Pay Romney, Get Paid

The Wall Street Journal reports today that a former financial-management executive has filed a complaint claiming that he was fired for not coughing up for Mitt Romney's campaign.

A year ago, I wrote a lengthy article, "Mitt's Equity Army," suggesting that in "raising the capital for his latest venture," ie, running for President, Romney was tapping into an extended network of firms who had made money, or could make money, off of Romney's connections through Bain and elsewhere: 

His “bundlers” — supporters who raise large sums by soliciting donations from their friends and associates — include dozens of people who have, in some way, benefited from Romney’s business acumen (or largesse) and through the private-equity company he co-founded

When you control vast sums of money, and have close allies who control even greater sums, you have a lot of ways to reward, say, Huron Consulting Group, the Chicago-based company that is the subject of the new complaint. Huron employees contributed nearly $100,000 to Romney's campaign. According to the Journal, Huron CEO Gary Holden "repeatedly linked his requests for donations to Huron's business prospects" in emails to staff:

"This is not about me trying to force a political candidate on you... This is just business and the way business works."

"I wanted to thank all of you who contributed to Mitt Romney. You can't realize how much leverage this gives Huron going forward to ask various people for business."

In another solicitation email, Holden boasted that Daniel Dumezich, a major Romney bundler and tax lawyer, had "given Huron a large JP Morgan tax case." In addition, Holden recounted a conversation with Romney national finance co-chair Muneer Satter, the managing director who oversees private investment accounts for mega-financer Goldman Sachs. "I again reminded Muneer that... I hope he knows that I am going to call him and his partners in the future asking for business from Goldman," Holden wrote.

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