Gawker, a site more often known for celebrity news, posts filled with snark reacting to pop culture and photos and videos making up the memes of the day, has what it's calling an exclusive report looking at Mitt Romney's investments and "schemes" to avoid taxes.
Titled The Bain Report, the post includes 48 documents and 950 pages Gawker says points to Romney's various investments and "tax-dodging Cayman schemes."
Today, we are publishing more than 950 pages of internal audits, financial statements, and private investor letters for 21 cryptically named entities in which Romney had invested--at minimum--more than $10 million as of 2011 (that number is based on the low end of ranges he has disclosed--the true number is almost certainly significantly higher). Almost all of them are affiliated with Bain Capital, the secretive private equity firm Romney co-founded in 1984 and ran until his departure in 1999 (or 2002, depending on whom you ask). Many of them are offshore funds based in the Cayman Islands. Together, they reveal the mind-numbing, maze-like, and deeply opaque complexity with which Romney has handled his wealth, the exotic tax-avoidance schemes available only to the preposterously wealthy that benefit him, the unlikely (for a right-wing religious Mormon) places that his money has ended up, and the deeply hypocritical distance between his own criticisms of Obama's fiscal approach and his money managers' embrace of those same policies. They also show that some of the investments that Romney has always described as part of his retirement package at Bain weren't made until years after he left the company.
Bain is the private equity and investment firm Romney co-founded in 1984 and left in 1999 to run the Salt Lake Olympics - or 2003, when Bain filings to the SEC claim he actually held the CEO position until.
Is the report a bombshell? Not according to Fortune's Dan Primack:
Let me save you some time: There is nothing in there that will inform your opinion of Mitt Romney. How do I know? Because I saw many of the exact same documents months ago, after requesting them from a Bain Capital investor. What I quickly learned was that there was little of interest, except perhaps for private equity geeks who want to know exactly how much Bain paid for a particular company back in 2006. Sure I would have loved the pageviews, but not at the expense of tricking readers into clicking on something of so little value.
There was no response from the Romney campaign in the Gawker report and it's unclear if Romney or his representatives were contacted about the documents or the post.