The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

October 20, 2012

‘Women for Mitt’ discuss the Romney they know

OTTUMWA — Five women took a break from their lives to stand up for their former boss: Mitt Romney.

“I know politics can be tough, but ... this summer ... the man they were portraying in the media ... it wasn’t the man we know,” said Cindy Gillespie, a counselor on Mitt Romney’s cabinet during his time as Massachusetts governor. “It’s frustrating. The picture [coming out] just wasn’t true.”

Gillespie called some other former employees — Republicans, independents, Democrats — who all said they’d be happy to share what kind of boss Romney was. Five of those people, all women — “Women for Mitt” — were in Ottumwa on Friday to address supporters. And, they said, to set the record straight about the man they know.

“What we have in common, we all worked for Mitt Romney, and we’ve all moved on to our own jobs and our own lives.”

Renee Fry, former Massachusetts Secretary of Business and Technology, worked her way up to the cabinet-level post.

“I kept getting promoted, my accomplishments were recognized, and [that] showed Mitt believed in me and supported me,” she said.

In fact, the women said, about half his cabinet was composed of high-level women — especially when it came to finance and business.

“I don’t think that most people realize women were at the core of the economic turnaround in Massachusetts,” said Gillespie.

She added that Romney “only” wanted one thing from the people he surrounded himself with: “He wanted people who could walk through walls.”

In other words, she said, people who could accomplish anything he asked of them. He’d work to push obstacles out of their way and support them so they could do what needed to be done, whether it was putting on the Olympics at Salt Lake City or getting a major company to build in Massachusetts.

“He has a head for numbers, but he leads with his heart,” added Ellen Roy Herzfelder, former Massachusetts Secretary of Environmental Affairs.

Romney supports his supporters, they said. When Gillespie started working for him in Salt Lake City, the whole team was monstrously busy. Romney was in every day around 5:30 a.m., worked late, then went home to care for a loved one with multiple sclerosis. Then, he’d be back to work at 5:30 a.m.

Early on, Gillespie’s father became ill — and slipped into a coma. She sped off to be with him. Romney called to check on her the first day she’d gone to the hospital.

“I don’t know where he found the time,” she said of the 45-minute conversation.

But he called the next day, too. And the day after that. Every day, she’d get a call from her new boss, who really meant what he said: family matters most.

His Salt Lake City executive assistant, Donna Tillery, said Romney encouraged her to go back to school for a finance degree — while she was working for the Olympic committee. He’d see her working late and send her home to study. She said she wouldn’t have her master’s degree now if it hadn’t been for his support, she said. And because of the way he challenged her on the job, others saw how successful she could be. She’s now the vice president of a finance company.

However, “Women for Obama” was quick to issue a press release with a response from women, some of whom had worked with or served at the same time as Romney.

“At Tuesday night’s debate, Mitt Romney was asked what he would do to help women overcome barriers to earning equal pay at work; he once again was unable to provide any explicit ideas for tackling this still troubling inequality,” Shannon O’Brien, former Massachusetts state treasurer and candidate for governor.

A state senator weighed in as well.

“... in a budget plan that is vague in every other sense, [Romney] has only been clear about ending funding to Planned Parenthood that provides critical breast and cervical cancer screenings and reproductive health to women across the country,” wrote Massachusetts state Senator Katherine Clark. “Romney has also vowed to end the free cancer screenings, immunizations and domestic violence counseling that were provided for under the Affordable Care Act.”

Wrote Massachusetts state Sen. Karen Spilka, “A Mitt Romney administration would force women to re-fight battles over control of their own health care, access to equal pay for equal work, and the ability to plan when to have a family.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0723 OTT Riverfront color photo -L -M Ideas flow at Riverfront Renaissance workshop OTTUMWA — Ideas flowed as freely as the river itself Tuesday evening as more than 100 Ottumwans shared their vision of what the riverfront can be.The Riverfront Renaissance design charrette, sponsored by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, drew p

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kids … not cash OTTUMWA — From a project that started with nothing, supporters created a top-notch education facility for at-risk youth. Someone in on the project from the beginning shared the story. Wapello County Supervisor Jerry Parker addressed a community advis

    July 22, 2014

  • Staying healthy during extreme heat OTTUMWA — After unusually cool temperatures last week, it may have been easy to forget how the heat of summer feels, but an incoming heat wave will quickly remind you. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, heat is the No.

    July 22, 2014

  • Shooting ruled homicide OTTUMWA — The death of a man shot in Wapello County has been ruled a homicide. The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office on Monday received a 911 call of a shooting 4 miles southwest of Ottumwa. Deputies discovered Clinton Gus Leedom, 49, of Bloomfield, to

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT flood file photo Over $1 million to fight floods EDDYVILLE — It's not the way a town wants to get $1 million, but the damage suffered by Eddyville in recent floods has prompted the federal government to cut a check. Actually, it's Area 15 Regional Planning Commission, a community assistance agency

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Driver's license services temporarily suspended KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Treasurer’s Office has notified the Iowa Department of Transportation that it has suspended driver’s license services due to staffing issues in the county treasurer’s office. It is anticipated suspension of the services

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT Canoe Camp color photo -L -M -T Canoe Camp teaches water safety OTTUMWA — Six children at Pioneer Nature Area and Nature Center pond were making waves and getting wet as they flipped their canoes over in attempt to rescue each other. Since summertime and water activities go hand-in-hand, the goal of the activity

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0723 OTT Seth Techel mugshot -T Techel jury may begin deliberations Wednesday DAVENPORT — The jury in the third trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife may begin deliberations as early as Wednesday in Scott County, Davenport. The jury was excused mid-afternoon Tuesday while Judge Daniel Wilson, who continue

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three appointed to Board of Adjustment OTTUMWA — Three new faces will appear on Wapello County Board of Adjustment, thanks to help from the county’s newspaper of record, the Ottumwa Courier. Four applicants applied for the positions and three were selected. New members include Marcia Week

    July 22, 2014

  • Slain woman's boyfriend: I didn't kill her DAVENPORT — A married man who had an affair with a slain Wapello County woman testified this morning that he did not kill her. Jason Tinnes, a jailer who worked with the late Lisa Caldwell Techel, said their affair ended shortly before she died. Tinn

    July 22, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook