Republican presidential candidatehas come under scrutiny with claims that Romeny family members, through Bain Capital investments, have purchased electronic voting machines that will be used in the 2012 elections in Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Washington and Colorado.
"Late last month, Gerry Bello and Bob Fitrakis at FreePress.org broke the story of the Mitt Romney/Bain Capital investment team involved in H.I.G. Capital which, in July of 2011, completed a "strategic investment" to take over a fair share of the Austin-based e-voting machine company Hart Intercivic," according to independent journalist Brad Friedman.
But Friedman is not the only one to discover the connection between the Romney family, Bain Capital, and ownership of voting machines.
"Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7. Hart machines will also be used elsewhere in the United States.
In other words, a candidate for the presidency of the United States, and his brother, wife and son, have a straight-line financial interest in the voting machines that could decide this fall's election. These machines cannot be monitored by the public. But they will help decide who "owns" the White House."
Both The Nation and New York Times confirm the connection between the Romney family, Solamere and the Bain Capital investment in the voting machine company, Hart Intercivic, whose board of directors serve H.I.G. Capital.
"Mitt Romney, his wife Ann Romney, and their son Tagg Romney are also invested in H.I.G. Capital, as is Mitt's brother G. Scott Romney.
The investment comes in part through the privately held family equity firm called Solamere, which bears the name of the posh Utah ski community where the Romney family retreats to slide down the slopes," Truthout added.
There are also political connections between Solamere and the Romneys. "Matt Blunt, the former Missouri governor who backed Mr. Romney in 2008, is a senior adviser to Solamere, as is Mitt Romney’s brother, Scott, a lawyer," according to the New York Times.
Voter ID and voter fraud have been top issues in the 2012 race, as have claims of Republican voter suppression. Romney's campaign has also been the subject of controversy over misleading ads, false claims, sketchy math on his tax plan, and overall vagueness on women's rights and other hot-button issues.
Raising further questions of legitimacy in the Romney campaign is an audio recording recently made public, where Romney is heard asking independent business owners to apply pressure to their employees to influence their votes. What has also been made public are the emails those employers have sent to their employees with an implied threat that if they don't vote for Romney they may lose their jobs.
What it all says is that Romney, with the help of his family and Bain Capital connections, is more than willing to try to take the White House through illegitimate and highly unethical if not specifically illegal means.
With each passing day, Romney's character and campaign methods cast an ever-darker shadow over free and fair American elections.
Yet there is an irony in the Romney campaign that cannot be ignored. For all the noise the right wing has made in questioning the legitimacy of Obama's presidency, there have been so many questionable efforts made to help put Romney in the White House that if he wins, there should be a great dispute over whether his election could ever be called genuinely legitimate.
The nagging question is why, if Romney truly has the qualities that American voters want in their president, does he have to go to such great and questionable lengths to try to win the election?
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Note: Based on available information at the time of initial publication, Tagg Romney was specifically noted for involement with the purchase of the voting machines. In light of updated imformation, the first paragraph has been adjusted.