of markets. The so-called conservatives have no idea how rigged so many markets are, and how fundamentally corrupt so many companies and industries are. Alan Greenspan got his baptism on that score. The greed that escalated with Reagan, causing the massive imbalance of wealth and income -- one of the economy's biggest problems -- was another factor that pushed me out of the so-called conservative nest. Unfortunately, I do not accept any one economic model now -- Keynesian, monetarist, supply side, rational expectations, whatever. I don't think anything works. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2012 @ 3:30 p.m.

Mindy1114: I can't remember posting a blog about Obama giving millions of dollars to a company that went bankrupt. You may be thinking about Solyndra, which got half a billion of loan guarantees and then went bankrupt. But I don't believe I ever wrote about it. Can you refresh my memory? Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Nov. 1, 2012 @ 8:34 p.m.

Mindy1114: Touche. Subsidizing solar and alternative energy is good public policy, even when it doesn't succeed, as in Solyndra: it's a helluva lot more socially useful than, for example, subsidizing professional sports stadiums, shopping centers, hotels, etc. -- the kind of corporate welfare touted by Republicans (and unfortunately some Democrats, too.) Why don't Republicans talk about the massive tax subsidies to large corporations -- billions and billions of dollars, not millions of them, such as Solyndra? Reducing corporate tax subsidies would REALLY cut deficits. Have you ever studied the hundreds of billions of dollars American corporations get in subsidies and dodge in taxes? Worry about billions, not millions. Perspective, please. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Nov. 1, 2012 @ 10:34 p.m.

Obama has a new name- BRONCO BAMMA! (and this is exactly how I feel right now);

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuLuOH0FMBM

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Don Bauder Nov. 2, 2012 @ 6:42 a.m.

SP: She must be in the swing state of Colorado, where the ads are ubiquitous. That may explain her use of "Bronco Bamma." Best, Don Bauder

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