La Jolla (CBS13) – Mitt Romney’s reputation as mister money bags just stepped a notch with the latest reports about the big upgrade on his beach house south of upscale and amazingly beautiful La Jolla, California, near San Diego.

It goes all the way back to 2010 as first reported by a San Diego newspaper. Romney puts in renovation plans basically to raze his already multimillion dollar house that’s only about 3000 square feet and replace it with a 8000 square foot house, with a gigantic basement, one of the distinguishing features, according to politico, which broke the story nationally, a four car garage with an elevator for the cars.

They’re actually proposing a full elevator solution that the entire floor of the garage is essentially the floor of the elevator. If you will, that entire floor descends down into the basement level and then from above there is a second element that actually drops down from the ceiling that allows two new cars to pull into the garage.

So, I would say it’s fair to characterize it as a car elevator. A project so complex, San Diego city records show Romney hired a lobbyist in 2010 to push it through the permitting process. But La Cava makes the point that for the people who have the money to live out on this part of the coast, this kind of a renovation is actually no big deal.

It was remarkable how unremarkable the application and proposal was.

Romney has gotten some bad publicity because of how rich it makes him look, like when he talked about how his wife drives two Cadillacs, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a big fancy redo on the California beach house says a spokesman for Newt Gingrich, though he concedes its not how everybody lives.

“I am a rabid capitalist, and if you want to have an elevator for your car and you can afford it, have an elevator for your car, have fun. If you’re running for president there’s not a lot of people I think that can relate to that,” said Patrick Millsaps, Gingrich Campaign Spokesman.

The Santorum campaign’s Hogan Gidley also said there’s nothing wrong with Romney’s making a lot of money, but he questions Romney’s hiring a lobbyist to push the project. The lobbyist, Matthew Peterson, told us he’s really a land use lawyer and what he does is very different from what the general public considers lobbying at the state or national level.

A campaign aide confirmed to CNN that construction will not begin on the project until the campaign is over.


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