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Today, Gawker’s John Cook published an explosive article called “The Bain Files: Inside Mitt Romney’s Tax-Dodging Cayman Schemes.” And in it, Cook says that he’s exclusively obtained 950 pages of confidential financial documents that show just how much of a tax-dodging slimy robot of a man the Republican candidate really is.
This is big. Really big. Fellow Gawkerer Hamilton Nolan, in fact, has already taken to Twitter calling for the Pulitzer Prize. And he’s not alone. For months now, people across the political spectrum have begged and suggested Romney release his full tax returns to the American public, though he’s only released partial returns from the last two years, i.e., when he knew he would be running for president. Even when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claimed Romney hadn’t paid any taxes in 10 years, Romney didn’t flinch.
Gawker’s Bain Files give a clearer picture of Romney’s obscene wealth (he’s worth at least $250 million) as well as the tax-dodging tricks and offshore accounts he uses to keep his effective tax rate around 13 percent every year.
Most ominously from Cook:
Together, they reveal the mind-numbing, maze-like, and deeply opaque complexity with which Romney has handled his wealth, the exotic tax-avoidance schemes available only to the preposterously wealthy that benefit him, the unlikely (for a right-wing religious Mormon) places that his money has ended up, and the deeply hypocritical distance between his own criticisms of Obama’s fiscal approach and his money managers’ embrace of those same policies. They also show that some of the investments that Romney has always described as part of his retirement package at Bain weren’t made until years after he left the company.
Full disclosure: So far, no one at Village Voice or, it seems, Gawker, has been able to sift through the full 950 pages of outrageously complex financial records, because we’re working right now, and can’t add. But Gawker’s has marked off some particularly interesting passages, we’re working through, and it in the meantime, tell us if you see something shady yourself.