Political Circuit

So what exactly is Mitt Romney’s job? Even Republicans are unsure

While it is difficult to classify Mitt Romney’s occupation, he played the role of author in March, at a Phoenix book signing. While it is difficult to classify Mitt Romney’s occupation, he played the role of author in March, at a Phoenix book signing. (Laura Segall/The Boston Globe/File)
October 10, 2010

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One could spend an entire Sunday morning talk show dissecting the question or even devise a parlor game around it: How, exactly, does one describe Mitt Romney’s occupation?

It’s hard to lump him in with the 9.6 percent of Americans who are unemployed, given that he probably would neither need nor endorse collecting benefits. He has not been appointed ambassador to Mexico, like another former governor, or even Canada. He’s on television often, but does that count as a job? Everyone knows he wants to be president, but it’s a little early to declare that.

It seems the state Republican Party may be having the same trouble sorting out this whole job question. On a campaign finance report posted online last week, a $5,000 donation from Willard Romney (Willard is the former governor’s first name) had no occupation listed. Instead, it was marked “best attempt,’’ as if someone tried to figure it out, but gave up.

“Hmmm,’’ said GOP spokeswoman Tarah Breed, before letting out a chuckle and promising to look into the matter.

By the time Breed e-mailed an explanation Friday, the donation had disappeared from the Office of Campaign and Public Finance website. She blamed a “clerical error,’’ saying the donation should not have been included with the most recent batch because it was not made in late September with the others listed. She said the updated occupations for several GOP donors, also initially missing, were in fact filed, but had not yet made it onto the website.

Jason Tait of the state campaign finance office said campaigns control the posting of campaign information on its website. But they have a 45-day window to send a letter requesting a donor’s occupation, giving the GOP more than enough time to contemplate the matter.

Perhaps the Republican Party can settle on the job title used by Charles D. Baker’s campaign, when it accepted a $500 check from Romney last month: “Politician, Self Employed.’’

— Noah Bierman

Checks still coming after Iannella’s bold pitch
Politicians aren’t often known for their candor. But a self-deprecating sales pitch apparently worked for Christopher Iannella, a member of the Governor’s Council who is worried about keeping his seat this fall.

In a recent fund-raising solicitation, Iannella implored supporters to send checks, telling them, in boldface, that he had just squeaked by his primary opponent, “despite losing 20 of the 21 cities and towns in my district.’’

“I am facing the biggest political fight of my life,’’ the letter said. “Anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated.’’

Iannella didn’t mention that his hometown of Boston makes up 38 percent of the vote and that he has lost other parts of the district before, during his 14 years as a member of the panel that approves judicial and other appointments.

“I did very well by it,’’ he said of the letter, in an interview. “The money is still coming in. The point was: These are challenging times. You never know what’s going to happen.’’

Iannella, who represents the Fourth District, faces independent candidate Jacquolyn Payne-Thompson. Thompson, by the way, also lives in Boston. Iannella didn’t mention that, either.

— Andrea Estes

Tweet of the week
If you’ve been paying attention to the political scene in recent days — and it’s been difficult not to — you know what a wild romp it has been. Oddly, much of the drama was sparked by Paul Loscocco, the erstwhile running mate of independent Timothy P. Cahill and, at least until recently, a little-known former state lawmaker from the western suburbs. But then, suddenly, Loscocco ditched Cahill’s ticket, joined up with rival Charles D. Baker, and unwittingly helped expose juicy behind-the-scenes stuff about alleged conspiracies to derail Cahill’s candidacy. On Friday, after Loscocco released a long statement with fresh allegations about backroom deals, veteran political hand David Guarino (@davidguarino) summed it all up nicely: “Would someone please tell Paul Loscocco his 15 minutes are up.’’

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