Jul 24, 2012 at 03:24 PM
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The Sponsorship Deal That Has Left Wing Conspiracy Theorists Salivating

It isn't often that a sponsorship deal makes its way into election year politics, but this being an Olympic year with election mud slinging reaching an all time high and a candidate who has previously taken an activate role in selling major sponsorship deals; this may be the year. Mitt Romney, who has largely been credited with cleaning up and turning around the Salt Lake City Olympic Committee, has been the subject in recent weeks of some popular blog posts on the left wing website Daily Kos. The blog posts, which are garnering hundreds of comments suggest that Mattel's licensing deal with the SLOC may have personally benefited the Republican candidate via Bain's stake in The Learning Company and its acquisitor, Mattel. As you've probably seen on numerous TV interviews, a popular campaign strategy for Democrats right now is to question whether the Republican candidate bears any responsibility for Bain's activities after he left the company to run the SLOC and the theory being propagated would seem to fall along the same lines.

Among other things, this popular post on the Daily Kos offers up the assertion that Romney:

  • - used his position as CEO of the SLOC to influence the choice of Olympic sponsors and licensees to his own personal benefit.

  • - used his position as CEO of the SLOC to make public statements about the health of Mattel which he knew or should have known, to be materially false.

  • - used his position as CEO of the SLOC to influence the investment decisions of shareholders or potential shareholders of Mattel, or to influence the price of Mattel's stock, while failing to disclose his own material interest in Mattel.

  • - failed to disclose to the SLOC, to the USOC, and to the IOC, a clear conflict of interest with respect to his ownership status in Mattel.

    We don't venture into politics here very often and this is an inherently biased assertion being made with many facts left to be answered, but it is interesting to consider even the slight prospect that the details of a sponsorship deal could play a material role (one way or the other) in the outcome of this year's presidential election.