It seems Republican nominee Mitt Romney still cannot shake the demons of the auto bailout he opposed, and a new one is looking like it is coming to haunt him just days before the General Election.
The biggest auto workers' union and several government and public interest groups are planning to file an ethics complaint against Romney, alleging “serious conflicts of interest” and calling for the presidential nominee to release information about what they say are millions he made from the industry bailout.
United Automobile Workers, or UAW, on Wednesday announced that it is calling upon the Office of Government Ethics to investigate Romney for alleged noncompliance with the Ethics in Government Act. They also want that authority to force the nominee to either “disclose his investments or divest them.”
The UAW will be joined by groups such as Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, People for the American Way and The Social Equity Group – to name a few – in sending the letter of complaint.
A press release from the union stated that the groups believe the former governor of Massachusetts' undisclosed stock holdings pose serious conflicts of interest.
UAW President Bob King said Americans have the right to know about conflicts of interest surrounding Romney, inclusive of the alleged profits his family made from the auto rescue.
“It’s time for Governor Romney to disclose or divest,” King said in a statement. “While Romney was opposing the rescue of one of the nation’s most important manufacturing sectors, he was building his fortunes with his Delphi investor group, making his fortunes off the misfortunes of others.”
An email to the Romney campaign for a comment on the issue has not been replied to yet.
It is not the first time that Romney has run into controversy surrounding the bailout. Democrats have hammered him in campaign ads for opposing the bailout and for the 2008 op-ed piece “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
Romney’s approximately $15.3 million in profit from the bailout was also reported last month by The Nation. That report also stated that some of the Republican nominee’s Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion from the same bailout.
“Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical — more than 3,000 percent on their investment,” The Nation’s investigative piece stated.
That article went on to explain: “It all starts with Delphi Automotive, a former General Motors subsidiary whose auto parts remain essential to GM’s production lines. No bailout of GM — or Chrysler, for that matter — could have been successful without saving Delphi. So, in addition to making massive loans to automakers in 2009, the federal government sent, directly or indirectly, more than $12.9 billion to Delphi — and to the hedge funds that had gained control over it.
One of the hedge funds profiting from that bailout — $1.28 billion so far — is Elliott Management, directed by
Paul Singer. According to The Wall Street Journal, Singer has given more to support GOP candidates — $2.3 million — than anyone else on Wall Street this election season. His personal giving is matched by that of his colleagues at Elliott; collectively, they have donated $3.4 million to help elect Republicans this season, while giving only $1,650 to Democrats. And Singer is influential with the GOP presidential candidate; he’s not only an informal adviser but, according to the Journal, his support was critical in helping push Representative Paul Ryan onto the ticket.”
The UAW now claims that in his Public Financial Disclosure Report in June, Romney did not reveal gains from the bailout to the Office of Government Ethics. The union claims this is because Romney “did not disclose the underlying holdings of his private equity and limited partnership funds.”
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