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Mathew Helman: Gabriel Gomez Is Another Mitt Romney, and That’s Bad News

Thursday, May 16, 2013

 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A “fresh face” in Massachusetts politics decides to run for U.S. Senate. He’s a Republican, and he’s running against a Democrat who is viewed as a national leader in Congress and an expert on a variety of issues. This Republican holds an M.B.A. degree from Harvard, and that Ivy League education led to a career in private equity that hasn’t received nearly as much scrutiny as it deserves.

If that sounds familiar, there’s a reason. It applies to both Mitt Romney’s failed Senate campaign against Senator Edward Kennedy in 1994 and Gabriel Gomez’s current Senate campaign against Congressman Ed Markey. But the similarities don’t end there. Republicans Gabriel Gomez and Mitt Romney have a lot in common, and it reflects rather poorly on Mr. Gomez.

Both Mitt Romney and Gabriel Gomez have faced controversy regarding their taxes. As both men are extremely wealthy private equity moguls, complicated tax returns are to be expected; but, both men’s controversies go well beyond that. We all recall that, during the 2012 Presidential campaign, Mitt Romney notoriously refused to release several years’ worth of tax returns. This led to speculation about what Mr. Romney’s tax returns would reveal, from millions of dollars stashed in the Cayman Islands to abuse of the tax code to reap undeserved tax deductions.

Republican Gabriel Gomez now faces a similar tax controversy. It was reported that, in Mr. Gomez’s tax return for 2005, he took a whopping $281,500 tax deduction as part of a deal in which he agreed to not make modifications to the exterior of his $2.1 million Cohasset mansion. (It may sound ridiculous on its face that Gomez could score nearly $300,000 simply for not renovating his mansion.) What makes this a case of tax abuse is that Gomez is already barred from modifying the exterior of his mansion because it is sited in the Cohasset Common Historic District. This exact type of tax abuse has been included on the list of the “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams.” People have requested that Gomez publicly release his tax return for 2005 so that we could see the extent to which Gomez gamed the system. Like Mitt Romney, Gabriel Gomez refused to release the controversial tax return.

The similarities between Republicans Mitt Romney and Gabriel Gomez go further still, into areas of public policy. Take abortion rights, for instance. When Mitt Romney ran for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, he ran as a defender of a woman’s right to choose. However, when Romney ran in the Republican Presidential primary just a few years later, he ran as an anti-choice candidate, calling for the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Mr. Gomez seems to be taking a page out of Mitt’s playbook. To make conservative voters happy, Gomez declares that he is pro-life. However, to avoid blowback from liberal voters, Gomez insists that he would not attempt to change Roe v. Wade. With no record to point to, Gomez is asking voters to blindly trust him as he plays both sides of the issue.

Of course, playing both sides of an issue is nothing new to either Mitt Romney or Gabriel Gomez. Romney famously flip-flopped on a litany of issues including health care, gun control, gay rights, and so on.

Meanwhile, Gomez is under intense scrutiny for a letter he wrote to Governor Deval Patrick while Gov. Patrick was deciding who to appoint to the interim Senate vacancy after John Kerry resigned to become U.S. Secretary of State. Gomez put himself forward for consideration, noting in his letter that “I support the positions that President Obama has taken” on the issues of immigration reform and gun control. However, during his recent Republican primary campaign, Gomez worked furiously to walk back his professed support for President Obama’s positions on those very issues, leaving voters of all political stripes wondering what the heck Gabriel Gomez actually supports.

Both Mitt Romney and Gabriel Gomez have offered dishonest criticism of President Obama’s response to terrorism. Romney famously tripped over his own feet during the October 16, 2012, Presidential debate, in which he wrongly claimed that President Obama failed to call the attack in Benghazi “an act of terror.” Romney was quickly fact-checked by both President Obama and the debate moderator. Gomez, too, has spewed dishonest criticism of President Obama’s response to terrorism. On August 17, 2012, Gomez appeared on MSNBC as a spokesman for the right-wing fringe attack group “Opsec.” Gomez and “Opsec” attacked President Obama over, of all things, the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden.

Both Mitt Romney and Gabriel Gomez seem to prefer to have outside groups do their political dirty work. Outside groups supporting Mitt Romney in 2012 outspent outside groups supporting Barack Obama in 2012 by a total of about $260 million! Gabriel Gomez hopes to garner some of that outside money as he has repeatedly rejected signing the People’s Pledge. Elizabeth Warren and Scott Brown famously agreed to the People’s Pledge in 2012 to keep outside money from clogging the airwaves with attack ads, and the effort was a success. Democratic Congressman Ed Markey has reached out to Republican Gabriel Gomez to agree to a People’s Pledge in their race, but Gomez has time-and-time again declined.

The similarities between Mitt Romney and Gabriel Gomez also extend to the staff level and to when it comes to right-wing Republican outreach. Eric Fehrnstrom, who served as a senior advisor to Mitt Romney, also advised the pro-Gabriel Gomez super-PAC “Committee for a Better Massachusetts.” Additionally, you might recall when Romney tried to convince right-wing conservatives that he was shoulder to shoulder with them by awkwardly declaring, “I was a severely conservative Republican Governor.” That sounds a lot like Gabriel Gomez awkwardly insisting to the Boston Herald, “I’m a firm Republican, I’m a conservative Republican.”

Republican Gabriel Gomez may want to play down his many similarities with Republican Mitt Romney. After all, just last November, Barack Obama crushed Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, 61 to 38. Nevertheless, the reality is that the Gabriel Gomez agenda and the Mitt Romney agenda appear to be similar agendas. And the Gomez-Romney agenda appears to favor someone with a Gomez-Romney millionaire’s tax return rather than a Massachusetts Middle Class tax return.

Mathew Helman is a Democratic political operative and non-profit communications professional. A proud product of the Framingham public schools, Mathew has spent the last ten years working in Massachusetts government and politics.

 

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Comments:

Sandy Williamson

Mr. Helman says at the beginning of his MINDSETTER™ piece, "Stop me if you’ve heard this one before." OK, let's do that because its the same old, tired fact free, false premise and innuendo propagated by the "progressive" left.

He goes on to say, "This Republican holds an M.B.A. degree from Harvard, and that Ivy League education led to a career in private equity that hasn’t received nearly as much scrutiny as it deserves." Really? And just what scrutiny is that? Can you tell us why? Or, is this just more unfounded nonsense to make people think you know something? If scrutiny is needed, why don't you scrutinize? Is there something wrong with working in private equity? It is hardly a domain exclusive to Republicans.

- He also states more things without any real conclusions or clarity. Here are just a few:
"Both Mitt Romney and Gabriel Gomez have faced controversy regarding their taxes." One might ask, so what? Controversy is not uncommon with our Byzantine tax code. But he goes on to acuse Mr. Gomez of "tax abuse", whatever that is. Even noting that, "This exact type of tax abuse has been included on the list of the “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams.”" Really, what constitutes a scam? And, specifically, who published the list of the “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams.” And, what is their expertise? And, lastly, which of said "Scams" are outside the limits of the governing tax codes? Are you suggesting, like Harry Reid, that laws were broken? Like Mr. Reid, will you fail to apologize when you can't produce a a scintilla of evidence? You can't complain about people following the law. This is especially true when your Party has complete control of the legislative bodies that control those laws.

- And then we have to cover Roe v. Wade – Mr. Helman complains about Mr. Gomez' position as pro-life while stating that he would not attempt to change Roe v. Wade. Can Mr. Helman tells us exactly how a U.S. Senator can effect a change in Roe v. Wade? The last time I checked, the Congress cannot overturn a Supreme Court decision. Then again, he completely forgets to mention Mr. Markey's "evolution" on the topic. It seems Markey moved from pro-life to having top ratings from all the "pro choice" groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood. Apparently it's OK Democrats to have differing positions on the same topic.

- Next we have Benghazi, and he states, "Romney famously tripped over his own feet during the October 16, 2012, Presidential debate, in which he wrongly claimed that President Obama failed to call the attack in Benghazi “an act of terror.” Romney was quickly fact-checked by both President Obama and the debate moderator. " Really? Apparently, Mr. Helman hasn't been following the news in the last week. I think said "fact check" has been moved to the dust bin of history, despite the best efforts of the lap dog moderator, and the POTUS's efforts to expand his version of truth.

-And for further entertainment, Mr. Helman wants to bring up the People's Pledge, while failing to point out the millions of dollars that Mr. Markey has accepted from "outside" groups over the course of his political career. Please explain why Mr. Gomez should do what Mr. Markey hasn't done until this election cycle? Apparently he "evolved" again when he decided it would create a huge advantage in this race.

- With further baseless assertions that one would expect from a career left wing advocate, Mr. Helman closes with a final false premise when he states, "Republican Gabriel Gomez may want to play down his many similarities with Republican Mitt Romney." Unless Mr. Helman is a MINDREADER, it is difficult to understand how he could state this. It is Mr. Helman, and no one else, who created this "strawman". It certainly hasn't come from the Gomez campaign. Then again, why should it? Rather than MINDSETTER™, Mr. Helman's effort should be in the MINDlessSETTER section of GoLocalWorcester.

Harry Huckum

Mr Williamson,

Well said sir. Mr. Helman wants to talk about taxes while the Obama administration seems to be using the IRS to attack his "enemies". This piece by Matt Helman is nothing more than an attack piece funded by his employer, Progress Mass, which happens to be funded by George Soros who is tied to the Obama administration and it's IRS mess.

Edward Saucier

Atta boy Mathew - you really pissed of Skinny Sandy. He rewrote everything you said because he can't think of anything substantive. I think every thing you wrote is correct.

Although you didn't mention "Angel" Gabriel (that's a pun as venture capitalists used to be called "angels" and Gabriel was an angel of God) was a former Navy SEAL which some people thing sit at the right hand of God.

Sandy should Google - 10 Overturned Supreme Court Cases - where there's a will there's a way, Sandy.

Nice story today in the T&G from the Boston Globe about good old Gabe stiffing an appraiser whose figure he didn't agree with. Gabe thought it It was too low for his tax deduction. What a nice guy. Let's elect the narcissistic jerk to the US Senate or something.

Sandy Williamson

When Ed says, "I think every thing you wrote is correct.", that's all we need to know. Perhaps Ed could actually deal with the facts presented. But, that's not the way the mindless leftists roll. He would rather resort to name calling instead of civil discourse. Perhaps he can explain how a Senator overturns Supreme Court cases.

Edward Saucier

Boo-Hoo I pissed off Sandy. I didn't write that to you Sandy I wrote it to Mathew. Sicks and stones, skinny guy, grow a thicker skin, will ya? What a maroon.

AGAIN.......Sandy should Google - 10 Overturned Supreme Court Cases - where there's a will there's a way, Sandy.

Sandy Williamson

Well done Ed. The level of civility you show makes one take pause to question just what point you are trying to make. The baseless personal attacks are infantile at best. Just what point are you trying to prove? I still haven't seen any point of fact that you deny in what I wrote. If you want to debate, you should really come with some facts. If you just want to mindlessly sling mud, have fun by yourself.

J Wilkes

Helman....to criticize a GOP candidate...is akin
to the old saying:
Look who;s calling the kettle black

Helman ...is just another msmedia lib flacker...delivering his obligatory agitprop & driveby. Ignoring the nasty little message is easy... but the arrogant & insulting mugging of the readers.... is borderline psycho.

Matt. stay on that medication..




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