It seems Mitt Romney has himself a bit of a problem with the small business owner featured in one of his latest campaign ads that I wrote about here: Lawrence O'Donnell Hits Team Romney for Latest Hack Job. It appears the star of that ad received a whole lot of government money to help out his small business, directly contradicting the message the Romney campaign was trying to get across in the ad he was featured in.
In a new TV ad, Romney features an offended New Hampshire businessman, saying, “My father’s hands didn’t build this company? My hands didn’t build this company? My son’s hands aren’t building this company?”
The New Hampshire Union Leader’s John DiStato today reports that in 1999 the business in question, Gilchrist Metal, “received $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds issued by the New Hampshire Business Finance Authority ‘to set up a second manufacturing plant and purchase equipment to produce high definition television broadcasting equipment’…” In addition, in 2011, Gilchrist Metal “received two U.S. Navy sub-contracts totaling about $83,000 and a smaller, $5,600 Coast Guard contract in 2008…”
The businessman, Jack Gilchrist, also acknowledged that in the 1980s the company received a U.S. Small Business Administration loan totaling “somewhere south of” $500,000, and matching funds from the federally-funded New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center.
“I’m not going to turn a blind eye because the money came from the government,” Gilchrest said. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m getting some of my tax money back. I’m not stupid, I’m not going to say ‘no.’ Shame on me if I didn’t use what’s available.”
I'd say you got some of your tax money back and then some pal. And shame on you for making a dishonest ad for Mitt Romney when you knew full well you don't even agree with the basic premise of the ad, which you admitted on Neil Cavuto's show that O'Donnell went after in the link at the top of this post.
And for more on Mitt Romney's troubles for the week which O'Donnell reported on as well, here's more on the latest on whether we're going to get a full accounting from his time at the Olympics. It appears the answer is no. They were shredding or burning documents to make sure the public would never see them.
More than a decade has passed since Mitt Romney presided over the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, but the archival records from those games that were donated to the University of Utah to provide an unprecedented level of transparency about the historic event, remain off limits to the public. And 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.
The Salt Lake City Winter Olympics represent a crucial chapter in the Romney biography -- his selection to oversee the Games came in the wake of a bribery scandal, and he was credited with overcoming that taint to stage an event that both earned respect and was financially sound. Romney eventually wrote a book about the experience -- "Turnaround" -- and frequently cites the experience as part of what qualifies him to assume the presidency.
But the absence of publicly available records that detail the decisions he made while running the games has increasingly become an uneasy subject for the library, which has for months been receiving inquiries from journalists and other researchers trying to subject Romney's version of the events to an analysis based on documents from the events.
The fact that the documents remained behind closed doors also could be politically awkward for Romney, who has already faced criticism for his decisions to keep secret some of his past tax records and some details about his investment holdings. And it carries echoes of the decision in Massachusetts by Romney aides to purchase and erase their hard drives shortly before Romney left office as governor.
As David Axelrod rightfully Tweeted in response: ‘When It Comes To Secrecy, Mitt Takes The Gold!’.