RICK UNGAR [email]
Ungar is a contributor to Forbes.com, and appears as the liberal voice of the “Forbes on Fox” television show and as a political pundit on other Fox network programs. He recently wrote the op-ed, “Romney Family Investment Ties To Voting Machine Company That Could Decide The Election Causing Concern.” It states:
“A test conducted in 2007 by the Ohio Secretary of State revealed that five of the electronic voting systems the state was looking to use in the upcoming 2008 presidential election had failed badly, each easily susceptible to chicanery that could alter the results of an election. …We learn that one of the companies whose machines had failed was none other than Hart Intercivic.
“It turns out that Hart Intercivic is owned, in large part, by H.I.G. Capital — a large investment fund with billions of dollars under management — that was founded by a fellow named Tony Tamer. While it is unclear just how much H.I.G. owns of Hart Intercivic, we do learn that H.I.G. employees hold at least two of the five Hart Intercivic board seats.
“Tony Tamer, H.I.G.’s founder, turns out to be a major bundler for the Mitt Romney campaign, along with three other directors of H.I.G., who are also big-time money raisers for Romney. Indeed, as fate would have it, two of those directors — Douglas Berman and Brian Schwartz — were actually in attendance at the now infamous “47 percent” fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida.
“But wait — if you’re feeling a bit ill now, you’ll want to get the anti-acids ready to go because it’s about get really strange.
“To everyone’s amazement, we learn that two members of the Hart Intercivic board of directors, Neil Tuch and Jeff Bohl, have made direct contributions to the Romney campaign. This, despite the fact that they represent 40 percent of the full board of directors of a company whose independent, disinterested and studiously non-partisan status in any election taking place on their voting machines would seemingly be a ‘no brainer.’ And finally, we learn that H.I.G. is the 11th largest of all the contributors to the Romney effort.
“Numerous media sources, including Truthout, are reporting that Solamere Capital — the investment firm run by Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg, and the home of money put into the closely held firm by Tagg’s uncle Scott, mother Anne and, of course, the dad who might just be the next President of the United States — depending upon how the vote count turns out, in our little tale, in the State of Ohio—have shared business interests with H.I.G. either directly or via Solamere
“While I am not suggesting conspiracies or that anyone would get involved in any foul play here, most particularly the GOP candidate for President, how is it possible that so many people could exercise so much bad judgment?
“The sanctity of voting in America is supposed to be one of our most important virtues.
“So, why would these individuals who serve on the board of directors of Hart Intercivic go out of their way to make a contribution to any political candidate given the critical importance of their company remaining above reproach when it comes to the political process? And why would those who run the company that owns Hart Intercivic be giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to a political candidate? And why would a political candidate and his family have a financial relationship with a company that owns a chunk of the voting machine company that will be counting the actual votes given to that political candidate or his opponent?”