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Mitt Romney's "Quiet" Contributors: Neil Cavuto Ignores the Billionaire Candidate's Connections to Bain Capital, Carlyle Group, KKR and Clear Channel

Reported by Marie Therese - April 5, 2007 -

Tuesday (4-3-07) on Your World host Neil Cavuto interviewed Pete Snyder of New Media Strategies, a company that has just been taken over by Meredith Corporation. The topic? The $23 million in campaign contributions raised by Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney since January. Snyder was supposed to throw light on the "quiet" contributors to Romney's campaign, but the segment was nothing more than a smokescreen, a lot of doubletalk designed to give Cavuto the chance to state that Romney's "quiet" sources of money are wealthy Mormons. However, a little research shows that Mr. Romney is worth billions and has deep connections to companies whose holdings read like a who's-who of the corporate power elite. Mr. Romney is buddy-buddy with the same corporate fat cats who funded the Bush administration.

Let's start with the big one - Bain Capital, a private equity firm that Mitt Romney founded in 1984 together with Thomas Coleman Andrews and Eric Kriss.

According to WhiteHouseforSale.org, Thomas Coleman Andrews, now deceased, was one of the original founders of the John Birch Society. For those of you too young to remember, the John Birch Society was a rabid fringe right-wing group founded by twelve men in 1958, under the leadership of candy mogul Robert Welch. The Birchers believed many of the same things today's neocons believe, i.e., that liberals are secret traitors to their country because they advocate a nefarious form of socialist collectivism that will eventually supplant good old free market capitalism, the United Nations is bad and must be brought down, the government is too big and the income tax is illegal.

Regnery Books published the first JBS writings. Today that same company publishes the likes of Ann Coulter, Dinesh D'Souza, Steve Forbes, Bernard Goldberg, David Horowitz, Laura Ingraham, Wayne La Pierre, Mark Levin, David Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, Michelle Malkin, Richard Miniter, John O'Neill (of Swift Boat shame), Bill Sammon, and many, many others. (Their author list reads like the FOX News guest list!)

Eric Kriss, Romney's other Bain Capital partner, served as Secretary of Administration and Finance during Romney's stint as Governor of Massachusetts. He is an avid blues musician who has recorded and composed. Additionally he is very tech savvy and was responsible for Massachusetts' adoption of IT open standards. According to Wikipedia, Kriss also was CEO of MediQual Systems (1993-98), a healthcare information company, and founder/CEO of MediVision (1983-1989), a network of eye surgery centers.

Willard "Mitt" Romney Romney was born March 12, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan. He is the son of former Michigan Governor, Housing and Urban Development Secretary, American Motors chairman, and Presidential candidate George W. Romney and unsuccessful 1970 US Senate candidate Lenore Romney, and a great great grandson of Latter-day Saint leader and apostle Parley P. Pratt. He is a half second cousin of the animator Don Bluth. (Source: Wikipedia).

Romney's equity firm Bain Capital has its fingers in a whole lot of corporate pies. According to its own website it consists of several different divisions:

Absolute Return Capital (ARC) is the global macro affiliate of Bain Capital. ARC manages assets in fixed income, equity, commodity and currency markets to produce attractive risk-adjusted returns while maintaining low correlation to traditional investments.

Bain Capital Private Equity has raised nine funds and invested in more than 200 companies. The private equity activity includes leveraged buyouts and growth capital in a wide variety of industries.

Bain Capital (Europe) Limited, an affiliate of Bain Capital, LLC, is dedicated to investment opportunities in the European market. Based in London and Munich, and building off Bain Capital's successful European investment track record since 1987, our experienced multi-national staff pursues a wide variety of investment opportunities.

Bain Capital Ventures is the venture capital arm of Bain Capital, focused on seed through late-stage growth equity investing in software, hardware, information, healthcare, and technology-driven business services companies.

Brookside Capital is the public equity affiliate of Bain Capital. Brookside's primary objective is to invest in securities of publicly traded companies that offer opportunities to realize substantial long-term capital appreciation.

Sankaty Advisors, LLC, the credit affiliate of Bain Capital, LLC, is one of the nation's leading private managers of high yield debt obligations. With approximately $13 billion assets, Sankaty invests in a wide variety of securities, including leveraged loans, high-yield bonds, stressed debt, distressed debt, mezzanine debt, structured products and equity investments. Through a variety of funds, Sankaty Advisors has the ability to invest in a company's capital structure at every level from secured debt to equity, and can also provide capital to growing companies with unique financing needs.

Recently Bain Capital joined Thomas H. Lee Partners to purchase Clear Channel Communications, the media juggernaut whose 1000+ stations carry Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Dr. Laura Schlesinger as well as a few progressives like Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz and Thom Hartmann.

Must be nice for this ex-Governor to reap profit from his very own media conglomerate! One wonders how the management types at Clear Channel will feel when one of their talking heads takes pot shots at the "boss"?

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Bain Capital manages a diverse portfolio, ranging from Domino's Pizza to Staples. The firm can now add to its roster arts-and-crafts retailer Michaels Stores, which accepted a $6 billion bid from Bain and Blackstone. Two companies owned by Bain have gone public in recent months: fast-food chain Burger King and pharmaceutical firm Warner Chilcott. Earlier this year, Bain agreed to acquire Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse for $2.06 billion. It also agreed to pay $3 billion for Texas Instruments' sensors-and-controls business. Bain raised $8 billion for its ninth fund in April, along with a $2 billion co-investment fund, more than twice the size of its 2004 fund. It is part of an investor group buying hospital operator HCA for $21 billion, one of the largest buyouts ever, and more recently, struck another big deal with Thomas H. Lee to buy Clear Channel Communications for $18.7 billion, plus $8 billion in debt. Bain was also part of a group — including the founders of Outback Steakhouse — that just bought parent company OSI Restaurant Partners for about $3 billion. In 2005, Bain joined others to buy SunGard Data Systems for $10.8 billion and was involved in the purchases of Toys "R" Us and Dunkin' Brands.

HCA (Health Corporation of America) is the troubled health provider founded by the father of Sen. Bill Frist, former Senate Majority Leader and eminent surgeon who was able to diagnose Terri Schiavo as "conscious" by watching a videotape. There were some questions at the time about Bill Frist's sale of a large block of HCA stock just before the price tanked. The HCA deal was concluded in tandem with KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Merrill Lynch Global Private equity. KKR is the firm that invented the concept of the "leveraged buyout". Remember Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street? His "greed is good" speech fits KKR like a glove.

Bain Capital joined with the Carlyle Group and Thomas H. Lee Partners to finalize the purchase of Dunkin' Brands, which includes Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin Robbins. Yum, yum. Lots of fat, cholesterol and preservatives. This is a real win-win for the ex-Governor. Dunkin' Donuts, Baskin Robbins and Burger King contribute to increased diabetes and the doctors at HCA rake in the moolah treating patients with those complaints,

And if you want a really interesting dichotomy, take Warner Chilcott, an Irish firm that markets Loestrin24FE and FemconFE - both BIRTH CONTROL pills!!! Just how does Mr. Romney square his investments in Warner Chilcott with his recent "conversion" to the pro-life point of view?

COMMENT

As I noted at the beginning of this post, Neil Cavuto and his guest Pete Snyder never once mentioned any of these multiple connections between Mitt Romney's company, the Carlyle Group, KKR and Thomas H. Lee. Partners, all of which are potential sources of corporate contributions to the Romney campaign coffers.

In addition to the companies already mentioned, Bain has now or has had in the past fiscal relationships with Fleetcor, Huntsman International Holdings, School Specialty, Inc., Unisource Worldwide, Inc., Keystone Automotive Operations, Inc., Innophos Holdings, Inc. and AMC Entertainemnt & Loew's Cineplex Entertainment.

When Dick Cheney agreed to run for Vice President he reluctantly sold all of his Halliburton shares.

Bain Capital's holdings dwarf Cheney's. It seems that, in the event Mitt Romney becomes the GOP nominee, he will need to quickly unload a lot of companies in order to avoid both clear and implied conflicts of interest involving everything from education to eateries.

From the Bain Capital website (better-known names are in bold face), a few other companies in the Bain constellation:

Accuride
AEMS
Alliance Laundry
Anthony Crane
Artisan Entertainment
Bocchi Laboratories
Brookstone
ChipPac
Claricom Holdings (Staples)
DIC Entertainment
Domino's Pizza
Duane Reade
Eastman (Office Depot)
EduServ Technologies
Epoch
Epsilon Data Management
Experian Corporation
Frucor Beverage
FTD
Gilbert Engineering
GS Roofing
GT Bicycles
ICS
KB Toys
Kranson Industries
Leiner
Masland (Lear)
Mattress Discounters

Midwest of Cannon Falls
Modus Media
Oacis Healthcare Systems
OneSource
Physio Control (Guidance)
Preferred Technical Group (Echlin)
Professional Services Industries
ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG
Rivus Internet Group (Stream)
Sealy Corporation
Shoppers Drug Mart

Sleep Country Canada
Small Fry Snack Foods
Therma-Wave
US Synthetic
Vetco Gray
Walco International
Waters