The Obama campaign has been running shadowy ads  insinuating that Mitt Romney did not leave Bain Capital in 1999, as he claims, but continued to participate in the company’s day-to-day operations until 2002, when he ran for governor of Massachusetts.
The charges are relevant, because the Obama campaign has accused Bain of engaging in mass layoffs, outsourcing to China and Mexico, and bankrupting several companies between 1999 and 2002. The Obama camp implies that Romney was responsible for those events.
Instead of defending the layoffs and outsourcing as necessary for Bain’s proper operation, and noting that bankruptcy was inevitable for several companies that were performing poorly and incapable of recovering, Romney has merely pointed out that he left Bain in 1999 and had no say in its hiring, firing, or outsourcing decisions.
Boston Globe reporter Christopher Rowland proudly published portions  of Bain’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings listing Romney as “sole stockholder, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President” for 2000, 2001, and 2002. Eschewing the practice of investigating reporting, left-leaning news organizations have simply repeated  the vague Obama charge, suggesting that it “raises questions about [Romney’s] credibility.” They’ve uncritically parroted Obama’s claim that there are “discrepancies between Securities and Exchange Commission filings and Romney’s recollection of his role at [Bain]” and that Romney “has much to explain.”
Romney is of course not denying the existence of the SEC documents with his name on them. In fact, as owner of Bain, Romney was legally required to phase out his interest in the company, a process that typically takes several years. If Romney had been involved in Bain’s day-to-day operations from 1999 to 2002, then his name would have appeared on SEC documents until around 2005. The fact that it no longer appeared after 2002 is proof to anyone who understands how corporate transfer works that he ceased his involvement several years earlier.
Why does it take years for the SEC to legally recognize transfer of ownership of a company from one party to another? Mostly because we’re talking about the government, which never takes days to do something when it can take months, or months when it can take years. But also because the multi-billion dollar company—like other companies of similar magnitude transferring ownership—had to send numerous financial documents for the SEC to audit, amend, annotate, and request supporting documentation for. This process doesn’t take place overnight.
The chair of the SEC has confirmed that Romney’s name and signature was required to be on Bain filings even after he had left the company and throughout the entire corporate ownership transfer process. The situation in which Romney found himself was as common in corporate America as executives being badmouthed by liberals for not paying enough taxes.
Even liberal Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler researched the claims and relayed  securities law experts’ conclusion that titles listed in the documents “are basically meaningless, that someone can be listed as a chief executive and actually have no responsibilities whatsoever.” Kessler noted that the 2002 Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission confirmed that Romney was eligible to run for office in 2002, because his tenure at Bain had ended in 1999.
CNN and Fortune magazine have similarly researched  and rejected  the charges. Two Obama supporters and executives who still work at Bain told  John King that Romney had no involvement in the company’s operations after 1999. At least three other Obama supporters and employees of Bain from 1999 to the present were revealed  to have been closely involved with the bankruptcies between 1999 and 2002.
The Obama campaign is suggesting nothing less than that Mitt Romney committed the felony of securities fraud. Their repeated demands that he release more and more tax records from past years and decades are disingenuous. Such records cannot possibly acquit Romney of the charges Democrats are making against him, because they would only support the defense he has already made and that they reject.
Again from the Post: “[Romney] stated that [he had left in 1999] in a federal disclosure form he signed, under threat of criminal penalties. He said he was a ‘former employee’ in a state disclosure form. A state commission concluded 10 years ago that he did, indeed, leave Bain in 1999. Investors in Bain funds were told he was not part of the management team.” Bain has produced legal documents used for prospective clients for 1999 to 2002, all of which listed every staff member involved in the contracts, none of which listed Romney.
Confident in his defense and the evidence backing him up, Romney has demanded an apology from the Obama campaign for implying he had engaged in felonious activity. The Obama campaign, backed into a corner, insists it will not apologize.
You know the Obama campaign senses it’s losing the argument based on the facts, because they’re already starting to bundle and camouflage their securities fraud charges with more general complaints about Romney’s outsourcing activity at Bain, suggestions that he’s hiding something by not releasing earlier tax records, and implications that his offshore investments were improper.
Though I can believe Obama has no understanding—or interest—in the nuances of SEC requirements and corporate ownership transfer, I can’t believe that everyone in his campaign is so uninformed. This suggests that his team is dishonestly counting on the ignorance of enough voters to make the ad campaign successful.
The fact that Obama associates with, and lets himself be represented by, such people is enough to disqualify this charlatan and resenter of wealth from higher office for good.