The Romney campaign has begun to allege “crony capitalism” in President Obama’s Administration, with one advisor, Ed Gillespie, saying “if you’re a political donor to Barack Obama, you’re going to do fine, because you’re going to get a payoff.”
But a review of the Romney’s own 2006 appointees to Massachusetts posts — conducted by cross-referencing press releases with a Romney donor database — show Romney himself has a history of rewarding donors with political postions. Indeed, all but one of Romney’s 2006 press releases for appointments are for Romney donors, a total of 15 out of 17 appointees.
In Janauray of 2006 Romney appointed Christopher R. Anderson and reappointed Henry M. Thomas III to the Massachusetts Board of Education, a nine-member panel that sets policy for K-12 education in Massachusetts. Anderson had donated $400 to Romney’s gubernatorial committee and later would donate $2300 to Romney during his first run for President. Thomas donate $250 to Romney’s gubernatorial committee.
In June, Romney appointed Thomas Trimarco to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority Board of Directors. Trimarco had donated $500 to Romney’s gubernatorial campaign, and later donated $500 to Romney’s PAC and $2300 to his presidential campaign.
In July, Romney appointed Judy M. Pagliuca, the wife of a former Bain colleague, to the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority Board of Directors, replacing Beth Lindstrom. Lindstrom was a donor to Romney’s gubernatorial campaign, while Pagluica and her husband had each donated several thousand dollars to Romney’s 1994 Senate campaign.
A month later in August Robert W. Golledge Jr was appointed by Romney to be secretary of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs taking over for Stephen R. Pritchard. Golledge had donated $500 to Romney’s gubernatorial campaign. His preddessor Pritchard had donated $500 to Romney’s gubernatorial committee as well.
In September, Romney appointed seven people to be trustees at the University of Massachusetts. Of the seven people, Lawrence Boyle, Jennifer Braceras, Richard J. Lawton, Kenneth MacAfee, Robert J. Manning, Stephen P. Tocco, and Alda Rego-Weathers, six have donated to Romney at some point in his political career with four donating to his gubernatorial campaign.
In November, Romney attempted to appoint longtime aide and current advisor Eric Fehrnstrom to the Brookline Housing Authority. The postion would have put Fehrnstrom in line for a pension worth several hundred thousand dollars, and Fehrnstrom had recently bought back into the state pension system. After a public outcry, Fehrnstorm resigned the post.