WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Jared Polis has been a critic of Bain Capital, the aggressive venture-capital firm that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney co-founded. Yet his investment adviser has been a fan.
The Boulder Democrat had holdings worth as much as $46,000 in Bain Capital in 2011 and 2012, according to personal disclosure forms filed with the clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Polis’ portfolio included as much as $30,000 in Bain Capital Fund VII. Congressional rules allow members to provide a range of figures for their investments, transactions, and liabilities.
Yet Polis criticized the Boston-based venture capital firm for giving pink slips to American workers at a campaign fundraiser for President Obama in Denver last May, the Denver Post reported.
“In private equity, there are companies that invest in communities and grow them. This was not the model for Bain Capital. It was to look at turnaround .. and frequently involved outsourcing,” Polis told reporter Sara Burnett at the Hyatt Regency at the Colorado Convention Center.
Polis implied that Bain’s business practices were harmful to communities, comparing them with those of other venture capital firms that did not ship jobs overseas.
A Polis spokesperson clarified that Polis’ investment in Bain Capital was indirect.
“He did not own directly in Bain Capital. He invested in the Deutsche Banc Alex Brown Special Opportunities Fund LLC that invested in Bain Capital,” the spokesperson said.
Bain Capital’s business practices were a flashpoint not only in the Republican presidential primary but also the 2012 general election.
Days before the Obama fundraiser in Denver, the president’s re-election campaign released a two-minute television commercial that savaged Bain for its acquisition of GST Steel and causing steel workers to lose their jobs. The ad was part of a $100 million TV blitz against Romney in the summer of 2012 that Obama parlayed to a second term in office.
The status of Polis’ holdings in Bain Capital is unclear. According to personal transaction forms filed this year, Polis sold two of the four Deutsche Banc mutual funds this spring. His financial disclosure forms list him as a limited partner of Deutsche Banc’s Alex Brown Special Opportunities Fund LLC.
Polis’ holdings in Bain Capital’s mutual funds were among the notable features of his personal disclosure forms last year. Other highlights were:
– Of the 535 members of Congress, Polis was the seventh wealthiest member, according to The Hill. His net worth was $60.2 million at least. By contrast, the Center for Responsive Politics estimated his wealth in 2011 at $83 million to $346 million.
The fortune of the 38-year-old Internet multimillionaire appears to have declined. Fortune Magazine estimated his personal worth at $160 million in 2004. Roll Call ranked him as the sixth wealthiest member of the House and Senate in 2011 and said he was worth $65.2 million at least. Polis listed a credit card of $5 million to $25 million as a liability.
– Polis’s assets included as much as $1.4 million in mutual funds with investments tied to hydraulic fracturing, the controversial oil-extraction process that Polis has sought to curb more tightly. His largest investment was worth as much as $1 million in Bow River Capital Fund IV LP.
In addition, Polis made a profit of as much as $250,000 from a sale of a Bow River Capital Fund II that had an investment in MCC Energy Fund, an early-stage oil firm in Calgary, Canada, a haven for fracking. Polis’ disclosure forms also list him as a limited partner with Bow River.