Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a rally in front of the Statehouse in Boston, Sunday, Nov., 19, 2006, to force the Legislature to vote on a proposed ballot question that would end gay marriage in Massachusetts. ‘The issue before us today is whether 109 legislators will follow the constitution,’ he said Sunday. ‘Let us not see the state, which first established constitutional democracy, become the first to abandon it.’
Los Angeles Times: Workers a thorny issue for Romney
The Massachusetts governor’s lawn crew included illegal immigrants, a newspaper reports.
Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a 2008 GOP presidential aspirant and an outspoken critic of illegal immigration, apparently employed undocumented landscape workers at his home near Boston.
Responding to a report in Friday’s Boston Globe, the governor’s communications director said Friday that Romney was unaware that several of the landscapers who kept up his suburban Belmont property were in this country illegally.
“Gov. Romney has no information or knowledge to corroborate the Globe’s allegations,” Eric Fehrnstrom said Friday. “He hired a legitimate lawn service company and he knows the owner as a decent, hardworking person who is a legal resident.”
So, is Governor Romney pleading ignorance or indifference? An issue that has sunk more than one candidate for United States Attorney General and a candidate for Secretary of Labor is one that the Governor of Massachusetts would want to address – or NOT?
As he explores a run for the presidency in 2008, Romney has made illegal immigration a priority issue, urging stiff penalties for employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers.
The governor has endorsed construction of a 700-mile fence along the U.S. border with Mexico and has advocated that National Guard troops be stationed along the border until the fence is finished. After Romney declared his support for the fence on a Fox television show in September, host Bill O’Reilly christened the barrier “the Mitt Romney Memorial Wall.”
Now, the lawn firm, Community Lawn Service with a Heart, hired by Governor Romney is drawing further scrutiny from the press and Massachusetts state and local government.
Two public agencies said yesterday they are reconsidering their relationship with a landscaping company following a Globe story yesterday reporting that illegal immigrants were employed by the company, which also maintains the grounds of Governor Mitt Romney’s Belmont home.
The city of Chelsea said it will review its contract with Community Lawn Service with a Heart, which maintains parks and school grounds in the city. The Massachusetts Port Authority said the company will not be allowed to renew its contract with the authority next year to maintain vacant lots in East Boston unless it can demonstrate it complies with federal immigration law.
“We expect every company that does business with Massport to comply with state and federal law,” said Richard Walsh, a spokesman for Massport.
Meanwhile, Romney, through a spokesman, declined to say whether he will continue to use the Chelsea-based company, which has maintained Romney’s 2 1/2-acre property on Marsh Street for a decade. Romney said Thursday through his spokesman that he did not know anything about the workers’ immigration status.
So, will LAWNGATE sink Mitt Romney’s campaign for the presidency?
However, this story will NOT disappear as Flap envisions television commercials (being designed as this is written) for use in a GOP primary entitled HYPOCRITE.
Republican Gov. Mitt Romney talks with New Hampshire’s Sen., Judd Gregg at the Manchester Republican Committee’s holiday dinner in Bedford, N.H. in this Dec. 7, 2005, file photo. Presidential hopefuls are setting the ground game seeking political activist to help them win the nation’s first presidential primary and boost their political campaign.
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