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What’s Appropriate?

Liz Mair over at GOPProgress is spun up about Mitt Romney’s use of RGA funds to run an ad that appears to be for Romney – rather than his LG, Kerry Healey.

Anyone who has watched the ad will have noticed how little face time Healey, i.e., the candidate, gets. And how much Romney (that other candidate) gets.

Romney supporters have said this is likely because Romney wants to lend the weight of his huge popularity in the state to Healey’s campaign. Yet I find that argument utterly uncompelling.

I don’t know that you can dismiss that argument very easily. Popular governor’s often use their name to help LG’s win. Look no further than Mark Warner and Tim Kaine for evidence of that.

Granted, the ad probably features more of Mitt than it needs to. In most of the shots, Kerry is standing behind the Governor looking on. That sort of conveys a message that she’s always been sort of a sideline player. Because of that, I’d actually concede that Liz has a point. The ad may well end up doing more harm than good – especially given it only mentions Healey’s name twice and one of those is part of “the Romney-Healey team”.

At any rate, Liz challenges Romney’s use of RGA funds to run an add like this, knowing full well that voters in New Hampshire will be watching as well. She also highlights the RGA expenditures in Iowa and Michigan – two states with tough Gov races, but also strategically important for Mitt’s Presidential bid.

I mention all of this mostly to ask a question. Is it appropriate for the head of the RGA to use the resources of the committee in a way that is personally beneficial – if it also benefits the candidates the committee serves? Liz says no, but I’m not so sure.

Written by Michael Turk