Jon Swaine and Peter Foster of the London Daily Telegraph report an odd story entitled the Curious case of Mitt Romney's fake secret service man, about an hour ago. It doesn't seem as if this story will amount to much of a big deal, given how long ago it was, and the somewhat trivial nature of the allegations, however, this story does add more drip-drops to the bucket of weird stories Mitt Romney seems to have a special talent for accumulating, especially with regard to false image management.
This special security unit was led by Jason Garrity, one of Mitt Romney's longstanding aides coming from Romney's stint as Governor of Massachusetts where Garrity ran a special security unit for the Governor, who quickly "rose quickly through the ranks despite a history of impersonating police and security officials."
During the 2008 Republican presidential primary campaign, Mr Romney was guarded by a unit whose dark jackets, ear-pieces and lapel pins saw them mistaken by some at his campaign events for bona fide government protection officers. ... In fact, they were a team of campaign staff, whose heavy-handed antics culminated in two criminal inquiries in separate states.
While there is nothing illegal about employing private security who dress up in dark jackets, sun-glasses, and use radio ear pieces, Swaine and Foster report that in 2007 two reporters complained of separate incidents of being either roughed up, blocked from enter public buildings, or intimidated by Romney's security forces.
And then in 2004, Mr Garrity's received citations costing hundreds of dollars for carrying prohibited police equipment after his car was discovered with a siren, police radios, a baton and a police patch stating "official business." It is unclear why Mr Romney continued to promote Mr Garrity, but by 2006 the young official had become his 'director of operations', running the governor's unofficial security detail with 12 colleagues from a basement office in the Massachusetts state house.
In April 2007 the young aide's heavy-handedness resumed when a senior journalist in Florida reported being confronted by Mr Garrity "wearing a Secret Service-style lapel pin and an ear bud," while trying to report on a visit by Mr Romney to the Florida Senate offices.
"He physically blocked me off as I attempted to enter the Senate Office Building, and then again when I entered the elevator," the reporter, S.V. Date, later complained in a letter to the campaign. "I reminded him on both occasions that this was a public building. I was nowhere near the governor or Mrs Romney".
In a separate incident, a reporter for the New York Times complained about being "pulled over" by Garrity who allegedly told him he had run the reporters license plate, coincidentally, something I believe I have read Mitt Romney has been alleged to have done as a prank in college. But, there is no evidence presented here that Romney was involved in this incident. But, he does appear to have continued to employ Garrity despite a long string of similar allegations.
An investigation was launched and then dropped by then attorney general of New Hampshire Kelly Ayotte.
So these incidents do not amount to enough to be a big issue, unless others come forward with additional stories, this will be just a few more examples of Mitt Romney's long history of weirdness.