Author Judith Freeman wants $25,000 from Mitt Romney since, as she wrote in The Los Angeles Review of Books,in the 1880s her great grandfather, William Flake paid for Miles Romney’s bail when they were both locked up for polygamy. “Miles P. Romney skipped out on his bail, fleeing across the border into Mexico with his three wives, Hannah, Annie, and Catharine, and their children,” Freeman wrote in the Review over the weekend. “He left my great-grandfather [William] Flake holding the bag. Flake, on the other hand, was eventually sent to the Yuma Territorial Prison where he served out a six-month sentence for polygamy,” she added. Of course one of the big (answerable) questions is after 130 years, why does Freeman, author of a Raymond Chandler biography and three other novels, want the money now and not earlier. And, of course, Mitt Romney coming from a family of bill-skipping, law-ducking polygamists, isn’t exactly what the Republicans want floating out there right around convention time. She writes:
I’ve done some calculation, and $1,000 from the 1880s would today be worth about $25,000, not counting interest (and since I’m not a smart enough to figure up the interest, I’m willing to let that part slide). Because William Jordan Flake has about 15,000 descendants living at the moment, I realize I’ll have to divide up the money should Romney do the right thing and write out that check.
However, I want to assure Mitt that I’m more than happy to be the disperser of the funds and I guarantee that all the Flakes of the world will get their fair share the moment he does the right thing.
The Romney camp hasn’t yet released a statement, nor have they paid Freeman the $25,000 she’s asking.