Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Whoopsy! Romney's Olympic Financial Records Destroyed


We will be viewed much more carefully than any other organizing committee, perhaps in the history of the Olympics, and we deserve to be so viewed. I believe we will come through with flying colors.
~ Mitt Romney on Feb. 11, 1999, the day he was named chief executive of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee

All of the documents inside our organization are available to the public. Simply submit a form saying which documents you want. For instance: ‘I want to see all the letters written by Mr. Romney to [then-IOC President Juan Antonio] Samaranch.’ You’ll get ’em all.
~ Mitt Romney in remarks to the National Press Club, circa 2000

Transparency? There was none with [the Salt Lake Organizing Committee] when he was there. Their transparency became a black hole. It was nonexistent.
~ Kenneth Bullock, a committee member who represented the Utah League of Cities and Towns

I think they will have no answers. . . .
People suspect that we might have Mitt Romney information in there and that’s not an unreasonable expectation.. . .
~Elizabeth Rogers, curator of manuscripts at the University of Utah Marriott Library, quoted by the Salt Lake Tribune

Mitt didn’t have anything to do with any of those decisions. He was long gone, and it was really left up to the people left behind to decide what to keep and what not to keep.
~ Fraser Bullock, member of the Salk Lake City Planning Committee and former colleague of Romney's at Bain Capital, quoted in The Boston Globe

From ABC News
. . . some of the documents that may have shed the most light on Romney's stewardship of the Games were likely destroyed by Salt Lake Olympic officials, ABC News has learned.

The archivists involved in preparing the documents for public review told ABC News that financial documents, contracts, appointment calendars, emails and correspondence are likely not included in the 1,100 boxes of Olympic records, and will not be part of the collection that will ultimately be made public.

"We don't have that stuff," said Elizabeth Rogers, the manuscript curator at the University's Marriott Library. The decisions about what records to donate to the library were made by Olympics officials before they were shipped in 1,100 boxes to the university, she said. "That was done before we got it. I just know it wasn't a decision we made. Everything we have will be available."

The Romney campaign said it has made no effort to prevent the archive from being made public.

"Mitt Romney resigned from SLOC [the Salt Lake Organizing Committee] in early 2002 to run for governor of Massachusetts and was not involved in the decision-making regarding the final disposition of records," said Andrea Saul, a Romney spokesperson, in response to questions.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sports Illustrated article from 2001:
Snow Job Thanks to Utah politicians and the 2002 Olympics, a blizzard of federal money—a stunning $1.5 billion—has fallen on the state, enriching some already wealthy businessmen. Is this a great country or what? A millionaire developer wants a road built, the federal government supplies the cash to construct it. A billionaire ski-resort owner covets a choice piece of public land. No problem. The federal government arranges for him to have it. Some millionaire businessmen stand to profit nicely if the local highway network is vastly improved. Of course. The federal government provides the money. How can you get yours, you ask? Easy. Just help your hometown land the Olympics. Then, when no one's looking, persuade the federal government to pay for a good chunk of the Games, including virtually any project to which the magic word Olympics can be attached.
For the past few years, while attention was focused on the Great Olympic Bribery Scandal—in which Salt Lake City boosters dispensed as much as $7 million in gifts, travel, scholarships, medical care, jobs and other goodies to IOC members (and their relatives and companions) to ensure that Utah's capital city would be chosen to host the 2002 Winter Games—private and public interests have siphoned an estimated $1.5 billion out of the U.S. Treasury, all in the name of those same Olympics.
Two months before the Games, Utah has already walked away with the gold while setting records in four categories: Total federal handouts. The $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars that Congress is pouring into Utah is (several) times the amount spent by lawmakers to support all seven Olympic Games held in the U.S. since 1904—combined. In inflation-adjusted dollars.
. . . This is not to say that the recipients are unappreciative. Mitt Romney, SLOC's president, has acknowledged the U.S. government's contribution by saying, "We couldn't have done it without them. These are America's Games."
Senator John McCain R-AZ back in 2000, objecting to the blank check funding of the 2002 Winter Olympics
"This is about a cocktail of fiscal irresponsibility made of Congressional pork barreling by unaccountable federal bureaucrats. . . . What this has turned into, what the Olympic Games, supposedly hosted and funded by Salt Lake City, which began in corruption and bribery, has now turned into an incredible pork barrel project for Salt Lake City and its environs. Not surprisingly, the GAO found that there was no effective mechanism for tracking federal funding and support to host cities.
. . . As outlined, most of the money taken from taxpayers to pay the bill for the SLC Olympic Games is going to be taken to build major highway and transit improvement projects, quote, "especially those critical to the success of the Olympic Games," unquote. This last phrase is vital to understanding the fleece game being played in Salt Lake City.
. . . There is a process. There is a process for authorization for these projects. They are conducted by the authorizing committees. Some of them may be worthwhile and necessary. Some of them may deserve to be authorized. Instead they are stuck into an appropriations bill without scrutiny . . . Those are my tax dollars, Mr. President, as well as the citizens of Utah's tax dollars....
In 2002, I went to Senator Bennett asking for some modest help. He's a member of the Appropriations Committee. I think he was thinking I might ask for 5-10 million, but we asked for several hundred million dollars in help. Everything that was needed was ultimately obtained.
~ Mitt Romney in remarks to the National Press Club, 2004 (clip in video below)

There is absolutely no question that the money would have been spent even if the Olympics had not come to Salt Lake City. It may not have been spent as wisely or as prudently as if we had not had the pressure of the Olympics.
~ Senator Bob Bennett, R-Utah, quoted by ABC News

No comments:

Post a Comment