It seems clear that Mitt Romney is not at all interested in sharing his tax returns with the American voters. For now, he’s stalling the GOP, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take his hemming and hawing, double talk act right into the general.
It’s understandable. His income will be monstrously large, I’m sure. And there’s just no way to spin obscene wealth well, as John “I don’t know how many houses I have” McCain found out. You either are from the “real streets of America,” or not so much. And a tax return can put that in very stark relief. Many are already commenting on how “message challenged” he is in discussing his own membership in the One Percent Club™.
But a new report out from ABC News has LGBT Americans in particular buzzing about “Just how much did Mitt Romney spend to take away Californians’ right to marry?”
ABC accounts his donations, or tithing, at more than $ 4M over the last 5 years, although exact totals are not known. Release of the tax forms may reveal more still. Moreover:
Newly uncovered stock contributions made during Romney’s Bain days suggest there is another dimension to Romney’s support for the church — one that could involve millions more than has been previously disclosed.
As part of just one Bain transaction in 2008, involving its investment in Burger King Holdings, filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that an unnamed Bain partner donated 65,326 shares of Burger King stock to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, holdings then worth nearly $ 1.9 million. And there were numerous others, giving the church a stake in other Bain properties, such as Domino’s Pizza, the electronics manufacturer DDi, the phosphates company Innophos Holdings, and Marquee Holdings, the parent to AMC Theaters.
Recall a post-mortem in the New York Times concluded “Mormons Tipped Scale in Ban on Gay Marriage.” They reported:
“We’re going to lose this campaign if we don’t get more money,” the strategist, Frank Schubert, recalled telling leaders of Protect Marriage, the main group behind the ban.
The campaign issued an urgent appeal, and in a matter of days, it raised more than $ 5 million, including a $ 1 million donation from Alan C. Ashton, the grandson of a former president of the Mormon Church. The money allowed the drive to intensify a sharp-elbowed advertising campaign, and support for the measure was catapulted ahead; it ultimately won with 52 percent of the vote.
Was Gov. Romney one of the many who heeded the last minute “urgent appeal”?
Of course, Mitt Romney’s opposition to marriage equality is well known. Still, if it turns out Romney was particularly helpful in passing the marriage equality banning amendment, this might be particularly infuriating news to the LGBT community still smarting from that loss. Romney might find himself on the recieving end of a lot of general election heckling, like Rick Santorum, or Michele Bachmann, or Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry have endured.
Yes, that’s the kind of thing that could really rile some homos up, especially if it turns out there were large donations made
directly to the “Protect Marriage” campaign. [Forgive me, I forgot "Protect Marriage" was made to disclose all direct donors.]
The American Independent. Per NOM’s numbers, just two individuals contributed more than $ 6 million to the organization’s political arm – accounting for about two-thirds of NOM’s 2010 revenue, while single donations below $ 5,000 covered only 8 percent of reported revenue.
This presents something of a dilemma for the conservative evangelical base of the party. On the one hand, the Mormons did them a solid in the Prop 8 battle.
On the other hand, many dislike Mormons, distrust them, and don’t consider them “Christians.”
Large donations to the Church of Latter Day Saints make it all that much harder to ignore.