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Putting the "Young" in Brigham Young and his heirs

Massachusetts' governor, Mitt Romney, recently announced that he was not running for a second term. Instead, he's looking into running for president.

That, apparently, has a lot of Democrats worried. In fact, they're so worried, they had one of their "deputy research directors" in Washington send a bunch of requests to Massachusetts, asking for "any and all records of communication" involving Mitt.

The requests are for any documents dating back to 1947 -- the year of Mitt's birth. (See accounts here and here.)

Oh, and they also want copies of any and all similar requests filed in the last three years, so they can see who else has been looking for dirt on Romney.

This request shows a hell of a lot more about the Democrats than it could ever hope to uncover about Romney. He not only beat the state's Democratic machine in 2002 when he was elected governor, but also ran against Ted Kennedy for the US Senate back in 1994 -- and if there's a better political machine for digging up dirt than the Kenney Syndicate, I don't wanna know about it. His life is pretty much an open book after all that, and as a Mormon he's lived what most would consider an exemplary, clean life. (Personally, I dunno how anyone could survive without caffeine, but that's my problem.) Mitt's dirty laundry has not only been thoroughly aired, it's faded away to essential nothingness.

But what do we now know about the Democrats? We know that they are concerned about Romney's chances -- concerned enough to have a flunky -- one Shauna Daly -- to send off her requests, hiding both her affiliation with the Democrats (she worked on John Edwards' 2004 campaign) and her own address, listing a PO Box.

She also asks that the state waive any and all charges for the efforts, which one of Romney's assistants estimates could run tens of thousands of dollars. Apparently George Soros is on vacation this week, and couldn't be reached to cut them a check for this fishing expedition.

I dunno whether the charges will be waived this time. If the state Democratic machine has its druthers, they probably will be. But if the forces of fiscal responsibility and sanity prevails, the DNC will be presented with a hefty bill for getting the state to do their legwork.

Either way, seeing them try to find dirt on Romney ought to keep the pinheads busy for a while, and keep them from finding real mischief to do.

Although if I happened to work for the Commonwealth (gag spit) and was assigned to this task, I'd be sorely tempted to sneak in a few juicy tidbits about the Senior Senator, the Honorable Edward Moore "Splash" Kennedy (D-Chivas).


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Comments (21)

Ya know.. being from Massac... (Below threshold)

Ya know.. being from Massachusetts myself, I never really saw much potential for a 2008 Romney for President campaign. I mean c'mon... a now FORMER one term governor of MA, with few achievements to boot... is going to be elected President?! But the more I think about it, and the more I look at history... it is rare that the big shots in politics get elected President. Presidents Clinton, Reagan, Carter were all reletively unheard of before they became President. And Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Ford, Bush (W), what achievements did they have before becoming President? So, perhaps a President Mitt Romney certainly is a possibility...

"I would imagine that the R... (Below threshold)
Blue:

"I would imagine that the Republicans would be doing the same thing, which is that they will be taking a good, hard look and beginning the process of compiling research on any of the possible presidential candidates," Keyser said. ''The Republicans did a remarkable workup on John Kerry [in the 2004 presidential race], and a lot of it was disgraceful stuff, but he lost and they won."

Anyone find this funny at all? I mean, excluding the "[i]They're[/i] bastards, so we can get away with this," mentality. What crippling revelation about Kerry came from the Bush Campaign? That he had an SUV? Last I checked, nearly every big smear about Kerry was at LEAST hidden by a few shell organizations.

As to Romney, I have to say I'm not a fan of the man, simply because I lived in Taxxachusetts for a while.
There a bunch of electability questions that will be raised over a series of primaries if Romney's in. Any description of him on the news will note that he's a Mormon (and on some channels that will be followed by a sordid history of the religion). His wife will constantly be described as 'afflicted by multiple sclerosis over the last 7 years,' and may whatever dieties you believe in forgive us if a major caucus occurs when his wife's undergoing a treatment. He will never be described as the Governor of Taxxachusetts or as the illegal Governor (although this may be a good thing), due to residency issues. His stance on Capital Punishment will be dragged up constistantly, and vague references will be made to a retroactive capital gains tax. Vetoing a bill to allow "poor workers" (read : illegal aliens) in-state tuition will likewise be vaguely and menacingly raised.

That's not to say he's the worst choice, but simply being decent at keeping books and holding together a more-rightwing-than-Chivas-Kennedy position doesn't make a president on its own.

Hey maybe if we have a repu... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hey maybe if we have a republican working there they can sneak in a few "official" documents into the file ala CBS NEWS/Bush NG documents. Then they can fall flat on their faces again.

Poetic justice wouldnt it be.

Here is what you do ... (Below threshold)
Blacknimbus:


Here is what you do if the state provides all this info without charging the Democratic Party.

Submit identical requests for whatever Democrat is running for any office in Massachusetts. Actually, if they were to get a lot of requests like this, it's a lot less likely that they would do it for free for anyone....

I don't know why the Dems a... (Below threshold)

I don't know why the Dems are going through all this trouble. They're not going to find any dirt on Mitt, and they know it, so they ought to just skip to step 3 in their playbook, which is: Make Stuff Up.

Presidents Eisenhower, K... (Below threshold)

Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Ford, Bush (W), what achievements did they have before becoming President?
Assuming that question wasn't a joke:
Ike was the Supreme Allied Commander in charge of liberating France from the Nazi's and the collaborators. Then he was president of Columbia Univ. Then the Supreme Commander of NATO.
Kenedy: Rich charismatic son of a well connected Mass. family, and a recognized war hero. And yes, I am taking the high road on this one ;)
Ford: Successful Congressman and officer in the Navy. More to his record than the last 2 presidents
Bush 41: War hero, former head of the CIA.

The only thing that gets me... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

The only thing that gets me is the holier that thou attitudes the Democrats front when it comes to investigating a candidate. Like somehow Republicans Karl Rove has special powers, resources, or tricks they don't have.

I mean which came first, AWOL or Swift Vets? Also don't want to rank those as equal since GWB didn't platform on his service.

Surely, I am not the only o... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

Surely, I am not the only one who sees a pattern emerging. Last year there was the embarrassing fiasco over the Mapes/Rather TANG forgeries, documents which seem to have been vetted thru members of the Kerry campaign staff including Max Cleland. Earlier this year, Michael Steele’s credit report was unlawfully obtained by Democratic staffers employed by Senator Chuck Schumer, an action for which the rest of us “civilians” would likely face criminal charges and jail time.

Clearly, dumpster diving for dirt is now an established pre-emptive tactic for Democrats, and one they should be forced to publicly acknowledge, and defend. Not least because in acknowledging their allegiance to the “Dark Side” the Dems are forced to own up to the clear difference in principle between the two sides of the aisle (we got ‘em, they don’t!)

Clearly, too, these actions by the Democrats represent an acknowledgment that the left simply cannot compete in the arena of ideas. They have no policy options to put forth to the American voter, no legislative alternatives to offer. Bereft of viable solutions to any of the problems facing our nation, the Democrats are in effect acknowledging their own ideological bankruptcy… all the while hoping no one will notice.

James Taranto, WSJ’s editor of OpinionJournal.com, has a piece on Governor Romney (http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007755) today. Taranto has a habit of following each reference to Massachusetts’ senior senator with the notation that Mary Jo Kopeckne has yet to offer her opinion. Hopefully, he will continue the practice.

Meanwhile, it would be nice to know more about Shauna/Shana Daly. Who hired her, who pays her, and under whose direction did she doe this? It would also be worth knowing how much more of this is going on that has not yet become public knowledge. The fact that Governor Romney is seemingly too principled to acknowledge the sleazy nature of his opponents does not mean that their misdeeds should go unchallenged.

In my state, this request w... (Below threshold)
Dodd:

In my state, this request would be summarily rejecyed as overbroad. Open records laws usually require some sort of specificity, as their purpose is to shine sunshine on government, not provide free oppo research. And there's no way the charges get waived even if it is filled; copying costs for this alone would put a sizeable dent in the budget of whatever agency(ies) have to answer it - and government employees are very, very protective of their budgets.

I don't think he'll win the... (Below threshold)
Taz:

I don't think he'll win the primaries.

My state (alledgedly Red) elected a ?lesbian over a Mormon. I know plenty of people (8) who would not vote for Matt Salmon just because he is Mormon.

Not voting for someone based on religous affiliation or lack thereof is plain silly, but people do it all the time.

Oh please. Do you really th... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Oh please. Do you really think every campaign doesn't engage in opposition research? They want all of the public files on Romney. So what. The Steele thing was a bad move, and Schumer voluntarily fired the staffers and notified the authorities the day he learned about it, a fact that gets conveniently glossed over. When you've got a guy like Romney, with a sparse public record, you try to find out as much about him as possible.

Do you really think the RNC doesn't do this with every potential Democratic candidate?

And I haven't seem much about Romney that makes him Presidential material, but again, he's still something of a cipher. I do resent the fact that he goes on the campaign trail and totally denigrates the state he governs, however. If you think the state's so bad, don't run for Governor.

Chris, I appear to be less... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

Chris, I appear to be less familiar with the details of this topic than you are, so perhaps you could enlighten us all and cite some specific examples of the RNC engaging in this sort of "research" either under current Chairman Kem Mehlman or his predecessor, Haley Barbour.

As for the claim tha Senator Schumer actually fired the staffers when he first "learned about it," if you believe that drivel, I have some good news for you. The Easter Bunny will be here in only a few short months, and in the meantime you can always occupy your enthusiasm with the Toenail Fairy.

I would be interested in se... (Below threshold)
JamesT:

I would be interested in seeing the name and address of hte person requesting these files. I work as an attorny for not to be named state agency in Kansas and I recieved an open records request very similar to the above but for Sam Brownback. The request was extremly overbroad in our case requesting any communications between Sen. Brownback and our agency and any communication that mentioned Sen. Brownback since 1986. And, oh, btw could we construct an index of those records for them and not charge them for the copies of twenty years of records and staff time to compile them? It was a totally inane request that my agency and pretty much every other that recieved the request is going to deny as overbroad. It looks as if they may be looking into anyone who is expressing an interest in running for the R nomination. And I say "they" as the requester listed a PO Box as the contact address, so I have no idea *who* made the request.

Sorry, I missed the last fe... (Below threshold)
JamesT:

Sorry, I missed the last few lines of hte post above when I wrote my comment in haste and irritation. Our request came from the same person, Ms. Daly.

What interests me is whethe... (Below threshold)
ClobberGirl:

What interests me is whether or not Mormons themselves would go for him. I'd have to dig for the reference, but I've been told that Brigham Young (the second prophet of the LDS Church) prophesied that no member of the Church would ever become President of the United States.

So from a hypothetical LDS standpoint, if he won, sure, it'd be neat having an LDS President, but it'd make ol' Brigham something of a false prophet. That makes me think not a few Mormons would be against a Romney presidency in spite of their conservative ties.

If anyone is interested I'll try to find the reference and double-check to make sure it's real and not an old wive's tale.

Chris: I do resent the ... (Below threshold)
Brock:

Chris: I do resent the fact that he goes on the campaign trail and totally denigrates the state he governs, however.
So he's on the campaign trail? Since when?

I'm interested in the Brigh... (Below threshold)

I'm interested in the Brigham Young reference to see just where it came from (probably Journal of Discourses). Other than that, although the Great State of Utah would vote for him, I don't think that he what it takes at this time to be elected president, but I think he could do a good John Edwards and be selected as Vice President. I could see him easily being coming the Vice President, but we'll have to see what happens in the primairies.

As for digging up dirt, I owuld think that there wasn't that much on him since whatever there was was probably already dug up by the Demos during his senate and governor's races. As for the carpetbagging problem, I know of a former first lady who was elected to the senate from New York who could explain much more about that.

El, The "former First Lady... (Below threshold)
Bat One:

El, The "former First Lady" to whom you refer has yet to fully explain all those many FBI files that she requested and had delivered to her while she was a White House resident. As I recall, a young and inexpereienced staffer fell on his sword on her behalf at the time, but the fact that the White House had requested all those FBI background files has yet to be convincingly explained.

This wouldn't necessarily b... (Below threshold)
D. Doré:

This wouldn't necessarily be a deciding factor in whether he could win the presidency, however there's no way Mitt could carry the conservative Christian vote. No one's saying he isn't a good man (at least, I'm not). It's simply the fact that he is a member of a cult.

Even if the race was only between Hillary (another conservative Christian nightmare) or Mitt, the Christian vote would stay home.

"So he's on the campaign tr... (Below threshold)
Chris:

"So he's on the campaign trail? Since when?"

Since he started making repeated trips to crucial primary states to deliver speeches. You don't have to be a declared candidate to be on the campaign trail.

And I'm not sure what justifies referring to this as "digging up dirt." As I recall, the Republican party did a pretty effective job of using every public utterance and Senate vote against Kerry, often in a misleading way. Part of opposition research is finding what stances a politician has taken, and the times he has asked government agencies to take certain actions. It's called politics.

And by the way, here's the lead from a Washington Post story on July 29, 2000. "Neither First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton nor any senior White House official was involved in seeking hundreds of confidential FBI background files about Reagan and Bush administration appointees, according to a report released yesterday by a special three-judge panel."

Of course, if you google for "Clinton + fbi files" you'll have to go through several pages of links to right wing web sites repeating falshoods about the story before you get to the actual facts.

Bat One, I'm sorry that an independent cousel and a three judge panel don't qualify as "sufficient explanation."

Bat One"Chris, I a... (Below threshold)
Chris:

Bat One

"Chris, I appear to be less familiar with the details of this topic than you are, so perhaps you could enlighten us all and cite some specific examples of the RNC engaging in this sort of "research" either under current Chairman Kem Mehlman or his predecessor, Haley Barbour."

Here's an article from the Columbia Journalism Review you might find interesting, in which several reporters say the Republicans have the most sophisticated opposition research team in the business.

http://www.cjrdaily.org/behind_the_news/votes_quotes_and_dirt_fresh_fr.php

And as for Chuck Schumer, do you have any evidence to back up your claim that it's "drivel" to say he fired the staffers when he first heard about their actions?




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