CORRUPTION: Bain-Controlled Company Owns 2012 Voting Machines
Owners Of Electronic Voting Machine Company Are Romney Super-Fans
Weâ€™re not really into conspiracy theories here, so let us just say this upfront: We are not presenting the following article as any kind of conspiracy theory. We will say, though, that the people who own voting machines in some pretty important swing states have a pretty remarkable bias toward Mitt Romney and, you know, someone should probably keep an eye on this, no?
Okay, so hereâ€™s what we know:
Hart InterCivic is a national provider of election voting systems that are used in swing-states Ohio and Colorado, as well as in states we donâ€™t really care about so much because we already know how theyâ€™ll turn out (e.g., Texas, Oklahoma, and Hawaii). Private equity firm H.I.G. Capital, LLC bought out a â€śsignificantâ€ť portion of Hart in July of 2011, and now the majority of Hartâ€™s board directors are employees of H.I.G. (Itâ€™s not entirely clear how much of the voting machine company H.I.G. owns, but the financial advisors responsible for the transaction state that â€śHart Intercivic was acquired by HIG Capital.â€ť)
H.I.G., in turn, has ties to Bain & Co. and Mitt Romney directly:
Of H.I.G.â€™s 22 American directors, 21 donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s 2012 presidential campaign. One person made no political donations at all; one person donated to both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama; the remaining 20 directors donated exclusively to Mitt Romney in 2012. (See below for links to donations.)
Of these 22 American directors, seven of them (nearly one-third) are former Bain employees. Now, we should note (as a reader helpfully pointed out), this is Bain & Co., which Mitt Romney left in order to start the affiliated Bain Capital. The connection is therefore a little more tenuous, but we still find H.I.G.â€™s overwhelming allegiance and financial support of the Romney campaign surprising (not that itâ€™s surprising that a private equity company would lean Republican, but this level of support is pretty unusual).
- Four of H.I.G.â€™s directors, Tony Tamer, John Bolduc, Douglas Berman, and Brian D. Schwartz, are Romney bundlers along with former Bain and H.I.G. manager Brian Shortsleeve.
- Two of H.I.G.â€™s managing directors, Douglas F. Berman and Brian D. Schwartz, were present at the $50,000 per plate fundraiser where Mitt Romney made his notorious â€ť47%â€ť comments.
- H.I.G. is the 11th largest donor to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign. H.I.G. employees have given $338,000 to the Romney campaign, outpacing even Bain Capital itself, which gave $268,000.
- (Sidenote: Are we the only ones to notice that every single one of H.I.G.â€™s 22 American directors is white and male? Not related to the Mitt Romney issue, but sheesh.)
Now, to be fair, besides the fact that H.I.G. employees make up the majority of Hartâ€™s board of directors, we donâ€™t know exactly how much control H.I.G. is able to exert over the voting machine companyâ€™s day-to-day operations. Plus, it seems like it would be pretty difficult to mess with the software without anyone finding out about it. Moreover, just from a cost-benefit standpoint, it doesnâ€™t really make sense that these H.I.G. directors would commit a felony and risk their super-lucrative careers just to get their Bain bro elected.
But that said, this still makes us a littleâ€¦ uncomfortable. For instance, what if irregularities or honest mistakes are suspected (and this is a real possibility: Hart InterCivic has previously had some pretty major malfunctions in its voting systems)? The documentation will then be in the hands of Hart/H.I.G.
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Links to H.I.G.â€™s American directors:
Tony Tamer â€“ Bain alum; Romney bundler; donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Sami Mnaymneh â€“ donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign as well as Barack Obamaâ€™s campaign
Douglas Berman â€“ Bain alum; Romney bundler; donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
John Bolduc â€“ Bain alum; Romney bundler; donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Rick Rosen â€“ donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Brian Schwartz â€“ bundler for the Romney campaign; donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Timothy Armstrong â€“ donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
John Black â€“ donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Dave Blechman â€“ donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Peter Cornetta â€“ donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Marc Kramer â€“ No known donations to presidential campaigns
Chris Laitala â€“ donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Elliot Maluth â€“ donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
William Nolan â€“ Bain alum; donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Michael Phillips â€“ Bain alum; donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Matt Sanford â€“ Bain alum; donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Lewis Schoenwetter â€“ donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Richard Stokes â€“ donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Neil Tuch â€“ donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Rob Wolfson â€“ donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
Jeff Zanarini â€“ Bain alum; donated to Mitt Romneyâ€™s campaign
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