Auto union files ethics complaint against Romney for alleged bailout profits

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"We are writing to provide you with further evidence of the pressing need to conduct the investigation we requested in our previous letter of August 23, 2012 into presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s financial disclosures, which do not appear to be in compliance with the Ethics in Government Act," the UAW wrote in a letter to Office of Government Ethics general counsel Don Fox.

"While some officials use blind trusts to satisfy these disclosure requirements, Mitt Romney himself has said '[T]he blind trust is an age-old ruse, if you will. Which is to say you can always tell a blind trust what it can and cannot do,' " the UAW letter continued. "In any event, press reports indicate that Romney has not even attempted to meet the requirements for a federal blind trust with respect to his substantial equity holdings. The only way for this law to be enforced in a meaningful way is for your Office to act promptly to demand that candidate Romney disclose his stock holdings, or divest them if disclosure is not feasible."

Romney's campaign declined to comment on the UAW complaint, pointing instead to a press conference supporters of the GOP nominee held about an unrelated controversy over Delphi pensions.

Critics of the bailout argue that preferential treatment was given to union workers at Delphi because approximately $1 billion in bailout money from the federal government was used to pay pensions for union employees at Delphi before the company went into bankruptcy in 2009.

The UAW's president said in a statement that it was filing the complaint because "[T]he American people have a right to know about Gov. Romney’s potential conflicts of interest, such as the profits his family made from the auto rescue.

“It’s time for Governor Romney to disclose or divest," UAW President Bob King said.

The UAW and other supporters of President Obama have sharply criticized Romney for opposing the $80 billion bailout of the U.S. auto industry in 2008 and 2009. Romney derided the bailout at the time as a give-away to labor groups like the UAW. He has since argued that Obama supporters are misrepresenting his position on the car loans.

Romney argues he was in favor of a "managed bankruptcy" for the car companies, and said Obama eventually took his advice when he placed conditions on GM and Chrysler in the spring of 2009.

Democrats counter that the critical decision in the auto intervention was whether or not the federal government should provide the money for the loans before they restructured, a strategy Romney opposed.