Friday, July 6, 2012

A Curious Quiet And A Potential Irony

I try to keep up on issues, so yesterday when I came upon the "Where Are the Pro-Life Reactions to the Romney/Stericycle Story?", I felt chagrin that I had no idea what Stericycle is.  A quick click revealed that Stericycle is"a medical-waste disposal firm that has been attacked by anti-abortion groups for disposing aborted fetuses collected from family planning clinics."

The Argus Leader mentions the company in a June article "Where recalled products go to die." There seem to be no articles about Romney, Bain, or pro-life protests.

Bain Capital invested $75 million in Stericycle in 1999 near the end of Romney's tenure with Bain.  Romney, was, however, involved with the purchase:
The document also states that Romney "may be deemed to share voting and dispositive power with respect to" 2,116,588 shares of common stock in Stericycle "in his capacity as sole shareholder" of the Bain entities that invested in the company. That was about 11 percent of the outstanding shares of common stock. (The whole $75 million investment won Bain, Romney, and their partners 22.64 percent of the firm's stock—the largest bloc among the firm's owners.) The original copy of the filing was signed by Romney.
Another SEC document filed November 30, 1999, by Stericycle also names Romney as an individual who holds "voting and dispositive power" with respect to the stock owned by Bain. If Romney had fully retired from the private equity firm he founded, why would he be the only Bain executive named as the person in control of this large amount of Stericycle stock?
Romney may have a rather easy out; in 1999 he was probably pro-choice.  He claimed to be choice in his 1994 race with Ted Kennedy, and he claimed to be pro-choice in 2002.

On the other hand, he still cashes checks from Bain.  According to his financial disclosure form:
[Romney's] most lucrative assets in 2011 were his investments in Bain Capital. Nineteen different Bain investments are worth a total of at least $4.5 million, but are likely far more valuable because two of those assets are simply described as worth more than $1 million. Federal disclosure rules do not require candidates to list the precise value of assets or earnings, instead relying on broad ranges of wealth.
Although intended to be rhetorical, thequestion about why pro-lifers are quiet is valid. The irony lover in me, however, has a few different questions:
  1. Do Romney's Bain investments still include Stericycle?
  2. When Romney changed his position on abortion, did he return any money he made from Stericycle?
  3. If not, are we experiencing an election in which a pro-life candidate is going to use money he made indirectly from abortion related profits to attack a pro-choice president?

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