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Mitt's make-up costs

A California company that specializes in make-up jobs is $300 richer, thanks to Republican Mitt Romney's quest for the presidency.

As revealed today on Politico.com, Romney's latest campaign finance report included payments for that amount to Hidden Beauty of West Hills (that's in the San Fernando Valley). Although the charges were listed under "communications consulting," reporter Kenneth P. Vogel dug deeper and found that Hidden Beauty characterizes itself as "a mobile beauty team for hair, makeup and men's grooming and spa services."

The Romney campaign acknowledged that the candidate availed himself of the firm's services --- for $150 --- before the May 3 debate among the GOP presidential candidates at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. The campaign also said another appointment was made but cancelled; the former Massachusetts governor still had to pony up $150.

Hard to tell if this tidbit will gain the legs that Democrat John Edwards' now infamous $400 haircut has achieved. On the one hand, who doesn't want to look their best before going on nationwide television. On the other hand, of all the Republican White House aspirants, Romney seems least in need of Hidden Beauty's skills.

What the item does illustrate, as the Politico story notes, is the goldmine of data available in the financial statements the candidates must periodically file with the Federal Election Commission.

There's the aggregate --- like the fact, noted in a news release from the Washington-based Campaign Finance Institute, that the $32.3 million that Romney ladled out in the first half of this year is more than Democrat Howard Dean spent on his presidential bid in all of 2003 (Mommas, you might want your children to grow up to become political consultants).

There's also the miniscule --- like the fact that Republican Ron Paul's contributors include singer Barry Manilow. We have absolutely no idea what to make of that, so we won't even try.

-- Don Frederick

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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