Mitt Flips on Ethics, Flops on the Campaign Trail
WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Smooth talking Mitt Romney's hypocrisy and shameless flip-flopping on ethics reform and campaign finance laws are on full display this week. On the same day he released a new television ad highlighting the need to end the Republican culture of corruption, Romney outlined his vision for reforming campaign finance laws in an interview with Roll Call. While Romney claims in his TV ad that "We can't have ethical standards that are a punchline for Jay Leno," he fails to mention that his own campaign is headed by a scandal-plagued campaign team. Among the top figures in Romney's own campaign of corruption is Illinois' own Bob Kjellander, a leading Romney media stand-in who was the subject of a federal corruption investigation related to a kickback scheme at the state-run teacher's pension fund. [Associated Press, 8/10/05; Daily Herald (Illinois), 6/17/07] Romney also advocated repealing the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform laws in favor of a system "that allows individuals to contribute whatever amount they want to political candidates and parties, but that requires full disclosure of such donations." [Roll Call, 9/19/07] But Romney's rhetoric on full disclosure stands in stark contrast with his refusal to reveal the identity of his bundlers -- the donors who have "bundled" campaign contributions from other donors. [Washington Post, editorial, 7/11/07] Meanwhile, his new rhetoric on lifting spending limits conflicts with his previous support for far more stringent limits, including "taxing political contributions to finance publicly funded campaigns" and "placing spending limits on congressional campaigns and abolishing political action committees." [The Hill, 2/8/07] No wonder the latest Gallup poll shows Romney fading, with his support among Republican voters falling to 7 percent -- the lowest level since April. [Gallup News Service, 9/18/07] "Mitt Romney may think he can smooth talk voters into thinking he'd end the Republican culture of corruption, but the voters already know that he's just another Bush Republican offering more of the same failed leadership," said Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera. "No matter how hard he tries, all of Mitt's flips are a big flop on the campaign trail." Mitt Romney Flip-Flops on Campaign Finance... Old Mitt: Supported Campaign Finance Reform. During his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Romney "proposed taxing political contributions to finance publicly funded campaigns," while during his 1994 Senate campaign Romney "publicly advocated placing spending limits on congressional campaigns and abolishing political action committees (PACs)." [The Hill, 2/8/07] New Mitt: Opposes Campaign Finance Reform, Calls It "One Of The Worst Things In My Lifetime." Referring to the McCain-Feingold law on campaign finance reform, Romney called it "one of the worst things in my lifetime." [The Hill, 2/8/07] Romney pledge to "fight to repeal McCain-Feingold." [Remarks to Conservative Political Action Conference, 3/2/07] ...And His New Ethical Standards Romney Backer Bob Kjellander Subpoenaed in Corruption Investigation. Robert Kjellander was named RNC treasurer in early August of 2005, soon after it was reported that a federal prosecutor was investigating corruption at the Illinois Teacher's Retirement Systems, a state run teacher's pension fund. The subpoena specifically sought records relating to Kjellander's receipt of $4.5 million in fees from the Carlyle group, for helping to land the business with the pension fund. [Associated Press, 8/10/05] -- Kjellander Named in Kickback Plea. "Kjellander's name surfaced last fall in the federal guilty plea of Stuart Levine, a North Shore businessman who used his position on a state teacher pension investment board to get kickbacks. Levine admitted to helping Kjellander, referred to by prosecutors as 'Individual K,' collect a finder's fee for securing a $150 million pension investment deal for his client in return for Kjellander not billing Levine for lobbying work." [Daily Herald (Illinois), 6/17/07] -- Kjellander Served as Romney "Stand-In," Spoke to Press at Illinois GOP Straw Poll. Though lacking an official title with Romney's campaign, Republican National Committee Treasurer Bob Kjellander - along with Romney's IL campaign chair Dan Rutherford - served as Romney's stand-in at the August 2007 Illinois GOP straw poll. [Chicago Sun Times, 8/17/07] Following the August 2007 Illinois straw poll, Bob Kjellander - identified by Springfield's State Journal-Register as "a Republican National Committeeman from Illinois and a Romney supporter" -- spoke to the press about Romney's victory in the Illinois event. Kjellander said that Romney's straw poll performance represented "a significant victory for Romney," as "he was not expected to win here." [The State Journal-Register (Illinois), 8/17/07] -- Romney: "I Appreciate and Value" Kjellander's Support. Asked about his association with Kjellander, Romney responded, "Um, he is one of my supporters and I appreciate and value his support." Romney refused to address if he was worried that Kjellander's might surface in another federal indictment, saying only, "I have a lot of great supporters and I welcome their support and wish them the very best." According to FEC Data, both Kjellander and his wife contributed $2100 each to Romney's presidential campaign. [Daily Herald (Illinois), 6/17/07; Mitt Romney for President Campaign Finance Records, First Quarter, accessed 6/13/07] National Finance Co-Chair Alan Fabian Indicted on Massive Fraud and Money Laundering Charges. On August 9th, Alan B. Fabian of Cockeysville, Maryland was indicted on 23 counts of mail fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud, perjury, and obstruction of justice. Fabian allegedly "ran a scheme to make $32 million in false purchases of computer equipment, spending the money instead on beach real estate and private jet travel." The case ranks as "one of the largest monetary theft cases ever prosecuted in Maryland." Fabian had been Romney's national finance committee co-chair since January 2007, and had contributed the maximum $2300 to the campaign. [Associated Press, 8/9/07; Baltimore Business Journal, 8/9/07; Boston Globe, 8/12/07] Deputy Campaign Manager Tied to Abramoff Scandal, Paid Over $10,000 AFTER He Resigned. Romney's deputy campaign manager and former chief of staff to Tom Feeney, daily operating officer Jason Roe resigned abruptly on April 24.... Roe's resignation came only days after the FBI questioned Feeney about a 2003 golfing trip he took that was paid for by convicted ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The FBI also requested correspondence Roe sent to the St. Petersburg Times regarding Feeney's Scotland trip. According to the Times, Roe's email asserted, "Any assertion that this office knew Abramoff paid for the Scotland trip is a g--d----- lie." [Hotline, 4/24/07] In May 2007, the Romney campaign paid Jason Roe $10,590, though his regular pay was just under $4,000 per pay period. However, the $10,000 payment to Roe came nearly a month -- a full pay period -- after he had resigned from Romney's campaign, purportedly due to an FBI probe into his former boss's Jack Abramoff connections. [Hotline, 4/24/07; Romney for President Second Quarter Report, July 2007, Federal Elections Commission, accessed 7/17/07] Director of Operations Investigated for Impersonating a Police Officer in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. "The New Hampshire Attorney General launched a probe in allegations that Jay Garrity, Romney's director of operations, illegally pulled over New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich, claiming he had run the journalist's license plate. Leibovich said Garrity directed him off the road, told him he ran his plate and that he was not allowed to follow Romney's caravan. Jane Young, chief of the AG's criminal bureau, said, 'The AG was contacted about the alleged incident and we are presently conducting an investigation into the allegations'" [Boston Herald, 6/22/07] "Jay Garrity, director of operations for Mitt Romney, is under investigation by the Suffolk District Attorney's Office for allegedly impersonating a police officer. During a May 13 phone call, Garrity complained about the erratic driving of an operator for a Wilmington plumbing company. He referred to himself as 'Trooper Garrity.' Spokesman for the Suffolk District Attorney's Office Daniel Conley said the investigation remains 'open and active.'" [Boston Herald, 7/20/07] Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, www.democrats.org. This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
SOURCE Democratic National Committee
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