Mitt got bit again. Let's not put these idiots in the White House.
State Police are investigating one of Mitt Romney's top campaign aides for allegedly impersonating a trooper by calling a Wilmington company and threatening to cite the driver of a company van for erratic driving, according to two law enforcement sources familiar with the probe.
There's a full transcript of the call, after the jump below.
Jay Garrity [on the left, click to enlarge], who is director of operations on Romney's presidential campaign and a constant presence at his side, became the primary target of the investigation, according to one of the sources, after authorities traced the cellphone used to make the call back to him. The investigation comes three years after Garrity, while working for Romney in the State House, was cited for having flashing lights and other police equipment in his car without proper permits.
In the phone call to the Wilmington company, which was recorded by an answering service and obtained by the Globe, a man who identifies himself as "Trooper Garrity with the Massachusetts State Police" complains about the driving of a van owned by Wayne's Drains Middlesex Sewers of Wilmington. The caller repeatedly says he is a trooper and questions when the driver will return to the office.[...]
"The whole thing was just hinky," said Wayne Barme, owner of the Wilmington drain and sewer cleaning company, whose wife, Dot, contacted State Police after receiving the complaint.
There were recent reports that a New York Times reporter was pulled over by Garrity, but Mitt denied that claim.
New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich wrote last week that he was pulled over by an earpiece-wearing aide, who the Romney campaign confirmed was longtime aide Jay Garrity. Leibovich wrote that he was "led to the shoulder" on a back road while following Romney's SUV between campaign stops in rural Dover, N.H.
Garrity told Leibovich they ran his license plate and "explained that no one was permitted to follow Mr. Romney's vehicle," Leibovich wrote of the May 29 incident.
It's illegal in New Hampshire for a private citizen to run a license plate or to pull over a vehicle.
Mitt denied the above happened.
What are these immature Republicans thinking? Amazing. More, including the transcript of the call, below.
Garrity has a history of these types of childish antics, something that Romney was surely aware of given Garrity's previous bust for using police lights on his car, as well as the warning signs in this July 23, 2005 report:
A Herald review of expenses charged to taxpayers by Romney's 13-member Office of Operations shows the staff spent $24,974 on sound equipment last year, and another $14,429 for a lighting system for a Romney event.
In February, the team relocated to a suite in the basement of the State House. The door is affixed with the number "LXX," Roman numerals for 70, because Romney is the 70th Bay State governor.
Some office staff, who all wear LXX pins, fashion themselves as U.S. Secret Service agents, referring to Romney in their earpieces and audio-equipped wrist pieces as "70" - similar to the way the Secret Service agents identify President Bush as "43" because he is the 43rd president.
Here's the full transcript of the call cited at the top of this report, trancribed by the Boston Globe.
Remember, the Massachusetts State Police determined that this call was made from Garrity's cell phone. Garrity is identified in the transcript as "Caller."
Caller: Hi, good afternoon. This is Trooper Garrity. I'm sorry I lost the call in the tunnel. Uh, your driver - Is there a supervisor there I can speak to?
Answering Service: Um, right now the person that you need to speak with is unavailable. I'm just handling the calls for them right now.
Caller: Okay, do you know who's driving J16350?
Answering Service: No.
Caller: Massachusetts Reg.?
Answering Service: No, sir, I don't. I'm sorry.
Caller: Okay, do you have a direct number for your supervisor?
Answering Service: No sir. The only thing I can do is leave them a message.
Caller: Okay well, why don't we do this? Why don't you leave a message for that particular driver who's driving the vehicle this day. I'm going to get the address for your company. I'm going to come down to the company. I'm going to personally issue this driver a citation for both speeding, driving erratic, cutting across. I was on the opposite side of the retaining wall on Ted Williams Tunnel. I couldn't get out quick enough to catch up to this driver. Ok. Your driver's driving like a madman. And I'm going to put out a general broadcast on this vehicle. And if any of the other troopers or the city police in Boston, because I'm sure he's going into Boston, stops this vehicle, l'm going to definitely have him arrested.
Answering Service: Okay, may I ask who's calling?
Caller: Excuse me?
Answering Service: May I ask who's calling?
Caller: I told you my name is Trooper Garrity, with the Massachusetts State Police barracks, I'm on the E4 which is the tunnel barracks. And the Ted Williams Tunnel, I was on the opposite side of the retaining wall, which is a cutoff wall. I had to drive down approximately about a mile before I could get back onto the open highway, where the vehicle was traveling. Unfortunately I could not catch up with him, but I did witness him driving like a maniac through the tunnel cutting off vehicles and I just had the Mass Pike department of video surveillance go through the video so I could pull the license plate number and the company name off this vehicle. What time is this driver expected to be back? Do they bring the vehicles back to the company or do they keep them overnight?
Answering Service: Actually I'm just the answering service, so I don't have any of that information. Like I said the only thing I can do is leave them a message.
Caller: Oh, you're an answering service.
Answering Service: Yes sir.
Caller: Oh, jeez, I'm sorry, I thought this was a receptionist...[inaudible briefly]
Answering Service: No Sir.
Answering Service. Do you have a phone number they can get back in contact with you with?
Caller: Well, I'm not looking to get back in contact with them, I'm looking to get this driver.
Answering Service: Ok.
Caller: Ok then.
Answering Service: Do you have the license number? What was it?
Caller: J16350. Matter of fact, hold on one second, okay? ...
[off-phone, apparently talking into another radio]
Caller:... 441 to Operations. 441 to ... do you have any information on that vehicle it's going to be Mass. reg. .... J16350 ....
Response: 441 standby. .... [inaudible] 441?
Caller: Go ahead, sir
Response: Be advised, that Mass reg. is [inaudible] to a company name going to be [inaudible] ... You can standby channel 3.
Caller: 443, standing by channel 3.
Response: 441? 441? Be advised, they got that vehicle stopped at, uh, [inaudible] on Boylston.
Caller: 441, this is Trooper Garrity. Standby on Channel 3, sir, and hold that vehicle. I'm coming out of the tunnel now. I'm on the line with the company now, so. Stand by Channel 3. And place that driver in custody.
Response: Stand by 441.
Caller: Hi, ma'am?
Answering Service: Yes.
Caller: Yep, we got the vehicle stopped. Alright?
Answering Service. Okay, I will relay this message though.
Caller: Yes, definitely get that message to whoever owns the company, because this guy definitely needs driver re-training courses.
Answering Service: Okay. And you said this was Trooper Barret, or Garret?
Answering Service: Alright, you have a nice day sir.
Caller: You too, thank you and I apologize.
Answering Service: It's ok. You have a nice day.
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