Secrecy on the Campaign Trail

Mitt Romney Bans Reporters from Israeli Fundraiser

Mitt Romney has, once again, shrouded his happenings in secrecy. First there were Mitt Romney’s off- shore bank accounts and refusal to release tax returns. Now, he is refusing to allow reporters into the fundraiser held in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, which will be attended Monday, July 30, 2012 by many of Mitt Romney’s wealthiest donors. In keeping the event closed, not only is Mitt Romney going against the grain with what is traditional protocol in the campaign arena for both parties, but he is effectively giving us reason to be more suspicious of his activities than ever.
 
The question raised is this: what is Mitt Romney saying to these donors in Israel that he does not want the press getting wind of? Further, why is he raising money in a foreign country that has so much bearing on the state of US foreign affairs at this time? Well, it is likely that we will never know what Mitt Romney said at that fundraiser, because he and his traveling press secretary, Rick Gorka, are refusing to comment. Gorka’s only response to the disallowing of reporters at the event was. “Closed press, closed press, closed press,” as he was leaving the campaign plane in London for Tel Aviv.
 
The broader, more interesting part of the closed fundraiser today is that it continues the theme of secrecy and lack of transparency that has quickly become the hallmark of Mitt Romney’s campaign for the Presidency.  Again, the fundraiser’s closed status is just the latest in a long line of examples of Mitt Romney refusing to be forthcoming with the people he claims to want to represent. Perhaps Mitt Romney and his team closed the fundraiser because casino king Sheldon Adelson, who has emerged as one of the Mitt Romney campaign’s biggest donors, will be in attendance. Adelson is a controversial figure because he has been under investigation for some time now, and it is likely that Mitt Romney would want nothing revealed to the press that could tie him to anything illegal that Adelson might be up to.  However, that does not explain his refusal to speak about anything that he does not want to speak about.
 
From the time it became obvious that Mitt Romney would be a real contender for the Presidency, mum’s been the word on any number of things. Firstly, the public and reporters are pretty much barred from speaking about the specifics of Mitt Romney’s church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, otherwise known as Mormonism.  There is very important information to be known about Mitt Romney’s religious beliefs, though, including the fact that while Mitt Romney champions so called “traditional marriage,” his own very recent ancestors- as close as his grandparents- practiced polygamy. Further, the Mormon church did not allow African Americans to hold official church positions until 1978, when they were forced to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Mitt Romney was an adult at this time. The fact that he was, and still is, an active champion of and participant in an organization that practiced institutionalized racism so recently raises more than an eyebrow with regards to Mitt Romney’s own views on race and race relations. Further, to this day, Mitt Romney’s church still discourages interracial marriages. But, again, we are forbidden to ask these tough, important questions regarding Mitt Romney’s beliefs because his religion is off limits.
 
As I have mentioned before, another spot of secrecy is Mitt Romney’s finances. Even amidst the calls from other members of the GOP for Mitt Romney to release more tax returns and to be more transparent with his finances, he and his campaign refuse to do so. The big question in all of this is, effectively what is Mitt Romney hiding? Something tells me Mitt Romney is hiding a whole lot, and this closing of a hotel fundraiser to the press is just another reason in a long line to think so.