Putting Gordon Gekko on the ballot

The L.A. Times had a pretty brutal piece the other day on Mitt Romney’s career as a vulture capitalist, when he used his private equity firm to orchestrate leveraged buyouts, fire American workers, seek taxpayer subsidies, and flip companies quickly for large profits. Romney was apparently good at it, making money for investors “even when companies slid into bankruptcy.”

Well, at least he was a job-creator, right? Wrong. Marc Walpow, a former managing partner at Bain who worked closely with Romney for nine years, told the Times, “I never thought of what I do for a living as job creation. The primary goal of private equity is to create wealth for your investors.”

All of this has given some Romney critics a good idea.

The labor-backed Americans United for Change is today unleashing a multimedia campaign linking Romney, a former venture capitalist, with Gordon Gekko, the fictional, greed-crazed titan from the 1987 Oliver Stone film “Wall Street.”

The effort includes a new website, www.RomneyGekko.com, which offers an interactive quiz challenging readers to decide whether Romney or Gekko uttered a phrase; a fake Twitter account, @RomneyGekko; a plan to station “Romney-Gekko” supporters outside the candidate’s big-ticket fund-raisers; and web videos led by one pivoting off Ronald Reagan’s famed “It’s Morning in America” theme.

The video doesn’t pull its punches.

Romney has to know this is coming, but I’m not sure what he can do about it.

Indeed, he can’t even pivot away from his private-sector layoffs to public-sector success. During Romney’s one term as governor — his only service in public office — his state’s record on job creation was “one of the worst in the country,” ranking 47th out of 50 states in job growth.

Vulture-capitalist layoffs, followed by one term of failure, isn’t a great combination.