Have you been following the career of Mitt Romney's boy Tagg? As his dad runs for president denouncing "crony capitalism" and "big government," Tagg has been gathering some of Mitt's richest friends into a private-equity fund called Solamere -- a clever instrument for pursuing government subsidies, contracts and tax breaks should Romney win.
You see, disclosure laws would make it hard for a President Romney to hide many conflicts of interest. But if the money guys are in Tagg's Solamere, we don't know what conflicts of interest the Romney contributors are profiting from. We may not even know the investors' names.
"The close relationship with Romney and this investment opportunity looks to me like people are investing to buy access," Bob Edgar, head of Common Cause, told me. "People are (literally) speculating that Romney may become the next president of the United States. It doesn't smell good."
Before Solamere, Tagg's main claim to business fame was as a marketer for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Now he's playing financier. The interesting part is that whether Mitt wins or loses (and he and his wife have given Solamere $10 million), Tagg and Spence Zwick -- his campaign's finance chairman and a Solamere partner -- make a pile.
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