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As stumps around the country, wannabe president and occasional governor Mitt Romney likes to crack wise about the nutty Massachusetts media. The goal is obvious: by lampooning the local press as a bunch of zany liberals, Romney discredits future stories that might prove embarrassing.

And his method may be working. On December 1, the Globe reported that Mitt — a noisy foe of illegal immigration — has long relied on a work crew dominated by illegal immigrants to tend the yard of his Belmont home. Now, Mitt didn’t hire these laborers directly; the company they work for, Community Lawn Service with a Heart, is owned by one Ricardo Saenz, a legal Colombian immigrant who reportedly met Romney through the LDS Church. But while Romney’s concern about illegal immigration has prompted him to back putting up a 700-mile wall between the US and Mexico on the O’Reilly Factor, to oppose in-state public-university tuition for the children of illegal immigrants, and to broker a deal with the federal government that turns Massachusetts State Troopers into immigration-law enforcers, it never prompted him to ask Saenz or Saenz’s employees about their status.

There’s a great big whiff of hypocrisy here — but so far, the conservative faithful seem loath to admit it. Kathryn Jean Lopez did term the story “an early headache” at National Review Online, but her colleague John Podhoretz quickly laughed it off (“I expect calls for a firing squad. Maybe the Minutemen could raid Romney’s house”). The Weekly Standard had nothing to say on the subject. And then there’s blogger Hugh Hewitt, author of the forthcoming A Mormon in the White House? 10 things every conservative should know about Mitt Romney (Regnery), who accused the Globe of a “Reverse Kerry.”

“The Boston Globe went out of its way to protect John Kerry on issue after issue, from the magic hat to the non-release of his Navy records,” Hewitt wrote. “But Mitt Romney will be getting the opposite treatment from the hard-left Globe.. . . Quick: find the Globe story on John and Teresa Kerry’s five homes and the landscaping contractors for them.”

If you live in Boston, you know the Globe was actually pretty tough on Kerry in ’04; what’s more, Hewitt’s argument doesn’t actually make any sense, since Kerry never made illegal immigration a pet cause like Romney has. But whatever.   

The Boston press (including the Phoenix) has relished the prospect of providing a reality check to the carefully cultivated Romney myth over the next few years. Judging from the way this particular story is playing out, it’s not going to be easy. Mitt may have the last laugh on the Massachusetts media after all.

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  Topics: News Features , Mitt Romney , Hugh Hewitt , Immigration ,  More more >
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Conservatives shrug off the Globe’s Romney-lawn exposé
What is truely sad is your last paragraph. You yourself admit the flagarant bias agains Mitt. Thanks for the free Ammo.
By jason on 12/06/2006 at 7:06:08
Conservatives shrug off the Globe’s Romney-lawn exposé
Who is better able to keep Romney honest on the campaign trail and provide a reality check over the next two years than the Massachusetts media? Who knows his campaign promises and performance better? The truth of his claims and promises will be become apparent in time and can be easily documented. Review your own story: Broke or not? “When Mitt Romney can boast a billion-dollar surplus one day and announce a $425 million deficit the next, you know it’s time for a change.” This not only goes to fiscal responsibility but the character of the politician making the claim. Integrity counts.
By Krogy on 12/07/2006 at 5:11:49
Conservatives shrug off the Globe’s Romney-lawn exposé
I think the whole situation is blown out of proportion. It's purely a PR disaster with no fault on Mitt Romney. Think about this--there are about 15-20 million illegal immiagrants in the US and they don't just sit around all day. They work in every city and in almost every market which means that practically everyone in the US has recieved some benefit from their labor. Does that mean that every person who has perhaps purchased a home or bought potatoes should be chastised because the company used illegal immigrants? No. It's a problem of the company and not you the consumer. None in America are immune to this. This story only provides some friction for journalists to write about but is not a correct judgement of Mitt Romney's character.
By hotsauce on 12/07/2006 at 10:36:22
Conservatives shrug off the Globe’s Romney-lawn exposé
Unless Mr. Reilly always asks every person he does business with (and we're talking every fast food restaurant, department store, car mechanic, contractor and, yes, landscaper) whether every one of their employees is legally in this country; then he had best not throw stones.
By mom32051 on 12/08/2006 at 11:10:22
Conservatives shrug off the Globe’s Romney-lawn exposé
// Romney's '94 remarks on same-sex marriage could haunt him By Scott Helman, Globe Staff | December 8, 2006 This seems to be a perfect example of the Massachusetts media holding Governor Romney accountable.
By Krogy on 12/08/2006 at 12:52:24
Conservatives shrug off the Globe’s Romney-lawn exposé
Mitt Romney plans to ride his wafer thin performance as governor to the White House by playing to people's worst instincts and fears. Sure everyone one of us probably interacts with undocumented aliens regularly -- but how many of us have recently expanded the jurisdiction of the state's police force to include federal immigration laws. Just Mitt, as far as I know. So that is why our useless governor is held to a higher standard on who he hires to cut his lawn.
By Patrick on 12/08/2006 at 9:52:38

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