Politics

Romney Camp: MASS. Dem Gov is "An Opposition Research Arm" for Obama Campaign

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is blasting back after the Boston Globe reported Thursday that former high-ranking gubernatorial staffers erased data from their computers toward the end of Romney's tenure as Massachusetts's governor in 2006 .

In a fiery letter, Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades took aim at current MA Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, for being " an opposition research arm of the Obama re-election campaign."

Rhoades accused a Patrick staffer of supplying The Boston Globe, " with copies of cancelled checks from 2006 documenting the lawful purchase of computer equipment by departing members of the Romney administration. This action was nothing more than a weak attempt to disparage practices that you know were in complete compliance with the law."

Rhoades also submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain information from the governor's office over the alleged illegality of a state employee providing material to a political campaign -- In this case, the Obama Re-election campaign.

" Given the amount of time your staff is apparently spending to assist the Obama campaign, I request that you provide us with copies of all email correspondence, phone logs, and visitor logs showing contacts that David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Jim Messina have had with you and members of the Executive Office from 2007 to the present, " Rhoades wrote in the letter which was also provided to press.

Basing their evidence in part on documents from Patrick's office, the Globe's report details how several of Romney's then staffers allegedly bought their work computers, wiped them, and changed email servers before departing their jobs with the governor.

Romney's campaign counters that this is much ado about nothing. The Romney staffers were following a run of the mill practice, set by employees of previous administrations, of buying their used computers and other older equipment, they said.

"In leaving office, the governor's staff complied with the law and longtime executive branch practice. Some employees exercised the option to purchase computer equipment when they left. They did so openly with personal checks, " Romney 2012 spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement to the Boston Globe.