Bain Capital, the vulture capitalism firm where Mitt Romney worked for over twenty years, is packed full of stories. We'll probably be reading news stories about new findings from Romney's time at Bain up through election day. And some stories that seemed tamped down will spring back up again and again. For example, Mother Jones reinvestigates a Huffington Post story that claims Romney led Bain toward a huge investment in a firm that Republicans won't be happy to hear about:
Earlier this year, Mitt Romney nearly landed in a politically perilous controversy when the Huffington Post reported that in 1999 the GOP presidential candidate had been part of an investment group that invested $75 million in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that has been attacked by anti-abortion groups for disposing aborted fetuses collected from family planning clinics. Coming during the heat of the GOP primaries, as Romney tried to sell South Carolina Republicans on his pro-life bona fides, the revelation had the potential to damage the candidate's reputation among values voters already suspicious of his shifting position on abortion.
But Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney founded, tamped down the controversy. The company said Romney left the firm in February 1999 to run the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and likely had nothing to with the deal. The matter never became a campaign issue. But documents filed by Bain and Stericycle with the Securities and Exchange Commission—and obtained by Mother Jones—list Romney as an active participant in the investment. And this deal helped Stericycle, a company with a poor safety record, grow, while yielding tens of millions of dollars in profits for Romney and his partners. The documents—one of which was signed by Romney—also contradict the official account of Romney's exit from Bain.
There's a danger in the left pushing this story too hard, of course—the more you talk about abortions, the angrier evangelicals get about abortion. But the fact that Bain covered up for Romney is pretty damning, and those angry evangelicals had better start demanding some explanations from Romney on this one. This is basically an evangelical Republican nightmare, and the sort of thing that Michele Bachmann was warning her teabaggy base about during the Republican primaries.