MSNBC's Ed Schultz proved himself gullible enough to fall for the false story that Mitt Romney's son Tagg owns voting machines in Ohio and that he is somehow making sure that the vote in that important swing state goes the right way.
Brian Maloney grabbed the audio of Schultz' nationally syndicated radio show Thursday where the conspiracy-minded talker issued his newest hot tip to his adoring fans.
Question: Would you consider Tagg Romney part of the Romney campaign? Of course you would. I mean, it was Tagg that wanted to take a swing at the president, so I don't know if he's on the security team or the psycho team or whatever team, but he's part of it. I mean, he's one of the five sons. Uh, he owns voting machines in Hamilton County in Ohio. I don't know how that makes you feel or whether that alarms you in any way... if you're a Republican I'd feel real good about that.
Sounds ominous, doesn't it? There is only one problem. It isn't true. It seems the facts tend to trip Mr. Schultz up a bit, something that Jack Coleman amusingly notes happens to Ed "every waking hour."
The truth is that Tagg Romney doesn't "own" any voting machines in Ohio at all. Michael Warren of the Weekly Standard helps us out with the facts.
Tagg Romney, Warren discovered, did found an investment firm named Solamere Capital. As it happens, Solamere is a financial partner with a private equity firm named HIG Capital, and HIG Capital has invested in Intercivic, the company that operates polling machines in Ohio. But this connection between Tagg and Intercivic is entirely tangential. Warren explains further:
So while Solamere does partner with HIG on investments, none of those investments involve Hart Intercivic. HIG may be simultaneously managing investments with both companies, but the investments are kept separate, as required by law. Put simply, Tagg Romney is not an "investor in a voting machine company."
Warren also notes that this many layers of removal between the voting machines and Tagg Romney even had the extremist, left-wing, George Soros-funded website Think Progress scoffing at the whole conspiracy theory, saying there is "absolutely no evidence" that Tagg Romney is in a position to monkey with the voting machines.
Still, Schultz persisted in pushing this absurd conspiracy with his various guests all of whom were caught unawares about the whole silly claim. Neither Senator Dick Durbin (D, IL) nor Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D, MD) had any idea what to tell Schultz when he sprang his little theory on them that day.
Later, Mr. Schultz' wacky theory was shot down on his own show by no less than Nina Turner, a Democrat State Senator from Ohio, who told Ed, "we do not have any evidence of anything nefarious going on" between Tagg and the polling machine company Intercivic.
Schultz may want to check his real estate portfolio to make sure he didn't buy any Brooklyn Bridges of late.