Remember how we were talking about hacktivism a while back? Well, it sure didn’t take long for that issue to pop up in this year’s presidential election.
Now let me preface this. All Republicans get these weird heartburn on their insides when the question of Romney’s tax returns comes up. Intellectually, nobody suspects Romney’s guilty of some of the wilder improprieties people have thrown at him. Seriously, committing felonies? Lying to the SEC? Tax evasion? These are things that a candidate worth roughly $250 million would not get away with in today’s world – especially one with long lists of both Republican and Democratic adversaries. But deep down, we’re still somewhat concerned that something slightly embarrassing could be in the reams of Romney tax records.
Just a little.
So when word leaked out that someone had somehow stolen Romney’s tax records, naturally I had to check it out. Here’s the gist:
A person (or a group of people) dropped off a flash drive in a manila envelope at a GOP office in Tennessee marked for the Republican party “Learders.”
This anonymous entity claimed to have broken into an accounting firm’s regional branch, hacked into a computer, and downloaded Mitt’s returns onto the flash drive. In true Dr. Evil style, they threatened to blackmail the candidate with their release unless he ponied up (wait for it…) “one million dollars.”
Two things are clear right away. One: the thief’s description of the break-in attempt is so detailed that the Secret Service (who is now investigating the case) should have no trouble verifying if the story’s real or not. Two: whoever’s left this envelope has not been following this election too closely.
Seriously, one million dollars? That’s it? That information is worth way more than that – try 100 times that amount!
These oversights, and the misspelling of “learder” (leader? leerers? Lear’s dirk?), make me think this is a hoax. If the responsible party gets caught and ends up being affiliated with the Obama campaign, that would be an insane Nixon parallel, and thus could actually good news for Romney. But any other scenario is a nonplus for the candidate.
He’s not gonna release the returns, guys. I mean it!
The DYNAMO staff and I (that is, me and Rett) were batting around a few names for this latest incident on the long and winding road to the White House. Since all big scandals nowadays have “gate” in their name somewhere, we figured this one should be no different.
How does PricewatergatehouseCooper sound?
Yeah, probably a little to wordy. But hey, it’s a working title.