By Bill Scher
July 13, 2012 - 7:19am ET
MORNING MESSAGE: Where's The Media on Bain?
OurFuture.org's Dave Johnson: "Back when Bill Clinton was President there was a huge media-swarm controversy because a decade before her husband was elected Hillary Clinton had made $100,000 over ten months by investing in cattle futures. Now, skip forward to 2012. Report after report circulates about a candidate for President who owns a secret company in Bermuda, Swiss and Cayman Islands bank accounts and an IRA containing as much as $100 million -- and who may have filed SEC documents containing false information (a felony). Huge media swarm this time? Not so much ... How many reporters has each major news organization assigned to find out if he lied on his SEC forms? ONE news organization did report this story -- well, actually they reported information originally uncovered by a progressive website and a progressive magazine."
Romney campaign on defensive after report on his involvement with Bain after 1999. NYT: "Proving his presence at Bain between 1999 and 2002 would create a direct link to what Mr. Obama’s team describes as the outsourcing of American jobs ... Mr. Obama’s campaign seized on a new report in The Boston Globe about Securities and Exchange Commission documents showing that Mr. Romney was listed as the chief executive, president and owner of Bain Capital during that period."
Releasing his tax returns would clear this up. W. Post: "For the Romney campaign, the calculation is complex, as his advisers are weighing the benefits of transparency against the potential problems he could face should the documents reveal — or even appear to reveal — that he has gamed the tax code ... Obama campaign aides said additional returns could be an opposition researcher’s gold mine, providing new details about Romney’s Swiss bank account, his holding in a Bermuda corporation and the scope of his partnership profits from Bain Capital. They also said that more disclosures could show whether Romney has conflicts of interest with tax policies he is proposing."
Republican press Romney to open the books. Politico: "'He needs to get way out in front of it, explain it with detail No. 1 to 100,' said former Mike Huckabee manager Chip Saltsman ... Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist who worked for Jon Huntsman during the primary, said the controversy could be solved if Romney were to release his tax returns, acknowledging that no one wants to put their financials out there but that it has become necessary."
Romney talked of his involvement with Bain in 2002. HuffPost: "Mitt Romney's repeated claim that he played no part in executive decision-making related to Bain Capital after 1999 is false, according to Romney's own testimony in June 2002, in which he admitted to sitting on the board of the LifeLike Co., a dollmaker that was a Bain investment during the period."
Republican Govs Resist Expanding Health Care
Partisan divide among governors over implementing Affordable Care Act. USA Today: "A 50-state survey by USA TODAY shows only Republican governors are refusing to expand Medicaid and only Democrats are vowing to expand it following the court's ruling that states cannot be penalized for failing to enlarge the program. More than half the governors are undecided ... Without broad action by states, millions more Americans will remain uninsured, hospitals will face continuing demands for uncompensated care, and insurers may be forced to raise premiums."
Political risk in trying to rebuff reform. NYT: "A battle is brewing here in Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott took to national television soon after the ruling to announce that he would reject the expansion. Advocates for the poor and some players in the health care industry — especially hospitals, a powerful political lobby — intend to push back. Hospital associations around the country have already signed off on cuts to reimbursement rates under the health care law on the assumption that the new paying customers they would gain, partly through the Medicaid expansion, would more than cover their losses."
Geithner Flagged Libor Problems
Geithner proposed Libor reform in 2008. NYT: "In 2008, Barclays had several conversations with New York Fed officials about the matter. Mr. Geithner then reached out to top British authorities to discuss issues with the interest rate, which is set in London. In an e-mail to his counterparts, he outlined reforms to the system, suggesting that British authorities 'strengthen governance and establish a credible reporting procedure' and 'eliminate incentive to misreport,' according to the documents."
Dems press AG Holder to investigate Libor. Reuters: "The senators, including Carl Levin, Jack Reed and Dianne Feinstein, said investigators should also look into allegations that U.S. and foreign bank regulators may have been aware for years of wrongdoing..."
Senate to Vote On Campaign Finance Disclosure
Senate to vote on campaign finance disclosure on Monday. The Hill: "Democrats had revised the legislation in an effort to attract Republican support but so far not a single GOP senator has signed on. [Sen. Sheldon] Whitehouse has been in negotiations with [Sen. John] McCain in an effort to secure his backing but has so far unsuccessfully. McCain said he will not endorse it until it is revised to cut out favorable treatment for pro-Democratic unions. This demand has perplexed Whitehouse who says the requirement on organizations spending more than $10,000 to disclose their donors applies to corporations and unions alike."
Benjamin Sachs proposes preventing corporations from using public pension funds on political campaigns, in NYT oped: "Pension plans would determine the number of employees that object to financing corporate political spending. They would then negotiate 'opt out' rights with the corporations in which they invest. These corporations would calculate the percentage of their annual expenditures that go to politics and promise to return to the pension plan an amount equal to the objecting employee’s pro rata share of the corporation’s political budget."
Food Stamp Cuts In Limbo
GOP leadership bottles up farm bill with deep cuts to food stamps. Politico: "...GOP leaders are worried about a messy floor fight over divisive regional policies months before voters head to the ballot boxes. Odd couples could abound: The far left and far right would likely vote against the bill on the floor, the former thinking the bill cuts too much from food stamps, the latter insisting cuts aren’t deep enough. There’s also division over how much the government should be subsidizing the farm industry and whether it should control commodity prices ... If the House can’t pass a bill, then it would go into negotiations with the Senate with a weak negotiating stance."
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