Friday, January 30, 2004
Cheapened By The Dozen

The Beacon Hill barter system was once effectively described by a state Senator, "Say you’re the chairman of a committee. You get some other chairman to hire your girlfriend. Then you hire his girlfriend." (source: Boston Herald, 1/25/1998)

However, judging by recent events, Willard Mitt appears to have taken the barter system to new and untested heights.

Romney was recently exposed as possibly violating Massachusetts telephone wagering prohibitions. (see RiaF, 1/22/2004) However, even as the Fraud Governor heads to Houston to watch the Super Bowl under a cloud of ethics complaints (source: Boston Herald, 1/29/2004) some are questioning whether Romney was involved in an illegal barter deal with Indiana Governor Joe Kernan.

Prior to the New England Patriots-Indianapolis Colts playoff game, Romney allegedly placed an illegal telephone wager on the outcome of the game with Kernan. After the game, Kernan reportedly sent Romney twelve pounds of pork chops courtesy of the Indiana Pork Producers Association. (source: Associated Press, 1/16/2004)

According to the Indiana Lobby Registration Commission, the Indiana Pork Producers Association are a trade association that is represented before the Indiana State Legislature and executive offices by BoseTreacy Associates, LLC, one of the largest lobbying concerns in that state.

Romney’s reported acceptance of a payoff by an Indiana trade association raises an ethical question: did Romney and Kernan use the occasion of the Patriots/Colts game to ‘barter favors’? Did Kernan direct the Pork Producers Association to pay Romney in exchange for a similar payment from Romney through a Massachusetts trade association?

Is it preposterous to wonder if the Pork Producers Association will get special consideration from Gov. Kernan for their efforts? Is it preposterous to wonder if there is a shadow trade association in Massachusetts in line for similar consideration from the Fraud Governor?


But is it preposterous of Romney to take Super Bowl tickets just days after the state Ethics Commission said he could not do so? (source: Boston Herald, 1/29/2004)


Everyone purportedly has a price; can the Fraud Governor be bought for twelve pounds of pork chops?

Who knows? But just to be safe, the next time you are scheduled to plead before one of Romney’s policy boards, it wouldn't hurt if you made a quick pre-meeting stop at a butcher shop.


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