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Ear to the Ground

UAW to Hit Romney With Bailout Profiteer Accusation

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Posted on Nov 1, 2012
2012Mitt2012 (CC BY 2.0)

The United Auto Workers is expected to file a complaint that accuses Mitt Romney of violating the federal Ethics in Government Act by concealing a multimillion dollar windfall he received in the auto industry bailout, journalist Greg Palast reports.

UAW President Bob King plans to announce that his union and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington have formally taken their concerns to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in Washington, claiming that Romney hid a profit in the range of $15.3 million to $115.0 million in a so-called blind trust held by his wife, Ann.

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

Added King: “While Romney was opposing the rescue of one of the nation’s most important manufacturing sectors, he was building his fortunes with his Delphi investor group, making his fortunes off the misfortunes of others.”

Greg Palast originally reported Romney’s windfall in an article in The Nation magazine last month. The UAW complaint will ask Romney to disclose exactly how much money he made.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Greg Palast at Seniors for a Democratic Society:

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, 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 bail-out 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.

As a result, the shares Singer and Romney bought for just 67 cents are today worth over $30, a 4,000% gain.  Singer’s hedge fund made a profit of $1.27 billion and the Romney’s tens of millions.

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