The Bain of Gay Speculation Author: RaineDate:08/09/2012 15:33:41
Disclaimer: I'm just saying what I am saying. Today's blog is purely speculative.
Let's talk a bit about Robert Gay. Do you know him? He's a General Authority of the First Quorum in the LDS church. From Robert Gay's wikipedia Entry:
Gay has served previously as a counselor in a bishopric and as a member of a stake high council. On March 31, 2012, he became a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.
Suffice to say, He's a Pretty Big Deal in the Church of Latter Day Saints. In 2007, this same Robert Gray took part in an ad for then presidential candidate Romney during the GOP primaries. From the Boston Globe, the ad
features a former business partner, Robert Gay, who emotionally gives a testimonial about Romney's role in helping find his daughter, who went missing in New York City in 1996.
"My fourteen year-old daughter had disappeared in New York City for three days. No one could find her," Gay says as newspaper headlines and street scenes go across the screen. "My business partner stepped forward to take charge. He closed the company and brought almost all our employees to New York. "He said, 'I don't care how long it takes -- we're going to find her.'
here is the ad:
Earlier this year, Mr. Gay appears in an updated version of this story for the Pro-Romney PAC, Restore our Future. In 2007 he appeared for a Mitt Romney ad. He did that with tacit approval to the campaign. This year, the same footage was used in a new fresher ad by a super PAC. Mr. Gay has not officially endorsed Mitt Romney. Mr. Gay appears to no longer be with the capital investment firm he founded.
Robert Christopher Gay (born September 1, 1951) has been a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) since March 2012. Prior to becoming a general authority, Gay was the managing director, co-founder, and the chief executive officer of Huntsman Gay Global Capital, a private equity firm headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with offices in Florida, Massachusetts and Utah.
I learned of this after I stumbled across a post from the American Spectator this morning. It's from January of this year. Turns out, Robert C. Gay is the former Managing Director for Bain Capital. He was there from 1989 until 2004. In 2007, Mr. Gay founded Huntsman Gay Global Capital, a private equity firm with his business partner, John Huntsman, Sr. That's right - he's the father of fellow former GOP candidate, John Huntsman Jr. After dropping out of the race, Mr. Huntsman did endorse Romney, albeit in an almost unenthusiastic way. Politico called it 'A Cold Embrace'.
Huntsman did not ask Romney to help retire his campaign debt or take on any of Huntsman’s now-unemployed staff, Miller said, common practices when primary candidates step aside and back an opponent — and as Romney did for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Romney didn’t offer to. (snip) But the real obstacle, another Romney source explained: “You help your friends,” which the two are most certainly not. (snip) But one day does not erase years of distance between the two men.
They battled over who would serve as leader of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, with Romney winning the post. Huntsman, upset about the process by which Romney was chosen, then declined to serve in a subsidiary role, according to The Real Romney, the forthcoming Romney biography by Boston Globe journalists.
Huntsman then backed John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid over Romney’s, which he had initially assisted while serving as Utah governor.
So here we have a strange juxtaposition: a former candidate who clearly does not like Mr. Romney... his father -- who was a business partner with Mr. Gay and a former Bain executive -- who now holds a life time appointment with the LDS...
“The front-runner in the Republican race now, here’s a man who doesn’t know who he is,” Reid said. “He was for gay marriage when he was governor, now he’s against it. He was for abortion when he was governor, now he’s against it. Oh, health care: We modeled our (federal health care reform) bill to be to a large degree about what he did in Massachusetts. Now he’s trying to run from that.
“If someone doesn’t know who they are, they shouldn’t be president of the United States,” Reid said.
Much has been said since Senator Harry Reid made this statement:
A month or so ago, he said, a person who had invested with Bain Capital called his office.
"Harry, he didn't pay any taxes for 10 years," Reid recounted the person as saying.
"He didn't pay taxes for 10 years! Now, do I know that that's true? Well, I'm not certain," said Reid. "But obviously he can't release those tax returns. How would it look?
"You guys have said his wealth is $250 million," Reid went on. "Not a chance in the world. It's a lot more than that. I mean, you do pretty well if you don't pay taxes for 10 years when you're making millions and millions of dollars."
He's since reiterated that claim. Reid has never liked Romney... nor has John Hunstman. One thing is for sure, we have at the very least the name of an investor with Bain capital who may very well know about Mitt Romney's tax returns. The question is, now that Mr. Gay is General Authority to the First Quorum of the LDS church, does he have access to the amount of money the Romneys tithe to the LDS? From January:
The giving process is private, making the details of Romney's charitable donations that much more noteworthy. No collection plates are passed during worship services. No financial records are used. Mormons are expected to give according to their conscience. Once a year, local LDS bishops hold tithing settlement meetings with families to ask if they've paid their full 10 percent. The church, based in Salt Lake City, releases no specifics of what it collects in tithes annually, although the amount by some estimates is several billion dollars.
On his tax returns, Romney reported that he gave the church $1.53 million in 2010 on income of $21.7 million, and in 2011 estimates he'll donate $2.6 million to the church, on expected income of $21 million. The 2010 amount is less than 10 percent, while the 2011 figure is higher than the expected tithe. A campaign official said the governor bases his tithes on estimated income, since he donates to the church at the end of the calendar year before his taxes are finalized. He plans to pay above the 10 percent in 2011, to make up for the underestimate the year before, the campaign official said.
We are still waiting for Mr Romney to release the promised 2011 tax returns, but we already know he didn't donate his 10% in 2010. There is also this:
As a practicing Mormon, Romney is required to tithe 10 percent of his income to the Church. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission between 1997 to 2008, Romney’s donations were given primarily in the form of stock options from companies such as Burger King and Domino’s Pizza.
In addition to a significant tax break for Romney, this form of donation allowed the Mormon Church to sell the stock without paying any capital gains tax. Although religious organizations do not legally have to disclose their financial information, a recent investigation by Reuters estimated that the Church of Latter Day Saints is worth close to $40 billion and collects close to $8 billion in tithes every year. Until the 1990s the money the church collected in tithes was held at the local level, but now it is sent directly to the church’s Salt Lake City headquarters, which keeps no financial accounting of the funds.
I don't think for a minute that Harry Reid is lying. The circles in the political and LDS world between all these people are too close for someone not to know this information. Mitt needs to release those tax returns.