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CORRUPTION: Bain-Controlled Company Owns 2012 Voting Machines

Posted by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 9:22 AM
  • 41 Replies

Owners Of Electronic Voting Machine Company Are Romney Super-Fans

Photo: Roger Barone/flickr

We’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 here’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 don’t really care about so much because we already know how they’ll turn out (e.g., Texas, Oklahoma, and Hawaii). Private equity firm H.I.G. Capital, LLC bought out a “significant” portion of Hart in July of 2011, and now the majority of Hart’s board directors are employees of H.I.G. (It’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 “Hart Intercivic was acquired by HIG Capital.”)

H.I.G., in turn, has ties to Bain & Co. and Mitt Romney directly:

  • Of H.I.G.’s 22 American directors, 21 donated to Mitt Romney’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.’s overwhelming allegiance and financial support of the Romney campaign surprising (not that it’s surprising that a private equity company would lean Republican, but this level of support is pretty unusual).

  • Four of H.I.G.’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.
  • H.I.G. employees currently make up the majority of the Hart InterCivic’s five-member board of directors. Two of these three directors of the voting machine company, Neil Tuch and Jeff Bohl,  have donated directly to Mitt Romney’s campaign.
  • H.I.G. is the 11th largest donor to Mitt Romney’s campaign. H.I.G. employees have given $338,000 to the Romney campaign, outpacing even Bain Capital itself, which gave  $268,000.

Now, to be fair, besides the fact that H.I.G. employees make up the majority of Hart’s board of directors, we don’t know exactly how much control H.I.G. is able to exert over the voting machine company’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 doesn’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 little… 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.’s American directors:

Tony Tamer – Bain alum; Romney bundler; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Sami Mnaymneh – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign as well as Barack Obama’s campaign

Douglas Berman – Bain alum; Romney bundler; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

John Bolduc – Bain alum; Romney bundler; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Rick Rosen – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Brian Schwartz – bundler for the Romney campaign; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Timothy Armstrong – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

John Black – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Dave Blechman – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Peter Cornetta – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Marc Kramer – No known donations to presidential campaigns

Chris Laitala – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Elliot Maluth – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

William Nolan – Bain alum; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Michael Phillips – Bain alum; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Matt Sanford – Bain alum; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Lewis Schoenwetter – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Richard Stokes – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Neil Tuch – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Bret Wiener – donated exclusively to Mitt Romney’s campaign for 2012; donated initially to Mitt Romney and then to Barack Obama during the 2008 election

Rob Wolfson – donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

Jeff Zanarini – Bain alum; donated to Mitt Romney’s campaign

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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 9:22 AM
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Replies (1-10):
lga1965
by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 10:33 AM

 ugh. money talks.

meriana
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 10:36 AM

That is enough to make one a bit uncomfortable. Really the company(s) that own the voting machines should be non-partisan and it doesn't look like this one is, however the people involved in the company can't be told who to donate to or that they can't donate at all either. Hopefully they'll be overseen properly, work properly and there will be no issues.

mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 10:37 AM
2 moms liked this

not surprising, these machines are not secure. I worked on a Penetration test of these systems 5 years ago, our results were squashed.

nb34
by Gold Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:07 AM
1 mom liked this

I don't like voting machines. They are so easy to mess with without leaving a trail.

brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:08 AM


Quoting meriana:

That is enough to make one a bit uncomfortable. Really the company(s) that own the voting machines should be non-partisan and it doesn't look like this one is, however the people involved in the company can't be told who to donate to or that they can't donate at all either. Hopefully they'll be overseen properly, work properly and there will be no issues.

I agree that the people who own the Voting Machines should be non-partisan.

It's too easy to paint a picture of Corruption like the article does here. It's too simple at many steps of the process to alter the machines to vote or act like they want.

Then Throw in a bunch of people who are not only interested in one side winning but actually very invested in one side winning is like asking for a major scandal.

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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

brookiecookie87
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM


Quoting nb34:

I don't like voting machines. They are so easy to mess with without leaving a trail.

I actually agree with this.  There are a lot of things Computers/machines make way simpler and easier that are wonderful.

Voting is not one of those things it should be doing. Because it also makes it easier and simplier for people to rig Elections (In either direction)

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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

shannonnigans
by Platinum Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:15 AM
2 moms liked this
How can you not be uncomfortable with that? I'm trying to say to myself well, ok, so what, I'm probably over-reacting. It's not really working.
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sneffy014
by Bronze Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:23 AM
2 moms liked this

I saw an article similar to this years ago. If Republicans have been making the voting machines for a while now and had influence. how did Obama get elected?

sneffy014
by Bronze Member on Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:24 AM

I think people should be able to vote via the internet.

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:26 AM
1 mom liked this

This made me LOL

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