McCain’s Opposition Research – Part 26

Via or from BuzzFeed comes an opposition research file compiled by the McCain campaign in 2008.  The document is 194 pages long.  Pages 27 – 34  had two documents of different font size, one overlaying the other.  This post begins  in the middle of 96 and ends  at the bottom of page 100.

I have bolded the first word in each entry for ease of reading.


Romney Is At Odds With Top Florida Republicans Over Immigration As He Places Heavy Emphasis On State In Quest For Nomination.

ABC News: “[R]omney’s Position On Immigration Could Cost Him Crucial Political Support In Florida”Because His Position Is At Odds With Florida Republican Leaders, Including Former Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov.Charlie Christ And Sen. Mel Martinez.

”But with Romney seeking to distance himself from his rivals by opposing the Senate immigration bill, Romney’s relationship with Jeb Bush could suffer. The former Florida governor has voiced strong support for the type of immigration reform that’s now before the Senate, viewing it as an important priority of his brother’s – and the right type of approach to a complicated issue. … [R]omney’s position on immigration could cost him crucial political support in Florida, which, with the state’s move to hold its primary Jan. 29, is poised to play an outsize role in the presidential nominating process. Aside from the former governor, the Senate bill is being supported by current Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican, and Senator Mel Martinez, a Cuban immigrant who is chairman of the Republican National Committee and has been intricately involved in crafting the immigration bill. Martinez said on CNN Sunday that the immigration bill ‘could be the saving of the Republican Party, frankly.’”

(Rick Klein, “In Key State, Romney’s Relationship With Gov. Jeb Bush Strained,” ABC News, 5/22/07)

Romney Immigration Stance “Is At Odds” With Prominent Florida Republicans Like Sen. Mel Martinez,Gov. Charlie Crist And Former Gov. Jeb Bush.

“[Romney’s] immigration stance is at odds with some of the state’s most prominent Republicans, including Sen. Mel Martinez, who helped craft the legislation, and Gov.Charlie Crist, who supports allowing illegal immigrants to earn citizenship. Former Gov. Jeb Bush – whom Romney has name-dropped as a potential running mate – has told friends he is ‘disappointed’ with Romney’s position.”

(Beth Reinhard and Lesley Clark, “Romney’s Immigration Stance At Odds With State GOP Leaders,” The Miami Herald, 5/24/07)



Romney Campaign Sees Florida Primary As Crucial To Hopes Of Winning Nomination.

“Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has all along bet on an early Florida primary and continued his push for support here Monday … He left no doubt that the talk of moving up the Florida primary is part of his overall strategy in winning the presidency.”

(Brendan Farrington, “Romney Betting On Early Florida Primary,” The Associated Press, 4/24/07)



Romney: “I Want To Be In Florida As Often As I Can Be.”

“There’s no question that the focus on Florida is importantly the result of having an early primary … Florida is going to have a big say in who is going to be the nominee in each of the parties so I want to be in Florida as often as I can be.”

(Brendan Farrington, “Romney Betting On Early Florida Primary,” The Associated Press, 4/24/07)



Former Governor Jeb Bush Reportedly “Disappointed” In Romney’s Position On Immigration, As Other State Republican Leaders Voice Support For Compromise


Former Governor Jeb Bush Reportedly “Disappointed” That Romney Has Attacked The Immigration Compromise And Begun Running Ads Against The Bill.

“[A]na Navarro, a Florida Republican activist and fundraiser who has worked with Jeb Bush on immigration issues in the past, said the former governor told her last weekend that he is ‘disappointed’ that Romney has denounced the immigration bill in television advertisements  ‘It’s one of the biggest policy and legacy issues of his brother’s administration, but more than that, Jeb believes in this,’ said Navarro, who is supporting Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for president. ‘I don’t speak for Jeb, but I know where his heart is on this issue.’”

(Rick Klein, “In Key State, Romney’s Relationship With Gov. Jeb Bush Strained,” ABC News,5/22/07)



In April 2007, Former Gov. Jeb Bush Criticized Politicians For “Pounding Their Chests,” Creating “The Perception That All Immigrants Are Bad,” In A Way Which Is “Hurtful” To His Hispanic Wife.

“Accusing politicians of ‘pounding their chests’ on immigration for short-term political gain, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that the tone of the debate had been ‘hurtful’ to him and his Mexican-born wife, Columbia. Bush, the younger brother of President Bush, reserved some of his sharpest criticism for conservatives in his own Republican Party, calling it ‘just plain wrong’ to charge illegal immigrants with a felony, as a provision passed by the Republican-led House would do. He also opposed ‘penalizing the children of illegal immigrants’ by denying them U.S. citizenship, an idea backed by some conservatives but not included in the legislation. ‘My wife came here legally, but it hurts her just as it hurts me when people give the perception that all immigrants are bad,’ the Florida governor wrote in an e-mail exchange with

The Times.”

(Peter Wallsten, “Florida Gov. Bush Calls Tone Of Immigration Debate ‘Hurtful,’” The Los Angeles Times, 4/5/07)



Gov. Charlie Crist (R-FL) On Immigration Deal: “I’m Encouraged By It.”

“In Florida, McCain is most in line  with the Republican leadership. ‘I’m encouraged by it. I think it’s the concept that Sen. Martinez likes,’ Gov.Charlie Crist said of the immigration bill, and referring to Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, who is also general chairman of the Republican National Committee.”

(Adam C. Smith, “Immigration Criticism Becomes Vague In Florida,”  St. Petersburg Times,5/27/07)



State GOP Chairman Jim Greer: Framework Is “Realistic But Also Imposes The Rule Of Law … Quite Often People Don’t Understand The Entire Issue And Are Unrealistic When They Want To Simply Send Everyone Back.”

“State Republican Party chairman Jim Greer also spoke up for the immigration plan in a Political Connections interview airing today on Bay News 9. ‘I think the Republican leadership, working with Democrats in Congress, have found a middle ground that is realistic but also imposes the rule of law through sanctions and other things,’ Greer said. ‘I think quite often people don’t understand the entire issue and are unrealistic when they want to simply send everyone back.’”

(Adam C. Smith, “Immigration Criticism Becomes Vague In Florida,” St. Petersburg Times, 5/27/07)


Former Florida GOP Chairman Al Cardenas, A Key Romney Adviser:  “I am confident that [Romney] will [put]forward an immigration proposal that Floridians and Hispanics alike will find fair.”

(Beth Reinhard and Lesley Clark,“Romney’s Immigration Stance At Odds With State GOP Leaders,” The Miami Herald, 5/24/07)


Romney’s “Public Statements Suggest He Actually Agrees With Major Tenets Of The [Immigration]Proposal In Congress.”

“Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he ‘strongly opposes’ an immigration plan also denounced by his party’s conservative wing, yet his public statements suggest he actually agrees with major tenets of the proposal in Congress. The record shows Romney has repeatedly demanded stronger border security. A campaign ad calls for tamper-proof identification cards. And in a debate last week, he said illegal immigrants need to go back to their home country and ‘‘get in line’’ before they can become citizens.‘That’s exactly what’s on the table. All of those things are part of the immigration package,’ said Marshall Fitz,spokesman for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, a nonpartisan organization of lawyers and professors.”

(Beth Reinhard and Lesley Clark, “Romney’s Immigration Stance At Odds With State GOP Leaders,” The Miami Herald, 5/24/07)



Marshall Fitz, Spokesman For The American Immigration Lawyers Association:

“Romney and the other candidates who continue to beat their chests against this legislation are just playing to the conservative base.”

(Beth Reinhard and Lesley Clark, “Romney’s Immigration Stance At Odds With State GOP Leaders,” The Miami Herald, 5/24/07)


Hispanic Leaders: Romney’s Attempts To “Reinvent” His Position Will “Hurt His Chances” In Florida


Sergio Massa, President Of The Latin-American Voters League: “As Mitt Romney tours our diverse and great State of Florida he should know better that his efforts to reinvent his position on immigration reform will definitely hurt his chances of reaching out to a significant voter-block in our state.”

(Hispanic Leaders, Press Release, 5/23/07)



Nora Sandigo, Director Of The Latin-American Voters League:

“The Hispanic community in Florida puts a great deal of emphasis on values, and transforming on a position as crucial to voters as immigration is not a value that is likely to attract much support. Whether it has been the successful elections of Governor Jeb Bush,Governor Charlie Crist or President George W. Bush our State has consistently proven that we support leaders who will approach this issue in a creative, reasonable, realistic and compassionate manner and Mitt Romney’s position is unfortunately inconsistent.”

(Hispanic Leaders, Press Release, 5/23/07)



Jose Lagos, Vice President Of The Latin-American Voters League:

“His interest in putting politics over a real immigration solution, and his willingness to change positions in just the span of a year largely discounts his candidacy in a number of important Florida Republican circles and also at large. … We call upon Governor Romney to reconsider his position and with all due respect to prove his leadership by working now not after the election in a bi-partisan manner the approval in Senate and Congress of a Comprehensive Immigration Reform which is not an amnesty.”

(Hispanic Leaders, Press Release, 5/23/07)



Media Reaction: What They’re Saying About Romney’s Immigration Stance


New York Sun’s Ryan Sager: “Is Mitt Romney Hurting Himself With Jeb Bush (Not To Mention George W.) By Opposing The Immigration Compromise? The Quick And Dirty Answer Would Have To Be Yes.”

“Soren Dayton asks an interesting question: Is Mitt Romney hurting himself with Jeb Bush (not to mention George W.) by opposing the immigration compromise? The quick and dirty answer would have to be yes. Jeb Bush is quite outspoken on immigration – earlier this year at the National Review Institute’s conference in Washington, D.C., he was emphatic about the good immigrants do and the fact that they are a net social good, not a cost. There had been theories that Mr. Romney was the tacit favorite of the Bushes – at least of Jeb’s, as some of his staff went with Mitt. This seems likely to change that picture. Though, it’s not as if Mr. Romney is likely to take Florida from Rudy Giuliani, anyway.”

(Ryan Sager, “Romney: Hurting Himself In Florida?” New York Sun’s Politics Blog,,5/22/07)


Townhall’s Matt Lewis Cites ABC News Piece On Romney’s Immigration Stance Hurting Him In Florida,Noting That

Los Angeles Times  Quoted Jeb Bush As Saying Tone Of Immigration Debate Was “Hurtful”To He And His Wife, Columba.


“This ABC News piece speculates that Romney’s immigration position might be straining his relationship with Jeb Bush: ‘Jeb Bush did not respond to a request for comment. But Ana Navarro, a Florida Republican activist and fundraiser who has worked with Jeb Bush on immigration issues in the past, said the former governor told her last weekend that he is ‘disappointed’ that Romney has denounced the immigration bill in television advertisements. ‘It’s one of the biggest policy and legacy issues of his brother’s administration,but more than that, Jeb believes in this,’ said Navarro, who is supporting Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., for president.‘I don’t speak for Jeb, but I know where his heart is on this issue.’ Yesterday, Peter Wallsten quoted Jeb Bush assaying, ‘the tone of the debate had been ‘hurtful’ to him and his Mexican-born wife, Columba.’”

(Matt Lewis’ Townhall Blog, “Romney And Jeb,”, 5/22/07)


Eye On ‘08 Blog:   “ABC just wrote about the damage that Mitt Romney’s pandering on immigration will do to him in Florida. It even quotes Jeb Bush as ‘disappointed’ in Romney.”

(Eye On ‘08 Blog, “Does Florida’s Advance Foreground Immigration?”, 5/22/07)



NPR’s Mara Liasson: Romney “Has Yet To Develop A Kind Of Intellectually Coherent Position On The Immigration Bill,” Adding “Now That It’s Gotten More Draconian, He’s Decided It’s Amnesty.”

“I do think that [Romney] has yet to develop a kind of intellectually coherent position on the immigration bill, something that he supported a more lenient version of last time it was up – now that it’s gotten more draconian, he’s decided it’s amnesty. But last night he said for instance that the answer to the problem of the 12 million illegals in the country is to merely enforce the current law. The fact that it’s not being enforced – or can’t be – is why we have this new legislation in the Senate now.”

(Fox News’ “Special Report,” 6/6/07)



Roll Call’s Mort Kondracke: “The Whole Idea That Romney Is Now Gonna Basically Try To Force Out12 Million People Is Simply Ridiculous.”

(Fox News’ “Special Report,” 6/6/07)


Romney: “I Deputized, As Did Governor Bush Here, My State Police To Be Able To EnforceImmigration Laws.”

(Mitt Romney, Interview With The [Lakeland, FL]Ledger,, Accessed 5/25/07



St. PetersburgTimes:   Romney “Appeared To Mis-characterize Bush’s Position,” As Bush Approved Small Pilot Program Focused On Terrorism.

“[I]n Polk County last week, Romney sought to invoke Bush on immigration – and appeared to mis-characterize Bush’s position.  ‘I deputized, as did Gov. Bush here, my state police to be able to enforce immigration laws,’ Romney said in an interview with the Lakeland Ledger.  But Bush approved a small pilot program in 2002, which the governor stressed was limited to a few officers and intended to focus on suspected terrorists, not all illegal immigrants.”

(Adam C. Smith, “Immigration Criticism Becomes Vague In Florida,”  St.Petersburg Times, 5/27/07)



Program Agreed To By Former Gov. Bush In 2002 Was Limited Strictly To Terrorism Investigations By Florida’s Domestic Security Task Force.

“The state and federal governments are about to sign an agreement that will give 35 members of Florida’s Domestic Security Task Force power to enforce immigration laws during terrorism investigations. The agreement will solve, at least for a year, frustrations the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has expressed about not having the ability to detain a suspected terrorist for violating immigration laws.”

(Brendan Farrington, “State Officers Will Have INS Powers In Terrorism Investigations,” The Associated Press, 6/6/02)



Bush: “I Would Have A Lot Of Trepidation If … Our Duties End Up With Local Law Enforcement Becoming The Immigration Cops Of The Country.”

“Gov. Jeb Bush … said he is comfortable with the program because it is limited to just a few officers already assigned to domestic security. ‘I would have a lot of trepidation if … every police officer was going to be a sworn INS officer and our duties end up with local law enforcement becoming the immigration cops of the country,’ Bush said. ‘That would give me a lot of trouble.’”

(Brendan Farrington, “State Officers Will Have INS Powers In Terrorism Investigations,”  The Associated Press, 6/6/02)


Former Florida Department Of Law Enforcement Commissioner Tim Moore: “It’s Targeted Only To Terrorist Investigations – Not Checking Green Cards And Work Camps.”

MOORE: “It’s targeted only to terrorist investigations – not checking green cards and work camps … We don’t want there to be any misunderstanding about this. We are not attempting in any way of assuming the responsibilities of INS – that’s notour job, that’s not our responsibility and we’re not equipped to do it.”

(Brendan Farrington, “State Officers Will Have INS Powers In Terrorism Investigations,” The Associated Press, 6/6/02)


Romney Employed Illegal Immigrants For Landscaping Duties On His Personal Property For More Than A Decade, Romney Used Services Of Company Heavily Reliant On Illegal Immigrant Labor To Perform Landscaping Duties At His Home.

“As Governor Mitt Romney explores a presidential bid, he has grown outspoken in his criticism of illegal immigration. But, for a decade, the governor has used a landscaping company that relies heavily on workers like these, illegal Guatemalan immigrants, to maintain the grounds surrounding his pink Colonial house on Marsh Street in Belmont. … Romney never inquired about their status,they said. In addition to maintaining the governor’s property, they also tended to the lawn at the house owned by Romney’s son, Taggart, less than a mile away on the same winding street.”

(Jonathan Saltzman et al, “Illegal Immigrants Toiled For Governor,” The Boston Globe, 12/1/06)


Romney Reportedly “Never Inquired About” Legal Status Of Workers On His Property, But Occasionally Greeted Them By Calling Out “Buenos Dias.”

“The Globe recently interviewed four current and former employees of Community Lawn Service with a Heart, the tiny Chelsea-based company that provides upkeep of Romney’s property. All but one said they were in the United States illegally. … The workers said they were paid in cash at $9 to $10 an hour and sometimes worked 11-hour days. Romney never inquired about their status, they said. … The workers who had landscaped Romney’s property seemed unaware of the governor’s support for stricter controls on illegal immigration. Several described casual encounters with Romney over the years and said he had never expressed any curiosity about their status. Rosales recalled Romney sometimes waving as they tended to the grounds, which include a tennis court and swimming pool. Romney occasionally called out, ‘buenos dias,’ drawing good-natured laughter from the workers. Ann Romney was friendly, Rosales said, and he said she brought them water on one particularly hot day.”

(Jonathan Saltzman et al, “Illegal Immigrants Toiled For Governor,” The Boston Globe, 12/1/06)


“Asked By A Reporter Yesterday About His Use Of Community Lawn Service With A Heart, Romney …Said, ‘Aw, Geez,’ And Walked Away.”

(Jonathan Saltzman et al, “Illegal Immigrants Toiled For Governor,” The Boston Globe, 12/1/06)


While Romney Was Governor, State Awarded Contract To New Bedford, MA Firm Raided In 2007 For Massive Immigration Law Violations Michael Bianco Inc. Was Awarded State Contract Worth $66,250 In Early 2003.

“The New Bedford manufacturer raided by federal agents last month for allegedly employing illegal immigrants won approval for $111,150 in state grants over the last four years to hire and train employees, as part of the company’s expansion.… In early 2003, Michael Bianco, which then employed 87 people, was awarded a $66,250 grant to hire and train 80 new stitchers and machine operators, and to develop an in-house training program for entry-level workers.”

(Scott Helman, “State OK’d Grants To Firm,” The Boston Globe, 4/9/07)



Romney Administration Also Approved Special Tax Break That Saved Michael Bianco Over $50,000.

“According to New Bedford officials, the company also received a five-year tax break from the city in 2004 that had already reaped Michael Bianco more than $50,000 in tax savings as of last month. That tax break, which was approved by the state, required that approximately half of the new jobs generated by the company be given to city residents, in exchange for a total of $80,000 in savings by 2010.”

(Scott Helman, “State OK’d Grants To Firm,” The Boston Globe, 4/9/07)


In March 2007, Federal Authorities Raided Michael Bianco’s Headquarters And Arrested Hundreds Of Illegal Immigrants.

“The owner and three managers of a New Bedford leather manufacturer that’s won more than $91 million in U.S. military contracts were arrested Tuesday for allegedly hiring illegal immigrants. The company, Michael Bianco Inc., hired illegal aliens as it tried to meet deadlines to supply backpacks and other products to the military, federal officials said in a court filing. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers raided the company Tuesday morning.”

(Jay Lindsay, “Co. Raided, Accused Of Hiring Illegals,” The Associated Press, 3/6/07)



As Many As 350 Michael Bianco Workers Were In The U.S. Illegally.

“The ‘deplorable’ New Bedford sweatshop shuttered by the feds yesterday squeezed illegal aliens for every second of their workday, fining them $20 for spending more than two minutes in the bathroom and firing them for talking twice while on the clock. … As many as 350 of the company’s 500 workers – including single mothers and husbands and wives – are now facing deportation.”

(Laurel Sweet, “Feds Nab Five In Sweatshop Raid,” Boston Herald, 3/7/07)



“Federal Prosecutors Allege The Company Deliberately Recruited Illegal Immigrants Instead Of Legal Workers, Believing They Were Desperate Enough For Jobs That They Would Tolerate Substandard Working Conditions.”

(Scott Helman, “State OK’d Grants To Firm,” The Boston Globe, 4/9/07)



Top Michael Bianco Officials Allegedly Helped Illegal Workers Procure False Social Security Cards.

“In an affidavit, investigators claimed that owner Francesco Insolia, plant manager Dilia Costa, payroll manager Ana Figueroa and office manager Gloria Melo allowed an undercover officer who told them she was an illegal immigrant to continue working at the plant, and Figueroa advised her how to obtain a fake Social Security card.”

(Jay Lindsay, “Co. Raided, Accused Of Hiring Illegals,” The Associated Press, 3/6/07)


Romney’s Successor – Not Romney – Signed Order Requiring State Contractors To Verify Employees’ Immigration Status.

“At the time both grants were approved, the state did not require employers to verify workers’ immigration status, Walsh said. Now, under an executive order signed by Governor Deval Patrick in February, the state will require all such grant recipients to certify that their employees can legally work in the United States, she said.”

(Scott Helman, “State OK’d Grants To Firm,” The Boston Globe , 4/9/07)


Romney Aide Says Grant Money Awarded By Romney Administration To Michael Bianco Should Be“Refunded” To Taxpayers.

“A spokesman for Mitt Romney, the former governor whose administration awarded the 2003 grant, said Patrick should seek to get the money back if it was used to train illegal workers. ‘Mitt Romney’s view is if that grant was not used for legitimate purposes — if it was used to train illegal aliens, for instance – then that money should be refunded to the taxpayers of Massachusetts,’ said spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom.”

(Scott Helman, “State OK’d Grants To Firm,” The Boston Globe, 4/9/07)


Michael Bianco Spokesman Alleges State Official Helped Company Write Its Own Grant.

“A spokesman for Michael Bianco, Doug Bailey, said Insolia didn’t even know such state assistance was available until New Bedford officials informed him during a visit to the factory. The state eventually sent a representative to meet with Insolia and helped him write the grant, Bailey said. Questions about workers’ immigration status never came up, he said.”

Scott Helman, “State OK’d Grants To Firm,”  The Boston Globe, 4/9/07)

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