Saturday, July 21, 2007

Badges!?!?! Romney needs those stinking badges!

In an incident that is sure to spawn endless The Treasure of the Sierra Madre references, one of Romney's aides apparently made false law enforcement badges for campaign staff:
In an apparent violation of the law, a controversial aide to ex-Gov. Mitt Romney created phony law enforcement badges that he and other staffers used on the campaign trail to strong-arm reporters, avoid paying tolls and trick security guards into giving them immediate access to campaign venues, sources told the Herald.
The bogus badges were part of the bizarre security tactics allegedly employed by Jay Garrity, the director of operations for Romney who is under investigation for impersonating a law enforcement officer in two states. Garrity is on a leave of absence from the campaign while the probe is ongoing.

A campaign source said Garrity directed underlings on Romney’s presidential staff to use the badges at events nationwide to create an image of security and to ensure that the governor’s events went smoothly.
Via Crooks & Liars, where Steve Benen comments:

One guy allegedly impersonates an officer? Romney has plausible deniability. A whole group of aides are all given phony badges, which they’re encouraged to use? Romney starts to look like he’s the head of some kind of criminal enterprise.

How could the candidate not know?

P.S.: Here's an interesting bit of "stinking badges" trivia from the above-linked Wikipedia entry:

The film is the origin of a famous line, often misquoted as "We don't need no stinking badges!" The correct dialogue is:

Gold Hat (Alfonso Bedoya): We are Federales... you know, the mounted police.
Dobbs (Bogart): If you're the police, where are your badges?
Gold Hat (Alfonso Bedoya): Badges!? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!

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