Saturday, December 29, 2007

Romney's Governing Style Not Trustworthy: Too Little Oversight, Too Much Absenteeism

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is always assuring us he'll appoint excellent advisors (or judges) to help him run our government according to his supposedly conservative principles. This is highly questionable.

Look what happened here: MassDevelopment, the state's economic development agency, just granted a big loan to Planned Parenthood for a new abortion clinic in Worcester. Though the deal was finalized in February 2007, just after Romney left office, crucial earlier action was taken while Romney was still Governor in November 2006, when a $5 million tax-exempt bond was approved that "laid the groundwork for Planned Parenthood to begin planning the center..." Where was Romney's oversight then? The Romney campaign said the Governor "was not aware [the loan] was under consideration" in November.

The economic development agency, MassDevelopment, "is an autonomous authority, [but] it was controlled by Romney appointees," according to the Boston Globe. "Several of its 11-member board were top officials in the Romney administration..."

His agency appointees must not have shared his supposed pro-life views. Maybe he appointed them before he converted? And Romney's abseenteeism while Governor was a continuing concern here in Massachusetts. How would he know what was going on in his agencies if he was never around? Romney was out of Massachusetts for most of his last year in office (at least 219 days out of 365). So much for his vaunted oversight of complex organizations.

"Romney officials approved clinic loan; Worcester facility to provide abortions," Boston Globe, 12-29-07.

See also, on Romney's absenteeism while Governor:

"Report: Romney out of state 212 days so far in 2006," Boston Globe, 12-25-06:
Gov. Mitt Romney, who is preparing for a possible run for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, has spent all or part of 212 days outside Massachusetts in 2006 ... Romney plans to spend the rest of the year vacationing with his family in Utah, putting him on track to be away from Massachusetts for all or part of 219 days this year. Since announcing he would not seek re-election a year ago, Romney has traveled to 35 states and eight countries -- and been out of the state an average of more than four days each week ... New Hampshire, home to the first presidential primary contest and Romney's summer home, is one of the states he visited more than 10 times in 2005....

"Romney says new post won't hinder duties; Named vice chair of GOP group," Boston Globe, 11-20-04:
...the chair of the state Democratic Party criticized him as an absentee governor interested only in furthering his ambitions...."I've been around for 30 years, and I can't remember any governor traveling this much, except when Dukakis was actually running for president," he said.... Romney has repeatedly emphasized his commitment to serving out all of his first term, which ends in 2006.... He has said he expects to run for reelection, but has not committed to a second term....