Transparency that defines ‘ethical conduct’

Looking back over the last several months, nothing has caused as much trouble to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign as C-SPAN archives. Eagle-eyed researchers have relied on these archived clips to catch Romney saying all sorts of unfortunate things (see here and here, for example).

And is it turns out, the archive is still being tapped for additional gems. James Carter posted this clip from 1999.

At the time, Romney had recently taken over as president and CEO of the Salt Lake Olympic organizing committee, which had been plagued by scandal. In the clip, we see Romney explaining the importance of transparency, and vowing to share materials with the public, even correspondence between Romney and other Olympic officials.

This, Romney said at the time, was a way to demonstrate “ethical conduct.”

In hindsight, it’s interesting he’d put it that way.

This is, of course, the same Romney who, shortly before departing the governor’s office, oversaw the purchase of 17 state-issued hard drives, in order to purge his administration’s email records in advance of his presidential campaign. Romney admitted the move was intended to hide official correspondence from the public and keep potentially-embarrassing information from “opposition research” teams.

This is also the same Romney who seems a little too eager to hide his tax returns from public scrutiny.

What would 1999 Romney have to say about 2012 Romney? I suspect “ethical conduct” isn’t a phrase that would come up.