Thursday, September 20, 2012

There's A Reason Adam Hasner Won't Disassociate Himself From Romney's Disgusting 47% Diatribe In Boca Raton


We finally heard Romney articulate a policy. The video shot in Boca Raton Florida may have been the most in-depth look we have had from the Romney campaign about what he will actually do if he wins in November. What other policies has he detailed behind closed doors over $50,000/plate meals? A Modest Proposal perhaps?

One of the men who might be better briefed on the details Romney’s campaign against the 47% is Adam Hasner. Hasner is running for Florida’s 22nd Congressional seat against former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel. He’s also a  co-chair of the Romney campaign in Florida. Hasner prides himself on his partisanship, though you wouldn’t be able to tell that from his mailers in the Democratic-leaning district, which conveniently leave out mention of his own party. But as a true partisan, he has remained silent on Romney’s umpteenth-- and most spectacular-- gaffe.

Silence makes sense for him. Romney’s moment of truth-- and it can be argued the Republican Party’s moment too-- happened not only in Hasner’s district, but at the home (or rather latter-day Versailles, by way of Trump) of Marc Leder, one of Hasner’s biggest backers. Leder, the co-founder of private equity firm Sun Capital, was Romney’s inspiration to enter the private equity game, as we saw in the report by the New York Times. Leder currently oversees $8 billion in equity. Leder has maxed out twice to the Hasner campaign-- and has personally pumped $372,900 into right-wing political candidates over the last few years (plus a couple of sleazy, corrupt Democrats like Debbie Wasseman Schultz, of course). Although not as salaciously as the other New York dailies, the Times has exposed Leder for his sex orgies and for his shady dealings with investors. This is from January:
It was, the gossip pages would later report, the talk of the Hamptons-- a midsummer night’s bacchanal in the playground of the 1 percent.

Beyond the windswept dunes in Bridgehampton, at a $400,000-a-month oceanfront mansion, bright young things bubbled up and the Champagne flowed fast. Into the small hours, professional dancers in exotic clothing gyrated atop platforms. One couple twirled flaming torches. The sounds of techno boomed over the beach.

The New York Post summed up the evening’s Dionysian mysteries with the following headline: Nude Frolic in Tycoon’s Pool.

The Post’s tycoon, and the party’s host, was a financier named Marc J. Leder, and those weekend revels last July had the East End of Long Island buzzing. Like many deal makers, though, Mr. Leder, 50, is virtually unknown outside financial circles. But from his headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., he presides over a multibillion-dollar private empire. He is a practitioner of a Wall Street art that helped define an age of hyperwealth, and which has now been dragged into the white-hot spotlight of presidential politics: private equity.

It was through private equity that one Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, amassed his wealth-- and, it turns out, it was through private equity that Mr. Romney first met Mr. Leder. A couple of months after the blowout in Bridgehampton, Mr. Leder was host for a fund-raiser at his Boca Raton home for Mr. Romney’s campaign. But the connection goes back even further. Years ago, a visit to Mr. Romney’s investment firm inspired Mr. Leder to get into private equity in the first place. Mr. Romney was an early investor in some of the deals done by Mr. Leder’s investment company, Sun Capital, which today oversees about $8 billion in equity.

...[I]n many ways, Mr. Leder personifies the debates now swirling around this [vulture capital and private buy-out operations] lucrative corner of finance.

To his critics, he represents everything that’s wrong with this setup. In recent years, a large number of the companies that Sun Capital has acquired have run into serious trouble, eliminated jobs or both. Since 2008, some 25 of its companies-- roughly one of every five it owns-- have filed for bankruptcy.

Among the losers was Friendly’s, the restaurant chain known for its Jim Dandy sundaes and Fribble shakes. (Sun Capital was accused by a federal agency of pushing Friendly’s into bankruptcy last year to avoid paying pensions to the chain’s employees; Sun disputes that contention.) Another company that sank into bankruptcy was Real Mex, owner of the Chevy’s restaurant chain. In that case, Mr. Leder lost money for his investors not once, but twice.

Yet Mr. Leder doesn’t seem to be suffering too much himself. In fact, he is living so large that he can’t avoid the limelight. Last July, he used part of his personal fortune to join a group of investors in buying the Philadelphia 76ers. In December, he was spotted on St. Bart’s with Russell Simmons, of Def Jam and Phat Farm fame, and Rachel Zoe, the celebrity stylist. That again landed him in the New York Post, which dubbed him a “private equity party boy.”

Hasner always tries to portray himself as a "family values" guy but Leder is one of his top campaign financiers. And Hasner’s silence speaks volumes. He has opted for the Republican path of money and power over the interests of the people in his district. Medicare recipients find themselves part of Romney and Hasner’s 47%. South Florida being South Florida, that equals nearly half-a-million people in Hasner’s district that he believes don’t take responsibility for their own lives. The 47% also includes veterans who utilize the VA and other veterans services. They put their lives on the line for this country, but, when it comes down to it, they’re just freeloaders and "moochers." Adam Hasner; partisan to the core.

Other Republican candidates, such as Scott Brown in Massachusetts and Linda McMahon in Connecticut, have hinted at being uneasy with Romney’s comments. It’s worth noting that both these Republicans come from Democratic-leaning states. Why then has Hasner remained quiet when his compatriots haven’t? That the Super PACs are lining up around the corner and down the street to bombard the 22nd with television ads is undoubtedly the answer. He can depend on Super PACs, like Eric Cantor’s Young Guns, to come in, spend thousands, and attempt to buy this election. It doesn’t really matter what Hasner says and does, including stomping all over a big portion of his electorate. All that matters is that he has the money, or other people have the money for him, so he can lie and manipulate his way to Congress. So here it is folks, your Citizens United lesson of the day; Republicans believe that money can outweigh bad and dangerous politics and policies. Surprised?

As we know, just because Republicans believe it, doesn’t make it true. In fact, it may be the opposite. There is a big chance that if Hasner stays silent, even with his boatloads of money, he will lose. He only articulates the bad policies of Ryan and Romney and can’t really win on policy against Frankel. Medicare is no minor issue, especially in the retirement communities of South Florida. And Lois Frankel is a force to be reckoned with. She also has a real background of economic revitalization and job creation in West Palm Beach. The question here isn’t who the better candidate is and who will better represent their constituent’s interests. Frankel wins that contest hands down. It’s a question of money. This is going to be a tight race and may turn out to be one of the most important this cycle. The result of the race in Florida’s 22nd will speak volumes-- even if Hasner says nothing-- of what our electoral system and our politics have become.

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