Archive for 2002

Poll-itics: Former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) could win in Georgia


max cleland

Senator Cleland in Crawford, Texas in 2004. Mr. Cleland was attempting to deliver a letter to George W. Bush asking that attack ads on John Kerry’s Vietnam service be stopped.)

A new report by Public Policy Polling tells us that Georgia Democrats might have a real shot at making the Senate race competitive next year. The potential candidates include 5 Republicans (Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey, Karen Handel, Jack Kingston and Tom Price) and 3 Democrats (John Barrow, Jason Carter, and Max Cleland):

Cleland is the only person in the whole bunch who has more than 50% statewide name recognition, with 48% of voters rating him favorably to 29% with an unfavorable view.

If Cleland could be coaxed into the race he would start out  with a lead over every Republican we tested him against. He's up 1 against Price, 3 against Kingston, 5 against Gingrey, and 7 against Broun and Handel.

Rep. Paul Broun is the guy who said evolution, embryology and Big Bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell.”

In 2002, Saxby Chambliss (who is retiring) ran this ad juxtaposing Max Cleland, a triple amputee and Vietnam war veteran, to a picture of Osama Bin Laden. It worked. Chambliss won Cleland's seat and the GOP took control of the Senate:


Upon urging from Karl Rove and the Bush administration who viewed the Democratic party of Georgia as vulnerable, Chambliss ran for the Senate in 2002, facing freshman Democratic incumbent Max Cleland. Chambliss's political career would have likely ended if he hadn't run for the Senate...

A toast to a Cleland Comeback. Cheers!

toasting glasses


Mitt Romney may have breached ethics laws through company linked to Paul Ryan's brother, who worked at Bain Capital


Lucky us, we get a twofer! First, there were possible ethics violations for then-Governor Willard Romney, and then the bonus that Paul Ryan's very own brother worked at Bain Capital. Who could ask for more?

Via The Telegraph, not exactly a liberal publication:

Mitt Romney may have breached state ethics laws as Governor of Massachusetts by holding a stake in a company that did lucrative work for his administration and was linked to the family of Paul Ryan, a Daily Telegraph investigation has found.

The Republican presidential candidate appears to have profited from a marketing company that was contracted by the state of Massachusetts after receiving $5 million (£3.2 million) in financial backing from Bain Capital, Mr Romney’s investment firm.

One of his vice-presidential candidate's brothers, who is a former Bain consultant, was at the time of the investment a senior executive at the marketing company, Imagitas, which was co-founded by another former Bain executive.

Both Mr Romney and Tobin Ryan, who omits his work at Imagitas from his corporate biography, also apparently stood to benefit from the $230 million (£146 million) sale of the company in 2005, while Mr Romney remained in office.

Oopsy daisy there, Romney-Other Ryan. According to Massachusetts law, all state employees must dump any financial interests in private sector contracts with state agencies. If they don't, they can be fined $2,000 or be sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison. These days, the punishment could be even worse, per The Telegraph.

Of course, Willard and Bain refused to comment about the matter, as did the Ryans. Quel surprise. This from the people who want us to "just trust them."

As the article points out, there are "previously unnoticed connections between Mr Romney’s involvement in the private sector, government and campaign finance" which, at least IMHO, should create even more interest in those pesky tax returns he's so desperate to keep from us so we can see what else we've been missing out on.

As Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington suggests, "he should have disclosed his stake in a company that stood to gain from its work for his administration.”

Victor Fleischer, a law professor at the University of Colorado specialising in private equity, said it was “possible but unlikely” that Mr Romney could have completely prevented himself from benefiting from Imagitas.

"This highlights the problems for voters with the lack of detail that has been disclosed about what was and is in Mr Romney’s Bain holdings,” said Prof Fleischer.[...]

Spokesmen for Mr Romney repeatedly declined to confirm or deny that he had profited from the sale of Imagitas, or to answer a series of detailed questions about his financial connections to the firm lodged by The Daily Telegraph earlier this week. “You’ve seen his disclosure forms - you know what’s on them,” one campaign source said.

Well now, he/she sure told them! With a disdainful wave of the hand and a nose in the air, he/she dismissed any questions with the usual stock answer: It's in the forms (no it isn't) and that's all you're gonna get from us (not if we can help it).

You know who else profited? The Carlyle Group, the group with major links to the GOP, the group that, according to Wiki:

... has been profiled in two notable documentaries, Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 and William Karel's The World According to Bush.

In Fahrenheit 911, Moore makes nine allegations concerning the Carlyle Group, including: That the Bin Laden and Bush families were both connected to the Group; that following the attacks on September 11, the bin Laden family’s investments in the Carlyle Group became an embarrassment to the Carlyle Group and the family was forced to liquidate their assets with the firm; that the Carlyle group was, in essence, the 11th largest defense contractor in the United States.[37] Moore focused on Carlyle's connections with George H. W. Bush and his Secretary of State James A. Baker III, both of whom had at times served as advisers to the firm.

Please read the whole article here, it's lengthy and chock full o' details.


Mitt Romney's advisers confirm that they're running a "you people" should "just trust me" campaign


Rachel Maddow's first installment of the Romney campaign's "You're going to have to take my word for it" arrogant 'tude was in my post VIDEO: Serial hypocrite Mitt Romney lied, pointed fingers in 2002 and got away with it. It’s now 2012: Blather, wince, repeat.

Here's last night's sequel:

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"We know less about Mitt Romney's finances than we do about the surface of Mars now."

"The Romney campaign did not have to prove anything. We're supposed to just trust them... 'You're going to have to take my word for it.'"

"...Mr. Romney lied yesterday when he said he had filed resident tax returns in both Massachusetts and Utah."

"He wants us to take his word for it" about his tax returns.

"Do you think he's telling the truth now? Do you trust him? Do you trust him enough to be comfortable with him as president of the United States?"

No, Rachel, no I don't, nor does Harry Reid.

Now Greg Sargent is reporting that Team Willard cares nothing about what "you people" ordinary Americans need to know, nor what they might think of someone who is as secretive and dishonest as their guy. Their disdain for us and for democracy is appalling:

Romney advisers spelled it all out in interviews with Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei [...]

But now, in what appear to be a strategic leaks designed to mollify Republicans worried about the campaign’s lack of specificity, Romney advisers are explicitly confirming that all of this is part of a grand strategy to only signal general direction to the American people, and that they see specifics as a political peril to be avoided. The campaign is thinks sharing details about what he’d actually do as president would be politically suicidal. As Steve Benen asks: "what does it say about the merit of Romney’s policy agenda if voters are likely to recoil if they heard the whole truth?”

You know what's even worse? Americans will buy into these lies and generalities and still cast their votes for someone about whom they know way too little. And that's a very dangerous thing.

Please read the entire Sargent post here.


VIDEO: Mitt Romney won't discuss his record as Mass. governor. No worries, we've got it covered.


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These are must-sees.

Michael Dukakis on Willard Romney and the terrible mess he left his state in:

"He couldn't possibly have been re-elected."

"It will take Deval Patrick a full two terms to repair this record. He's doing it."

"Romney's record was pathetic."

"He did raise taxes, you know... He raised fees too, but he raised taxes."

"You cannot run for the presidency of the u s without releasing eight, ten years of tax returns... Sooner or later he's gonna have to do it... He's now turning this into a major campaign... He's gonna have to release those taxes."

For the more on the Massachusetts back story, Rachel covers it here: VIDEO: Serial hypocrite Mitt Romney lied, pointed fingers in 2002 and got away with it. It’s now 2012: Blather, wince, repeat.


VIDEO: Serial hypocrite Mitt Romney lied, pointed fingers in 2002 and got away with it. It's now 2012: Blather, wince, repeat.


Via @CreoleLeo (H/t @BrigadierSlog)

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Rachel Maddow nailed it, again. These are must-watch videos.

"What are you hiding?" Indeed.

"And the whole press is going along with them without looking back into Mitt Romney's history..."

"He's guilty of the exact same thing that Harry Reid is doing. Actually a worse variant..."

Romney: "Trust me." Someone help me up. I just fell on the floor laughing.

"Mitt Romney has done. This. Before." Yes. He. Has, Rachel.

"They were lying!" Yes they were, Rachel.

2002, Massachusetts Democratic Party counsel: "We have now learned from his own lips... that Mr. Romney has lied..."

"He was lying." Now they're saying, "Trust us."

"You either need to be very trustworthy in your assertion about these things or you need to let us check for ourselves..."

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Q: "Do you have something to hide?"

Romney: "Ha ha ha! I believe very deeply in my personal privacy..."

"Eight years after that senate race?...  His opponent releasing her tax returns wasn't enough. All of the democrats releasing their tax returns wasn't enough. Getting caught lying about his tax returns wasn't enough, but eight years after he ran against Ted Kennedy for senate when he was running in a totally different race in which Ted Kennedy was irrelevant, a release of Ted Kennedy's tax returns would be the trigger for Romney to release his returns? Why? And if that offer still stood eight years after that election, when Ted Kennedy was totally irrelevant to the race he was in, does that mean the offer still stands now? We asked the Romney campaign today if the offer still stands. so far, we have had no on the record response, but I really hope we will."


PhotOH! 2002 document: Mitt Romney's testimony about returning to Massachusetts for business, board meetings, etc.


Romney - Ballot Commission Testimony Transcript

Thanks to our buddy Andrew Kaczynski at BuzzFeed, we can now see this 2002 legal document for ourselves in which Willard Romney testifies that he was in Massachusetts for “a number of social trips and business trips that brought me back to Massachusetts, board meetings, Thanksgiving and so forth.”

All our posts are here regarding Mitt's unwillingness to produce his tax returns, his propensity for secrecy, and his attitude that he doesn't need to show"you people" who he really is, only who he wants us to think he is.

Here are a couple of screen grabs. Scroll through the document for more:

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Romney campaign in 2002: Opponent "can't claim to be disclosing anything until she discloses the returns of her husband."


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How many times a day do we ask Willard Romney to release his tax returns?

And how many times a day do we catch Willard Romney being a liar and/or a hypocrite? The quote by Eric "Etch A Sketch" Ferhnstrom in the blog headline is from an April 2002 piece at Highbeam Business. Our buddy Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed found it:

But in 2002, during his first run for Governor Romney attacked his opponent Shannon O’Brien for not releasing her husband’s tax returns. [...]

The Romney campaign accused O’Brien, who released her tax returns every year since 1998, of being disingenuous by releasing her but not her husband's returns, a former lobbyist who had worked with Enron.

Yes, oh yes, they asked what she was hiding. Pot. Kettle.

Meantime, Willard is happy to accept money from a billionaire sugar daddy whose Chinese Macau-based casino fortune is being investigated.

I wonder, though... how many years of tax returns does Romney require from his prospective running mates?

And now, because it's election season and we'll be extra busy, we GottaAsk:

Please note: You can chip in to help TPC using the widget below via PayPal or major credit cards.