Have you ever been arrested?

The only reason I’m familiar with this song is that it was on a sampler CD that I won from the Loop in Chicago when I was in college. It was 1988 or 1989, and I didn’t even own a CD player at the time. It was the first CD I ever owned, and it did have a few good songs on it. This song doesn’t exactly qualify but I still remember it, all these years later.

This song now seems relevant, because one Willard M. Romney got himself arrested back in 1981. There’s certainly no shame in that; People get arrested all the time. Here’s a few hundred mug shots to prove it. But the events around that arrest aren’t supposed to be known by people like you and me. Why? Because Willard M. Romney, who goes by the name “Mitt,” had the records sealed at the time.

The fact of his arrest became known to a newspaper back in 1994, when Willard M. Romney was running to become a U.S. Senator in Massachusetts. The would-be Senator claimed that he was released without bail, and the charges were later dropped. No harm, no foul, right? It seemed that way at the time, at least.

But things changed today. The unsuccessful would-be Senator now wants to become President. He wants to have the fate of you, and me, and theoretically everyone living on this planet in his hands. So he damn well better be forthcoming with us, about everything. But forthcoming is something he hasn’t been. He told the SEC he was running Bain Capital, even though he told We, the People that he wasn’t. He told the IRS about his Swiss bank account, but he also hid that from We, the People. And now it appears what he told the newspaper reporter back in 1994 about his arrest in 1981 wasn’t truthful, either.

Even though the arrest record was sealed at Romney’s request, there was a newspaper account of it published by a newspaper in Natick, Massachusetts. When I was a kid, the local paper in my hometown ran a Police Beat column, which was probably the same thing: “Such-and-So was arrested at 2 AM on Sunday morning for driving the wrong way down a one way street.” And so it was with Willard M. Romney of Belmont, Massachusetts. Something about a boat and a license and disorderly conduct. The facts aren’t really all that important, so many years after the fact.

But, again, it’s the gap in his memory about what happened that’s more troubling than what he actually did. He said he was not required to post bail, but the newspaper account claimed that he was “released on bail.” So which is it? Was the newspaper wrong in its reporting, or was Willard M. Romney fudging the truth when he spoke about it back in 1994? I think I know what the answer is, but I’m also willing to keep an open mind. Let the facts come out, and then, if there was an error by the newspaper, they can print a retraction.

If, however, the error was with Mr. Romney, it’s just going to feed the idea that he can not be truthful about his past. He claims he can’t remember the Cranbrook assault, even if everyone else who was present claims that they do. And in the early 1980s, when he no longer was the governor’s son, he once again found himself in a spot that all of us would remember, if it were us in his shoes. You bet I would remember whether I had to pay money in order to make sure I showed up in court. Who wouldn’t remember that?

Again, the fact that he was arrested means nothing at all to me. But what I want to know is how truthful was he being about that arrest? If he can lie to us now, and still expect to get our vote, then what’s to keep him from lying about anything and everything under the sun once he’s the President?

I don’t want this man to win the election for many reasons, but his apparent lack of truthfulness could be the biggest one of all. If Willard M. Romney can’t level with us, or release the arrest records to reveal what the truth of the matter is, then he has no business taking the presidential oath of office. That would probably be just another lie he would tell us, anyway.

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