The HyperTexts

Mitt Romney's War on Teachers, Students and Education

by Michael R. Burch

Willard Mitt Romney has a long history of insulting and bullying teachers and students, among other people.

Case I: Cheryl Arnett

Here is a transcript of the filmed testimony of Cheryl Arnett, a Craig, Colorado first grade teacher who was invited to participate in a roundtable with Mitt Romney: "When I was asked to speak with Mitt Romney, it seemed like a very important thing to me and I wanted to put a lot of careful thought into what I would say, so I went to the roundtable discussion, very optimistic and interested in hearing what he had to say. When he sat down one, of the questions he asked was: 'I understand there’s a teacher here today, which one of you is the teacher?' So I raised my hand thinking that’s a good thing, he’s interested in education. But it wasn’t a good thing. I – I felt like his view was a little old-fashioned. I was surprised by it. He went on to kind of lecture me about schools and how bad they are. He talked bad about the teachers' union. He was talking about the importance of private schools and voucher systems. At one point, I said to him: 'I have an answer for that.' And he said: 'I didn’t ask you a question!' When I think of Mitt Romney I don’t think of a person that could really relate to small-town Craig, Colorado. Although he came here, I don’t think that his life experience would allow him to really understand the perspective of people that live in a small town. One of the things I like best that Obama has done for education is that he is releasing states from 'no child left behind.' Colorado is one of the states lucky enough to be released. I did not become a teacher to become wealthy or powerful. I became a teacher to make a difference. It’s important to us to have a government and a leader that respects us, who will listen to us even if he doesn’t agree with us. We need to have open conversation and open communication between educators and government, and I think President Obama is the one to do that."

Case II: Gary Hummel

Gary Hummel, a closeted gay student at the time, recalled that his efforts to speak out in their high school English class were punctuated by Mitt Romney shouting, "Atta girl!"

Case III: Carl G. Wonnberger

In another disturbing incident, Romney caused an English teacher, Carl G. Wonnberger (nicknamed "the Bat" for his diminished eyesight) to walk into a closed door he pretended to have opened for him. When Wonnberger walked into the door, according to another student, Pierce Getsinger, Romney "giggled hysterically."

Case IV: John Lauber

Classmates of Romney's say that he tackled a gay classmate, John Lauber, pinned him to the ground, then cut off his long, bleached-blonde hair. "He can't look like that," an "incensed" Romney told one of his friends, "That's wrong. Just look at him!"

This incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently. Four of them — Matthew Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be identified. Buford said Lauber was "terrified," and that the attack was "a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do." Maxwell called it "vicious" a "hack job" and "assault and battery" that he deeply regrets not stopping and has carried as a "black mark" on his character for many years. Friedemann also expressed remorse for not intervening. Seed apologized to Lauber years later when he met him at an airport. A sixth classmate, Stu White, later said that he was "disturbed" by Romney's "prank."

Here's what Mitt Romney said about the incident on Fox News Radio:

Back in high school, you know, I did some dumb things, and if anybody was hurt by that or offended, obviously, I apologize for that … You know, I don’t, I don’t remember that particular incident [laughs]… I participated in a lot of high jinks and pranks during high school, and some might have gone too far, and for that I apologize.

If Romney can't even remember the incident, that suggests that he either did such things so frequently that they failed to register, or that he lacks normal human empathy and compassion, or both. His laughter while discussing the incident seems to suggest that he still doesn't "get" the seriousness of what he did. Here are the details, from a Washington Post article:

Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it. "He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!" an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenage son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled. A few days later, Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors. The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be identified ... "It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me," said Buford, the school’s wrestling champion, who said he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber, who was "terrified," he said. "What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do." "It was a hack job," recalled Maxwell, a childhood friend of Romney who was in the dorm room when the incident occurred. "It was vicious." "He was just easy pickin’s," said Friedemann, then the student prefect, or student authority leader of Stevens Hall, expressing remorse about his failure to stop it.

David Seed, an onlooker who did not participate in the bullying, later apologized to Lauber for not doing more to help prevent it. The only person involved not to express remorse, and who claims not to remember what happened, is Romney. According to his campaign spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, "Governor Romney has no memory of participating in these incidents."

Here's what Amy Davidson wrote about the incident for The New Yorker: "Does he [Romney] count this as a high jink or a prank? It was neither; it is hard to imagine that hurt, rather than being the byproduct, was anything other than the point of the attack on Lauber. In terms of what a gay teen-ager might encounter, and what other boys might go along with at a school like Cranbrook, 1965 was different; but memory and empathy are not qualities that have only been invented since then. As our country has changed, and the other boys became men, they seem to have turned the events of that day over in their minds, not once, but many times, and made something new out of it. That’s why it’s all the worse that Romney says he can’t remember—that he walked blithely away from the boy crying on the ground and kept going. Was there nowhere in him for that sight to lodge? ... And how far has Romney moved? This story is resonant because one can, all too easily, see Romney walking away even now, or simply failing to connect, to grasp hurt ... Who else might he walk away from?"

Josh Barro, writing for Forbes, made another very interesting point: "The story is more damning for Romney in other ways. It’s telling that the campaign seems to be having so much difficulty finding any friends from the Cranbrook School to talk to the media about what a good guy he was. The Romney camp reached out to Stuart White (who threw the party where Mitt and Ann Romney met) asking him to make supportive remarks. Instead, White contacted ABC News and expressed his ambivalence to do so, saying, "it’s been a long time since we were pals." Another old friend of Romney’s told ABC on background that Romney’s behavior in high school was "like Lord of the Flies" and that a number of people from Cranbrook have "really negative memories" of him. Is there really no one from Cranbrook that Romney can persuade to vouch for him? The whole thing gives the sense that Romney was a Regina George-like figure in high school—"popular," but mostly because other students were afraid to cross him ... But does Romney have empathy for people who are different from him? The tone of Romney’s reaction today does not look good on the empathy front. Referring to an assault on a classmate as "hijinks and pranks" is pretty tone-deaf ... Romney’s actions as governor also suggest that he doesn’t view bullying as a significant problem. In 2006, Romney threatened to dissolve the Governor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, established by Republican Governor William Weld in 1992, and then to expand its mission to cover all youth. The legislature established a independent commission, overriding a Romney veto, in response to these threats. A key part of the commission’s mandate is the prevention of anti-LGBT bullying in schools. His administration also repeatedly delayed the publication of an anti-bullying handbook for public schools, which had been developed in 2002 by Governor Jane Swift’s Task Force on Hate Crimes. Kathleen Henry, who chaired the Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth at the time, said she thought the guidebook was held up due to its LGBT-related content, particularly content to do with transgender students. Ultimately, the handbook was published under Governor Deval Patrick, six years after it was first drafted."

Barro concluded his article by saying, "This actually goes to Romney’s greatest weakness as a candidate. Nobody knows how he really feels or what he cares about. People look at him and they can’t see evidence that he understands or cares about their needs. They’re not sure he can relate to people who are different from him. This incident, and his nonchalant reaction to being reminded about it, reinforce the impression that Romney lacks empathy."

Stu White, a close friend Romney, told ABC that the Romney campaign had approached him and several other classmates to defend Romney's behavior in the wake of the article. It's interesting and probably significant that none of them have stepped forward to defend Romney. So far, everyone has sided with, sympathized with and defended the victim, John Lauber.

The deep and lasting remorse the other participants and witnesses have expressed proves that this was no light-hearted schoolboy prank. Only Romney claims to be unable to remember what happened, even though he planned and led the attack and did the shearing.

According to ABC News, another "former classmate and old friend of Romney’s" who declined to be identified said there are "a lot of guys" who went to Cranbrook who have "really negative memories" of Romney’s behavior in the dorms, behavior this classmate describes as being "like Lord of the Flies." The classmate believes Romney is lying when he claims to not remember the attack: "It makes these fellows [who have confessed] very remorseful. For [Romney] not to remember it? It doesn’t ring true. How could the fellow with the scissors forget it?"

Josh Marshall, editor and publisher of Talking Points Memo, noted: "What strikes me most about this story is Romney’s intense equivocation. First he didn’t remember the incidents. Then he apologized to anyone who was offended but without saying he remembered anything specific. Then he said that he definitely didn’t know or think the kid they attacked was gay, even though he apparently didn’t remember the attack."

Lou Vierling, a scholarship student was struck by questions Romney asked when they first met: "He wanted to know what my father did for a living. He wanted to know if my mother worked. He wanted to know what town I lived in." As Vierling explained that his father taught school and that he commuted from east Detroit, he noticed a "souring" of Romney’s demeanor.

As you will see if you continue reading this page, Romney's behavior as an adult continues to display remarkable insensitivity, at best, and brutish boorishness at worst. He seems to be clueless when dealing with women, gays and other people who aren't rich, lily-white Grand Old Patriarchs.

I find the caption of a yearbook photo of Romney interesting and hopefully prophetic: "Give a guy enough rope and he'll hang himself." In the photo a young Mitt Romney is about to shoot himself in the head with a toy pistol.

Case V: Mitt Romney cynically milks the Department of Education of more than $1 million

"I am a big believer in getting money where the money is. The money is in Washington."
Romney also said, "I've learned from my Olympic experience [that] if you have people that really understand how Washington works and have personal associations there you can get money to help build economic development opportunities ... We actually received over $410 million from the federal government for the Olympic games. That is a huge increase over anything ever done before and we did that by going after every agency of government."
Romney also cited more than $1 million that one his colleagues managed to get for the Olympics from the Department of Education, concluding: "That kind of creativity I want to bring to everything we do."

Case VI: Mitt Romney's Nixonian Meltdown

Here's what Mitt Romney told fellow millionaires at a closed-door, $50,000-per-plate fundraiser: "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the President no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That, that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what ... These are people who pay no income tax ... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

But the 47% of people who don't pay federal income tax includes millions of students and teachers who work hard, but don't live in the lap of luxury like Mitt Romney.

Case VII: The Vanishing Middle Class

Mitt Romney promises to reduce taxes on middle-income Americans. But what does he mean by "middle-income"? During an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," Romney told host George Stephanopoulos, "No one can say my plan is going to raise taxes on middle-income people, because principle number one is (to) keep the burden down on middle-income taxpayers." Stephanopoulos then asked, "Is $100,000 middle income?" Romney replied, "No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000." But according to the Census Bureau the median American household income is just over $50,000. So Romney seems to be either bent on deception, or hopelessly out of touch.

How many teachers make $200,00 to $250,000 per year, I wonder?

The proposed Romney-Ryan budget plan will further decimate the American middle class, by virtually eliminating all federal income taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans, because it makes capital gains, interest and dividends tax free. If this plan had been in effect in 2010, Mitt Romney would have paid less than 1% (.0082, to be exact) on earnings of $21 million. It seems Romney and Ryan intend to get rid of all taxes for the super-rich, while reducing taxes somewhat for people making $200,000 or more. This will force everyone else to pay more taxes, or leave the federal government without the means to keep the current safety nets of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid intact. But at some point in their lives, especially as they age, the vast majority of Americans will need those safety nets. When Marie Antoinette was told that French peasants had no bread to eat, she allegedly said, "Let them eat cake." Now it seems that Willard Mitt Romney, one of the world's wealthiest men, is saying that when elderly Americans need healthcare, we should say, "Let them eat cyanide!" and when poor people are hungry we should say, "Let them starve to death!"

As much as I would like to see my taxes reduced, I cannot sanction this blatantly unjust plan to let the wealthiest Americans avoid virtually all taxes, by condemning elderly Americans who worked and paid taxes all their lives to the human equivalent of a glue factory. Can you?

Case VIII: Romney invests in Chinese slave labor camp, complete with barbed wire and guard towers

One of the most disturbing things I have heard about Mitt Romney from his own lips is his confession that he toured a Chinese slave labor camp/factory, then invested in it, with never a word of protest about the terrible conditions he saw there. Instead of protesting the existence of such gulags, the Romneybot became a pioneer of outsourcing American jobs to them, through his vulture capital outfit, Bain Capital. Here is how Romney described what he saw, in private during a high-dollar fundraiser attended by his rich cronies, not knowing that he was being filmed by a whistleblower: "When I was back in my private equity days, we went to China to buy a factory there. It employed about 20,000 people. And they were almost all young women between the ages of about 18 and 22 or 23. They were saving for potentially becoming married. And they work in these huge factories; they made various uh, small appliances. And uh, as we were walking through this facility, seeing them work, the number of hours they worked per day, the pittance they earned, living in dormitories with uh, with little bathrooms at the end of maybe 10 rooms. And the rooms they have 12 girls per room. Three bunk beds on top of each other. You’ve seen, you’ve seen them? And, and, and around this factory was a fence, a huge fence with barbed wire and guard towers. And, and, we said gosh! I can’t believe that you, you know, keep these girls in! They said, no, no, no. This is to keep other people from coming in …"

The account above has been reported by major news services such as the Boston Globe. Because the factory made small appliances, we can probably assume that it belonged to Global Tech Appliances, a company that takes over manufacturing from American companies like Sunbeam and Mr. Coffee. According to SEC documents first reported by Mother Jones magazine, a Bain Capital affiliate called Brookside initially acquired about 6 percent of GTA on April 17, 1998 and later increased its ownership to more than 9 percent. Romney was listed as the "sole shareholder, sole director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brookside Inc." So it seems clear that Romney alone was responsible for deciding what to do about the 20,000 young girls he saw living in what sounds like a Nazi concentration camp complete with barbed wire fences and guard towers. Did he go public and protest what he saw? No, he invested in the slave labor facility, then helped American companies save money by firing American workers and outsourcing their jobs to such sweat shops.

What would you have done, knowing that at best the girls were being used like pack mules, and that at worst a fire might kill them all? Wouldn't you have said something to someone, to try to help the girls, and others like them in other Chinese factories? Why did Mitt Romney, a child of wealth and privilege and one of the world's wealthiest men, became a business partner of their enslavers, then send them more American businesses as customers?

What sort of man is Mitt Romney, really? Here's a rather blunt appraisal. China’s Xinhua news agency criticized Romney in a strongly-worded editorial, noting the profits Romney has made from investments in China: "It is rather ironic that a considerable portion of this China-battering politician’s wealth was actually obtained by doing business with Chinese companies before he entered politics."

If Romney wants to get involved in manufacturing, he should stick to his particular area of expertise: flip-flops.

And speaking of flip-flops, here's a real doozy, straight from the lips of Mitt the Flopple himself. At the end of his spiel above, Romney concluded: "The Bain Partner I was with turned to me and said, 'You know, 95% of life is settled if you are born in America. This is uh, this is an amazing land and what we have is unique and fortunately it is so special we are sharing it with the world.'" But this agrees with what President Obama and the Democrats have been saying, which is that Americans built the infrastructure of America together and no one can claim to be completely self-made. Why does Mitt Romney attack President Obama in public as if he is the "enemy" of American values, only to agree with him in private? Is that good character or duplicity?

Case IX: Big Brother and Adult Education

During his campaign for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, Romney, not just a devout Mormon but a missionary and bishop who oversaw a Mormon diocese for eight years, promised that if elected he would attempt to have a pornography filter installed in every new computer sold in the United Sates! 

Patrick Trueman, the head of ominous-sounding Morality in Media, told the conservative Daily Caller that he was promised that fighting porn will be a top priority for a Romney administration. Trueman said he and another anti-porn prosecutor from the 1980s Justice Department, Bob Flores, met earlier this year with Alex Wong, Romney's foreign and legal policy director. "Wong assured us that Romney is very concerned with this, and that if he’s elected these laws will be enforced. They promised to vigorously enforce federal adult obscenity laws."

Like Rick Santorum, another would-be Big Brother, Mitt Romney is a prude who doesn't trust American adults to make their own decisions about sex. Romney thinks it's a "sin" to drink a beer, smoke a cigarette, or look at racy pictures, thanks to his religion's puritanism. He has called pornography a "home invasion" of "unwanted filth." But the simple truth is that most Americans are much more relaxed about sex than the straight-laced Mormon Bishop, and we don't want a domineering overseer telling us what we can do with our free time, in the privacy of our own homes and bedrooms.

Case X: Bishop Romney

Was Bishop Romney a male chauvinist? Here's a revealing excerpt from "The Mind of Mitt" in Vanity Fair:

As both bishop and stake president, he at times clashed with women he felt strayed too far from church beliefs and practice. To them, he lacked the empathy and courage that they had known in other leaders, putting the church first even at times of great personal vulnerability. Peggie Hayes had joined the church as a teenager along with her mother and siblings ... As a teenager, Hayes babysat for Mitt and Ann Romney and other couples in the ward. Then Hayes’s mother abruptly moved the family to Salt Lake City for Hayes’s senior year of high school. Restless and unhappy, Hayes moved to Los Angeles once she turned 18. She got married, had a daughter, and then got divorced shortly after. But she remained part of the church. By 1983, Hayes was 23 and back in the Boston area, raising a 3-year-old daughter on her own and working as a nurse’s aide. Then she got pregnant again. Single motherhood was no picnic, but Hayes said she had wanted a second child and wasn’t upset at the news. "I kind of felt like I could do it," she said. "And I wanted to." By that point Mitt Romney, the man whose kids Hayes used to watch, was, as bishop of her ward, her church leader ... Then Romney called Hayes one winter day and said he wanted to come over and talk. He arrived at her apartment in Somerville, a dense, largely working-class city just north of Boston. They chitchatted for a few minutes. Then Romney said something about the church’s adoption agency. Hayes initially thought she must have misunderstood. But Romney’s intent became apparent: he was urging her to give up her soon-to-be-born son for adoption, saying that was what the church wanted. Indeed, the church encourages adoption in cases where "a successful marriage is unlikely." Hayes was deeply insulted. She told him she would never surrender her child. Sure, her life wasn’t exactly the picture of Rockwellian harmony, but she felt she was on a path to stability. In that moment, she also felt intimidated. Here was Romney, who held great power as her church leader and was the head of a wealthy, prominent Belmont family, sitting in her gritty apartment making grave demands. "And then he says, ‘Well, this is what the church wants you to do, and if you don’t, then you could be excommunicated for failing to follow the leadership of the church,’" Hayes recalled. It was a serious threat. At that point Hayes still valued her place within the Mormon Church. "This is not playing around," she said. "This is not like ‘You don’t get to take Communion.’ This is like ‘You will not be saved. You will never see the face of God.’" Romney would later deny that he had threatened Hayes with excommunication, but Hayes said his message was crystal clear: "Give up your son or give up your God." Not long after, Hayes gave birth to a son. She named him Dane. At nine months old, Dane needed serious, and risky, surgery. The bones in his head were fused together, restricting the growth of his brain, and would need to be separated. Hayes was scared. She sought emotional and spiritual support from the church once again. Looking past their uncomfortable conversation before Dane’s birth, she called Romney and asked him to come to the hospital to confer a blessing on her baby. Hayes was expecting him. Instead, two people she didn’t know showed up. She was crushed. "I needed him," she said. "It was very significant that he didn’t come." Sitting there in the hospital, Hayes decided she was finished with the Mormon Church. The decision was easy, yet she made it with a heavy heart. To this day, she remains grateful to Romney and others in the church for all they did for her family. But she shudders at what they were asking her to do in return, especially when she pulls out pictures of Dane, now a 27-year-old electrician in Salt Lake City. "There’s my baby," she said.

Here is a disturbing excerpt from a Huffington Post article:

A 1994 article in the Boston Phoenix told the story of an anonymous woman (who has since been identified) who wrote an article in a feminist Mormon magazine claiming Romney, as bishop, discouraged her from having an abortion even though her health was at stake. Romney later said he could not remember the incident.

The episode above was also reported by Vanity Fair. Here is how the second woman, also a mother of five, described her experience with Bishop Romney after being told by her doctors that she had a serious blood clot in her pelvis and that even if she risked her life to give birth, the baby's chance of survival would be only 50 percent:

"As your bishop," she said that he told her, "my concern is with the child." The woman wrote, "Here I—a baptized, endowed, dedicated worker, and tithe-payer in the church—lay helpless, hurt, and frightened, trying to maintain my psychological equilibrium, and his concern was for the eight-week possibility in my uterus—not for me!"

Romney would later contend that he couldn’t recall the incident, saying, "I don’t have any memory of what she is referring to, although I certainly can’t say it could not have been me." Romney did however acknowledge having counseled Mormon women not to have abortions except in exceptional cases, in accordance with church rules. The woman told Romney that her stake president, a doctor, had already told her, "Of course, you should have this abortion and then recover from the blood clot and take care of the healthy children you already have." Romney, she said, fired back, "I don’t believe you. He wouldn’t say that. I’m going to call him." And then he left. The woman said that she went on to have the abortion and never regretted it. "What I do feel bad about," she wrote, "is that at a time when I would have appreciated nurturing and support from spiritual leaders and friends, I got judgment, criticism, prejudicial advice, and rejection."

That Romney claims not to remember giving advice that could have killed a woman or endangered her health, especially when she had five children to care for, is troubling. He has also claimed not to remember tackling a gay classmate, pinning him to the ground, and cutting off his hair, even though students who watched the event remember it vividly many years later. Most of us would remember such things vividly, with tremendous remorse, if we were ever capable of such callous behavior. But we don't remember ants we crushed by accident. Is that how Willard Mitt Romney thinks of females outside his family circle, and gays? Here's another revealing excerpt from the Huffington Post article:

In July 1994, during Romney's U.S. Senate campaign, the Boston Globe published a story saying that Romney, in a speech to a congregation of single Mormons, said he found homosexuality "perverse and reprehensible." The story cited one named and three unnamed sources. Romney denied the comments. "I specifically said they should avoid homosexuality and they should avoid heterosexual relations outside of marriage," Romney told the Globe then. "I did not use the words perverse or perversion. I just said it was wrong. ... That is what my church believes."

So if his church believes something, it seems Romney believes it too. But the Mormon church has any number of strange beliefs: ... that Jesus was a polygamist, that God is an exalted man who lives as a physical being with multiple wives on the planet Kolob, that only men with multiple wives can reach the highest heaven (making polygamy a prerequisite for salvation), that in heaven the wives of polygamists will remain eternally pregnant and have billions of spirit children, that there are multiple gods, that human beings can become gods, and that magical underwear required and sold by the Mormon church can protect Mormons from lust and attacks by supernatural entities.

Is it possible that some of these beliefs are incorrect and should not be used to deny women and gays fully equal rights? Has the Mormon church, perhaps, been wildly wrong before?

Until 1978 the Mormon church taught that black people were the children of Cain and were black because they had been cursed by God, making them unfit to serve as ministers. The Mormon prophet Brigham Young said that if a white man has sex with a black woman the "law of God" is "death on the spot." (This despite the fact that according to the Bible it seems that  the greatest prophet, Moses, and the wisest man, Solomon, both had black wives.) Brigham Young told the Utah Territorial Legislature that "any man having one drop of the seed of [Cain] ... in him cannot hold the priesthood and if no other Prophet ever spake it before I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ I know it is true and others know it." John Taylor a president and prophet of the Mormon church, taught that God is a segregationist who discriminates against blacks, who "represent" the Devil. Mormon apostle Mark E. Petersen said that if a child had a single drop of negro blood, he would "receive the curse" and that the best such a cursed child could hope for, if he was "faithful all his days," was to be a "servant" (slave) in heaven. But then in 1978 one of the "prophets" of the church had a "revelation" that the curse had somehow mysteriously been lifted. But in the church's official notice, the prophet went oddly unnamed, as if no one wanted to take credit for the prophecy.

When the Mormon church was so obviously wrong about racism and segregation, and attempted to correct its obvious mistake in such a contrived and clumsy manner, can it be trusted to hand down edicts on the rights (or lack of rights) of women and gays? Should a potential president like Willard Mitt Romney withhold (or attempt to withhold) basic human rights from women and gays because his church teaches that women are supposed to submit to men in all things, and that God discriminates against non-heterosexuals, the way he used to discriminate against "the children of Cain?

Or are the Mormon church's current teachings about women and gays as absurd and laughable (albeit not funny) as its former teachings about blacks?

Did Romney call homosexuality "perverse"? Isn't that a teaching of most conservative Christian churches, including the Roman Catholics, the Southern Baptists and the Mormons? Romney’s alleged comments on homosexual practices were part of a 20-minute address he delivered on November 14 to the Cambridge University Ward, which numbers about 250 to 300 single Mormons. "He said he was appalled at the incidence of homosexuals in the congregation," said Rick Rawlins, a 32-year-old Mormon who had previously served as a counselor to the ward’s bishop. "He went on to say that he found homosexuality both perverse and reprehensible." Romney denied the veracity of the comments but, as the Globe noted, the account was confirmed by three other attendees: "I believe that his general message was that sex outside of marriage is immoral, but on the other hand, I do remember that there was a specific remark that he was appalled at the incidence of homosexuality in the ward and he termed it perverse," said one. "It was specific enough that I wanted to go see Bishop [Steven] Wheelwright right after that talk." Another person present offered this account. "During the talk, President Romney began talking about families and family values, and he mentioned homosexuality as a perversity. He went on for some time." This person didn’t recall the exact term Romney used to express his dismay at report of homosexual conduct, but said: "He certainly was conveying that he was appalled." Said a fourth person: "He started going on about being upset about homosexuality in this ward. I remember him calling it a sickness and a perversion."

It seems to me that Romney and the Mormon church, like other fundamentalist sects of Christianity, are now wrestling with intolerance against homosexuality the way they once wrestled with intolerance against "the children of Cain." Obviously, the churches are wrong and their prehistoric teachings do not come from a loving, wise, just, enlightened God.

Can we afford to have a president who refuses to admit that his church's "prophets" are wrong and that their teachings are relics of a stone age past? Should millions of Americans be denied full equality because someone like Mitt Romney believes that God is a sexist and a homophobe?

Case XI: Why does Mitt Romney deny gay veterans their constitutional rights?

While other American men his age were fighting and dying in Vietnam, young Willard Mitt Romney took two and a half years off to vacation in France as a Mormon missionary, receiving a deferment from military service as a "minister of religion" despite being barely out of high school. While vacationing in France, Romney encouraged his fellow missionaries to read Think and Grow Rich! by Napoleon Hill, so it seems Romney was evangelizing Mammon along with God and magical underpants. Nor did he wish to serve his country as a soldier. As a Massachusetts Senate candidate in 1994, Romney told the Boston Herald: "It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam." But when he met an American veteran of the Vietnam War recently, Romney had the audacity to deny him his constitutional rights.

"You can’t trust him," said Bob Garon, a gay 63-year-old vet, after meeting Romney, looking him in the eye, and calling him out for his bigotry.

While Garon was risking his neck in Vietnam, Mitt Romney was tooling around Le Havre and Paris. But Romney, acting in his usual cold-blooded style, had no problem telling Garon that he is a persona non grata, despite his service to his country.

Asked by reporters to assess Romney’s chances for the nomination after their encounter, Garon replied: "I did a little research on Mitt Romney and, by golly, you reporters are right. The guy ain’t going to make it. Because you can’t trust him. I just saw it in his eyes. I judge a man by his eyes."

Ironically, Romney met Garon during a campaign stop at Chez Vachon, a French cafe in Manchester, N.H. While working the room, Romney spotted Garon wearing a flannel shirt and a Vietnam Veteran hat, then slid into his booth for a quick photo op. But to his consternation, as the cameras rolled, Garon confronted Romney with a blunt question: "New Hampshire right now has some legislation kicking around about a repeal for the same-sex marriage. And all I need is a yes or a no. Do you support the repeal?"

"I support the repeal of the New Hampshire law," Romney said, confirming that he denies equality to gay Americans, even if they risked their lives in service to their country while he vacationed in France, incubating his get-rich-quick schemes.

Garon, who was eating breakfast with his male husband, pointed out correctly: "If two men get married, apparently a veteran’s spouse would not be entitled to any burial benefits or medical benefits or anything that the serviceman has devoted his time and effort to his country, and you just don’t support equality in terms of same-sex marriage?"

Romney confirmed that he not only denies gay veterans the right to marry, but that he also denies their partners having the same rights and benefits as heterosexual partners of other veterans. This is consistent with what Romney has said about denying gays the right to marry or to enter into civil unions, thus leaving them bereft of essential human rights.

"It's good to know how you feel, that you do not believe everyone is entitled to their constitutional rights," Garon replied dismissively.

When Romney started to argue that the Constitution is a homophobic document, a desperate-sounding aide urged him to wrap up the conversation: "Governor, we’ve got to get on with Fox News right now!" Was Romney saved from a knockout blow by the ding-dong bell of likeminded bigots?

"Oh, I guess the question was too hot," Garon remarked.

"No, I gave you the answer," Romney replied. "You said you had a yes-or-no [question]. I gave you the answer."

"You did," Garon agreed, although quite understandably not pleased or impressed. "And I appreciate your answer. And you know, I also learned something, and New Hampshire is right: You have to look a man in the eye to get a good answer. And you know what, governor? Good luck ... You’re going to need it."

"You are right about that," Romney said, unintentionally acknowledging that his bigotry against gay vets would come back to haunt him.

As reporters swarmed around his booth, Garon, an independent, said that he would not support Romney.

"I was undecided," Garon said. But "I’m totally convinced today that he’s not going to be my president—at least in my book. At least Obama will entertain the idea. This man is ‘No way, Jose.’ Well, take that ‘No way, Jose’ back to Massachusetts."

Later, Garon spoke to MSNBC about the exchange. "Well, quite frankly I'm not a professor of the Constitution but I don't believe it says anything about a man and a woman defining marriage," he said. "I didn't expect the answer that I got—I thought he'd be a little more diplomatic in his answer. But I did ask for a yes-or-no question and I've got to respect that that he did give me a yes-or-no answer."

But shouldn't we expect a prospective president and commander-in-chief to give the right answer, the fair answer, the just answer, the equitable answer?

Garon continued, "What I didn't expect from Mr. Romney is how confrontational he was and argumentative ... my question was really hoping that if he did get into the White House that he'd be in support of the benefits entitled to veterans and their spouses. Currently, they're not ... It just makes no sense to me."

Asked by reporters after Romney left why he feels so strongly about the issue, Garon responded passionately: "Because I’m gay, all right? And I happen to love a man just like you probably love your wife. I went and fought for my country and I think my spouse should be entitled to the same benefits as if I were married to a woman. What the hell is the difference?"

A very good question, indeed.

Garon said there is one aspect of Romney’s candidacy he supports: "I kind of liked his health care plan in Massachusetts." But of course Romney now castigates President Obama for Obamacare, even though it was clearly modeled on his own Romneycare. Romney has also waffled on climate change, women's reproductive rights, gun control and other issues. Take invasions of other countries, for example. His father, George Romney, who had once supported the Vietnam war, famously claimed that he had been brainwashed, possibly costing him the presidency. Mitt Romney agreed with his father and was quoted in a 1970 Boston Globe article as saying: "We were brainwashed. If it wasn’t a political blunder to move into Vietnam, I don’t know what is." But today Romney is a right-wing war hawk. He supported the invasion of Iraq and the troop surge. He supported the invasion of Afghanistan. He sealed his political marriage to Paul Ryan in the shadow of a battleship, after "America's Comeback Teamn" ran down to the podium from the battleship, laughing and waving. And in his speech to the Citadel in October 2011, Romney seemed to be the one brainwashing young American cadets to pursue wars of preemptive retaliation (i.e., offensive wars). If you continue reading this page, you can hear Romney sounding like the second coming of Hitler ...

Mitt Romney strikes me as a fascist who believes that might is right and will say or do almost anything to achieve his personal goals of acquiring money, fame and power. It seems the only position that he hasn't changed is his belief in his money, his power and his budding godhood. Like Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon and Hitler, this endlessly strange creature named Willard Mitt Romney seems to see the rest of us a pawns in his game of cosmic chess. He claims that his Mormon faith is very important to him, and perhaps that's part of the problem, because Mormonism teaches that human beings can become gods and rule worlds. Romney and the Romulans seem to be cold-blooded conquerors intent on ruling ours.

Case XII: Romney's Failure to Protect the Environment

My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet.—Mitt Romney

This is a not-so-artful dodge, simply to suck up more votes, while the planet goes down the tubes. Anyone with a brain understands that it doesn't matter who is responsible for climate change. All that matters is whether the earth's climate really is changing, and it obviously is. It has been documented that sea levels are rising, which means large amounts of ice are melting in glaciers and polar ice caps. Anyone who watches nature shows knows that glaciers really are receding and polar ice caps really are melting at tremendous rates. So Romney is either lying through his teeth to get votes from people who refuse to accept the truth, or he is a complete idiot. In either case, he has no business being president of the United States. The dinosaurs were not responsible for the climate change that caused their extinction, but they became extinct nonetheless. So obviously not being responsible changes nothing. Human beings have the advantage of bigger, more powerful brains, so we have the chance to survive, but we need to use them. The Romneybot either has a faulty CPU, or its CPU only computes ways to grab more money and power, never thinking about the suffering and deaths its actions will produce.

Case XIII: Romney's War on the Elderly, Sick and Poor

Here's economist Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner, on Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan: "In the first decade, the big things are (i) conversion of Medicaid into a block grant program, with much lower funding than projected under current law and (ii) sharp cuts in top tax rates [i.e., for the wealthy] and corporate taxes. Is this a deficit-reduction program? Not on the face of it: it’s basically a tradeoff of reduced aid to the poor for reduced taxes on the rich, with the net effect of the specific proposals being to increase, not reduce, the deficit."

In other words, Romney and Ryan will sell the sick, poor and elderly (us one day, if we live long enough!) down the river, in order to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. Many of the richest Americans will legally pay less than 1% in taxes, since the main sources of their income will be tax-free: capital gains, interest and dividends.

Case XIV: Romney's War on Women

Planned Parenthood, we're going to get rid of that.—Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney is leading the ever-escalating Republican full-frontal assault on American women's rights. If there was an Olympics for male chauvinism, Romney and the Romulans would undoubtedly sweep gold, silver and bronze.

A recent Guttmacher Institute report reveals the startling extent of the GOP's war on women’s reproductive rights: "By almost any measure, issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level received unprecedented attention in 2011. In the 50 states combined, legislators introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions ..."

And the GOP’s biggest stars are leading the dash to force girls and women to bear their rapists’ babies. When Todd Akin spoke of "illegitimate" rape, he was merely echoing what Ron Paul said when he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that victims of "honest rape" should be treated differently than other rape victims. Paul Ryan obviously concurs, as he and Akin were co-sponsors of the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," which in its original form included an exemption only for "forcible rape." Rick Santorum has called rapists’ fetuses "gifts" from God and opposes abortion and contraceptives under all circumstances. Newt Gingrich and Michelle Bachmann signed the "Personhood USA" pledge, which allows no exceptions for rape and incest. Mitt Romney wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood, to repeal Roe vs. Wade, and to define life as beginning at conception, meaning that a microscopic egg fertilized by a rapist against a teenage girl's will can sentence her to death. So why all the fuss about Todd Akin, really? He is no more extreme than any of the best-known conservative presidential candidates, and less extreme than the only one with a legitimate shot at becoming president.

Romney and the Romulans will sell American women down the river, returning them to the Dark Ages, the same way Romney's Bain Capital vultures sold American workers down the river, and the same way Romney intends to sell poor- and middle-income-class Americans down the river once he becomes president. In Romney's United States, unless you are rich, healthy, white and male, there is something terribly "wrong" with you—thus all you are good for is to work and pay taxes, so that rich, healthy white men don't have to pay taxes. When you can no longer work and pay taxes, you will be quickly discarded. If you ask for any help from the government you helped fund all your working career, you will be called a freeloader in search of "free stuff." But things will be even worse for girls and women. If a girl iis raped, she will have no choice but to bear her rapist's baby. If a mother has two jobs and three children, and she forgets to take a birth control pill, or a pill is defective, if she becomes pregnant she will have no choice but to bear another child. It will be illegal for her to choose not to become a mother.

A mere two days after Akin's gaffe, we learned conclusively that he is actually far less extreme than his party, when the Republican platform committee approved language seeking a constitutional amendment to ban abortions with no exceptions for rape, incest, or danger to a pregnant woman's life. The wording of the GOP’s renewed call for a "human life amendment" agrees with what the party approved in 2004 and 2008. Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, noted that the absolute abortion ban "is the platform of the Republican Party." The Romney campaign declined to comment on the platform committee’s vote, but in the past Romney has endorsed identical language. In 2007, during his first White House bid, Romney told ABC News: "I support that [human life amendment language] being part of the Republican platform." During a Republican presidential debate in 2007, Romney said that he would welcome a consensus that "we don’t want to have abortion in this country at all, period." He added that he would be "delighted" to sign a bill banning all abortions.

So Romney is obviously much more extreme than Todd Akin. And yet Romney told a New Hampshire TV station that Akin’s remarks were "deeply offensive" and that he and Ryan "can’t defend him." Ryan, seated beside Romney, nodded his head in agreement. But Akin effectively tied Ryan to his comment when he confirmed on Mike Huckabee's radio program that by "legitimate rape" he meant "forcible rape," the term that appeared in the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act." bill co-sponsored by Akin and Ryan!

The bottom line is that—as stupid, evil and offensive as Akin's comments were—Paul Ryan is just as bad, and Mitt Romney is worse.

Case XV: Is Mitt Romney a Sociopath?

I have studied the findings of several handwriting experts, and this one by Sheila Kurtz seems to agree with the general consensus about Mitt Romney: "... inclined to think quickly, act impulsively, dream big, and hang on to what’s his." But several of the experts pointed out real problems with his ability to empathize with and relate to other people.

Here is a graphology (handwriting) analysis by Joel Engel, the author of two books on the subject: "Mitt Romney’s capacity to relate is bleak. His signature has abrupt endings. This signifies being short with others. The two hooks reflect stubbornness. Dashes reveal a (usually subconscious) desire to be unsocial, especially when they vary from the standard (forward slashes). The disproportionately distant and disconnected T bar shows personal detachment. These combined traits produce feeling awkward in public. [Romney's] middle zone is also small. What is unique is that he connects from this area to the upper zone (instead of the routine middle zone). [By] avoiding the social (middle zone) area, this man’s thought processes are purely intellectual ... His rightward slant informs us that he can use his gifted brainpower aggressively."

Here is another graphology analysis, by Treyce Montoya, CEO of Center of Forensic Profiling: "Romney's handwriting is more separate or disconnected (mostly print) than Obama's. This indicates that he can be abrupt and impatient with others as well as not wanting to socially engage. His disconnections on his "TT"s in his name show his desire to not truly connect to [other] people ... the exit strokes are short ... which indicate stubbornness and reemphasize his 'unsocialness.' ... Romney's signature is more rightward and this shows that he is more impulsive ... Romney likes to acquire (collect) things and retain them."

Another handwriting expert, David Littman, said that to be on the same wavelength with Mitt Romney, because he is so analytical, we would have to appeal to his mind, not his emotions. Littman also said that Romney takes umbrage when people break the rules, is aggressive and would go "straight for the jugular," which could account for his warlike talk about attacking Iran.

The handwriting experts give Romney credit for high intelligence and leadership, but question his character. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being highest, Engel rated Romney as a 2 for personality. Anyone who has watched Romney try to "connect" with other people in public should be able to confirm that Romney seems to be functioning purely or mostly on intellect. He doesn't seem to be able to empathize with the suffering of others. This would explain why he "can't remember" holding a fellow student down and cutting off his hair, and why he doesn't understand that it was inhumane to strap his dog to the roof of his car for an 11-hour road trip. A classmate of Romney's compared him to the "Lord of the Flies." I have read what many people who know him have said about Romney in my research, since I became concerned that Americans may be about to elect a sociopath to the presidency. While people have complimented his intelligence and ability to get things done, almost no one has had anything nice to say about him as a person. While none of this is conclusive proof, still his handwriting, his actions, and what people do and don't say about him, all seem to suggest that Romney may lack normal human empathy and sociability. Our greatest presidents obviously cared about other Americans: Washington, Lincoln, FDR, JFK, et al. Can we afford to elect a president who can't connect with other Americans, in these trying, dangerous times?

Case XVI: Did Romney "save" the Olympics, really?

''In fact, most of the federal money was already in place before Mitt came on,'' said Senator Bob Bennett, who served as point man for the federal funding. ''The Clinton administration was completely supportive in saying these are America's games, we will do whatever we can to make sure they are successful. The one concern I had was whether we would get the same degree of support from the Bush administration, which we did.''

David Wallechinsky, a commentator for NBC's Olympic coverage and the author of several Olympic reference books, said that Romney played an important role in budget and public relations. But beyond that, "his involvement is greatly exaggerated." Wallechinsky also told The Huffington Post: "A lot of people could have stepped in and made it work. Not to say he did anything wrong. He did what he had to do. What he did was fine. The way he portrays it, however, is absurd ... The Olympic movement had survived two world wars, a terrorist attack, and boycotts. It could have survived a bribery scandal."

According to a Daily Kos article, Romney may have breached his contract with the Olympic Committee by not severing all ties with Bain Capital: "AP news items from the time, written by Kristen Moulton, also include specific details about ethics and anti-scandal restrictions placed on the new CEO, Mitt Romney. He would have to sever ties with all corporations that did business with the Olympics. This same AP piece is found in the archives of the Laredo Morning Times and the Hurriyet Daily News." But as the article goes on to point out, Romney remained directly or indirectly involved with a number of companies that either invested in or profited from the Olympics, including companies bought by Bain, and/or for whom Romney served on the board of directors. Companies named in the article include Staples, Gateway, Marriott, Sealy and Domino's Pizza.

According to Romney, he left Bain Capital in February of 1999 and had "no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital" thereafter. Romney has made this assertion repeatedly and it also appears on the financial disclosure Romney filed when he formally applied to run for president. If there is anything definite that we know about Romney, it is that he "left" Bain Capital in 1999 and had "absolutely nothing" to do with running the company thereafter. But according to a number of documents that Bain and its subsidiaries filed with the SEC, Romney remained in control of Bain and its subsidiaries long after he "left." Romney was named at least 39 times in SEC filings as the sole shareholder and chief executive of Bain funds used in corporate takeovers and other investment deals, according to the AP and Fox News.

Case XVII: Outsourcing Pioneer

Why is the year 1999 so important to Romney? Because when the Washington Post published an article headlined "Bain Capital invested in companies that moved jobs overseas," the Romney campaign was caught flatfooted. The Post disclosed that Bain had invested in companies like Modus Media, Stream International, Hi-Tech Manufacturing, SMTC and Holson Burnes, that had not only shipped thousands of American jobs overseas, but had helped pioneer the practice. It seems clear that Romney does not want to be connected to such pioneering, hence the since-disproven claims that he had "absolutely nothing" to do with Bain after early 1999.

To make matters worse, Romney even invested money in a Chinese company, Global-Tech Appliances, that specializes in taking over manufacturing from American companies like Sunbeam and Revlon. Part of Romney's GTA holdings ended up in Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors LTD, a Bermuda-based corporation that lists Romney as "the sole shareholder, a director, and President." According to an AP report, Sankaty is "is among several Romney holdings that have not been fully disclosed" and there is a "mystery surrounding" Sankaty. Vanity Fair noted that "investments in tax havens such as Bermuda raise many questions, because they are in 'jurisdictions where there is virtually no tax and virtually no compliance,' as one Miami-based offshore lawyer put it." Another mystery is why Romney was using a Bermuda-based entity to invest in a Chinese firm that specialized in outsourcing American manufacturing jobs.

Bain first invested in GTA in 1998, before Romney "left" the firm in 1999, so it seems clear that Romney was deliberately investing in and profiting from outsourcing long before anyone else "took over," if that ever actually happened.

As reported by The Christian Science Monitor and Washington Post: "During the nearly 15 years that Romney was actively involved in running Bain, the private equity firm that he founded, it owned companies that were pioneers in the practice of shipping work from the United States to overseas call centers and factories making computer components, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While Bain was not the largest player in the outsourcing field, the private equity firm was involved early on, at a time when the departure of jobs from the United States was beginning to accelerate and new companies were emerging as handmaidens to this outflow of employment."

A CBS Evening News report confirms that there are accusations that "Mitt Romney's companies were pioneers in outsourcing U.S. jobs to low-wage countries." Now, if such accusations are false, all Romney and Bain have to do is provide hard evidence to the contrary. All companies with payrolls keep detailed records of hirings and firings, so why have Romney and Bain failed to provide any hard evidence of net job increases? Obviously, because there isn't any such evidence. In reality, Romney and Bain fired thousands of American workers and outsourced many other jobs to foreign countries, while Romney became one of the world's wealthiest men by sheltering most or all of his Bain wealth from taxes in offshore Bermuda and Cayman Island "IRAs."

And the claims that Romney had "no involvement" with Bain after early 1999 seem more than shaky ...

James Cox, a professor of corporate and securities law at Duke University, has pointed out that Bain’s continued reference to Romney as CEO and sole shareholder indicate that Romney remained the "final authority" and that Romney would likely have been updated regularly about Bain’s profits while negotiating his severance package. Thus, according to Cox, Romney’s insistence that he had no involvement with "any Bain Capital entity" appears "inconsistent" with his actions.

According to Stephanie Cutter, Romney was "either misrepresenting his own position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony, or he was misrepresenting his position at Bain to the American people."

According to the Boston Globe, which was able to interview Bain insiders, "Romney has said in financial disclosure statements that he 'was not involved in the operations of any Bain Capital entity in any way' after Feb. 11, 1999. But he was still legally the CEO, with numerous duties and obligations that were his alone, until early 2002. Interviews with a half-dozen of Romney’s former partners and associates, as well as public records, show that he was not merely an absentee owner during this period. He signed dozens of company documents, including filings with regulators on a vast array of Bain’s investment entities. And he drove the complex negotiations over his own large severance package, a deal that was critical to the firm’s future without him, according to his former associates. Indeed, by remaining CEO and sole shareholder, Romney held on to his leverage in the talks that resulted in his generous 10-year retirement package, according to former associates. 'The elephant in the room was not whether Mitt was involved in investment decisions but Mitt’s retention of control of the firm and therefore his ability to extract a huge economic benefit by delaying his giving up of that control,' said one former associate, who, like some other Romney associates, spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the company."

Romney continued to refer to himself as CEO. In July 1999, five months after he had "left" Bain, he provided a blurb for a press release issued by Rehnert and Wolpow, in which he was referred to as "Bain Capital CEO W. Mitt Romney, currently on a part-time leave of absence." In the release, Romney said of departing Bain partners, "While we will miss them, we wish them well and look forward to working with them as they build their firm." So Romney obviously still considered himself a part of Bain and its future. Romney’s name continued to appear as CEO and owner on dozens of Bain fund documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission until January 2002.

So it seems Romney was truthful with the SEC, but lied repeatedly to the American people ... and is still lying, even though he's been caught red-handed.

Case XVIII: Swimming with the Sharks

Corporations are people, my friend ... of course they are ... human beings, my friend.—Mitt Romney

But as we all know, some corporations are more like cold-blooded sharks than warm-blooded human beings ... especially private equity firms like Mitt Romney's rapacious team of orca-like corporate raiders, Bain Capital.

Under Romney's direction, Bain loaded companies like GST Steel and Dade International with massive debt in order to pay Romney and other investors massive dividends, while the companies went bankrupt and their workers became jobless. Now Romney, the consummate slick pro-corporation politician, has raised large sums of campaign cash from Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley because they know he'll scratch their backs by letting them do what he did himself: profit from the elimination and outsourcing of American jobs. Romney insists that "corporations are people" and has called federal government spending to assist tornado and flood victims "simply immoral" because it increases the national budget deficit. But when has he ever called government borrowing to fund wars and Wall Street bailouts "immoral"? Romney knows where his bread is buttered, and who provides the rich cream. Like most Republican politicians these days, he seems quite happy to let the commoners go without bread, as long as his wealthy patrons and cronies can continue to have their cake and eat it too.

In his book The Buyout of America: How Private Equity Is Destroying Jobs and Killing the American Economy, Josh Kosman describes Bain as "notorious for its failure to plow profits back into its businesses." Bain was the first large private equity firm to derive a large percentage of its revenues from corporate dividends and other investor-gratifying distributions. Companies acquired by Bain sometimes borrowed large sums of money in order to increase their dividend payments, ultimately leading to the collapse of what had been financially stable businesses. According to Bloomberg, "Whether companies boomed or filed for bankruptcy, the Boston-based firm found profits for Romney, its other executives and investors ... Interviews with former employees and executives at Bain and companies it controlled, along with a review of Bain’s activities described in public documents and news accounts, paint a picture of an operation that wasn’t focused on expanding employment. Instead, Bain’s mission, like [that of] most private equity firms, was to generate gains for its investors."

Dade International is a good example. Dade was combined by Bain with several other companies, becoming Dade Behring. At least 1,600 employees were dismissed from 1996 to 1999, according to SEC reports. Bain and Goldman Sachs sold their Dade shares for $365.4 million, in addition to prior dividends and other distributions, before the company went bankrupt. According to Michael Rumbin, Dade's vice president of technology, "They leveraged this thing to the hilt and got out when they could. We were left holding the bag." Rumbin became one of Romney's and Bain's casualties when he too lost his job. Now we know why private equity firms are better known as "corporate raiders."

Like a reverse Robin Hood, Mitt Romney stole jobs from the poor to give dividends to the rich. Now he seems intent on sending American citizens to the poorhouse, en masse. He recently earned the sobriquet "Romney Hood" after the non-partisan Tax Policy Institute reported that Romney's tax proposals are likely to result in a net tax increase of $2,000 for middle-class wage earners while reducing the taxes of the wealthiest Americans by hundreds of thousands of dollars, each.

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