Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Data dump on THAT divorce...

Wow. I didn't know that the divorce of Mitt Romney's pal Tom Stemberg was this ugly.
Multiple sources connected with the divorce tell TMZ ... during Tom's uber nasty divorce case with ex-wife Maureen, Mitt Romney gave a deposition and testified during the trial that Staples was worth virtually nothing. Romney testified that the company was worth very little and Tom was a dreamer and "the dream continues."

Romney characterized the Staples stock as "overvalued," adding, "I didn't place a great deal of credibility in the forecast of the company's future."

Partly as a result of Romney's testimony, Maureen got relatively little in the divorce, but we're told just weeks after the divorce ended, Romney and Tom went to Goldman Sachs and cashed in THEIR stock for a fortune.  Short story -- Romney allegedly lied to help his friend and screw the friend's wife over.

And there's more ...  Our sources say years later, Maureen, who suffered from MS and had multiple bouts with cancer, got a visit from one of Tom's guys, who gave her papers informing her that Tom was cancelling her health insurance.  Our sources say the irony here is that we're told Tom was working as one of then Governor Mitt Romney's chief health care advisers.

Sources tell us ... Tom also got custody of the couple's one child, making allegations of abuse against Maureen.   And get this ... in the mid-90s, after the divorce, Tom sent the boy a letter saying, although he loved him, because of issues related to the divorce "it will not be possible for you to be a part of our family for the foreseeable future."

Maureen lost her home in the process and struggled financially.
Am I inclined to believe this? Yes, but I'm hardly objective, since I "fell in hate" with Romney a long time ago. On the other hand, I never had anything against Staples. They stock a particular type of mechanical pencil I favor.

So far, it seems that Romney has gone on record saying that he has no objection to the unsealing of those records. Stemberg apparently does. Far be it from me to suggest that Romney and Stemberg have discussed how best to respond to this matter...

The liberal Taylor Marsh considers this a case of "swiftboating." I cannot agree. Perjury is a serious accusation, and even an old charge of perjury speaks to character. The infamous "forced haircut" bullying episode occurred during Mitt Romney's school days, yet the incident remains a legitimate topic of discussion.

Mother Jones focuses on the film that Maureen tried to make some years ago:
It seems that Maureen Sullivan Stemberg has been trying to get her story told—including the Romney angle—for several years. Four years ago, Dragon-Lion Media, a movie production company based outside of Los Angeles, announced it was making a documentary about her, with her cooperation. It issued a press release noting that this "first-time tell all tale of the interweaving relationships and strange bedfellow[s]" in her life would feature Romney, without specifying what role he would play. But Edmund Druilhet, the founder and CEO of Dragon-Lion Media, tells Mother Jones that Stemberg had discussed with him her belief that Romney had testified falsely to help Tom Stemberg during the trial. "She told me all about that," he says. And Sadi Ranson-Polizzotti, who was tapped to be the writer on the documentary, says that when she was working with Maureen Sullivan Stemberg she read the Romney testimony and that Romney on the stand said that Staples at that time was just "a dream," and that stock in the company was not worth much. "That really stood out to me," Ranson-Polizzotti recalls. Maureen, according to Ranson-Polizzotti, firmly believed that Romney had lied on the stand to benefit her ex-husband.
AP's write-up includes a paragraph I don't understand...
"You have expert testimony about an investment that a presidential candidate made," Globe attorney Jonathan Albano told Judge Jennifer Ulwick on Wednesday. He said the public has a right to know what Romney said. Allred disputed the contention that Romney testified as an expert.
Why would she dispute that? Isn't it against the interest of Allred's client to dispute that Romney testified in his capacity as an expert witness? How could he not be an expert witness?

Also, I don't understand this news account...
The Globe is seeking only Romney’s testimony, which he delivered in June 1991.
Previous accounts have stated that Romney gave his testimony during divorce proceedings in 1988, before the public offering in 1989. The 1991 date doesn't make sense. Surely, after 1989, Maureen had a good idea what that stock was worth? Or are we talking about a later trial? Maureen hired a famed divorce lawyer named Monroe Inker to try to undo the damage done previously...

Obviously, there's a lot going on here that journalists have not yet clarified. We need a full, comprehensible linear narrative.

This much is obvious: If Mitt Romney really did say on the stand in 1988 that Staples was just "a dream," then one must ask why Bain maintained its investment.

Right-wing commenters are, predictably, going after Gloria Allred. Actually, the party seeking to unseal the records is the Boston Globe; Allred simply represents the interests of Maureen Sullivan Stemberg. Allred's background -- whether you admire it or despise it -- is not relevant.
There may be a legal definition of what makes someone an "expert witness." There may also be protections for expert witnesses protecting them from recourse based on their testimony. Allred may not want Romney to have such protections.
I think this does matter. If he lies to keep his friend wealthy and the woman that friend might have abandoned poor, then he is a dickwad.

If however, she had her own flaws, then I'm willing to give Romney a pass.

I have known of women who just decided to leave quality guys simply because they knew they could, and would be rewarded via the divorce.

So, for me, it comes down to if she was truly a victim or not moreso than if Romney misled on the stand.

Crappy people, whomever they turn out to be, don't necessarily deserve to be rewarded when they behave badly on either side of a situation.

Back then, I would think it was probably the man protecting a man, but I would still like to know more about the woman.

And since Romney turned out to be wrong, why does that absolve the husband from not sharing more of the wealth after the fact?
I saw that about the documentary and wondered why I had never heard about it.
I hope she can have it produced now. The issue of him trying to stop her health insurance really bothered me.
I am pretty sure there is a legal reason Allred is making these assertions. I was wondering about conspiracy charges against Romney and Stemberg. We shall see.
Sandro, I kind of agree and I kind of don't. In a divorce, there are always two sides. Everyone has character flaws. Everyone has an angle.

But it is also the case the Maureen's possible character flaws or base motives (assuming that such exist) are issues separate from the question at hand: Did Mitt Romney commit perjury?

Here's an interview with Tom Stemberg- he explains how Staples was Bain's first investment....
They helped structure the business from the ground up- computer systems etc.

I wouldn't be surprised if Allred goes after a conspiracy to defraud charge, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.
The problem with your theory is that if Romney testified the Staples stock was worth less than its actual value Maureen would have received more of it, or more of other assets instead.

Her problem is she sold her shares too soon. BTW - She got $5 million is assets as her share in the divorce, plus spousal support that has gone on for 25 years.

Dex -- I wasn't aware that I HAD a theory.

Your presumption that she would have received more stock is just that: Presumption. You can't point to an agreement along those lines.
Staples costs too much. I only go there when I have to, because it's close.
"The problem with your theory is that if Romney testified the Staples stock was worth less than its actual value Maureen would have received more of it, or more of other assets instead."

Seems to me she'd receive less of other assets instead. If both had equal shares of stock, the value received is the same. But if he took the lion's share of Staples stock, then valuing it at 10% of its true value would mean she got 10% of what she should have got in other assets.

I've read Romney's testimony was 5 days, that seems like a lot of time to establish a value. If it were as overvalued as he said, why did his venture capital company stay invested in it? If Romney and her ex concealed the value, then waited her out until she sold, then soon after took it public at 10x that amount, it sure looks like fraud.
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