Romney’s misleading Bain claim

Romney was still at Bain after claiming he left; Roberts's switch was real; and other top Monday stories

Topics: 2012 Elections, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama,

Social conservatives will not like this: Mother Jones’s David Corn reports that Mitt Romney led an effort at Bain Capital to invest in a medical-waste disposal company that disposed of aborted fetuses. Bain Capital’s investment in Stericycle became a minor issue earlier in the campaign, but SEC filings obtained by Corn suggest Romney and Bain were misleading about his role in the purchase. The documents show that Romney was involved in decision-making at Bain after he left to run the 2002 Olympics, contradicting earlier claims by the company and Romney’s campaign. The SEC documents list Romney as the “sole shareholder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President” of the Bain-affiliated funds that invested in the Stericycle, even though Romney’s allies had previously said he had left the company by then.

Stericycle also had a troubling safety record: “In 1991, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited its Arkansas operation for 11 workplace safety violations. The facility had not provided employees with sufficient protective gear, and it had kept body parts, fetuses, and dead experimental animals in unmarked storage containers, placing workers at risk. In 1995, Stericycle was fined $3.3 million — later decreased to $800,000 — by Rhode Island for knowingly exposing workers to life-threatening diseases at its medical-waste treatment facility in Woonsocket.”

Roberts two-step: CBS News’s Jan Crawford reports that two sources close to the court confirmed to her what many had speculated, that Chief Justice John Roberts switched his vote on the Affordable Care Act, from striking down the law to upholding it. Roberts initially sided with the conservatives but then switched about a month before the decision came down. He faced a “desperate” and sustained campaign from Justice Anthony Kennedy to reverse course. While some claim that outside forces, particularly President Obama, swayed Roberts, Crawford reports that Roberts’s decision was based more on an understanding of the historic nature of the case and his unwillingness to strike down such a huge law passed by the elected branch of government on the basis of an untested legal theory.

Romney foreign policy advisers are frustrated: By the candidate’s lack of attention on anything aside from attacking President Obama on the economy. The campaign still doesn’t have a foreign policy adviser to coordinate messaging after former UN spokesman Ric Grenell left under pressure just two weeks after starting at the campaign. Romney’s pool of informal outside advisers are often ignored, Eli Lake reports (and quotes some on the record), while day-to-day operations are handled by “a 32-year-old Harvard Law School graduate [who] has no practical foreign-policy experience beyond a 2005 summer internship at the U.S. Mission to the U.N.”

GOP sees 2012 as the last chance to repeal health law: Republicans are acknowledging that this year’s election is their last chance to repeal Obamacare. If they don’t win big enough in November, too much of the law will have gone into effect and it will be impossible to reverse, many think. “That’s the last train that’s leaving the station in regard to stopping this,” Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Republican from Georgia. “This train is leaving the station, and there’s not going to be another opportunity. If Barack Obama is reelected to a second term and we don’t replace him with the 45th president, then this law sinks in, it gets roots, and it ain’t going away.”

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks unemployed people are not important. Pressed three times by host Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday yesterday about what Republicans would do to help the 30 million Americans who lack health insurnace, McConnell responded, “That is not the issue. The question is how you can go step by step to improve the American health care system.”

Congress actually did something: Last Friday, “on the last afternoon of the last workday — they managed to complete the work that had been hanging in the balance the whole time. They saved student borrowers and their parents from an increase in college-loan interest rates and saved states from running out of highway funding.” This bill was an important spending package on a host of issues.

Alex Seitz-Wald

Alex Seitz-Wald is Salon's political reporter. Email him at, and follow him on Twitter @aseitzwald.

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