DNC - Which Mitt: Romney's Record as Governor

Today, in an interview with WKXL's Chris Ryan, Mitt Romney was asked about his lack of core values. Romney responded, "Well I think the best way for people to know what I believe in, what I stand for is to look at my record as Governor in Massachusetts."

Mitt Romney’s failed record as Governor is pretty clear: under his ‘leadership’ Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 in the nation for job creation; he raised fees on everything from driver’s licenses to gun owners; took the opening steps toward a Cap & Trade system and established a program to provide free cars to welfare recipients.


Romney: "We Raised Fees on All Sorts of Things in Massachusetts." ROMNEY: "We raised fees on all sorts of things in Massachusetts. Fees hadn't been touched, in some cases, for decades, and we said, look, we're going to raise the fees... we're not going to raise the fees on things that are broad based like driver's licenses and license plates because everybody gets hit with that. But on those things that are done by a minority of people and where the state provides a service, we did raise fees, yeah." [Howie Carr, 12/21/11]

Romney Budget Quadrupled Fee for Firearms Identification & License to Carry. "Also drawing criticism is quadrupling of fees charged to gun owners this year. Under the budget, fees will rise from $25 to $100 for both a firearms identification card and a license to carry firearms, which are required by state law. "In general, the government has failed to meet its obligations and now it's passing the buck," said Michael Yacino,  executive director of the Gun Owners Action League, which has opposed the fee increases. 'It just shows they don't have any answers.'" [Quincy Patriot-Ledger, 7/9/03] 

·         Factcheck.org: Romney’s Fee And Tax Increases Were “Between $740 And $750 Million Per Year.” “As we’ve noted before when the subject of Romney’s fee vs. tax increases has come up, the Massachusetts Department of Administration and Finance says that fee increases during Romney’s tenure added up to $260 million per year, with another $174 million raised from closing some corporate tax "loopholes." The independent Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation puts the revenue total of fee hikes and tax loophole-closings at between $740 and $750 million a year.” [Factcheck.org, 1/31/08]

·         2003: Romney Proposed Raising Nearly 100 State Fees Including Those On Driver’s Licenses, Bottled Beverages, And Public Health Testing. “Nearly 100 state fees, including those on bottled beverages, public health testing, and driver's licenses, would rise next year under Governor Mitt Romney's 2004 proposed budget, which was released yesterday. The administration estimates the fee increases, which must be approved by the state Legislature, would bring an additional $60 million in revenue to the cash-strapped state…Romney also said he would like to raise 12 motor-vehicle-related fees to generate $8.6 million. Motorcyclists would pay $40 for a new license instead of $34; while new - and often younger - drivers would see the price of a learner's permit double to $30…Fee increases at the Department of Public Health would generate the most new money for the state, $9.1 million. The fee changes include $6 million in hikes at state labs and hospitals, as well as a new $50 charge for tuberculosis tests and a $400 fee for those who test positive.” [Boston Globe, 2/27/03] 


2005: As Governor “Romney Took The Opening Steps Toward Joining A Cap-And-Trade Compact For Power Plants.”  “As governor in Massachusetts, Romney took the opening steps toward joining a cap-and-trade compact for power plants known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. But he pulled out of the program just before it formed in late 2005.” [Politico, 7/18/11]

·         2005: Romney Endorsed Regional Cap And Trade System, Saying "This Is A Great Thing For The Commonwealth ... We Can Effectively Create Incentives To Help Stimulate A Sector Of The Economy And At The Same Time Not Kill Jobs. ... I’m Convinced It Is Good Business." "Governor Mitt Romney signaled his support yesterday for a regional agreement among Northeastern states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite opposition from power companies and other business interests that have been lobbying the administration against the plan. In opening remarks to a clean-energy conference in Boston, Romney said the first-of-its-kind agreement, under which Massachusetts and eight other states could be required to cut power plant emissions by 2020, will not hurt the economy, as some have charged. He argued that it would spur businesses to develop clean -- and renewable-energy technology to market worldwide. ‘This is a great thing for the Commonwealth,’ Romney said, his strongest endorsement of the pact to date. ‘We can effectively create incentives to help stimulate a sector of the economy and at the same time not kill jobs.’... Romney said yesterday that he had some concerns about the agreement, known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, but he endorsed this and other clean-energy initiatives by saying they would stimulate the development of technology that Massachusetts companies could sell to other states and countries, as the emphasis on climate change grows. ‘I’m convinced it is good business,’ Romney said." [Boston Globe, 11/8/05]

·         Romney In 2003: "Now Is The Time To Take Action Toward Climate Protection ... Our Joint Work To Create A Flexible Market-Based Regional Cap And Trade System Could Serve As An Effective Approach To Meeting These Goals.” “In another nod to environmentalists, Gov. Mitt Romney has joined with New York Gov. George Pataki in a plan to limit greenhouse gases from Northeast power plants. In a July 21 letter to Mr. Pataki, Mr. Romney acknowledged that carbon dioxide emissions are harming the environment and agreed to help design a regional emissions cap for power generating plants. Mr. Pataki last spring invited New England and mid-Atlantic state governors to spend two years on a plan to bring about significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. I concur that climate change is beginning to affect our natural resources and that now is the time to take action toward climate protection,’ the governor wrote. ‘I share your interest in ensuring that the economic and security contributions made by our electricity generating system are not negated by the impact of emissions from that system on the health of our citizens,’ he continued… ‘Our joint work to create a flexible market-based regional cap and trade system could serve as an effective approach to meeting these goals,’ Mr. Romney wrote in the letter.” [Telegram & Gazette [Worcester, MA], 8/6/03]




Romney’s Department Of Transitional Assistance Announced The Establishment Of A Car Ownership Program To Provide Automobiles To TAFDC Recipients. “A new transportation benefit has been added to the menu of benefits available to recipients through TransAction Associates.  The Department, in combination with TransAction Associates, has established a Car Ownership Program to provide automobiles to certain TAFDC recipients.  TransAction Associates has contracted with the Good News Garage to provide this service.” [Field Operations Memo, Department Of Transitional Assistance, 5/22/06]

Romney Defended Program “That Handed Out Free Wheels To Massachusetts Welfare Recipients — Including State-Funded Insurance And AAA Memberships.” “GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s camp is defending a controversial program he created that handed out free wheels to Massachusetts welfare recipients — including state-funded insurance and AAA memberships — even as the plan drew fire from conservatives the former Bay State governor is wooing. ‘Over 80 percent of participants have moved off of welfare,’ said Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho.” [Boston Herald, 10/18/11]

  • Massachusetts Paid For “One Year’s Insurance, Inspection, Excise Tax, Title, Registration, Repairs And A AAA Membership” For Cars Donated To Welfare Recipients. “Under Romney’s Car Ownership Program, the state paid out one year’s insurance, inspection, excise tax, title, registration, repairs and a AAA membership for cars that were donated to welfare recipients.” [Boston Herald, 10/18/11]