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Mitt Romney's unpaid family bill and scandalous family history

Freeman, author of a well-received biography of Raymond Chandler and four novels, has traced her family history back to the 1870s, when her great-grandfather William Jordan Flake and Romney's great grandfather Miles P Romney "were patriarchs of adjoining Mormon communities in the high, cold, hard country of northern Arizona, a region known as Apache County". Although both men ran into trouble with local communities over their "scandalous practice of polygamy", Flake was a "deeply respected man", according to Freeman. Romney, on the other hand, was described by one newspaper editor as "a mass of putrid pus and rotten goose pimples; a skunk, with the face of a baboon, the character of a louse, the breath of a buzzard and the record of a perjurer and common drunkard."

US marshals were rounding up polygamists and arresting them at the time, and both men became targets and were eventually arrested. Flake posted bail of $1,000 for Romney, who had no money, Freeman writes in the Los Angeles Review of Books, and "now we come to the matter I'd like to bring up with Mitt".

Miles P Romney, she says, then fled to Mexico, where Mitt's father George was born, while Flake served a six-month sentence for polygamy.

Looks like Mitt Romney is a throwback to the scoundrels before George.

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