HUFFINGTON POST
01/19/2012 10:38 am ET

Romney's Burger King Stock Donations Net $1.9 Million For Mormon Church

The ignominious downfall of Herman Cain left big shoes to fill in several arenas of the contest for the Republican presidential nomination. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have been sparring in the the vote-getting, far right arena. But the heir to Cain's Godfather's Pizza-borne crown of most fast-food-industry-focused candidate has remained unclaimed -- until now. And the heir presumptive to that fine boon is none other than frontrunner Mitt Romney.

In 2008, reports ABC, an unidentified partner in Bain Capital, the private equity fund Romney helped found, donated millions of dollars worth of shares in several Bain-owned companies to the Church of Latter Day Saints, AKA the Mormon Church. Part of this donation was $1.9 million in shares of Burger King and a big chunk of shares of Domino's. ABC speculates that the bequest was a part of the "tithe," a Mormon regulation which mandates that church members give 10% of their income to the church.

The terms of the documents ABC acquired don't necessarily point to Romney as the one who gave the donation -- but his campaign officials confirmed that some of the stock transfers were at his direction. And the Atlantic Wire notes that a few million dollars in stocks would be a more-or-less appropriate sum to tithe for a person worth about $250 million.

That said, if HuffPost Food were to receive a donation of $1.9 million in stock in any fast food company, there's no way we'd pick Burger King. That's fast food of the past -- it isn't even the number two burger chain any more. We'd definitely take fast growing Chipotle, Smashburger or Five Guys ahead of Burger King. Or better yet, why not invest in Michelle Obama's favorite fast food chain -- Shake Shack! Now there's a company (and a fan) we can get behind.

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