Monday, May 03, 2004
Romney Backs Banner Burner

Willard Mitt's head of the state National Guard, Major General George W. Keefe, last week apparently used taxpayer funded computer equipment to advocate flag-burning. (source: Boston Herald, 4/30/2004)

Keefe allegedly sent an e-mail to other state government e-mail addresses, suggesting that the Democratic National Convention implement an "opening flag burning ceremony." Keefe's suggestion was immediately reputiated by Democratic leaders.

Strangely, Keefe's recomendation was defended by Team Reform. An aide to Romney's $150,000-a-year loathsome spokesman claimed that Keefe 'broke no rules' in sending the seemingly seditious suggestion during work hours. She further stated that 'there is no prohibition against using state e-mail accounts to send personal correspondence.' (source: Boston Globe, 5/1/2004)

Really? According to the Commonwealth's Information Technology Division "users should consider e-mail messages to be the equivalent of letters sent on official letterhead." (source: ITD Acceptable Use Policy)

And we trust that the Fraud Governor would not sanction state employees using letterhead for personal purposes.

Further, ITD states that unless such use is reasonably related to a user's job, it is unacceptable for any person to use agency computers or e-mail "in furtherance of any illegal act, including violation of any criminal or civil laws or regulations, whether state or federal."

As such, by seemingly advocating a flag burning ceremony, Keefe appears to have violated section five of chapter 264 of the Massachusetts General Laws, which states that "whoever publicly burns or otherwise mutilates, tramples upon, defaces or treats contemptuously the flag of the United States ... shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both." (source: MGL)

Which begs the answers: what would Keefe have to do break Team Reform's rules? And if Willard Mitt thinks advocating flag burning is appropriate for state letterhead, what would he declare inappropriate?

Aside from instituting civil rights protections, that is.


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