Earlier this year I was perusing a popular Internet site, Buzzfeed.com, when I stumbled across an amazing 200-page file on Mitt Romney that had just been leaked into the public domain. This document is the entire opposition research file drafted by McCain’s campaign staff in 2008 in order to vet Romney as a running mate. Among other things, the McCain camp received over two decades worth of Romney’s precious tax returns. Just a few weeks ago, when Politico interviewed John McCain and pressed him over his decision to choose Sarah Palin instead of Romney his answer was “Oh come on, because we thought that Sarah Palin was the better candidate.”
2,200 Facebook likes and 798 tweets later that story still isn’t really catching on with the mainstream media and I am left wondering if there is any hope left for the American political process. Sure, we will have elaborately staged presidential debates and costly political campaign ads but it will be nothing more than the great Olympics of political advertising: happens every four years, millions upon millions of dollars are spent needlessly, and the media coverage is tightly controlled.
It is said that an informed electorate is the cornerstone of our democratic process. I invite all our readers to take some time this election season and read the report on Mitt Romney, linked below. It is some of the best information you can get that is receiving little to no print, or airtime. Thomas Jefferson would be proud of our beloved Internet.
Some golden nuggets:
1. Romney Charged a Fee for Being Blind: The Governor’s 2004 budget proposal originated these fees, which now mean it costs extra to be blind in Massachusetts. “The state’s approximately 35,000 blind and legally blind residents must now pay $10 annually for a certificate of blindness and $15 every four years for a blind identification card.” Without the formerly free documents, blind people cannot take advantage of tax abatements, affordable housing programs, health care services, transportation discounts, and other benefits.” (Source: “Advocates Fight Fees For the Blind,” Telegram & Gazette, 8/5/03)
2. Romney Sat on Board of Damon Clinical Laboratories, a Bain Capital Portfolio Company Fined Nearly $120 Million in 1996 Due To Medicare Fraud: “A Needham clinical laboratory agreed yesterday to pay $119 million in criminal and civil fines after pleading guilty to charges that it defrauded the nation’s Medicare system by seeking reimbursements on millions of dollars worth of unnecessary blood tests. … Damon Clinical Laboratories Inc. admitted it tried to boost its profits by submitting the unnecessary tests. The company, the government said, misled doctors into ordering the tests, ensuring that they would be covered by Medicare, the federal health care program for the elderly.” (Source: Kimberly Blanton, “Needham Lab Fined $119m for Fraud,” The Boston Globe, 10/10/96)
3. Bain & Company Received $2.3 million Contract from National Iranian Oil Company in 2004.
4. “During His Political Career, Romney Has Been Pro-Choice, Then Not Pro-Choice, Then Pro-Choice Again, Now Claims To Be Pro-Life”
5. Romney Proposed Imposing a Fee on the Mentally Challenged in 2003: “The committee will also accept most of the fee recommendations made by Romney, Rogers said, but would not endorse … a new fee for some mentally retarded citizens…” (Source: Jennifer Peter, “House Leaders Agree With Romney’s Plan To Eliminate Urban Park Agency,” The Associated Press, 4/16/03)
6. American Jobs: Bain Capital owned a company named Ampad that purchased an Indiana paper plant, fired its workers, and offered to bring them back at drastically reduced salary and benefits. The firings became an issue in the 1994 Senate race when workers blamed Romney for their situation and appeared in Kennedy campaign ads.
7. Outsourcing: At least two Bain Capital companies, Stream International and Modus Media, focused on outsourced technical support services, expanding facilities abroad while contracting operations in the United States.
8. Help from Hugo Chavez: Mitt Romney praised a 2005 plan by Citgo Petroleum Corp., which is ultimately controlled by the Venezuelan government and President Hugo Chavez, to provide low-income Massachusetts residents with discounted heating oil.
Read The full document here.
From Santa Barbara, California to Cairo, Egypt, Alex Luhrman has been extending his skills in information security, social media, and open source intelligence to activists and to local businesses.