Mitt Romney Shouldn't Need a Dedicated Lobbyist To Build His Tacky Megamansion

A blog about business and economics.
March 27 2012 11:34 AM

Mitt Romney Shouldn't Need a Dedicated Lobbyist To Build His Tacky Megamansion

We've previously seen that in 2006 Mitt Romney was offering some Rent Is Too Damn High-style arguments and that before he started running for president he used to be a smart growther. What's more, I like to make the point that coastal California's mild weather gives it some of the lowest CO2 emissions in the country, so there would be enormous ecological benefits to allowing more people to live there. Specifically, the least carbon-intensive metropolitan area in the United States isn't some crunchy hippie town, it's San Diego. But as Romney himself has learned from bitter experience, it can be very difficult to build in the San Diego area:

At Mitt Romney’s proposed California beach house, the cars will have their own separate elevator. There’s also a planned outdoor shower and a 3,600-square-foot basement—a room with more floor space than the existing home’s entire living quarters. Those are just some of the amenities planned for the massive renovation of the Romneys’ home in the tony La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, according to plans on file with the city.
A project this ambitious comes with another feature you don’t always find with the typical fixer-upper: its own lobbyist, hired by Romney to push the plan through the approval process.

Now obviously the concerns of multimillionaire private equity managers looking to build their dream vacation getaway should not be our No. 1 public policy priority. But this is illustrative of the general problem. Romney's house sounds tacky and extravagant, but it's not some kind of public safety hazard in urgent need of regulation. You shouldn't need dedicated lobbyists to get permission to build buildings on property you legitimately own. At the end of the day, Romney is going to be able to hire the lobbyist and get his mansion built. But these same hurdles afflict people who might be interested in affordable housing for low-income people or simply regular old market rate structures for the middle class.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 12:43 PM Watch Rachel Dratch and Tina Fey Do a Second City Sketch in 1997
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.