Lost in all the brouhaha about Mitt Romney’s gaffe-o-rama in England is the fact that one of the main things he did while in London is hold a fundraising dinner in a foreign city, where scandal-plagued international bankers paid $25,000 to $75,000 a plate to support his election campaign.
That’s right. Romney is explicitly asking for money on foreign soil to influence a US election. He may insult the Brits over their Olympic preparations, but he’s happy to take their money and do their bidding.
Oh, and the fundraiser almost got derailed when Romney’s co-chair for the dinner had to resign his job as CEO of Barclays bank because of his involvement in the LIBOR banking scandal. But it turned out ok, because another banker (the chief lobbyist for Barclays) took his place. Other people at the dinner include insiders from “Bank of Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Blackstone and Wells Fargo Securities — and, of course, Bain Capital Europe.” But we don’t know who else attended, because US law doesn’t require Romney to report who attends his fundraising dinners abroad.
Just as Sheldon Adelson is throwing unlimited amounts of (mostly foreign) money at the Romney campaign in order to avoid prosecution for violating the law, maybe Romney just considers it good business to get money from international bankers who want to avoid any responsibility for the LIBOR (London InterBank Offered Rate) scandal, where top bankers were found guilty of distributing “false interest rates in order to fool investors and game the international economy.” Of course, if that screws up the international economy or makes people taking out a home mortgage to pay too much in interest, that’s probably not something Romney would be concerned about.
Interestingly, the dinner was held at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, and is estimated to have raised more than $2 million for Romney.
UPDATE: Romney is also holding a fundraiser in Jerusalem on Monday, but in a last minute decision he decided to kick the media out of the event, which violates the agreement he set up with the media back in April. So much for being transparent. The Romney campaign refuses to even discuss why this fundraiser is closed to the media. But the likely reason is that he wants to tell his donors something he does’t want the American people to hear. According to the Washington Post:
Romney has a history of delivering different messages to his donors when reporters are not present to hear them. At a closed-press fundraiser in Florida this spring, reporters from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, without Romney’s knowledge, overheard the candidate outline new tax policy proposals and suggest that he might dramatically downsize the Department of Education and eliminate the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
We do know that one of the people who will be attending the fundraiser is billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who is flying over from the US.