One more reason for Mitt Romney to fire up the jet ski and further pollute Lake Winnipesaukee in that celebratory way of his: The publication this week of two news reports that are extremely damaging both to his image and his campaign.
First, the articles.
Number 1, compliments of Vanity Fair:
Where the Money Lives
For all Mitt Romney’s touting of his business record, when it comes to his own money the Republican nominee is remarkably shy about disclosing numbers and investments. Nicholas Shaxson delves into the murky world of offshore finance, revealing loopholes that allow the very wealthy to skirt tax laws, and investigating just how much of Romney’s fortune (with $30 million in Bain Capital funds in the Cayman Islands alone?) looks pretty strange for a presidential candidate.
Number 2, compliments of the Associated Press:
Assets offshore raise Romney wealth questions
For nearly 15 years, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s financial portfolio has included an offshore company that remained invisible to voters as his political star rose.
Based in Bermuda, Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors Ltd. was not listed on any of Romney’s state or federal financial reports. The company is among several Romney holdings that have not been fully disclosed, including one that recently posted a $1.9 million earning — suggesting he could be wealthier than the nearly $250 million estimated by his campaign.
The omissions were permitted by state and federal authorities overseeing Romney’s ethics filings, and he has never been cited for failing to disclose information about his money. But Romney’s limited disclosures deprive the public of an accurate depiction of his wealth and a clear understanding of how his assets are handled and taxed, according to experts in private equity, tax and campaign finance law.
(Full disclosure: The hardskimming staff has not read the pieces in their entirety, but it appears the two are independently reported. Or at least neither of the reports cited the other.)
So why the celebration? Two reasons.
One, who the hell is reading (or writing about) these reports during a holiday week? (Aside from us, not to get technical about it.)
Two, via Mediaite:
Did Vanity Fair Prematurely Launch The Obama Campaign’s Strongest Attacks On Romney?
An extensive report in Vanity Fair magazine investigating the Mitt Romney’s financial history—including the Republican presidential candidate’s family’s finances and his notorious offshore accounts—is significant for two reasons. One, it signals the beginning of the inevitable and specific attacks on Romney’s wealth and financial transactions which have always tested well among independent voters. Second, by publishing these attacks well before the period in the campaign when they could be the most damaging, Vanity Fair may have undercut President Barack Obama‘s campaign. The timing of this story may be as significant as the story itself.
Yes, for more reasons than one.