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Mitt Romney's Box of Kryptonite

In 1995, Randy Johnson lost his job after Bain Capital bought the struggling paper company where he worked. Armed with a pile of fading documents, he’s tormented Romney ever since
Mitt Romney's Box of Kryptonite
Photograph by Mark Mahaney

Randy Johnson organizes steel workers for a living. Before that he worked in a paper factory where he served as union steward. He has waved picket line placards, bellowed through bullhorns, and taken people out on strike. Along the way, he became Mitt Romney’s worst recurring nightmare.

At his bungalow in a working-class town near Pittsburgh, sitting on a chocolate-brown leather couch in the living room, Johnson displays the mild manner of a back-office accountant. He wears gold-rimmed glasses, a pale blue dress shirt, neatly pressed chinos, and black football coach’s shoes. “Let me show you something,” Johnson says, rising to get his “Romney box,” a copier-paper carton he’s kept since 1994. “She’s tried to get me to get rid of the box,” he says, nodding toward his wife, Rita, who smiles tolerantly. “I won’t do it.”