The issue of choice is one that especially bothered the evangelicals. They are rabidly anti-choice, anti-stem cell research, and many even anti-contraception. While Romney claims to have "converted" to their right-wing fundamentalist beliefs, most evangelicals doubted it and supported a wide range of anti-Romney candidates -- finally winding up in the camp of Rick Santorum. Now they are in the process of grudgingly accepting Romney as their nominee, and hoping his conversion is real.
But they might want to reassess that. Many of these anti-choice evangelicals have also had a problem with a company called Stericycle. This is a company that makes its money by disposing of various kinds of medical waste (including fetuses that were aborted). Fairly early in the campaign it was reported that Romney's vulture capital company, Bain Capital, had invested heavily in Stericycle. Romney and his campaign were quick to say he didn't have anything to do with that investment, and had in fact, left Bain Capital before the investment.
At the time, most news media, to their great shame, accepted the word of Romney and his campaign staff without doing any real investigation. And until recently the Romney campaign had skated by on the issue. But one news organization, Mother Jones Magazine, decided to do their own investigation -- and they found Romney had just told another in a long string of outrageous lies. He was at Bain Capital, and he was the driving force behind the Stericycle investment (and was the only person at Bain Capital with voting rights for their stock investment in that company). Here is how Mother Jones puts it:
Here's what happened with Stericycle. In November 1999, Bain Capital and Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, filed with the SEC a Schedule 13D, which lists owners of publicly traded companies, noting that they had jointly purchased $75 million worth of shares in Stericycle, a fast-growing player in the medical-waste industry. (That April, Stericycle had announced plans to buy the medical-waste businesses of Browning Ferris Industries and Allied Waste Industries.) The SEC filing lists assorted Bain-related entities that were part of the deal, including Bain Capital (BCI), Bain Capital Partners VI (BCP VI), Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors (a Bermuda-based Bain affiliate), and Brookside Capital Investors (a Bain offshoot). And it notes that Romney was the "sole shareholder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of BCI, BCP VI Inc., Brookside Inc. and Sankaty Ltd."
The document also states that Romney "may be deemed to share voting and dispositive power with respect to" 2,116,588 shares of common stock in Stericycle "in his capacity as sole shareholder" of the Bain entities that invested in the company. That was about 11 percent of the outstanding shares of common stock. (The whole $75 million investment won Bain, Romney, and their partners 22.64 percent of the firm's stock—the largest bloc among the firm's owners.) The original copy of the filing was signed by Romney.
Another SEC document filed November 30, 1999, by Stericycle also names Romney as an individual who holds "voting and dispositive power" with respect to the stock owned by Bain. If Romney had fully retired from the private equity firm he founded, why would he be the only Bain executive named as the person in control of this large amount of Stericycle stock?
Stericycle was a lucrative investment for Romney and Bain. . .
In 2001, the Bain-Madison Dearborn partnership that had invested in the company sold 40 percent of its holdings in Stericycle for about $88 million—marking a hefty profit on its original investment of $75 million. The Bain-related group sold the rest of its holdings by 2004. By that point it had earned $49.5 million.
Of course, this brings up a couple of valid questions. Do the evangelicals only hate pro-choice people when they are Democrats? Will they accept a candidate that lies to them about the issues most important to them -- as long as that candidate is a Republican? Supporting Romney after his previous stances, and his recent lies about those previous stances, puts their own moral stance in question. Is that moral stance real, or just a sham to support Republican candidates. We're fixing to find out!