Shorter Question Everything
Will Sandy be enough to blot this out? Doubtful. But it’s all starting to pour out now. Sleazy tax dodges, lies, nasty videos, voter suppression. Just the Romneys at work.
Scaring the auto industry
• Collapse – Obama for America TV Ad
• Joe Biden unloaded on Mitt Romney for his Jeep lies and said he will ‘say anything, absolutely anything, to win, it seems. But he can’t run from the truth.’
• Romney surrogate Marsha Blackburn fumbles, can’t explain why Romney is lying about Jeep. Asked on MSNBC’s Jansing & Co if Romney was lying about Jeep moving production to China, Blackburn said, “Oh, well, I don’t know. I haven’t talked with the campaign staff about that.”
• There’s basic dishonesty and then there’s f-you dishonesty–dishonesty so blatant, so consciously abusive of facts that everyone knows, that it deserves a category of its own. Kato Keilin: dishonesty. O.J.: f-you dishonesty. Romney’s new ad about Jeeps and Italy is f-you dishonest.
• A Republican congresswoman accused the Obama administration of promulgating regulations that are undermining job creation at an auto manufacturer that has been defunct since 1988. She was responding to a question on Monday about Mitt Romney’s dishonest claims regarding Jeep moving its production overseas. During an appearance on MSNBC, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) dodged a question about Romney’s debunked Jeep claims and instead attacked the Obama administration for issuing regulations that are harming workers at American Motors Corporation, a company once headed by George Romney. AMC was sold to Chrysler during the Ronald Reagan administration and its brands were then discontinued
• Former President Bill Clinton told an Orlando, Fla., audience that Mitt Romney’s vague economic plan is part of a scheme to get elected, then steal credit for President Obama’s coming recovery.
Another secret Mittens tape
We may now know why Mitt and Ann Romney have been so reluctant to appear on late night talk shows.
In secretly recorded audio published Monday by Mother Jones, taken from a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser the couple attended in March, Mitt strangely contradicts a tale he and his wife have been telling since 2008, reported to be a “favorite family story” of the Romneys.
Speaking to supporters at the Irvine, California home of private equity fund owner David Horowitz, Romney responded to remarks about Ann when he explained:
David, you mentioned Ann, and the fact that she insisted that I get in this race. That is the truth. I wanted to talk it over with her. And every time I’d say, ‘Let’s talk about the pros and cons,’ she’d say, ‘Talk to the hand, talk to the hand. We’re just doing this. We’ve got to do it.’ And so she absolutely insisted that I get in this because she was convinced that I was the only one that had the capacity to beat President Obama and then to get the country on the right track.
However, Romney’s claim about Ann’s never-gonna-question-it resolve appears to contradict what the couple has been telling audiences since 2008 — the most recent instance of which came during an interview Ann sat for last month with NBC host Jay Leno.
“Four years ago I made a video tape,” Ann told Leno. “On the video tape, I looked into the camera and I said, ‘Mitt, this is for you, sweetheart. I’m never doing this again,’ I showed it to him and he looked at it and he said, ‘You know, Ann, you say that after ever pregnancy.’ Which is true.”
Ever since I revealed Mitt Romney’s 47 percent rant, tips and tapes have come through the transom—including this and this. And another source who asked not to be identified just sent me an audio recording of a private Mitt Romney fundraiser from earlier this year. At this event, Romney didn’t decry half of the nation, but he and Ann Romney each expressed disdain for President Barack Obama, with the Republican presidential candidate asserting that Obama considers businesspeople “a necessary evil” and his wife suggesting that the president was not a “grown-up.”
…After being introduced, the Republican candidate noted that he had been pushed into his second campaign for president by his wife:
David, you mentioned Ann, and the fact that she insisted that I get in this race. That is the truth. I wanted to talk it over with her. And every time I’d say, “Let’s talk about the pros and cons,” she’d say, “Talk to the hand, talk to the hand. We’re just doing this. We’ve got to do it.” And so she absolutely insisted that I get in this because she was convinced that I was the only one that had the capacity to beat President Obama.
Romney then asked Ann to say a few words, and she explained that she had been so insistent because she did not consider Obama to be a “grown-up”:
You know—the ship’s going over the waterfall, it’s almost there. And we look what’s happening in Greece, and we look what’s happening around the world, we look what’s happening internationally. This is a frightening world, and we need a grown-up, and we need someone that understands the economy. So I’m glad…Mitt is grown up to you all.
You can listen to the full tape here.
• Is this what Harry Reid (also a Mormon) knew about?: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney used a loophole to “rent” the Mormon church’s tax exemption status and defer paying taxes for 15 years, according to a new report. Tax returns obtained by Bloomberg News through a Freedom of Information Act request indicated that Romney set up a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) in June 1996 just before Congress cracked down on the loophole in 1997.
• Charitable Remainder Unitrust, or “CRUT”: When Mitt Romney has come under fire for employing aggressive tax avoidance strategies that have reduced his federal tax rate to one lower than most middle-class Americans pay, his defenders have often pointed to his generous charitable donations as proof that he has contributed his fair share. The argument has never been especially compelling, given that a lot of his charitable contributions went to his own family foundation, which then gave money to such worthy causes as the Heritage Foundation or the George W. Bush library. But today Bloomberg Bloomberg added a new wrinkle to the story, reporting that Romney has taken advantage of a complicated—and now mostly outlawed—charitable trust to defer and avoid paying capital gains taxes on some of his earnings.
Awful Romney’s are awful
• Boy: Ann Romney’s talk about the nation needing “a grown-up” strikes me as troubling. Indeed, it rankles because of the larger pattern — Ann Romney just this month compared the president to an obstinate child; Josh Romney said the same thing; and during one of the debates, Mitt Romney also compared Obama to his children. I try not to be overly sensitive about these things, but something is amiss.
• The Boston Globe’s editorial board this morning said President Obama deserves a second term, opting not to back the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.
• Romney: “Some Gays Are Actually Having Children… Not Right on Paper… Not Right in Fact”
Voter Suppression/Vote Fraud
• Nearly a month after a Pennsylvania court suspended the law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls this November, reports of misinformation on the voter ID law are still rolling in. The latest misleading claim comes from CBS Pittburgh radio station KDKA, which is running an ad claiming that voters will need photo identification to go to the polls on November 6th, despite the fact that while voters may be asked to show ID, it is not required to vote.
…A joint investigation by One Wisconsin Now and theGrio revealed the name of the family foundation that purchased the “voter fraud” Wisconsin billboards in 2010 and 2012. And while it’s not known whether the same foundation also bought the boards in Ohio, it’s clear that the web of “dark money” funding not just anti “voter fraud” campaigns, but also more aggressive tactics aimed at overwhelmingly Democratic voters in key swing states, has deep roots in Wisconsin.
One Wisconsin Now and theGrio discovered that a little-known non-profit, the Einhorn Family Foundation, based in Milwaukee, was behind the 2010 and 2012 Milwaukee area billboard campaigns. The Einhorn Foundation, led by the family patriarch, Steven Einhorn, is just one of a constellation of conservative organizations that go beyond Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers behind much of the tea party funding, who have become familiar to those watching the rise of “dark money” in American elections since the Citizens United decision in the U.S. Supreme Court.
…An even larger entity, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Family Foundation, has spent close to $500 million since 2001, on everything from conservative think tanks to voting-related groups and even a right wing media watchdog, which has spread the myth of rampant voter fraud to conservative blogs and news outlets.
…In 2010, the Einhorn Family Foundation received $10,000 from the foundation “to support a public education project” under the Bradley Foundation’s “civic growth and prosperity” giving category.
The foundation is led by Steve Einhorn, who along with his wife, gave Gov. Scott Walker $25,000 during the recall campaign.
• California Dems say hundreds of voter registrations were flipped: After contacting more than 350 voters sampled at random, a California newspaper says it found 30 people in a single county whose party affiliation was switched to Republican without their consent. Reporters with The Press-Enterprise explained on Sunday that they began interviewing voters after noting a huge surge of Republican voter registrations, including about 4,800 people who’d changed their affiliation to Republican.
• Mitt Romney’s campaign has been training poll watchers in Wisconsin with highly misleading — and sometimes downright false — information about voters’ rights. The training also encouraged volunteers to deceive election workers and the public about who they were associated with. [PDF]
• Birther-Linked Super PAC Runs Islamaphobic Ad Against Michigan Candidate: In a stunning appeal to Islamaphobia, a group linked to former Swiftboater and birther conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi has launched a smear attack ad on a Muslim-American Congressional candidate. The spot warns that Dr. Syed Taj, the Democratic nominee in Michigan’s 11th Congressional district, wants to “advance Muslim power in America.” Freedom’s Defense Fund, a right-wing PAC that has spent at least $150,000 on ads in support of Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R) despite his comments that victims of “legitimate rape” are unlikely to become pregnant, reported spending at least $30,000 on ads against Taj and for his opponent Republican Kerry Bentivolio, a Tea Party activist and Santa Clause impersonator.
• FOX’s Sean Hannity exploits the family of a SEAL who died at Benghazi, Charles Woods, father of slain SEAL Tyrone Woods, and three of his other children. As much as I sympathize with the Woods family and their understandable antipathy toward how the Obama administration handled the Benghazi attacks, they’re hardly in a position to know much more than anyone else about what happened. Nevertheless, Fox has been trotting out this family on an almost daily basis – and using them to attack the Obama administration. That’s right. Using them. Whether or not the family minds being used this way is no excuse for an outfit that pretends to be a cable news network.
• Libya Warnings Were Plentiful, but Unspecific: Interviews with American officials and an examination of State Department documents do not reveal the kind of smoking gun Republicans have suggested would emerge in the attack’s aftermath such as a warning that the diplomatic compound would be targeted and that was overlooked by administration officials.
• Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa promotes new unemployment report conspiracy; suggested on Monday that the U.S. Department of Labor might delay releasing its October jobs report to help President Barack Obama.
• The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a proposed “fetal personhood” initiative in Oklahoma without comment, upholding the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s ruling.