Bad Optics

While Team Romney continues to suggest that President Obama holds “foreign” Kenyan anti-colonial views, or that he doesn’t fully appreciate our “Anglo-Saxon heritage,” a review by ThinkProgress has revealed that one of Romney’s campaign bundlers is a lobbyist for a foreign government.

Newly released lobbyist bundler disclosure records filed by the Mitt Romney campaign show that Tom Loeffler raised at least $17,500 in bundled contributions for the campaign over the first six months of 2012. Loeffler, a former Republican U.S. Representative from Texas and a lobbyist at Akin Gump represents a wide array domestic clients including USAA, NextgenID, and the Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice. But a ThinkProgress review of Foreign Agent Registration Act reveals that Loeffler registered in February as a registered agent for a foreign government: the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).

The agreement — signed by Loeffler — stipulated that, from February 13 through June 30, 2012, he would “protect, promote, assist and develop Hong King’s economic and trade interests in the United States of America” by working with Congress and the executive branch. In exchange, the HKTDC agreed to pay Akin Gum $35,775 per month. The Romney bundling all took place during the time Loeffler was under this initial contract, though it is unclear whether the contract was renewed at the end of June.

I wouldn’t suggest this was anything other than benign, insofar as lobbying for more outsourcing to China can be considered benign, but it looks really bad.

Perhaps it wouldn’t looks as bad if not for the inconvenient fact that Romney is now the public face of outsourcing, or the fact that his campaign has spent the last several weeks employing “foreign” dog-whistles.

Foreign lobbyists aside, who exactly is the Manchurian candidate in this election? The man who the American people are now very familiar with, or the man who destroyed his government records, won’t release his tax returns, and hides his money overseas?

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  • KAboink

    Indeed Ashby.
    Rmoney IS the man who destroyed his government records, won’t release his tax returns, and hides his money overseas whilst lying about his involvement at Bain after 1999. He is the most secretive presumptive candidate for President in my lifetime. I say ‘presumptive’ candidate because he has to wait until after the GOP convention to be named the official candidate, at which time a whole bunch of rightwing billions kick-in to his campaign financing, so brace yourselves.
    Right now he’s just a lying snake in the grass and I’m glad the Dems are playing offense at this time..