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Mitt's Money Man in Utah Named in Abuse Lawsuit

If this was one of Obama's campaign finance state co-chairs caught up in this Rush Limbaugh would be so agitated he'd be farting donuts... (emphasis mine)

A Utah man remains on presidential candidate Mitt Romney's state finance committee despite his ties to an organization that a lawsuit alleges abuses children.

Robert Lichfield, who helped launch the Worldwide Association of Specialty Schools (WWASPS), held a fundraiser for Romney in southern Utah earlier this year that raked in more than $300,000 and has been a top financial supporter of the former Massachusetts governor and other Republicans in recent years.

Lichfield, meanwhile, is named in a federal lawsuit alleging that students of the schools associated with WWASPS were subjected to "physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse." An amended complaint in U.S. District Court in Utah lists 140 plaintiffs.

The suit, filed last year and now moving through the court system, contends students were forced to eat their own vomit, clean toilets with a toothbrush and brush their teeth afterward, were chained or locked in dog cages, kicked, beaten, thrown and slammed to the ground and forced into sexual acts.

Defendants in the suit deny any wrongdoing. Program officials say the plaintiffs don't have sufficient knowledge of the operation to claim such abuses and that neither WWASPS nor Lichfield operates or owns the schools involved. (Lichfield does act as landlord for some schools.)

The Hill points out that Lichfield is Co-chairman of Mitt Romney's Utah fundraising committee, and then reaches for the absurd:

The allegations could force Romney to re-examine his relationship with his Utah finance co-chairman or put pressure on him to give away the contributions Lichfield helped raise.

As the SLC Trib reports, Lichfield is still working for Romney despite this controversy, and I suspect that won't change one bit...

"It's my understanding that these complaints are part of a civil lawsuit between two parties," Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said. "Questions regarding the nature of those civil lawsuits should be directed to the parties involved in adjudicating them."

Utah was the second-biggest state for Romney's first-quarter fundraising efforts. The former head of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City drew nearly $3 million from the state in the first three months of the campaign.

Family Values aside, Romney's not going to walk away from the kind of money that Lichfield can raised, he's too desperate and determined to win the presidency to let moral values get in his way.


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Comments (3)

Steve Crickmore:

Romney's not going to walk away from the kind of money that Lichfield can raised,

Lee, maybe Mitt won't have to...Maybe, he can turn these WWASPS schools into a US homeland edition of Camp Delta, Guantanomo Bay. After all, he said he wanted to "double Guantanamo," and judging by reading some of the reports; exposure to extreme temperatures; beatings; confinement in dog cages; and sexual fondling. (the WWASPS schools!) the conditions are not too disimilar to Guantanamo.

ke_future:

i'd just like to point out this part of the article which you posted...

Defendants in the suit deny any wrongdoing. Program officials say the plaintiffs don't have sufficient knowledge of the operation to claim such abuses and that neither WWASPS nor Lichfield operates or owns the schools involved. (Lichfield does act as landlord for some schools.)

i'm not a romney fan, but i'd suggest we see how this plays out.

ke_future:

mass accusations that turned out to be untrue? nah, that could never happen. see salem witch trials for the most famous example that i can think of off hand.

the point i was more trying to make was that yes, he's listed in the case, but is 1) denying it, and 2) appears to have been involved with launching the program and maybe being a landlord in a couple of cases. does that mean he was involved with, knew, or was there a reasonable expectation that he should have known? i'd like to see a little more detail first.

honestly, all i know about the program is what's in the article. if it's true, and this guy is involved, throw the book at him. if it's not true, or he's not involved, how do you make up a public smearing? that's become a real serious issue in recent years. just ask the 3 lacrosse players at duke? hell, ask the whole team which was unjustly denied their season due to the "scandal"

i'm not trying to say that these accusations are not true, just that more needs to be known before vilifying the guy. as for romney, if it's true, the test will be to see how he responds.

and contrary to your opinion larkin, i try to give everyone accused of a crime a fair shake until more information comes out. one of my personal pet peeves is unwarranted accusations (having been on the receiving end myself before).


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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