UAW, CREW File Ethics Charges Against Romney for Hiding Auto Bailout Profits

United Auto Workers (UAW) President Bob King and the Center for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) will hold a press conference at 2PM today to announce that they are filing formal ethics charges against Mitt Romney with the US Office of Government Ethics for

improperly hid[ing] a profit of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in Ann Romney’s so-called “blind” trust.

The union chief says, “The American people have a right to know about Gov. Romney’s potential conflicts of interest, such as the profits his family made from the auto rescue,” “It’s time for Gov. Romney to disclose or divest.”

The ethics complaint is based on investigative research by Greg Palast, published in The Nation on October 17. Briefly:

The Romneys’ gigantic windfall was hidden inside an offshore corporation inside a limited partnership inside a trust which both concealed the gain and reduces taxes on it.

According to ethics law expert Dan Curry who drafted the ethics complaint, Ann Romney does not have a federally-approved blind trust. An approved “blind” trust may not be used to hide a major investment which could be affected by Romney if he were to be elected President. Other groups joining the UAW and CREW include Public Citizen, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Public Campaign, People for the American Way and The Social Equity Group….

In 2009, Ann Romney partnered with her husband’s key donor, billionaire Paul Singer, who secretly bought a controlling interest in Delphi Auto, the former GM auto parts division. Singer’s hedge fund, Elliott Management, threatened to cut off GM’s supply of steering columns unless GM and the government’s TARP auto bailout fund provided Delphi with huge payments. While the US treasury complained this was “extortion,” the hedge funds received, ultimately, $12.9 billion in taxpayer subsidies.

Singer’s fund ended up making $1.27 billion, after which he moved all Dephi production to Mexico along with 25,000 UAW jobs. The goal of the ethics complaint is to force the Romneys to reveal how much profit the made off this sleazy deal.

Feel free to use this as an open thread.

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39 Comments on “UAW, CREW File Ethics Charges Against Romney for Hiding Auto Bailout Profits”

  1. Wow, this is really something…thank you for mentioning it, I hope it gets some attention. BB, do you notice a difference in the news coverage of the election between Indiana and Mass?

    • bostonboomer says:

      I get all my news on the internet, so I really don’t. NPR and national news are the same obviously.

  2. Pat…I know she will be around…did you see this?Shakesville: Discussion Thread: Election Anxiety

    This election is…getting to me.
    [...]
    As much as I can’t wait for this election to be over, the day after is going to be rough, because we’re not going to win the day across the board. I just hope we manage to eke out a few victories.

    But then there’s the day after, and the day after… This is the third presidential election and fifth national election I’ve now covered, and, well, I don’t normally feel this anxious about an election. It’s a lot of different things, but I feel like I’m holding something slippery in my hands, and it’s about to slide from my grasp and fall away.

    Anyway. Many of my friends are anxious about this election, too, whether because they’re stressed about possible voter disenfranchisement, or reliving some fucked-up nightmare reminiscent of 2000, or just straight-up electoral losses. So I thought maybe we could all use a thread to talk about how we’re feeling.

    All I can say to that is yerp! Me too.

  3. janicen says:

    I wish this could have happened sooner. Things happening this close to the election tend to get disbelieved. I hope this doesn’t go away even after Obama wins.

  4. pdgrey says:

    BB, i can’t get the links to work.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Sorry. I’ll check them.

      • pdgrey says:

        Maybe, the sites are running slow, (hopefully because everybody in the world is trying to link to it) because I googled and got there that way. Or maybe I computer is running slow, it has been.

    • bostonboomer says:

      The links are working for me, but the ones to Greg Palast’s blog are really slow. It may be overloaded, because this story is all over the place now.

  5. ANonOMouse says:

    Greg Palast did really great reporting on this. I wish this suit could have been filed sooner and I hope that every organization that has joined the suit and the lazy MSM, which has forgotten the meaning of the expression due diligence, stays on Mitt & Ann Romney’s ass until the entire truth comes out. This is a prime example of how the rich suck the life out of the working class, then ship the jobs to low wage, no regulation countries. Mitt is a low-life.

    • RalphB says:

      I’m just glad it was filed. It should be hard to ignore for the MSM.

    • Allie says:

      I’ve been reading Greg Palast for a long time – his style is a little annoying but he’s got a long history in this sort of research and has also been all over voting “irregularities” and election fraud here for years. I think he works for the Guardian in the U.K. of course, since the media here don’t like investigative journalism, but he’s American.

      The problem with Republicans is smarminess is not a problem. As long as it’s legal, and even if it’s not – i.e. “they all do it” – the ends justify the means for them. I have a Republican friend who casually mentioned that he cheats on his taxes by deducting full retail prices for discounted food given to the food banks. They don’t get what’s wrong with compromising their personal integrity for personal gain, however miniscule.

      So I’m afraid this wouldn’t sway any of Mitt’s fans. Nevertheless he needs to go down!

  6. RalphB says:

    OT but The Economist endorses Obama. It’s a bit better than the concluding paragraph.

    Which one?

    “As a result, this election offers American voters an unedifying choice. Many of The Economist’s readers, especially those who run businesses in America, may well conclude that nothing could be worse than another four years of Mr Obama. We beg to differ. For all his businesslike intentions, Mr Romney has an economic plan that works only if you don’t believe most of what he says. That is not a convincing pitch for a chief executive. And for all his shortcomings, Mr Obama has dragged America’s economy back from the brink of disaster, and has made a decent fist of foreign policy. So this newspaper would stick with the devil it knows, and re-elect him.”

  7. Has anyone seen this: ‘This has hues of a banana republic’ – The Maddow Blog

    n mid-September, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service published a detailed report, documenting the fact that reducing taxes on the wealthy does not, in fact, generate economic growth. Instead, the CRS found, the trickle-down model appears to be “associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top.”

    The report was no small development. After all, as David Leonhardt noted when it was published, the CRS analysis undermines a “defining economic policy” of modern Republican thought. Indeed, the entire Romney/Ryan economic plan is predicated on the assumption that supply-side theory works, and here was the CRS saying it doesn’t.

    As of today, the CRS report is no more.

    • RalphB says:

      I remember about the report because it confirmed what I already knew to be the case. If it’s gone, wonder who got rid of it and what reason could be given for it?

    • RalphB says:

      The Congressional Research Service has withdrawn an economic report that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth after Senate Republicans — including the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell — raised a litany of concerns with the paper’s findings and wording.

      The decision, made in late September against the advice of the agency’s economic team leadership, drew almost no notice at the time.

      Yep, that’s a banana republic all right. Censor what you don’t like to hear.

    • I read about this. Appalling. There is something very eerie about this group of politicians. It’s as if our government is under siege and takeover.

      To do away with the CRS is about silencing any opposing ideas. This certainly is not democracy.

  8. RalphB says:

    Rmoney is still being chewed on for his auto bailout lies. A feel good story for me,.

    Maddowblog: ‘An exercise in deception’

    It’s been eight days since Mitt Romney first floated his Chrysler/Jeep/China falsehood, which he then doubled and tripled down on, even as industry executives called him out for lying. Unfortunately for the Republican, the story isn’t going away.

  9. Ron4Hills says:

    Better late than never. I should like to have seen this sooner. Six days before the election kind of sucks, but it beats the sh*t out of six days after!

  10. RalphB says:

    Mr Bogg has a post today delightfully covering several small items of interest :-)

    TBogg: A Dream Come True, I’ll Live There ’til I Die

    • pdgrey says:

      Well, that last line got my attention!
      Lastly, going out on a limb and presuming that Barack Obama somehow manages to eke out an electoral college win over Dr. Mrs. St. Jill Stein, as well as keeping in mind that Hillary Clinton has already declared her intention to step down as Secretary of State, I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more speculation that Obama might make her his next Supreme Court nominee as payment for not only for services rendered for the past four years but also for the Big Dog’s yeoman work on the campaign these past few months. Given Hillary’s stint in the Senate where she seems to have acquired many Republican admirers, it would be gamesmanship of the highest order and hella fun to watch. You may argue below.

      Not that you didn’t already know that….

  11. Fannie says:

    How is it that the Auto workers union is involved in this suit?

  12. songbird899 says:

    Actually, Eliott Management, the hedge fund where Ann Romney’s “blind trust” is managed, after fleecing General Motors and absconding with Delphi’s pension fund, Eliott incorporated Delphi offshore in the Isle of Jersey, then moved Delphi to China into a factory China built for them. There is a reason why Romney doesn’t want to release his 2008 and 2009 tax returns, they will show the millions his wife (and maybe he, too) made on Delphi. Eliott Management reported a profit of $15.3M for every million invested. It is reputed that Eliott made $1.28Bn on Delphi whose junk bonds Eliott bought for pennies and then extorted General Motors by telling GM if you don’t pay me full price, I won’t give you steering columns; I’ll shut you down, too. As for Mitt Romney himself, he’s cut from the same cloth as Paul Singer who owns Eliott Management. When Romney was in his 20s and head of Blain & Company, he fleeced the FDIC of $10M through similar tactics as Eliott Management did with GM. Not nice people.