BMG has obtained a photograph showing Mitt Romney at a house party to benefit Planned Parenthood that was held in June of 1994, during his campaign for US Senate against Ted Kennedy. And, BMG has learned, Ann Romney’s $150 check to Planned Parenthood that was in the news a few months back was related to this event.
(Click the photo to open a larger image in a new window.)
That’s Mitt in the center. In front of Mitt, with her back to the camera, is Nicki Nichols Gamble, then the president of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.
More on the flip.
A few months back, you may recall, there was a little dust-up over a $150 contribution to Planned Parenthood that was drawn on Mitt and Ann Romney’s joint checking account in 1994. ABC News broke the story, and it quickly made the rounds. But, we were told at the time, it was Ann’s contribution, not Mitt’s.
[Romney spokesman Kevin Madden] said the check was written from the Romneys’ joint checking account, but she signed it and the contribution came from her, Madden said. Mitt Romney has not donated to the group, Madden said.
ABC quoted Madden as saying that “[t]he governor has not donated to Planned Parenthood or abortion-rights groups.” Furthermore, Mitt himself said,
“Her contributions are for her and not for me,” Romney said before a campaign appearance in Iowa. “Her positions are not terrible relevant to my campaign.”
Madden claimed that Ann had no idea why she wrote this check.
Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said Ann Romney does not remember whether it was a straight donation to the abortion rights group, which supports abortion rights, or whether she wrote the check as an admission fee for an event. “Since it was so long ago, Ann has no information of the circumstances,” he said.
In fact, Romney spokesman Madden told ABC, Mitt might not even have known about the donation.
Madden said he did not know whether the former governor was aware of the donation, but he noted that Romney had been publicly committed to upholding a woman’s right to an abortion until late 2004.
And yet, there’s Mitt at a Planned Parenthood house party. I spoke this morning to Ms. Gamble to confirm the circumstances of the photograph. She said that this photo was taken at a house party — a fundraiser — for Planned Parenthood of Massachusetts, held in June of 1994, at a private home in Cohasset. She explained that Planned Parenthood held (and continues to hold) lots of events like this, where people are invited to meet ‘n’ greet, and to hear about Planned Parenthood’s work. According to Ms. Gamble, both Mitt and Ann Romney were present at this event.
Ms. Gamble further explained that these events are fundraisers, and that invitees are asked to contribute to Planned Parenthood either in advance of or after the event. And, she told me, Ann Romney’s $150 donation to Planned Parenthood was “related to” this event.
So, according to Ms. Gamble, Ann Romney wrote a $150 check to Planned Parenthood in order to attend this house party (though I don’t know whether the check was written before or after the party took place), and both Mitt and Ann were there. I can’t tell from the news articles about the check whether Mitt was ever asked if he attended any fundraising events for Planned Parenthood. Perhaps that question ought to be raised now.