Political notebook

Mitt Romney donors get Waldorf retreat

Mitt Romney campaigned Friday in Lancaster, Ohio.
Charles Dharapak/associated press
Mitt Romney campaigned Friday in Lancaster, Ohio.

WASHINGTON ­— Donald Trump will greet them for an opening gala. Comedian Dennis Miller will be the special guest for a debate watching party. In between, Mitt Romney campaign staffers will be on hand to brief them on campaign strategy.

Romney’s top donors are descending on New York early next week for a “Romney Victory Fall Retreat,” where they will be treated to the special access that their deep pockets have earned.

The three-day retreat at the Waldorf Astoria hotel is centered around the debate on Tuesday night, when Romney will face off against President Obama at nearby Hofstra University.


It is designed to be a smaller version of a retreat that took place earlier this year in Park City, Utah, where a wide range of speakers in the Republican political world came shortly after Romney secured the nomination.

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CNN first reported the event three weeks ago. The Globe obtained a more detailed copy of the agenda, which highlights the bold-faced names who will be appearing.

The event starts on Monday night, with an event at the Intrepid Museum, where special guests include vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan; former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani; Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus; Trump; and Spencer Zwick, who is Romney’s national finance chairman.

After a buffet breakfast on Tuesday, the donors will be treated to three sessions. The first, on Romney’s campaign strategy, will feature top advisers Rich Beeson, Ed Gillespie, Beth Myers, and Neil Newhouse. Other advisers probably will be with Romney, in the final hours before the second debate.

The second session, on “Issues Facing America — Jobs,”includes Charles Schwab, chairman of the investment firm Charles Schwab Corp.; Jimmy John Liautaud, chairman of the Jimmy John’s sandwich franchise; Scott McNealy, cofounder of the technology company Sun Microsystems; Harold Hamm, chairman of oil company Continental Resources; and Carlos Gutierrez, former secretary of Commerce.


The final session, on how donors can “Make The Difference,” is being led by Zwick.

In the evening, the donors will gather at the Roseland Ballroom, a venue in the theater district that has hosted many types of events, including a birthday party for Hillary Rodham Clinton, movie premieres, and concerts by such entertainers as the Rolling Stones and Madonna.

There will be a brunch on Wednesday. It’s unclear whether the candidate will appear.


Controversial politician’s link to Romney site broken

NASHVILLE — An endorsement from a Tennessee congressman, who in a recorded phone conversation urged a mistress to get an abortion, has vanished from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s website.


Freshman Representative Scott DesJarlais, who opposes abortion rights, told a Nashville talk radio show Thursday that while there were many difficult elements to his 2001 divorce, ‘‘there was no pregnancy, and no abortion.’’

But DesJarlais did not dispute the transcript of a recorded phone conversation in which he urges the woman to terminate a pregnancy more than a decade ago.

DesJarlais’s endorsement of Romney still appears on the congressman’s website, but a link to the presidential campaign site returns an ‘‘access denied’’ message.

The Romney campaign did not immediately comment.

The DesJarlais campaign has dismissed the details as ‘‘old news’’ that emerged in the last election cycle. But while the 2010 campaign did feature allegations raised during his divorce that he intimidated his former wife with a gun, the abortion element was not public knowledge until this week.


Calif. representative regrets grabbing rival at debate

LOS ANGELES — A California congressman said Friday that he regrets forcefully grabbing another House member during a tense campaign debate but insists he was not threatening his rival with violence.

The confrontation Thursday between Democratic Representatives Brad Sherman and Howard Berman came during the stretch run of a nasty campaign for a Los Angeles-area seat. ‘‘I touched him, I put my arm around his shoulder, I should not have done that,’’ Sherman said. He said the confrontation ‘‘is not emblematic of either of our careers.’’

The two men stood nose-to-nose exchanging words before a sheriff’s deputy emerged and briefly placed his hand on Sherman’s shoulder. Sherman sat down, and the debate resumed.

The veteran lawmakers were pulled into the same district after a voter-approved independent panel redrew California’s political boundaries. They were the top vote-getters in the June primary and went on to the general election because of California’s new primary system, which sends the top two finishers to the runoff regardless of party affiliation.