Republican Supporters Purchase Of Voting Machine Company Raises Red Flag
A private equity company run by fervent supporters of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney bought the third-largest voting machine company in the country last July, raising concerns about the appearance of impropriety, if not the possibility of impropriety itself.
Apprehension that Romney supporters could be literally buying votes has been burbling on left-wing blogs since Freepress.org, an alternative website based in Columbus, Ohio, reported late last month about H.I.G Capital’s purchase of Hart Intercivic.
H.I.G. Capital is a Miami-based private equity fund that manages $8.5 billion in capital. Hart Intercivic is a company exclusively in the business of manufacturing and programming voting systems.
Charles Sipkins, a crisis communications consultant serving as spokesman for H.I.G., told The Huffington Post on Monday that “Hart InterCivic has a long track record of supporting a fair and open democratic process.” He added: “Any suggestions that the company might try to influence the outcome of election results are unfounded.”
But there are elements to the story that nonetheless alarm election experts.
H.I.G. Capital’s co-founder, Anthony Tamer, previously worked at Bain & Company, the global consulting giant where Romney was once CEO. Eight of the company’s managing directors came from Bain as well. Tamer and his wife are major Romney donors, having each contributed $50,000 to the pro-Romney super PAC Restore Our Future. Tamer has also donated $75,000 to the Romney Victory Fund.