Art offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist.
Ever put a fortune into a company and then not know it?
In the CNN Thursday debate, Mitt Romney claimed he had no idea of his investment involving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. When confronted by Newt Gingrich over the fact that Romney poured 100s of thousands into a mutual fund that held Freddie and Fannie debt notes, among other government entities, Romney replied that he had no knowledge, because his money is in a blind trust.
Ah, but is that accurate?
From the Boston Globe:
On his financial disclosure statement filed last month, Romney reported owning between $250,001 and $500,000 in a mutual fund that invests in debt notes of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, among other government entities. Over the previous year, he had reported earning between $15,001 and $50,000 in interest from those investments.
And unlike most of Romney’s financial holdings, which are held in a blind trust that is overseen by a trustee and not known to Romney, this particular investment was among those that would have been known to Romney.
Gingrich is about to go up with a brutal ad deconstructing the situation. Script:
Governor Mike Huckabee:
“If a man’s dishonest to get a job, he’ll be dishonest on the job.”
“What kind of man would mislead, distort and deceive just to win an election?”
“This man would: Mitt Romney.”
“Romney said he has always voted Republican when he had the opportunity.”
“But in the 1992 Massachusetts Primary Romney had the chance to vote for George H.W. Bush or Pat Buchanan, but he voted for a liberal Democrat instead.”
Romney said his investments in Fannie and Freddie were in a blind trust.
But, as reported in the National Journal, Romney earned tens of thousands of dollars from investments NOT in a blind trust… …
Mike Huckabee has responded to news of the Gingrich ad.
The Miami Herald also has fact checked and it turns out Romney has folks who worked as consultants and lobbyists for the mortgage giants on his campaign team right now:
The Associated Press and Daily Caller report that top Romney advisers and surrogates were paid lobbyists and consultants for Freddie Mac and other interests in the thick of the housing crisis.
Among the consultant-lobbyists on Romney’s team: Former Rep. Susan Molinari and Vin Weber.
Mitt Romney’s campaign has responded to the allegation made by Gingrich. From the Boston Globe, the paper of record on all things Mitt:
The trustee who manages Romney’s money said those investments were made through a charitable trust “operated on a totally blind basis’’ that Romney did not control. He also said that the investment related to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, quasi-public agencies that many conservatives blame for the housing crisis, has been sold.
“This investment, which has been sold, was not known to Governor Romney,’’ Brad Malt said in a statement. Although Romney’s financial disclosure forms do not list it as such, Malt said the fund was held within a charitable trust and has been managed “on a totally blind basis since 2002.’’
Mitt Romney in 1994: “The blind trust is an age old ruse.” See the video below from BuzzFeed.