The Obama campaign’s latest attack tells the story of workers at an Indiana office supply company who lost their jobs after a Bain-owned company named American Pad & Paper (Ampad) took over their company and drove it out of business.
Here’s what the Obama Web video doesn’t mention: A top Obama donor and fundraiser had a much more direct tie to the controversy and actually served on the board of directors at Richardson, Texas-based Ampad, which makes office paper products.
Jonathan Lavine is a long-time Bain Capital executive and co-owner of the Boston Celtics. He is also one of President Obama’s most prolific fundraisers. He has already raised more than $200,000 for the Obama campaign this election, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Lavine started working for Bain in 1993. He was one of three Bain executives who served on the board of directors of Ampad for several years, a post he held until 1999. Here’s a news release announcing his departure from the company in April 1999.
Lavine’s placement on the board of Ampad suggests he had a more direct role than Romney in the series of events surrounding the layoffs, labor disputes and eventual bankruptcy of the Marion, Ind., factory featured in the Obama campaign video.
Asked about Mr. Lavine’s role, Obama campaign spokesman Ben Labolt put the focus back on Romney.
“No one aside from Mitt Romney is running for president highlighting their tenure as a corporate buyout specialist as one of job creation,” Labolt said. “The president has support from business leaders across industries who have seen him pull the economy back from the brink of another depression”.
And, Labolt argued, Romney, as the CEO of Bain, would have been the one ultimately responsible for what happened with Ampad.
“He made profit at any cost for himself and his partners by outsourcing jobs and bankrupting companies,” Labolt said. “From buyout to bankruptcy, Mitt Romney was CEO and sole owner of Bain. The managing director working on Ampad reported directly to him and has said Romney could have ordered him to settle with the union but didn’t.”
UPDATE: Alex Stanton, a spokesperson for Bain Capitol, does not dispute that Lavine was on the board of Ampad, but insists that he had nothing to do with the workers being laid off in Marion, Indiana.
“Jonathan Lavine was not at Bain Capital when Ampad was acquired by the firm, and was not involved on the investment during the challenging situation at the Marion plant. The assertion he had any involvement with those events is totally false,” said Stanton in a statement.
Mr. Lavine and President Obama have a couple of things in common. Guess what University he is a Trustee of? Furthermore, look at where he got his M.B.A.?
Blessed Be the Ties That Bind…
Columbia, B.A., 1988
Harvard University, M.B.A., 1992
Jonathan Lavine is a Managing Director at Bain Capital, a leading global private investment firm based in Boston.
Mr. Lavine serves as the managing partner and Chief Investment Officer of Sankaty Advisors, Bain Capital’s fixed income and credit affiliate, which he founded in 1997. Today, Sankaty is one of the leading credit and distressed debt managers, with over 160 employees in offices in Boston, London, Chicago and New York and approximately $18 billion in committed assets under anagement.
Before the formation of Sankaty, Mr. Lavine worked in Bain Capital’s private equity business which he joined in 1993. Prior to joining Bain Capital, Mr. Lavine was a consultant at McKinsey & Company. He began his career at Drexel Burnham Lambert in the Mergers & Acquisitions Department.
An active participant in charitable organizations, Mr. Lavine is Chair of the Columbia College Board of Visitors, a member of the Boards of the Dana Hall School, Children’s Hospital Trust, City Year, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Stand for Children. Mr. Lavine also is a member of the ownership group and a Director of the Boston Celtics.
Mr. Lavine received an M.B.A., with Distinction, from Harvard Business School, and a B.A., Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Columbia College. He was a 2008 recipient of Columbia’s John Jay Award for distinguished professional achievement. While at Columbia, he received the David Truman Award for outstanding contribution to the academic affairs of the college. In 2004, Mr. Lavine was named as one of the 40 outstanding Bostonians under the age of 40 by Boston Business Journal.
According to Bain Capital’s bio of Mr. Lavine:
Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer
Mr. Lavine joined Bain Capital in 1993. He is a Managing Director, and since inception, managing partner and the Chief Investment Officer of Sankaty Advisors and its related funds. He is chair of the firm’s Credit Committee and Risk & Oversight Committee with overall responsibility for strategy, portfolio management and risk. Previously, Mr. Lavine worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. Mr. Lavine began his career in the Mergers & Acquisitions Department of Drexel Burnham Lambert where he focused on acquisitions, financings and restructurings in a variety of industries.
The hard cold facts are:
Romney was Running against Teddy Kennedy when SCM Office Supplies in Marion, Indiana went out of business in 1994. Obama bundler Jonathan Levine, who has raised $100,000 for the president, was still very active with Bain at the time.
But, since when has the truth mattered to the Manchurian President and his minions?