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Morning Examiner: Why is Obama granting amnesty to a Wall Street felon?

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Yesterday, The Boston Globe attacked Mitt Romney with a front-page story purporting to show that Romney lied about leaving Bain Capital in 1999. The Globe story claims to have uncovered new Securities and Exchange Commission documents showing that Romney had managerial control over Bain through 2002. The story would be devastating to the Romney campaign if it was true. But it’s not.

First, there is nothing new in the Globe story. Liberal bloggers at Mother Jones and Talking Points Memo have been circulating the same documents for weeks. Both Fortune Magazine and The Washington Post already debunked the claim that these documents show Romney had any control over the firm.

So why is Romney listed as CEO of Bain Capital if he wasn’t running the company. George Mason University law school corporate law professor J.W. Verret explains:

The Boston Globe seems to be confused about the SEC filings. They refer to Bain Capital VI, an investment distinct from what we commonly know as “Bain Capital.” Saying that Governor Romney was the CEO of Bain Capital VI is like saying that I am the CEO of my retirement account… its a silly bit of legalese but it doesn’t mean I am CEO of all the companies in which I invest.

As a securities lawyer, if the former CEO of a private equity fund had asked me for advice about what to say in an SEC filing of this type, who had retired from a company and who maintained an ownership stake but otherwise had no involvement in its management or investment strategies, I would have advised inserting the language referenced by
the Boston Globe in the filing out of an abundance of caution.

In other words, contra Obama, Romney did not have any managerial control of Bain after 1999, and nothing in the SEC documents produced by the Globe shows otherwise.

But Obama can’t just admit that his Bain attacks against Romney are all based on lies. So instead, Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter doubled down. On a conference call with reporters she accused Romney of “misrepresenting his position” at Bain to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which she claimed “is a felony.”

But if it is a felony, then why isn’t the nation’s top law enforcement officer, Obama, prosecuting Romney?

Either Obama’s Bain attacks are all lies or he has granted amnesty to a Wall Street felon. Which is it?

Campaign 2012
Poll: A new Pew poll of adults found Obama beating Romney 50 percent to 43 percent. Thirty-three percent of respondents were Democrats, 24 percent were Republicans, and 37 percent were independents. Among independents, Romney beat Obama 46 percent to 45 percent.

Obama: In an interview that will air on CBS Sunday Morning, Obama told Charlie Rose that the biggest mistake of his presidency was that he didn’t “tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.”

Romney: Romney responded to Obama’s claim that his biggest failure was bad storytelling: “President Obama believes that millions of Americans have lost their homes, their jobs and their livelihood because he failed to tell a good story. Being president is not about telling stories. Being president is about leading, and President Obama has failed to lead. No wonder Americans are losing faith in his presidency.” Romney also released a new ad, “What Happened,” attacking Obama for running a negative campaign.

Nevada: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is standing by Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Rep. Shelley Berkley despite a House Ethics Committee investigation. “I think you will find she didn’t violate any rules whatsoever,” said Reid. “You can look into this more — I’m sure they will — but I don’t think there’s a problem with that.”

Texas: Two new polls show Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz beating Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. A Wenzel Strategies poll shows Cruz up 47 percent to 38 percent. PPP shows Cruz up 49 percent to 44 percent.

Around the Bigs
The Los Angeles Times, UCLA study of Japan’s bullet train raises questions about California project: A new UCLA economic analysis of Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train and its impact on the growth of cities along its route calls into question claims by state officials that California’s high-speed rail project will create up to 400,000 permanent jobs.

USA Today, Moody’s downgrades Italy debt rating 2 notches: Credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Italy’s government bond rating two notches on concern that deteriorating financial conditions in Europe will lead to a sharp rise in borrowing costs.

The Wall Street Journal, Investors Assail Plan to Modify Mortgages: A bond-investor group is proposing rules that would make it difficult for banks to provide the lowest-cost mortgages to homeowners in cities that plan to use eminent domain to modify mortgages.

The Washington Post, Wells Fargo, Justice Department settle discrimination case for $175 million: In one of the largest fair-
lending payouts in history, Wells Fargo agreed on Thursday to spend at least $175 million to settle federal accusations that it steered black and Latino borrowers into high-cost loans and charged them excessive fees.

The New York Times, In Latest Data on Economy, Experts See Signs of Pickup: Despite the recent run of disappointing economic data, a broad range of experts and forecasters expect the economy to improve slightly in coming months, thanks to lower oil prices and new signs of life from sectors like automobiles and housing.

Righty Playbook
The Volokh Conspiracy‘s Jim Lindgren reports that over 30 percent of Obama’s 2009-2011 gross income came from foreign sources.

The Heritage Foundation‘s Robert Rector reports that Obama’s HHS has completely gutted the work requirements of President Clinton’s welfare reform law.

Real Clear Politics Sean Trende explains why neither candidate is rising in the polls.

Marlo Lewis reports that the American Enterprise Institute has organized at least five meetings with liberal groups to design a “strategy to promote and enact a carbon tax.”

Lefty Playbook
Firedoglake‘s David Dayen says the federal government should borrow more money now to take advantage of the low interest rates foreign investors want to give us right now.

Paul Krugman argues that liberal demonization of Romney is succeeding at making him an “other.”

A coalition of 3,000 groups claiming to represent “the hundreds of millions of Americans who support and benefit from nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs” has sent a letter to Congress begging them to retract the spending cuts in last August’s debt deal.

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