So this weekend, I was reading the newspaper. I stumbled across this NYT article about Mitt Romney which gave me the giggles. Until I came to this weird paragraph:

He travels with an entourage that includes two or three “operations” guys who serve as advance men and a security detail. (Between stops in New Hampshire, this reporter found himself trailing the former governor’s S.U.V. on a back road, only to be led to the shoulder and instructed to “veer off” by a man wearing an earpiece who emerged from Mr. Romney’s car. “We ran your license plate,” he told the reporter, and explained that no one was permitted to follow Mr. Romney’s vehicle.)

Well, at first I thought that this was normal because Romney had Secret Service. But then I realized he didn’t and I drilled down a little. Like seemingly everything about Romney, this story gets weirder when you look under the hood.

It turns out that Romney maintained as governor an Office of Operations that was sort of informal secret service for the governor. Here’s a description of his operation from a 2005 Boston Herald article:

Some office staff, who all wear LXX pins, fashion themselves as U.S. Secret Service agents, referring to Romney in their earpieces and audio-equipped wrist pieces as "70" – similar to the way the Secret Service agents identify President Bush as "43" because he is the 43rd president.

Nice. Romney has his own goons. Chief Goon is a guy by the name of Jay Garrity. Jay got his own story in the paper when it turned out that he had a bunch of illegal police equipment … while working for the governor. From a March 2004 Herald article:

A top aide to Gov. Mitt Romney was cited last week for tooling around with illegal police equipment in his private car – from lights and sirens to batons and heavily tinted windows.

Romney’s director of operations, Jay A. Garrity, had parked the car illegally in the North End and police ordered it towed.

Police discovered a set of red-and-blue flashing lights hidden in the grill – equipment for which Garrity has no permit.

Cops also found a siren and public address system, multiple police radios, strobe lights on the wheels, a police baton and a metal plate with a photo of a state police patch that said “official business.”

Apparently this kid’s a wannabe cop,” said one source familiar with the situation.

The Boston Globe from the same day added:

Police found Garrity’s car illegally parked at around 4 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day in the North End – with the keys in the ignition, the report said. Police said they discovered equipment that is off limits to civilians without a special state permit.

According to the police report, Garrity’s car had red and blue lights mounted in the grill, a siren and PA system, strobe lights, and a baton "with the state seal of Connecticut," the report said.

I always leave keys in the ignition of my souped-up car with illegal police equipment.

Now I don’t even know what to make of this. It sounds like this wannabe cop is a wannabe Secret Service officer. Or maybe he wants to be Howard Hunt, of Nixon Plumber fame. And Romney is perfectly happy to feed this guys weird delusions, perhaps with Romney’s own?

Turns out the dude is still around. He is mentioned in the "Five Brothers" blog:

Here he is with Governor Bill Weld and Senator Jim Talent (and the ever present Jay Garrity in the background–he deserves his own post some day)

Sure as hell sounds like he deserves his own post. So I gave him one. But I bet they have even better stories than the papers…

Categories:

12 Comments

Rachel · June 20, 2007 at 8:28 PM

This is beyond creepy.

Rachel · June 20, 2007 at 8:37 PM

P.S. That article gave me the giggles too.
“Isn’t every day like that in Romney World?”

Funny stuff.

Pro Amnesty Fred · June 20, 2007 at 11:21 PM

I don’t know no Mitt Romney. I know Fred, a Nicaraguan’s best friend:

http://conservativesagainstfred.wordpress.com

streiff · June 21, 2007 at 9:11 AM

Referred to your story here and added some details like a link to a profile and pic of Garrity.

ee2793 · June 21, 2007 at 5:31 PM

Soren, you’re officially gone off into coconut-nut land.

Mark A. Kilmer (the weblog) » Mitt Romney’s Operation · June 20, 2007 at 7:32 PM

[…] Read more about this nonsense HERE. […]

race42008.com » Blog Archive » Romney’s New Hampshire Operations · June 21, 2007 at 9:28 PM

[…] Soren Dayton has put his LexisNexis skills to good use and uncovered much more about Mitt Romney’s quasi-Secret Service operations that are now being investigated by the New Hampshire Attorney General. Per the New York Times: [Romney] travels with an entourage that includes two or three “operations” guys who serve as advance men and a security detail. (Between stops in New Hampshire, this reporter found himself trailing the former governor’s S.U.V. on a back road, only to be led to the shoulder and instructed to “veer off” by a man wearing an earpiece who emerged from Mr. Romney’s car. “We ran your license plate,” he told the reporter, and explained that no one was permitted to follow Mr. Romney’s vehicle.) […]

Romney’s New Hampshire Operations at Conservative Times--Republican GOP news source. · June 21, 2007 at 9:38 PM

[…] Soren Dayton has put his LexisNexis skills to good use and uncovered much more about Mitt Romney’s quasi-Secret Service operations that are now being investigated by the New Hampshire Attorney General. Per the New York Times: [Romney] travels with an entourage that includes two or three “operations” guys who serve as advance men and a security detail. (Between stops in New Hampshire, this reporter found himself trailing the former governor’s S.U.V. on a back road, only to be led to the shoulder and instructed to “veer off” by a man wearing an earpiece who emerged from Mr. Romney’s car. “We ran your license plate,” he told the reporter, and explained that no one was permitted to follow Mr. Romney’s vehicle.) […]

Ankle Biting Pundits » Blog Archive » Funny … · July 8, 2007 at 7:59 PM

[…] In other news, it looks like Romney’s big straw poll victory was about as authentic as his secret police officer.                […]

eyeon08.com » PhoneyFred.org: More Romney dirty politics · September 10, 2007 at 9:15 PM

[…] This is another in a long list of thuggery and illegality of Romney associates and campaign staff. Including Romney’s former Director of Operations Jay Garrity, Romney’s former national finance co-chair,  Romney’s other indicted former national finance co-chair, etc. And then the Romney campaign threatens voters if they do things like ask questions (note that in South Carolina, the Romney campaign doesn’t even allow that): On Sept. 3, I attended a house party for Mitt Romney … a gentleman approached me and said if I started any trouble I would be thrown out of the event. … He reiterated I would be tossed out because my "kind" weren’t welcome at such an event. … All the while, he used his 6-foot frame to intimidate my 5-foot-4-inch body. He then introduced the grandson of the homeowner, the man running his New Hampshire campaign, the very same man who attempted to bully me into silence. […]

eyeon08.com » Stock tactic: Sleazy bigoted phone calls · November 18, 2007 at 4:05 PM

[…] And, the Romney campaign has managed to include a number of practitioners of sleazy politics. Warren Tompkin’s, who is alleged to have attacked John McCain in 2000, is in charge of a firm that ran a sleazy website attacking Fred Thompson. Not to mention the faux-cop scandal, which eventually led to the firing of Jay Garrity, Romney’s long-time director of operations. As I said at the time of the PhoneyFred scandal: This is another in a long list of thuggery and illegality of Romney associates and campaign staff. Including Romney’s former Director of Operations Jay Garrity, Romney’s former national finance co-chair,  Romney’s other indicted former national finance co-chair, etc. And then the Romney campaign threatens voters if they do things like ask questions (note that in South Carolina, the Romney campaign doesn’t even allow that) […]

Impersonating Police | Mitt Romney is a tool · July 19, 2012 at 1:30 AM

[…] drives around with illegal police equipment in his car and pulls people over with it. From the Boston Globe: Garrity was cited last week for tooling around with illegal police equipment in his private […]

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