When Willard “Mitt” Romney and his campaign made a decision to turn a partisan event on Tuesday in Ohio into a “storm relief effort,” all was not as portrayed by the op ed photos released to the press. As reported on Buzzfeed, a political rally in Dayton was quickly turned into a “storm relief effort” that was meant to portray Romney as caring and a leader during a crisis.
“The plan was for supporters to bring hurricane relief supplies to the event and then deliver the bags of canned goods, packages of diapers, and cases of water bottles to the candidate, who would be perched behind a table…To complete the project and photo op, Romney would lead his crew in carrying the goods out of the gymnasium and into the Penske rental truck parked outside.”
Campaign aides became worried that donations wouldn’t be large enough to fill up the truck. So, the night before the event Romney campaign workers took $5,000 to a Dayton Walmart and bought bottled water, canned goods, etc. When people showed up without donations, they were told to “just grab something” from the purchased pile.
It’s bad enough that a “storm relief” event used bogus donations, but let’s not forget that the Red Cross expressly asks people NOT to donate goods. Donated money can be used to buy what’s needed at the site of a disaster. Donated goods simply use up resources transporting and distributing them. If Romney wants to help, I would suggest he pull out his checkbook and write a multi-million-dollar donation to the Red Cross, earning himself yet another tax deduction.
This scam ranks right up there with Paul Ryan showing up long after dinner at a shelter, but insisting on washing already clean dishes in order to get his photo taken. There’s no way Americans can trust those guys.