How Mitt Romney Tried to Erase the Evidence of His Governorship

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AK Forty Seven, Dec 6, 2011.


    How Mitt Romney Tried to Erase the Evidence of His Governorship

    Shortly before leaving the governor's office in Massachusetts, Mitt Romney's administration spent nearly $100,000 of state money to purge computer and email records in an unprecedented attempt to wipe out the paper trail of his tenure. His staff took home hard drives from state-owned computers and erased emails and other communications from state servers, complicating current efforts to retrieve and review the records of Romney's four-year term that ended in 2007.

    Related: Romney's Task Today: Distance Himself from RomneyCare

    It is not believed that Romney violated any laws, but according to state officials who spoke to Reuters, the move to scrub the digital archive of his administration was unusually thorough. Several members of his staff used their own money to purchase the hard drives of their state computers so that they could take them home after leaving their jobs. The staff also broke an existing lease on office equipment so that they could rent new "clean" computers at the end of their run, a move that cost the state $97,000 in additional funds.
    Related: Reactions from the Right to Romney's Health Care Speech

    Romney claims that whatever record remains of his time in office — including possible details of what was erased — are not subject to state disclosure laws. However, like regulations governing the destruction of digital records, Massachusetts law is vague on what is and isn't allowed. The court ruling most likely to cover any disclosure ruling is from 1997 (well before most state business was done on email) and the state's official records law has not been updated to deal with digital records, meaning Romney could benefit from Massachusetts' failure to adapt to the 21st Century.
    Related: Jon Huntsman Will Drink for Peace

    The loss or potential sealing of Romney's Massachusetts records could become a huge issue in 2012, should he secure the Republican nomination. Those were the only four years that Romney ever spent in public office and how he ran his state will be a focal point of scrutiny for both voters and the media, particularly when it comes to the passage of his state health care law. Several news organizations are already working through freedom of information requests in the hope of combing through the historical record, but any legal complications regarding the release of those records — or the fact that many of them no longer exist — could delay any formal accounting of Romney's tenure until it's too late to make any difference. Sounds like that's just the way he would like it.
  2. Politicans all behave the same way. Republican. Democrat. Pick your poison.


    A little secret about Obama's transparency

    The Democratic administration of Barack Obama, who denounced his predecessor, George W. Bush, as the most secretive in history, is now denying more Freedom of Information Act requests than the Republican did.


    Obama's secrets

    One of the most disappointing attributes of the Obama administration has been its proclivity for secrecy. The president who committed himself to "an unprecedented level of openness in government" has followed the example of his predecessor by invoking the "state secrets" privilege to derail litigation about government misdeeds in the war on terror. He has refused to release the administration's secret interpretation of the Patriot Act, which two senators have described as alarming. He has blocked the dissemination of photographs documenting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. service members. And now his Justice Department has proposed to allow government agencies to lie about the existence of documents being sought under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA.

    This policy is outrageous. It provides a license for the government to lie to its own people and makes a mockery of FOIA. It also would mislead citizens who might file an appeal if they knew there was a possibility that the document they sought was in the possession of a government agency.