One of President Barack Obama’s top campaign spokesmen is a private equity manager whose firm has shut down several factories and laid off hundreds of people amid a stalled economy.
Federico Pena’s role at Vestar Capital Partners has emerged as
Obama’s aides and deputies continue their effort to portray former
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney‘s
investment career as ruthless, job-destroying, profit-maximizing
“vulture capitalism.” Pena has been a partner at Vestar since 2000.
Pena is a former mayor of Denver in swing-state Colorado, a former
cabinet member for President Bill Clinton and one of 35 “national
co-chairs “ of the president’s 2012 campaign.
The news will likely further undermine the Obama campaign’s effort to
focus on Romney’s business practices, rather than Obama’s White House
policies, and the resulting debt, deficits and unemployment.
The effort has been stymied by a series of business-friendly
Democratic politicians — such as Newark Mayor Cory Booker — who have
stepped forward to defend or praise the investment sector.
Pena’s private-equity role was highlighted by CompleteColorado.com, a Drudge-mimicking news aggregator.
Pena has already contributed $5,000 to Obama’s campaign, even though
Vestar laid off 1,000 workers from Del Monte this month, closed three
factories and laid off 540 people at Solo Cup Co., and fired another 500
workers at BirdsEye food-processor in 2006.
The Pena revelation follows reports highlighting the venture capital careers of two people on the president’s jobs council.
Richard Parsons, chairman of Citigroup, is a senior adviser at
Providence Equity Partners, and Mark Gallogly is a co-founder of
Centerbridge Partners. (Continues here)