Romney/Booker/Clinton vs. GST Steelworkers
Let’s just get something clear about the Obama ad attacking Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital record. It cannot be misinterpreted: IT IS ENTIRELY ABOUT WHAT BAIN DID TO GST STEEL. Check it out on Politico, which accurately captions the ad, “Targeting Romney’s involvement in the acquistion of GST Steel, the commercial shows workers at a shuttered plant pinning Mitt Romney and Bain Capital with the blame.”
So, how did the ad’s only point, really — Romney/Bain vs GST Steel — become an attack on private equity? How did the mainstream media magically make the issue something no Obama operative or anyone else suggested, rather than “Bain destroyed GST Steel and not only profited from that destruction but also ripped off the company’s pension fund, forcing taxpayers to make up the difference.” The case against Romney and Bain is rock solid, by the way, fully documented in a January 2012 Reuters report that the mainstream and even the quasi-left media (MSNBC, I’m talking about you) has ignored. Politifact rated the ad’s charges “mostly true.”
Well, it helps to bring on the Wall Street Democrats with their eyes on campaign funds, consulting fees, and their many good friends in the private equity business. Faced with that ad, an attack on one instance of Bain Capital’s conduct, Cory Booker said this:
“… I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity. … I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people are investing in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, it ain’t—they’ve done a lot to support businesses, to grow businesses …”
But the ad wasn’t an attack on the overall record of Bain Capital. It attacked one thing, the well-documented rape of GST Steel and especially GST Steel workers.
Booker was echoed by Ed Rendell and Deval Patrick, all hammering Obama either for attacking private equity in general or Bain Capital’s record in general, even though he’s done neither and they know that. Now Bill Clinton joins and amplifies the charade, pretending the issue is private equity in general — “I don’t think that we ought to get into the position where we say this is bad work. This is good work.” — rather than Romney and Bain screwing over GST workers.
These Wall Street Democrats know exactly what they’re doing (and who they’re serving). They’re shifting the focus away from a specific instance where Bain decided a company was dying and employed a standard private equity strategy so it could profit from the demise, extracting the company’s remaining assets, its retirement and healthcare savings and leaving taxpayers with the carcass. Bob Somerby summarizes the Reuters report as follows:
Bain was taking large profits and fees from GST even as the company limped toward its eventual death. Most strikingly, Bain was looting GST’s pension fund, according to the Reuters report.
“The U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp…determined in 2002 that GS [Bain] had underfunded its pension by $44 million,” Reuters reported, four months ago. Reuters noted that the PBGC, a federal entity, had to bail out the underfunded pensions, though workers still lost large chunks of their pensions due to Romney’s looting.
In fact pensions were underfunded by up to $400 a month. Anyway, all this came out well-documented by Reuters in January. The plutocratic media, surprise surprise, disappeared it. Same with MSNBC, with the honorable exception of Ed Schultz, who summarized the Bain story back in January:
In 1993, Bain Capital became the majority shareholder of a Kansas City steel mill. Now according to Reuters, less than a decade later, the mill was padlocked and some 750 people lost their jobs. Workers were denied the severance pay and health care insurance that they had been promised. And their pension benefits were cut by as much as $400 a month.
Meanwhile in January, the NY Times, MSNBC and Rachel Maddow in particular were disinfotaining us with countless hours of ‘dog on top of Romney’s car’ coverage. The priorities and values of plutocracy, oh yes, and even more funny cuz they think they’re helping out Obama.