Is Romney Recording Legal?

A secret recording of Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney is being used against him by his political advisories. In the video Romney writes off voters who depend on the government for food, housing and health care. But is the recording legal? Florida has strict laws against secret audio recordings.

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney addresses the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles, Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney is catching heat for this video captured by a hidden camera.

“There are 47 percent of people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them,” said Romney.

The recording was made at a private fundraiser in Boca Raton in May. It was posted online by Mother Jones this week. The person who made the recording isn’t being named.

“These are people who pay no income tax, 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax.”

The video recording is fine, but Florida has strict laws about recording audio. It’s illegal to record someone’s voice, but the statute says there has to be an expectation of privacy. I asked Florida politicians if they expect privacy at closed door events.

“I assume everything I say is public record,” said Governor Rick Scott.

Governor Rick Scott and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater are both Romney supporters. Both say they’re rarely off the record. “If anyone of us believes that there is not a camera on or a recording device or a cell phone, you know you’re living in yesterday. I think everyone needs to be on game and on the same message all the time.”

Even though Florida’s law is stricter than most, it’s rarely enforced. From 2001 through 2011, just 10 people were charged with making an illegal recording.

We called the state attorney in Palm Beach where the recoding was made, to ask if he will pursue charges. He says as of right now, he hasn’t received any complaints. It’s a third degree felony to make an illegal recording.


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