Romney Campaign Scuffles With Mass. Governor Over Old Records

A newspaper report that aides to  Mitt Romney  tried to digitally cleanse Romney’s office in 2006 when he was still governor of Massachusetts led Romney’s presidential campaign to accuse his successor – Obama ally Deval Patrick – of being “an opposition research arm of the Obama re-election campaign.” 

Several of  the former governor’s statehouse aides had  purchased their state-issued hard drives shortly before Romney left office in 2006, making sure all  administration’s emails were wiped from the server, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

Eleven of Romney’s top aides purchased 17  state-issued hard drives for $65 each, some doing so just weeks before Gov. Patrick Duval — a Democrat and strong supporter of President Obama —  took office, effectively obliterating  the electronic record of the Romney administration, the Globe reported.

In a statement to the paper, Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul had this to say: “In leaving office, the governor’s staff complied with the law and longtime executive branch practice. Some employees exercised the option to purchase computer equipment when they left. They did so openly with personal checks.”

Read the full Boston Globe article here.

Following the Globe’s article today, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades responded and submitted a Freedom of Information Act request asking  that Duval’s office make public all email correspondence, phone logs  and visitor logs showing contacts that his office has had with David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Jim Messina.

In the letter to Duval’s office, Rhoades writes, “State law strictly prohibits you and your staff from using public resources for political campaign purposes.  Under state law, a public employee may not provide services to a candidate or campaign during his or her work hours.”

“Nonetheless, it is evident that your office has become an opposition research arm of the Obama re-election campaign,” Rhoades continues, making reference to the Globe investigation and accusing Duval’s chief legal counsel of supplying the paper with copies of checks used by Romney staffers to buy the computers.

“This action was nothing more than a weak attempt to disparage practices that you know were in complete compliance with the law,” writes Rhoades.