So here's the real deal with why the Romney's taxes keep coming back as an issue. During the period when Romney was paid as and signing documents as CEO for Bain (in abstentia according to him) they invested in a rapidly growing medical waste company called Stericycle, that used food irradiation machinery to sterilize medical waste, including among other things human fetuses. They were apparently a good investment as at the time Forbes listed it as #10 of 100 fastest growing companies.
Complication #1: they had a number of OSHA and safety complaints, likely to rub folks concerned about worker safety the wrong way but to drive anti-abortion activists bonkers.
Romney Invested in Medical-Waste Firm That Disposed of Aborted Fetuses, Government Documents Show | Mother JonesBut the company had its woes, accumulating a troubling safety record along the way. In 1991, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited its Arkansas operation for 11 workplace safety violations. The facility had not provided employees with sufficient protective gear, and it had kept body parts, fetuses, and dead experimental animals in unmarked storage containers, placing workers at risk. In 1995, Stericycle was fined $3.3 million—later decreased to $800,000—by Rhode Island for knowingly exposing workers to life-threatening diseases at its medical-waste treatment facility in Woonsocket. Two years later, workers at another of its medical-waste processing plants in Morton, Washington, were exposed to tuberculosis. In 2002 and 2003—after Bain and its partners had bought their major interest in the firm—Stericycle reached settlements with the attorneys general in Arizona and Utah after it was accused of violating antitrust laws. It paid Arizona $320,000 in civil penalties and lawyers' fees, and paid Utah $580,000.
Complication #2: Not just Bain Capital but a whole array of Bain spinoffs and subsidiaries, all listing Romney as CEO and controlling interest invested in Stericycle. The paperwork in multiple places contradicts the idea that Romney played no roll in the investment choice.
Romney Invested in Medical-Waste Firm That Disposed of Aborted Fetuses, Government Documents Show | Mother JonesIn November 1999, Bain Capital and Madison Dearborn Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm, filed with the SEC a Schedule 13D, which lists owners of publicly traded companies, noting that they had jointly purchased $75 million worth of shares in Stericycle, a fast-growing player in the medical-waste industry. (That April, Stericycle had announced plans to buy the medical-waste businesses of Browning Ferris Industries and Allied Waste Industries.) The SEC filing lists assorted Bain-related entities that were part of the deal, including Bain Capital (BCI), Bain Capital Partners VI (BCP VI), Sankaty High Yield Asset Investors (a Bermuda-based Bain affiliate), and Brookside Capital Investors (a Bain offshoot). And it notes that Romney was the "sole shareholder, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of BCI, BCP VI Inc., Brookside Inc. and Sankaty Ltd."
The document also states that Romney "may be deemed to share voting and dispositive power with respect to" 2,116,588 shares of common stock in Stericycle "in his capacity as sole shareholder" of the Bain entities that invested in the company. That was about 11 percent of the outstanding shares of common stock. (The whole $75 million investment won Bain, Romney, and their partners 22.64 percent of the firm's stock—the largest bloc among the firm's owners.) The original copy of the filing was signed by Romney.
Another SEC document filed November 30, 1999, by Stericycle also names Romney as an individual who holds "voting and dispositive power" with respect to the stock owned by Bain.
So now the real reason why Romney has been so dogged in asserting he had nothing to do with running Bain in 1999 and so resistant to releasing his taxes. Its because he signed all kinds of papers personally where he made good money from owning the largest share of company that a.) disposed of medical waste from abortion clinics and b.) paid sizable settlements for doing it in an unsafe manner.
Now all the Kabuki about this issue comes into clearer focus.