When Sarah Palin was nominated for the position of Vice President, millions of Americans couldn’t believe that the safety and security of our country might be jeopardized by anyone so ignorant, inexperienced, and intellectually challenged. Having lost the 2008 election, and having quit her job as Governor, Sarah Palin has been free to focus her energies on purely financial pursuits. Sarah Palin has earned millions of dollars from book sales, reality television shows, and speaking engagements. She is estimated to have a net worth of at least $12 Million dollars. “Mercenary” is a person motivated solely by a desire for monetary or material gain.
That certainly describes Sarah Palin. However defenders of Palin would suggest that although motivated by money, she has never HURT anyone. There is no indication that she is responsible for killing any person, only animals.
The same should not be said of Mitt Romney. Palin may have neglected and used her children for financial gain, but she has never, to my knowledge, been responsible for the death or abuse of children. Romney has through his investment and operation of Bain.
The title “Mercenary” is perhaps even more applicable to Mitt Romney. His pursuit of money actually surpasses that of Palin, and his net worth reflects that. Mitt Romney is estimated to have a net worth of at least $255,000,000.00. Of course Mitt Romney keeps his money in a “blind trust”allegedly to avoid a conflict of interest.
Funny thing is that in 1994, while running for Senate against Ted Kennedy, that a blind trust is “an age-old ruse.”It’s not that Romney is a millionaire that bothers most Americans. We all want our President to be smart enough to earn a lot of money. President Obama is estimated to have a net worth of between 2-12 million dollars. For most Americans, any net worth in excess of $1,000,000.00, is more money than they can imagine! What bothers Americans about Romney is HOW he earned his money. Accumulating wealth at the expense of the American workers, whose jobs have been outsourced is offensive, but perhaps not morally reprehensible. Only a mercenary would earn money in a morally reprehensible way. Mitt Romney is a Mercenary.
Yesterday and today the internet is full of stories about Romney funding his initial investment in Bain Capital with money from people in El Salvadore who were responsible for Death Squads. Investigative reporters Ryan Grim and Cole Stangler at the Huffington Post are the latest reporters to take on the story of those investors, following on the heels of reporting by Joseph Tanfani, Melanie Mason and Matea Gold at the Los Angeles Times in mid-July, by Justin Elliott at Salon in January and by Mitchell Zuckoff and Ben Bradlee Jr. at the Boston Globe in August 1994. Over 70,000 people were viciously murdered which became known as “Death Squads.” Here is a brief video summary.
The important point is that Romney raised over 40% of funds for Bain Capital from people and companies in El Salvadore contaminated with “blood money.”
Even worse is the scandal regarding Bain’s ownership of CRC. Through the acquisition of a company known as “CRC,” Bain became the owner of the largest collection of addiction treatment facilities in the United States. Even more offensive than shipping jobs overseas, Bain intended to profit from the treatment of children and the mentally impaired. It was fairly easy, since children and mentally impaired individuals are usually not able to make their grievances known. CRC was to boost revenues by gobbling up other treatment centers, raising fees, and expanding its client base through slick, aggressive marketing, while keeping staffing and other costs relatively low. But that rapid pace of acquisition couldn’t be sustained in the mostly small-scale drug treatment industry alone. So Bain Capital and CRC set their sights on an entirely new treatment arena: the multibillion-dollar “troubled teen” industry, a burgeoning field of mostly locally owned residential schools and wilderness programs then serving, nationwide, about 100,000 kids facing addiction or emotional or behavioral problems. The result was huge profits for Bain, and corresponding neglect and abuse of children and mentally handicapped.
As if the actual revenue generated by Bain from CRC was not sufficiently offensive, John Connaughton and Steven Barnes (with his wife), two of three members of the CRC board, gave a total of half a million dollars to Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Romney. They also each donated the $2,500 maximum directly to his campaign.
Mitt Romney is a mercenary. It’s not offensive that he has a lot of money, it’s what he did to get it that is intolerable. It’s not offensive that he knows people in El Salvador, it’s that he profited from wealth derived from the murder of innocent people in El Salvador. It’s not offensive that he profited from centers designed to care for children suffering from abuse, it’s that money donated to his campaign is money that should have been used to provide essential care to those children. Understanding how Mitt Romney acquired his wealth gives new import to his comment that “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”
Just as funds were cut by Bain for these needy children, Romney suggests that programs designed to care for the poor, “safety-net programs, have “massive overhead.” He said that because of the cost of a huge bureaucracy “very little of the money that’s actually needed by those that really need help, those that can’t care for themselves, actually reaches them.” It’s this attitude that has nothing to do with reality, and everything to do with being a mercenary. The truth is that 90-99 % of the dollars allocated to safety-net programs do reach the intended beneficiaries.
Romney has been the direct beneficiary of money derived from Death Squads in El Salvador and child abuse and neglect of CRC. Surely people who cast their ballots in the Republican primary didn’t know about the source of Romney’s money. Surely the Republicans at the RNC won’t nominate Romney to be their next candidate for our next Commander in Chief?! American voters refused to support the ticket with a mercenary running for Vice President it in 2008. We surely won’t support the ticket with a mercenary running for President in 2012.