Whenever a politician decides to run for office, potential voters and the politician's opponents look at their record to see how he or she voted on previous issues. One reason is to see if the politician votes match what they say. The other reason is to find discrepancies to pounce on during the campaign. Mitt Romney knew he would run for president after his term as governor of Massachusetts ended and took action. According to new reports, Romney hid records before leaving office in 2007.
After an investigation by Reuters, it is determined Romney and the staff in his administration spent hundreds of thousand's of dollars to hide any and all traces of information about his work. Some of the steps the Romney Administration include having all electronic communications by the group wiped from the state servers. This means no record of internal documentation exists.
Members of the Romney staff also bought the hard drives from state-issued computers. This allowed the staffers to shield the Romney Administration from any criticism of information that could be found on the hard drives. In addition, Romney hid records by signing a new three-year lease to replace the computers in the governor's office. The governor's office already had a computer lease, at a cost of $108,000, in place with 18 months left. The new lease cost an extra $97,000.
This type of purging is legal but seems underhanded. Trying to hide information makes it seem like he's trying to hide something. Most politicians try to minimize their faults and controversial records but wiping the slate clean should spark questions. The Romney campaign says he followed the law and precedence but Theresa Dolan doesn't agree.
Dolan, former director of administration for the MA governor's office said Romney's effort was unprecedented. In her 23 years working in the position no one had ever purchased the hard drive from computers until the Romney Administration. In addition to digital records, Romney sought permission to destroy paper documents. Romney has stated that his records as governor are not protected and he doesn't need to release them.
Mitt Romney hid records before leaving office in 2007 and it is legal. The question is what is he hiding. No other governor in the last 20 plus years did what Romney and his staff did. His health care bill is already a problem for him because it is often compared to the president's plan. What other skeletons are hiding in the closet?
(Photo Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore)