There is some really good analysis on this out there today in the MSM including interviews with former SEC and FEC commissioners who believe that one of the filings must represent felony lying. The deal is that filings made by Bain to the SEC and Romney to the FEC contradict each other on when Romney left Bain Capital. This date is important for several reasons to the political campaign. It is part of an Obama campaign tactic to hang outsourcing and job loss on Romney. The Romney defense was that he wasn’t there at the time so it wasn’t him. Well, that’s what the FEC filings say. However, that’s not what the SEC filings say.
Writes Peter Cohan of Forbes magazine:
Why does this matter? It depends on whether the SEC and state filings are accurate. If those filings are correct, then Romney is in a weak position to claim that he had nothing to do with decisions to fire employees working for Bain Capital-controlled companies after 2002.
To wit, consider Bain Capital’s 1993 $24 million investment in GST Steel, a Kansas City, Missouri steel company. During his 2002 campaign for governor, Romney’s opponent pointed out that Bain Capital had profited to the tune of $50 million – after laying off 750 workers at GST.
And Romney replied that he was no longer at Bain Capital when the layoffs happened. But the SEC filings indicate that Romney was Bain Capital’s CEO in February 2001 when GST declared bankruptcy. And Romney made the same “not there then” claim when the Obama campaign raised this example in May 2012.
If the SEC filings are accurate, that means Romney was again in a gray area when he made the claims about GST. After all, if he was CEO and sole owner of Bain Capital in 2002, he would have had a responsibility to his investors to make key decisions about its investments — like whether GST should file for bankruptcy and fire its staff.
On July 11, Bain Capital issued a statement: “Mitt Romney retired from Bain Capital in February 1999. He has had no involvement in the management or investment activities of Bain Capital, or with any of its portfolio companies, since that time.”
To paraphrase Clinton, it depends upon what the meaning of the word retired is.