Mitt Romney’s penchant for dressing up in uniform, pretending to be a cop so he could intimidate and take advantage of others, apparently extends to his staffers as well, who also used fake badges, pretending to be officers, so they could intimidate and strong-arm members of the press trying to cover Romney.
Lest you think otherwise, here is a story of some other cop impersonators who just happened to be Romney staffers. Joe Conason:
If Mitt Romney had a penchant in his youth for masquerading as a state police officer — and there is reason to believe he did – then he seems to have attracted staffers with that same peculiar fantasy over the years. During the summer of 2007, months before the general public paid much attention to the Republican presidential candidates, Romney’s 2008 campaign stumbled into a scandal that led to the resignation of a top staffer accused of impersonating a state trooper, and allegations of similar misconduct by at least two others.
A former gubernatorial aide to Romney at the Massachusetts state house who served as his “body man” in the early stages of the 2008 primary campaign, Jay Garrity provoked several reporters with thuggish behavior that led to investigations of his conduct in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich accused Garrity of waving his car over and ordering him to “veer off” from a campaign motorcade, claiming that he had “run” the license plate of Leibovich’s car.
And then there's this in 2007, from the Boston Herald, hardly a bastion of liberal journalism:
In an apparent violation of the law, a controversial aide to ex-Gov. Mitt Romney created phony law enforcement badges that he and other staffers used on the campaign trail to strong-arm reporters, avoid paying tolls and trick security guards into giving them immediate access to campaign venues, sources told the Herald.
The bogus badges were part of the bizarre security tactics allegedly employed by Jay Garrity, the director of operations for Romney who is under investigation for impersonating a law enforcement officer in two states. Garrity is on a leave of absence from the campaign while the probe is ongoing.
And this from Boston.com:
State Police are investigating one of Mitt Romney's top campaign aides for allegedly impersonating a trooper by calling a Wilmington company and threatening to cite the driver of a company van for erratic driving, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the probe.
Also, The Politico in 2007:
Boston's Fox affiliate has their hands on the tape of somebody calling themselves "Trooper Garrity," as the owner of the plumbing company in question claims the culprit was also faking his conversation with the state police barracks.
Just two days after Garrity's resignation, the Herald reported that Romney's event planner, Will Ritter, had uploaded a MySpace page painting himself as a "Jason Bourne-esque" figure in the description of the newspaper whose duties include "very secretive work" in "special ops."