Romney's Pictured with his "Build It" Slogan - Walks the Walk - image Chron.com
While the Obama Campaign, Harry Reid and every news outlet continues to call for more than two years of Mitt Romney’s tax returns to be released, accusing Mitt Romney of not paying his “fair share” of taxes - The New York Times has uncovered an investment that might make those who would see Romney as a “vulture capitalist” back track a bit. Tucked into the real estate news section is an article about Romney’s investments in Houston in the early 1980’s. This real estate investment involved purchasing lower income properties, renting them out to own, in order to for everyone to benefit – the investor and those renting the properties. The housing market in Texas took a turn for the worst, and Romney held onto the properties even when other investors bailed. When the market improved, he gave the renters the opportunity to buy the homes – personally backing the mortgages, even to those that could not be approved for a traditional bank mortgage. (NY Times)
From the New York Times:
“The renters were offered the first chance to buy, but the Stampses could not qualify for a mortgage, recalled Mr. Stamps, who at the time had recently lost his job at an oil company.
“Then I got this phone call, personally, from Mr. Romney, asking if we really wanted to buy the house,” Mr. Stamps, 63, said in an interview the other day at the barbershop he now runs. “I said, yes we did. And he said he would loan us the money. He really helped us when we needed it.”
“Mr. Stamps said that he and his wife had received calls in recent months from strangers who “seemed to be looking for negative stuff” about Mr. Romney, but that the couple had nothing to say to them. (The Stampses recently refinanced the original 30-year loan; the new mortgage, still with Mr. Romney, was dated June 12 but signed just two weeks ago. Details of the interest rate were not included in the public record.)”
The Times article notes that the Romney Campaign had no statement on this particular story – which is not unlike the Campaign – given that there are instances in Romney’s character that show a man that would help individuals, no matter the circumstances, and no matter who the individual are. It is a rare glimpse at the “other Mitt Romney”, the young man who gave his entire inheritance to charity away while in college and opted to live in a basement apartment in Boston instead. A young man who worked his way up the ladder on his own – no handouts. Critics are quick to site that there must be something he’s hiding in those tax returns, and perhaps there is – perhaps additional investments and or charitable ventures that, the reserved Romney might prefer to keep to himself.
Little has been reported about his selfless rescue of a family and their dog while he was the Governor of Massachusetts – those types of stories don’t fit with the Press and Obama Campaign narrative. Moreover, and the reserved Romney doesn’t tout personal information that might put him in a very positive light. Perhaps given his position in the national spotlight, he prefers not to involve others that he may have helped – the result being hounded by “people that were looking for negative stuff” on Mitt Romney. It is all speculation on what drives the man who has built a fortune from the ground up, while being characterized as heartless by the Obama PAC’s and Campaigns – with 98% of the “news” coverage regarding Romney being negative. One might think he’d like a boost – but it’s obvious that’s not in his character. It does however, play into the Romney narrative of a hand up not a hand out to those in need, unlike the current government policy.
Perhaps those other returns might reveal instances where he reached out and helped others, something that would go missing from the main news (but tucked into “real estate” or under some other heading bound to less viewed) while the focus would continue to be on his ability to amass a fortune, as if the very act of striking it rich, were a crime in our society. Those returns may tell a different story and show a side to the former Massachusetts Governor that would not work for Harry Reid, or the Obama Campaign, but Romney’s sticking by the law that does not require candidates to release any tax returns.