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Do you think Patreus should have resigned?
Mitt Romney isn't talking a great deal about his faith...why? Will his Morman faith dictate his decisons if he were elected President? Most people don't care about the Joseph Smith (founder of the Morman Church) era.
What do Modern Mormans believe? Does the fact that they believe they will become gods is the reason why Mitt Romney's wife believe he can save the world?
Here is a summary of what Modern Mormans believe and practice.
During the early 20th century, Mormons began to reintegrate into the American mainstream. In 1929 the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
began broadcasting a weekly performance on national radio, becoming an asset for public relations. Mormons emphasized patriotism and industry, rising in socioeconomic status from the bottom among American religious denominations to middle-class. In the 1920s and 1930s Mormons began migrating out of Utah, a trend hurried by the Great Depression
, as Mormons looked for work wherever they could find it. As Mormons spread out, church leaders created programs that would help preserve the tight-knit community feel of Mormon culture. In addition to weekly worship services, Mormons began participating in numerous programs such as Boy Scouting
, a Young Women's organization
, church-sponsored dances, ward basketball, camping trips, plays, and religious education programs
for youth and college students. During the Great Depression the church started a welfare program
to meet the needs of poor members, which has since grown to include a humanitarian branch that provides relief to disaster victims.
During the latter half of the century, there was a retrenchment movement in Mormonism in which Mormons became more conservative, attempting to regain their status as a "peculiar people". Though the 1960s and 1970s brought positive changes such as Women's Liberation
and the Civil Rights Movement
, Mormon leaders were alarmed by the erosion of traditional values, the sexual revolution
, the widespread use of recreational drugs, moral relativism
, and other forces they saw as damaging to the family. Partly to counter this, Mormons put an even greater emphasis on family life, religious education, and missionary work, becoming more conservative in the process. As a result, Mormons today are probably less integrated with mainstream society than they were in the early 1960s.
Although black people
have been members of Mormon congregations since Joseph Smith's time, before 1978, black membership was small. From 1852 to 1978, the LDS Church had a policy against ordaining men of African descent to the priesthood
. The church had previously been criticized for its policy during the civil rights movement
, but the change
came in 1978 and was prompted primarily by problems facing mixed race converts in Brazil. Mormons greeted the change with joy and relief. Since 1978 black membership has grown, and in 1997 there were approximately 500,000 black members of the church (about 5% of the total membership), mostly in Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean. Black membership has continued to grow substantially, especially in West Africa
, where two temples
have been built. Many black Mormons
are members of the Genesis Group
, an organization of black members that predates the priesthood ban, and is endorsed by the church.
Global distribution of LDS Church members in 2009
The LDS Church grew rapidly after World War II
and became a world-wide organization as missionaries
were sent across the globe. The church doubled in size every 15–20 years, and by 1996, there were more Mormons outside the United States than inside. In 2010 there were an estimated 14.1 million Mormons, with roughly 57% living outside the United States. A majority of U.S. Mormons are white and non-Hispanic (84%). Most Mormons are distributed in North and South America, the South Pacific, and Western Europe. The global distribution of Mormons resembles a contact diffusion model, radiating out from the organization's headquarters in Utah. The church enforces general doctrinal uniformity, and congregations on all continents teach the same doctrines, and international Mormons tend to absorb a good deal of Mormon culture, possibly because of the church's top-down hierarchy and a missionary presence. However, international Mormons often bring pieces of their own heritage into the church, adapting church practices to local cultures.
, and several areas in the South Pacific have a higher percentage of Mormons than the United States (which is at about 2%). South Pacific countries and dependencies that are more than 10% Mormon include American Samoa
, the Cook Islands
, and Tonga
. No country currently has a Mormon majority, although Tonga is expected to be the first within the next few years.
Can Mitt Romney be a President for all Americans? If you are wealthy...he can be your best friend....if you are low to middle income...you are up the creek without a paddle!
His strong Morman faith will be the foundation on which he will base his decisions that will impact you and I...no sincere Christian Pastor or members of Christian chruches can vote for Mitt Romney with a clear conscience!
Don't let your Hatred for President Obama, blind you to the point of cutting off your nose to smite your face!!!
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Chick-fil-A is now serving up more than just chicken and fries. The Georgia-based fast food chain is at the center of some heated politics and the DMV area hasn’t escaped the controversy
In case you missed it, here’s a quick rundown of what’s been unfolding with Chick-Fil-A these last couple weeks: The company’s president, Dan Cathy, said in The Baptist Press that his family-owned company is against same-sex marriages and is supportive of the biblical definition of the family unit. This sparked outrage from the left and some big city mayors, including Mayor Vincent Gray, who said the food chain is not welcome in their cities. In response, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, said the company has a right to its own beliefs and called for people around the country to eat at a Chick-fil-A Wednesday to show their support as part of Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.
And that brings us to yesterday, when thousands of people lined up to eat at Chick-Fil-As across the country to show their support.
In Maryland, The Post reports that customers packed a Chick-Fil-A in Prince George’s County. A manager of a chain in Carroll County, according to the Carroll County Times, said she expected a 12-15 percent boost in sales Wednesday.
"Their place of business saw traffic from both directions backed up several blocks on Lee Highway, people parking at other establishments across the busy highway and then hiking over 6-8 lanes of traffic to the restaurant, and many just walking over with strollers, bikes, etc."
Things were relatively quiet in D.C. because the only location Chick-Fil-A has in the District is on the grounds of Catholic University (There is also a new Chick-Fil-A food truck). On Twitter recently, Mayor Gray said he would not welcome the chain in to the city and referred to its food as “hate chicken.” On the other side, Viriginia Gov. Bob McDonnell this week defended the company’s traditional values and its right to sell food.
"I love chicken. If we start having governments issue permits or zoning changes, or withholding those because of someone's political or religious beliefs, we are going down a very bad road. I think people have an ability to start and grow a business regardless of their political beliefs," he said on WTOP's Ask the Governor.
What are your thoughts and comments? Which side of this issue do you stand. All comments are welcome, please respect the opinions of others.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Washington Post says a police officer who worked as a motorcycle escort for the White House and other officials has been moved to administrative duty after he allegedly made threatening comments about Michelle Obama.
The Post says the officer was overheard making the comments Wednesday as several officers from the Special Operations Division discussed threats against the Obamas. The officer allegedly said he would shoot the first lady and then used his phone to retrieve a picture of the firearm he said he would use.
Asked about the report, D.C. police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said the department received an allegation "inappropriate comments" were made" and police are investigating.
Secret Service spokesman Edwin Donovan says the agency is aware of the report and will follow up.
We all know politics can be a nasty, no holds-barred event. Politicians often go for the kill , ensuring that they destroy the credibility of their opponents. This presidential continues to take turns for the worst day by day in that area.
It is no longer politics, but personal when you involve the families of those running for public offices. The growing hatred from the Obamas are becoming increasingly obvious. When you have an officer, who is sworn to protect lives; now threats to take a life. Not only does he make a threat, but allegedly shows off his weapon of choice. While we have freedom of speech; this would appear to have gone from idle thoughts to perhaps serious contemplation of this sinister act.
I believe it is time for Mitt Romney and President Obama to take the lead and publicly come together in the same place at the same time...to say to America; we may not agree on how to run this country; but we do agree that hatred, violence and racism is will not be tolerated by either party!
There are times when you have to put politics aside for the great good of this country. This could turn out to be the most divisive presidential race in the history of America, if both candidates and their camps don't come together to calm the storms, before someone gets hurt.
That is my take, what's your?
Founder and CEO
As governor, Romney presided over a series of spending cuts and increases in fees that eliminated an up to $1.5 billion deficit. He signed into law the Massachusetts health care reform
legislation, which provided near-universal health insurance access via subsidies and state-level mandates and was the first of its kind in the nation. During the course of his term, his positions or rhetorical emphasis on several social issues shifted more towards American conservatism
Romney's swearing in used the same Bible
that his father George Romney
had used as the Governor of Michigan
. In his 15-minute inauguration speech in the Massachusetts House of Representatives
, he avoided policy specifics but said that he intended to bring about a "lighter, more agile bureaucracy." The overall inauguration festivities took place over three days and emphasized themes around common citizens.
Upon taking office, Romney faced a state legislature in which Democrats held 85 percent of the seats. Indeed, the state Republican Party had fielded no candidate for 62 percent of the seats during the 2002 state elections
From the outset Romney sought to show himself as the state's first 'CEO governor'. His choices for the executive cabinet included well-known figures such as Democrat Robert Pozen
, former vice chairman of Fidelity Investments
, and Douglas Foy, who had served as president of the Conservation Law Foundation
, and they and other cabinet members and advisors were picked more on managerial abilities than on partisan affiliation. Romney gave them broad authority over new what he called "super-secretariats".
Romney and Healey both pledged to forego their official salaries for the length of their terms.
] Fiscal policy
Romney refused to sign an anti-tax pledge put forth by Grover Norquist
's Americans for Tax Reform
while campaigning for office. In 2002, Romney presented a plan to balance the budget without raising taxes. Romney also favored gambling as a way to help balance the Massachusetts deficit.
Upon entering office, Romney faced a $3 billion deficit. Facing an immediate fiscal shortfall, the governor asked the state legislature for emergency powers to make "9C authority" cuts to the fiscal year 2003 budget. (Massachusetts' fiscal year Y runs from July 1 of year Y-1 to June 30 of Y.) Romney cut spending and restructured state government. Romney, in concert with the legislature, created new fees, doubled fees for court filings, professional regulations, marriage licenses, and firearm licenses, and increased fees for many state licenses and services. In all 33 new fees were created, and 57 fees were increased, some that had not been adjusted in over a decade. Some of these fees included were service fees, such as charging businesses more to put up signs. Opponents said the reliance on fees sometimes imposed a hardship on those who could least afford them. The state of Massachusetts raised $501 million in new income in the first year of the fee increase program, more than any other state in the nation that year (New York was second with $367 million. Nine other states raised fees and fines by more than $100 million). Romney increased a state gasoline special fee, dedicated towards cleanup of contamination around underground fuel storage tanks, by two cents per gallon, generating about $60 million per year in additional revenue. This made for a total effective state gasoline tax of 23.5 cents per gallon, compared with the national average of 28.6 cents per gallon.
Romney also implemented a "New Market Tax Credit" and extended the "Investment Tax Credit" during 2003.
A windfall in capital gains tax revenue caused by a previously enacted capital gains tax increase reduced the deficit by $1.3 billion. Romney approved $128 million in tax changes such as sales tax from purchases on the Internet and raised another $181 million in additional business taxes in the next two years; businesses called these changes tax increases, but Romney defended them as the elimination of "loopholes". Over his full term, over $300 million of such loopholes were closed. The loophole actions, fueled by Romney's sense of rectitude in the face of conservative and corporate critics, initially won plaudits from legislators as an example of political courage, before Romney backed away from further closings towards the end of his term. The state also cut spending by $1.6 billion, including $700 million in reductions in state aid to cities and towns. In response, cities and towns became more reliant on local revenue to pay for municipal services and schools. This had the effect of causing property taxes to rise by five percent, their highest level in 25 years in Massachusetts. In 2005, Romney signed legislation allowing local commercial property taxes to be raised, which resulted in $100 million more in property taxes from local business owners.
In 2002, the state passed a capital gains tax increase that was scheduled to take effect on May 1 of that year. A taxpayers' group challenged the law in court, arguing that a tax increase must take effect at the beginning or end of a year, and in 2005 the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in their favor. The court held that the tax increase was effective beginning January 1, 2002, which effectively imposed an additional $200 million in "retroactive" state taxes on gains realized during the first four months of 2002. In response, the state legislature passed a bill moving the effective date of the tax increase to January 1, 2003. Romney signed the legislation and praised the legislature for its actions.
Romney stated that Massachusetts finished fiscal 2004 with a $700 million surplus. Official state figures said that fiscal 2005 finished with a $594.4 million surplus. For fiscal 2006, the surplus was $720.9 million according to official figures. The state's "rainy day fund
", more formally known as the Stabilization Fund, was replenished through government consolidation and reform. At the close of fiscal year 2006, the fund enjoyed a $2.155 billion balance.
Romney would state, "We have successfully closed the largest deficit in our state's history without raising taxes," although others disputed the claim on the grounds that usage fees had gone up.
As a result of the fiscal turnaround, Romney repeatedly pushed the state legislature to roll back the state income tax from 5.3% to 5.0% (Massachusetts has a flat income tax
). He also proposed a "tax-free shopping day", a property tax relief for Seniors, and a manufacturing tax credit.
In 2006, the Massachusetts legislature approved a budget for fiscal year 2007 that required spending $450 million from the rainy day fund. Even though the state had collected a record-breaking amount of tax revenue in the fiscal year, the funds were needed to cover the increased spending. Romney vetoed the transfer of funds from the contingency account. The veto was overturned by the legislature, and indeed for the 2006 budget, all 250 line-item vetoes were overturned, and for the entire year of 2006, all of Romney's vetoes of legislative bills were subsequently overturned by the Massachusetts Legislature. In November 2006, Romney then used his emergency "9C authority" to cut the $450 million from the budget, saying: "One of the primary responsibilities of government is keeping the books balanced. The problem here is not revenues; the problem is overspending. The level of spending which we're looking at would put us on the same road to financial crisis and ruin that our commonwealth has been down before." Later, he restored some of that amount.
Upon leaving office in January 2007 (the middle of fiscal year 2007), Romney argued that he had left the state with a large budget surplus, after he cut hundreds of millions of dollars of programs. However, upon taking office, successor Governor Deval Patrick
said there would be a $1 billion deficit for fiscal 2008 if existing service levels were carried over into the next year's budget. At the same time, Patrick restored $384 million in the "9C" spending cuts for fiscal 2007 that Romney had made. The budget for fiscal 2008 that Patrick submitted in February 2007 included $515 million in spending cuts and $295 million in new corporate taxes. As it happened, fiscal 2007 ended with a $307.1 million deficit and fiscal 2008 ended with a $495.2 million deficit.
The combined state and local tax burden in Massachusetts increased during Romney's governorship but still was below the national average. According to an analysis by the Tax Foundation
, that per capita burden was 9.8 percent in 2002 (below the national average of 10.3 percent), and 10.5 percent in 2006 (below the national average of 10.8 percent).
] Economic growth and jobs
The state unemployment rate was at 5.6 percent when Romney took office in January 2003. It rose to 6.0 percent in mid-2003, then steadily decreased during the remainder of Romney's term, ending at 4.7 percent for December 2006, Romney's last full month in office.
Nationally, unemployment was rising in early 2003 as the economy was still under the effects of the early 2000s recession
, then things began to turn around and unemployment fell and job creation grew. Job growth increased at a 1.3 percent rate during Romney's term. This ranked Massachusetts 47th out of 50 states during this period. In Massachusetts job growth was slower than in most other states.
] Health care
Romney was at the forefront of a movement to bring near-universal health insurance coverage to the state, after a business executive told him at the start of his term that doing so would be the best way he could help people and after the federal government, due to the rules of Medicaid
funding, threatened to cut $385 million in those payments to Massachusetts if the state did not reduce the number of uninsured recipients of health care services. Despite not having campaigned on the idea of universal health insurance, Romney decided that because people without insurance still received expensive health care, the money spent by the state for such care could be better used to subsidize insurance for the poor. After positing that any measure adopted not raise taxes and not resemble the previous decade's failed "Hillarycare" proposal
, Romney formed a team that beginning in late 2004 came up with a set of proposals more innovative than an incremental one from the Massachusetts Senate
and more acceptable to him than one from the Massachusetts House of Representatives
that incorporated a new payroll tax. In particular, Romney successfully pushed for incorporating an individual mandate
at the state level. U.S. Senator from Massachusetts Edward M. Kennedy
, who had made universal heath coverage his life's work, gave Romney's plan a positive reception, which encouraged Democratic legislators to work with it. The effort eventually gained the support of all major stakeholders within the state, and Romney helped break a logjam between rival Democratic leaders in the legislature.
On April 12, 2006, Romney signed legislation that mandates that nearly all Massachusetts residents buy or obtain health insurance coverage or face a penalty (up to approximately $2000 for 2008 or equal to half of the lowest cost premium offered) in the form of an additional income tax assessment. The bill established a regulatory authority called the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority
to implement the law and establish insurance standards. For residents below certain income thresholds and without adequate employer insurance, state subsidies were established, by using funds previously designated to compensate for the health costs of the uninsured. Legislation, effective on July 1, 2007, requires health insurance for all state residents, provided a plan is available to the individual that is deemed affordable according to Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority. In Massachusetts, a roughly $800 million fund known as the "uncompensated care pool" was used to partially reimburse hospitals for expenses related to treating uninsured patients. The fund's revenue comes from an annual assessment on employers, insurance providers and hospitals, plus contributions of state and federal tax dollars. Governor Romney's plan redirects money from this fund to subsidize health insurance costs for low-income residents of Massachusetts. The Romney Administration consulted with Massachusetts Institute of Technology
professor Jonathan Gruber
to study the state's population and health care needs. They determined that there was enough money in the "free care pool" to implement the Governor's plans, but that it would require more people to buy health insurance at full price in order to pay into the subsidized fund.
The legislature amended Romney's plan, adding a Medicaid
expansion for children and imposing an assessment on firms with 11 or more workers who do not offer health coverage. The assessment is intended to equalize the contributions to the free care pool from employers that offer and do not offer coverage. The General Court also rejected Romney's provision allowing high-deductible health plans.
Romney vetoed eight sections of the health care legislation, including a $295-per-person fee on businesses with 11 employees or more that do not provide health insurance. Romney also vetoed provisions providing dental and eyeglass benefits to poor residents on the Medicaid program, and providing health coverage to senior and disabled legal immigrants not eligible for federal Medicaid. However, the state legislature overrode all of the vetoes.
Romney said of the measure overall, "There really wasn't Republican or Democrat in this. People ask me if this is conservative or liberal, and my answer is yes. It's liberal in the sense that we're getting our citizens health insurance. It's conservative in that we're not getting a government takeover." The law was the first of its kind in the nation and became the signature achievement of Romney's term in office. When Romney's official portrait was made for the Massachusetts State House
, the composition included a leather binder with a medical seal representing the healthcare legislation.
(Within four years, the law had achieved its primary goal of extending coverage: in 2010, 98.1 percent of state residents had coverage, compared to a national average of 83.3 percent. Among children and seniors the 2010 coverage rate was even higher, at 99.8 percent and 99.6 percent respectively.)
During the 2002 campaign, Romney had proposed to institute full-day kindergarten in schools that were performing below standards and to introduce merit pay to teacher.
As governor, Romney proposed $8 billion in bonds be authorized in order to empty the waiting list for school building projects. Instead, the legislature authorized only $1 billion in bonds and allocated the rest from sales tax receipts.
In 2004, Romney and the legislature established and funded the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program
to reward the top 25 percent of Massachusetts high school students with a four-year, tuition-free scholarship
to the state's public universities or colleges. He has also drafted other education reforms, including the recruitment of 1,000 skilled math and science instructors, bonuses of as much as $15,000 a year for top-performing teachers, and new intervention programs for failing schools. Romney's plan would allow state governments to take control of underperforming schools after three years instead of the six-year period that is now in place. Regarding the achievement gap in public education, Romney has said, "I really believe that the failure of our urban schools and, in some cases our suburban schools, to help minority students achieve the levels that are necessary for success in the workplace is the civil rights
issue of our time." Romney has also advocated for a nationwide focus on education to close the "excellence gap with the rest of the world". As governor, Romney proposed mandatory parental preparation courses. He also supported English immersion classes for students that cannot speak English and opposed bilingual education
During his 2002 campaign, Romney had said he backed age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education
in public schools. In 2005, he accepted federal funding to a faith-based organization to teach abstinence-only education
in public schools. While Romney said such programs would supplement rather than replace existing ones, opponents feared that funding pressure would lead to schools dropping comprehensive programs for the freely available abstinence-only ones.
During Romney's tenure as governor, Massachusetts' per capita funding for public higher education decreased from $158 to $137, and in national rank, per capita state expenditures changed from 48th to 47th. In July 2005, Romney proposed $200 million in funding for University of Massachusetts
capital projects. The governor's capital budget included $50 million earmarked to repair the crumbling parking garage and foundation of the UMass Boston
campus. The Massachusetts legislature
declined to vote on the bond bill needed to fund the projects. Romney also vetoed a retroactive pay raise for unionized employees of state and community colleges. Romney voiced his opposition to retroactive pay increases for public employees although the raises had previously been agreed to then vetoed by his predecessor.
Romney successfully pressured William Bulger
to resign as President of the University of Massachusetts
(UMass) on September 1, 2003. Bulger said that his resignation was the result of "a calculated political assault" on him, largely by the governor. William Bulger came under pressure from Romney and others to resign after he invoked his Fifth Amendment
right not to testify when he was subpoenaed
by a Congressional committee to testify about his brother, James J. "Whitey" Bulger
, one of the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
. Romney, who had called for Bulger's resignation and the elimination of the UMass presidency as a cost-cutting move, denied that he had been personally targeting the former state senate president. "The decision was not a political calculation or a personal one," Romney said in February 2003, after unveiling his plan to eliminate the president's job. The Governor's aides stressed that he had not been personally targeting Bulger, saying such interpretations of Romney's actions were cynical. "I think everybody should be taken at their word," spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said.
On September 5, 2006, Romney denounced Harvard University
of Cambridge, Massachusetts
for inviting former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami
to speak at the school. Romney ordered all state agencies to boycott the visit by refusing to provide state police escorts and other service typically given to former heads of state.
] Same-sex marriage
When he ran for governor in 2002, Romney declared his opposition to same-sex marriage. "Call me old fashioned, but I don't support gay marriage nor do I support civil union," said Romney in an October 2002 gubernatorial debate. He also voiced support for basic domestic partnership
benefits for gay couples. Romney won the endorsement of the Log Cabin Club
of Massachusetts, a Republican gay-rights group, who in 2005 accused him of reneging on his 2002 campaign commitment to support some benefits for gay couples. He also opposed an amendment, then before the General Court, that would have banned same-sex marriage and outlawed all domestic partnership benefits for gay couples. When campaigning in 2002, Romney's stated position was that "All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation. While he does not support gay marriage, Mitt Romney believes domestic partnership status should be recognized in a way that includes the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship."
Romney strongly opposed same-sex marriage
during his governorship. He emphasized his desire to "protect the institution of marriage" while denouncing discrimination against gays
. "Like me, the great majority of Americans wish both to preserve the traditional definition of marriage and to oppose bias and intolerance directed towards gays and lesbians," Romney said in 2004.
On June 2, 2006, Romney sent a letter to each member of the U.S. Senate urging them to vote in favor of the Marriage Protection Amendment
. In the letter, Romney stated that the debate over same-sex unions is not a discussion about "tolerance", but rather a "debate about the purpose of the institution of marriage". Romney wrote, "Attaching the word marriage to the association of same-sex individuals mistakenly presumes that marriage is principally a matter of adult benefits and adult rights. In fact, marriage is principally about the nurturing and development of children. And the successful development of children is critical to the preservation and success of our nation."
Romney's letter was his second effort to persuade the U.S. Senate to pass the Defense of Marriage Amendment
. On June 22, 2004 he testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
, urging its members to protect the definition of marriage. "Marriage is not an evolving paradigm," said Romney, "but is a fundamental and universal social institution that bears a real and substantial relation to the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of all of the people of Massachusetts."
“They viewed marriage as an institution principally designed for adults. Adults are who they saw. Adults stood before them in the courtroom. And so they thought of adult rights, equal rights for adults…Marriage is also for children. In fact, marriage is principally for the nurturing and development of children. The children of America have the right to have a father and a mother.”
In 2004, the Massachusetts General Court
addressed the issue of gay marriage before the implementation of the Goodridge decision. During a constitutional convention
, the predominately Democratic legislature approved an amendment that would have banned gay marriage and established civil unions. An initial amendment offered by House Speaker Thomas Finnernan to merely ban gay marriage without a provision for civil unions was narrowly defeated. The compromise amendment needed to be approved in a second constitutional convention to be held a year later before it could appear on a state election ballot. The amendment was voted down in the subsequent convention and never appeared on a ballot put before voters of Massachusetts.
Romney reluctantly backed the compromise amendment, viewing it as the only feasible way to ban gay marriage in Massachusetts. "If the question is, 'Do you support gay marriage or civil unions?' I'd say neither," Romney said of the amendment. "If they said you have to have one or the other, that Massachusetts is going to have one or the other, then I'd rather have civil unions than gay marriage. But I'd rather have neither."
In June 2005, Romney abandoned his support for the compromise amendment, stating that the amendment confused voters who oppose both gay marriage and civil unions. The amendment was defeated in the General Court
(legislature) in 2005 when both supporters of same-sex marriage and opponents of civil unions voted against it. In June 2005, Romney endorsed a petition effort led by the Coalition for Marriage & Family that would ban gay marriage and make no provisions for civil unions. Backed by the signatures of 170,000 Massachusetts residents the new amendment was certified as a valid referendum on September 7, 2005 by Massachusetts Attorney GeneralThomas Reilly
. The measure needs the approval of fifty legislators in two consecutive sessions of the Massachusetts General Court
to be placed on the ballot. The Massachusetts legislature however declined to vote on the initiative in two consecutive sessions held on July 12, 2006 and November 9, 2006. Romney responded by joining former Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn
and eight others to file a complaint with the state's Supreme Judicial Court to force the legislature to vote on the proposed amendment. The petition also asked the court to instruct the Massachusetts Secretary of State to place the referendum on the 2008 ballot if the legislature failed to vote on the amendment by January 2, 2007.
On the first day that same-sex marriages came into effect in Massachusetts, May 17, 2004, Romney instructed town clerks not to issue marriage licenses to out-of-state gay couples, except for those announcing their intention to relocate to the Commonwealth by requiring the enforcement of the "1913 law
" (General Legislation, Part II, Title III, Chapter. 207 (Certain Marriages Prohibited), Sections 11, 12, & 13), which prohibits non-residents from marrying in Massachusetts if the marriage would be void in their home state. The law had not been enforced for several decades. Some legal experts have argued that the original purpose of the legislation was to block interracial marriages
and have noted that the law was enacted due to a public scandal over Jack Johnson
's interracial marriages. Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly
has stated that there in no evidence to support that claim. Those who agree with him claim that the law is meant to respect the laws of other states and has not been enforced simply because there was not reason. Some towns and their clerks said they would ignore the old ordinance, but the state Attorney General's office said they must obey it.>ref>"Towns Won't Wed Out-Of-State Gay Couples"
. AP Online
. May 25, 2004. http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-94881881.html
The Massachusetts legislature in 1913 passed the three laws denying marriage rights to persons domiciled out-of-state who came to Massachusetts to circumvent their own states' anti-miscegenation marriage laws. Romney was criticized for reviving a Jim Crow
era piece of legislation that had avoided being nullifed by the U.S. Supreme Court
's 1967 Loving v. Virginia
decision due to it not saying anything about race. However, in March 2006, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declared the statute legal under the state's constitution. Romney declared the "ruling is an important victory for traditional marriage". He also stated, "It would have been wrong for the Supreme Judicial Court to impose its mistaken view of marriage on the rest of the country. The continuing threat of the judicial redefinition of marriage, here and in several other states, is why I believe that the best and most reliable way to preserve the institution of marriage is to pass an amendment to the U.S. Constitution."
Romney subsequently released a statement in support of a proposed amendment to the Massachusetts state constitution defining marriage as existing only between "one man and one woman" in order to overrule the court's decision. His statement said, "the people of Massachusetts should not be excluded from a decision as fundamental to our society as the definition of marriage."
While consistently rejected same-sex marriage, there was a rhetorical shift in other emphasis around this subject during his time as governor, culminating with Romney rarely talking about protecting gays from bias and instead characterizing himself as a conservative stalwart in the battle against same-sex marriage and in support of heterosexual families.
] Law and order[edit
] Gun control
During his 2002 gubernatorial campaign, Romney had been a supporter of the federal assault weapons ban
, and had also said he believed "in the rights of those who hunt to responsibly own and use firearms." On July 1, 2004, Romney signed a permanent state ban on assault weapons, saying at the signing ceremony for the new law, "Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts. These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people." The law extended a temporary measure that had been in effect since 1998 and covered weapons such as the AK-47
, and MAC-10
. The same law also modified some other aspects of general firearms licensing regulations.
] Massachusetts Governor's Task Force on Hate Crimes
The Massachusetts Governor's Task Force on Hate Crimes
was an agency created by Governor William Weld
, coordinating representatives of the state police and local law enforcement agencies with community advocates to further efforts to prevent and prosecute bias-motivated crime in Massachusetts. The Task Force was given permanent status by Weld's successor, Governor Paul Cellucci
in 1998. In 2003 Romney vetoed a bill funding hate crimes
prevention, after which he impounded money previously approved by his predecessor, Governor Jane Swift
, for a bullying prevention program. The author of the bullying prevention program was Don Gorton
, who had been appointed chair of the Task Force on Hate Crimes by Weld in 1991. The anti-bullying program attracted the ire of right-wing Christian activists. Romney's actions against the Task Force preceded his efforts to dismantle same-sex marriage, which was legalized in Massachusetts in 2004 by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
] Death penalty
In December 2004, Romney announced plans to file a death penalty
bill in early 2005. The bill, filed April 28, 2005, sought to reinstate the death penalty in cases that include terrorism
, the assassination of law enforcement officials and multiple killings. Romney's legislation required the presence of scientific evidence such as DNA
to sentence someone to death and a tougher standard of "no doubt" of guilt for juries to sentence defendants. This differs from the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard used in traditional criminal cases. The legislation called for a pool of certified capital case lawyers to ensure proper representation for the accused and allowed jurors who do not personally support the death penalty to serve in the guilt phase of the trial. Romney said; "In the past, efforts to reinstate the death penalty in Massachusetts have failed. They have failed because of concerns that it would be too broadly applied or that evidentiary standards weren't high enough or proper safeguards weren't in place. We have answered all those concerns with this bill." The Massachusetts House of Representatives
defeated the bill 99-53.
] Drunk driving: Melanie's Bill
In May 2005, Romney presented a proposal to the Massachusetts General Court
to crack down on repeat drunk drivers. Massachusetts had some of the weakest drunk driving laws of any state in the country, and the state was losing $9 million annually from its highway budget because existing laws were not in compliance with federal standards. Romney called his proposal "Melanie's Bill" in honor of Melanie Powell, a 13-year-old who was killed in 2003 by a repeat drunk driver while walking to the beach with friends. The bill included provisions that gave prosecutors greater power to go after repeat offenders with increased penalties. It also increased license suspensions, raised sentencing guidelines and required repeat drunk drivers to install ignition-interlock devices
in their vehicles. The state House Judiciary Committee removed many of the bill's provisions and sent the reduced version to an eventual conference committee. Romney criticized the "watered down" bill, which he said reflected the interests of defense lawyers, and sent the bill back to legislators with amendments to restore some of the original provisions. On October 28, 2005, Romney signed the amended version of the bill, which approved two of Romney's three amendments and rejected Romney's provision for increasing penalties for motorists who refuse to take a breathalyzer
test. Eleven months after the enactment of Melanie's Law, arrests of repeat drunk drivers decreased by half, and the number of drivers agreeing to breathalyzer tests increased by more than 18 percent.
] Increase crime rates
In July 2006 Romney offered the assistance of his state police force to municipalities dealing with increased crime rates. Romney's offers were rejected by local officials. Officials from Boston Police unions complained that "if state aid hadn't been cut in recent years, then the city's police force might be staffed adequately to handle the crime surge."
] Pardons and commutations
Romney was the first governor in modern Massachusetts history to deny every request for a pardon or commutation during his four years in office. He denied 100 requests for commutations and 172 requests for pardons, including the request from a soldier serving in Iraq to be pardoned for a conviction at age 13 involving a BB gun.
In March 2002 during his run for governor, Romney told the Lowell Sun
that, "On a personal basis, I don't favor abortion. However, as governor of the commonwealth, I will protect a woman's right to choose under the laws of the country and the commonwealth. That's the same position I've had for many years." Also, during the 2002 governor's race, Romney's platform stated, "As Governor, Mitt Romney would protect the current pro-choice status quo in Massachusetts. No law would change. The choice to have an abortion is a deeply personal one. Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not the government's." Romney promised to "preserve and protect a woman's right to choose" and declared "I will not change any provisions in Massachusetts' pro-choice laws".
By July 2005, Romney criticized Roe v. Wade
in a veto message in rejecting a bill mandating access to access to emergency contraception
. Romney, in February 2006 replied to close questioning by Chris Wallace in a Fox News interview that his views on abortion had "evolved" and "changed" since 2002 such that he then considered himself a "pro-life governor" who wishes "the laws of our nation could reflect that view".
Romney says that his views on abortion were drastically altered on November 9, 2004, after discussing stem cell research with Douglas Melton, a stem cell researcher at Harvard University
. The Harvard Stem Cell Institute was planning research that would have involved therapeutic cloning. The Governor says that Melton declared that the research "is not a moral issue because we kill the embryos at 14 days." "I looked over at Beth Myers, my chief of staff, and we both had exactly the same reaction, which is it just hit us hard," recalled Romney. "And as they walked out, I said, 'Beth, we have cheapened the sanctity of life by virtue of the Roe v. Wade
mentality.' And from that point forward, I said to the people of Massachusetts, 'I will continue to honor what I pledged to you, but I prefer to call myself pro-life.'" Melton disputes Romney's account of the meeting, declaring "Governor Romney has mischaracterized my position; we didn't discuss killing or anything related to it ... I explained my work to him, told him about my deeply held respect for life, and explained that my work focuses on improving the lives of those suffering from debilitating diseases."
In a May 2005 press conference, Romney when asked about Massachusetts abortion laws stated, "I have indicated that as governor, I am absolutely committed to my promise to maintain the status quo with regards to laws relating to abortion and choice, and so far I've been able to successfully do that."
Romney has said he has kept his campaign promises. Romney vetoed an emergency contraception
bill in July 2005, claiming that allowing it to pass into law would violate his "moratorium" on changes to the abortion laws. He vetoed a bill on pro-life grounds that the bill would expand access to emergency contraception
in hospitals and pharmacies. He returned from his vacation house in New Hampshire to veto the bill, because the Lt. Govorner, Kerry Healey
would have signed the bill into law. The legislature voted overwhelmingly to overturn the veto and pass the bill into law on September 15, 2005. At the time of the veto, Romney said he does not support abortion
except in cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is threatened. He opposed the U.S. Supreme Court
decision in Roe v. Wade
, criticizing "'one size fits all' judicial pronouncements". The following year, Romney's spokesperson has also indicated that were he the governor of that state, he would sign into law the controversial South Dakota abortion law
, but include exceptions for cases of incest or rape, which the South Dakota law excludes.
In 2005, Romney's top political strategist, Michael Murphy, told National Review
that the Governor had "been a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly." Murphy later clarified explained that he "was discussing a characterization the governor's critics use."
] Stem cell research
During his 2002 campaign, Romney had expressed broad support for embryonic stem cell research
, and said he would lobby President Bush (who the year before had banned most federal funding for such research) to support it. In particular, Romney stated that he supported the use of surplus embryos
from fertility clinics
for stem-cell research
. In early 2005, Romney announced his position on therapeutic cloning
for the first time, saying he was against it, but was still in favor of research on unused embryos from fertility treatments. Per this stance, he vetoed a Massachusetts bill to fund stem-cell research because the legislation allowed such cloning of human embryos. "I am not in favor of creating new human embryos through cloning," said Romney, calling the practice "a matter of profound moral and ethical consequence". Romney also opposed the legislation because of its assertion that life does not begin until an embryo is implanted in a uterus. "It is very conceivable that scientific advances will allow an embryo to be grown for a substantial period of time outside the uterus," Romney said in an interview with the Boston Globe
. "To say that it is not life at one month or two months or four months or full term, just because it had never been in a uterus, would be absurd." The state legislature overrode Romney's veto, with many legislators feeling that stem-cell research will be important in the future to the state's biotech industry.
] Military and veterans' benefits
In February 2005, Romney filed legislation to increase benefits for Massachusetts National Guard members. Working with the state legislature, Romney developed the "Welcome Home Bill" which provides guardsman with reduced life-insurance premiums and free tuition and fees at Massachusetts universities and community colleges. The bill also increases daily state active-duty pay rate from $75 to $100, and increases the death benefit paid to families of Guard members killed in the line of duty from $5,000 to $100,000. Additionally, the "Welcome Home Bill" creates a $1,000 bonus for Guardsman and reservists called to active duty in Iraq
since the September 11, 2001 attacks
and a $500 bonus for those who were activated for duty elsewhere. The legislation provides a $2,000 benefit for Gold Star spouses and increases the Gold Star parents' benefit from $1,500 to $2,000. High school diplomas will also be granted to veterans who dropped out to enlist in World War II
, Korea or Vietnam wars. Romney signed the bill into law on Veterans Day 2005.
In a November 3, 2006 press release, Romney stated that the account that funds the insurance benefits created in the "Welcome Home Bill" faced a deficit of $64,000. The Massachusetts legislature
was out of session at the time of the shortfall. According to the press release, Romney transferred money from the governor's office budget to cover the deficit.
Working with the legislature, Romney developed legislation to provide tax exemptions to disabled veterans and benefits to families of fallen and missing soldiers. Romney signed the Massachusetts Military Enhanced Relief Individual Tax (MERIT) Plan into law on August 14, 2006. The bill increases property tax exemptions for disabled veterans and grants spouses of veterans killed or missing in action since September 11, 2001 full property tax exemptions for five years. After five years the spouses receive an annual $2,500 exemption under the legislation.
Romney was also the first governor in Massachusetts history to appoint a secretary of veteran's affairs to his cabinet.
As governor, Romney signed off on a substantial increase in funding for the construction of thousands of new housing units, especially in urban or downtown areas. A goal of this was to counteract the state's otherwise high housing prices.
] Minimum wage
As a candidate for governor in 2002, Romney proposed indexing the minimum wage
to inflation and raising the hourly pay for the state's lowest-paid workers from $6.75 an hour to $6.96 an hour starting January 2004, saying, "I do not believe that indexing the minimum wage will cost us jobs. I believe it will help us retain jobs."
In July 2006, the legislature passed a bill increasing the minimum wage to $8.00 an hour, and he vetoed it. "I have spent hours reading a wide array of reviews on the minimum wage and its impact on the economy, and there's no question raising the minimum wage excessively causes a loss of jobs, and the loss of jobs is at the entry level," said Romney when he vetoed the bill. He proposed an increase to $7.00/hour (which represented a 25 cents an hour increase over the existing rate.) The legislature voted on July 31, 2006 to override his veto (uanimously in the Senate) thus setting the minimum wage at the higher amount.
] Illegal immigration
Romney vetoed a bill in 2004 that would have allowed illegal immigrants to obtain in-state tuition rates at state colleges if they graduated from a Massachusetts high school after attending it for at least three years and signed an affidavit affirming that they intended to seek citizenship. Romney argued that the bill would cost the state government $15 million and that Massachusetts should not reward illegal immigration. A study by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation predicted that the legislation would generate over $5 million in state revenues; the Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform disputed this conclusion. In 2005, the bill was reintroduced to the House and brought to a vote on 11 January 2006. The legislation was defeated 96-57.
On December 2, 2006, it was reported that a landscaping company Romney contracted to perform yard work at his home had been suspected of employing illegal immigrants. Romney said that he was unaware of the immigration status of the company's employees. A year later it was reported that the same company was still using illegal immigrants to work on Romney's estate. After this second report, Romney fired the landscape company.
Later in December 2006, Romney signed an agreement with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) agency that would have allowed Massachusetts State Police troopers to arrest and seek deportation of suspected illegal immigrants they encounter over the course of their normal duties. Under the terms of the agreement, a group of 30 troopers would have received specialized training allowing them to question and detain suspected illegal immigrants, charge them with a violation of immigration law and place them in removal proceedings.
The agreement was never implemented because governor-elect Deval Patrick
, who had expressed strong opposition to the agreement before it was signed, revoked it a month later when he was sworn in.
Governor Mitt Romney in June 2006
Governor Romney supported regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through voluntary measures He issued a 72-point Climate Protection Plan in May 2004. His staffers spent more than $500,000 negotiating the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
(RGGI), which Romney praised in November 2005, saying, "I'm convinced it is good business." As plan details were being worked out, Romney pushed for a cap on fees charged to businesses who exceed emission limits citing concerns of increased consumer energy costs. He stated: "New England has the highest energy rates in the country, and RGGI would cost us more." This ongoing disagreement eventually led Romney, in December, 2005, to pull out of RGGI and Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri quickly followed suit. On the day he announced he would not run for reelection, Romney reversed pulled out of RGGI, spurring accusations that he switched his stance in order to gain support from industry groups for a presidential campaign. In January 2007, Romney's successor in office, Deval Patrick
announced the decision to overturn the withdrawal from the RGGI. Patrick estimated the cost of participation at $3 per year per household for electricity, and an implementation year of 2009.
In November 2006, Romney cut $7 million from the maintenance budget for the state's parklands, which are the sixth largest state park system in the country. Romney also cut $154,590 for environmental law enforcement, $288,900 for cleaner water in communities, and $181,886 for hazardous waste cleanup. In a 2004 press release Romney claimed, "Costs are down, but environmental enforcement is up". Romney successfully eliminated the Metropolitan District Commission
by merging it with another agency into the Department of Conservation and Recreation
Romney opposed the Cape Wind
offshore wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound
. Romney stated that the proposed Cape Wind project would depress property values and damage the local economy, which depends on tourism; he has described the area as pristine and a "national treasure". Cape Wind supporters accused Romney and federal lawmakers of "back-door deal-making" in an attempt to kill the project. Conversely, elected leaders in Massachusetts have accused Cape Wind developers of receiving a "back-room deal" for the 24 square miles (62 km) of state controlled property to be used in the proposed project. However, Romney voiced support for wind projects in Princeton, Hull and other Massachusetts towns.
In August 2006, Romney unveiled an energy plan that called for improved energy-efficiency requirements for state buildings, increased use of biofuels in the state automobile fleet, the creation of a prize-rewards lottery for consumers who buy energy-efficient equipment, and proposals for wind and biomass power-generation for state facilities.
On December 19, 2005 the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Professionals convened and discussed a public records request for communications between the Board and "Willard (Mitt) Romney". The board released documents pertaining to the appointment of board members by the governor, and "No one could think of any other categories of records."
] Transportation policy and the "Big Dig"
During his campaign for governor, Romney proposed merging the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority
, the government agency that managed the massive "Big Dig"
project in Boston, with the Massachusetts Highway Department
. Under Massachusetts law the Turnpike Authority is an independent agency that does not report to the governor. After being elected Governor, Romney called for the merger in 2003 and 2004. The Massachusetts legislature rejected Romney's call for consolidation. However the legislature did approve making the head of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation
the head of the Turnpike Authority.
Following the discovery of leaks in the I-93 tunnel, Romney called for the resignation of Matthew Amorello
, the Chairman and CEO of the Turnpike Authority. Amorello refused to resign and in June 2005, Romney asked the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to grant him the authority to fire Amorello. The request was denied, as the court declined to hear his case. In July 2006 a woman was killed when a section of the I-90 roof collapsed on her car. Citing continued mismanagement of the project, Romney once again called for Amorello's dismissal and initiated legal proceedings to oust the chairman. Despite calls from Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly
, House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi, Senate President Robert Travaglini, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino
, the chairman of both the house and senate transportation committees and the editorial boards of the Boston Globe
, Amorello once again refused to step aside. Romney responded by filing emergency legislation to wrest control of the inspection of the Big Dig tunnel system from the Turnpike Authority. The Massachusetts State Legislature overwhelmingly approved the legislation, which Romney signed on July 14, 2006. The Department of Transportation began immediate inspections of the I-90 tunnel and pledged a "stem to stern" review of the entire Big Dig Tunnel System. Meanwhile, Romney continued his effort to fire Amorello. He scheduled a termination hearing for the Chairman for July 27, 2006. Facing increasing pressure from associates and colleagues, Amorello resigned, effective August 16, 2006, one and a half hours before the hearing was to take place. "A new era of reform and accountability at the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority has begun," said Romney after receiving the resignation. "Patronage will be replaced by professionalism, and secrecy will be replaced by openness." Romney has pledged a "nationwide" search for a replacement to lead the Turnpike Authority and the Big Dig. Romney's administration then hired Bechtel
to inspect the faulty work it had itself done.
Since the collapse, the Securities and Exchange Commission
has informally investigated whether Massachusetts Turnpike Authority bonds misled investors. The SEC has requested documents relating to the Big Dig from the Turnpike Authority, the state Treasurer's office, the highway department and the governor's executive transportation office.
As governor, Romney worked with members of Congress from Massachusetts to request federal spending earmarks
to benefit state transportation projects. These included a safety review for the Big Dig as well as funds for local bridges and highway interchanges.
] Emergency responses
In May 2006, heavy rains produced flooding in Massachusetts. Romney declared a state of emergency, mobilized the Massachusetts National Guard,, called for volunteers and charitable donations to help residents, and asked President Bush
to declare the flooded area a major disaster area.. Romney was criticized by local politicians when he vetoed $5.7 million in state funding for flood control in Peabody
six months after the town was flooded in April 2004. After Peabody again suffered flooding in May 2006, Romney announced that he supported spending $2 million of state money on flood control for the town.
] State politics
Romney's relationship with the state legislature was somewhat fraught. He insisted that discussions with executive branch appointees always go through the governor's office, which left legislators annoyed. Furthermore, he withheld giving the legislators permanent authority to create new committees or to grant committee chairs pay increases. Romney was disinclined towards making political deals with the legislature, saying:
I ran on the platform of cleaning up the mess on Beacon Hill, [and] reform means changing the way things are. Legislatures by and large, despite the political titles, are conservative. They don't want to change the way things work. So of course it's going to be a battle."
On a personal level, Romney mostly only dealt with the leadership of the state legislature, and rarely developed any political or social relationships with most of the members. Indeed, he failed to memorize the names and faces of all of them, and sometimes greeted them incorrectly as a result. Legislators complained that he did not extend customary courtesies towards them, such as seat locations at public events, legislative liaison practices, and access to an elevator within the capitol building.
In 2004, the legislature passed a measure over his veto that took away the governor's ability to appoint a body to fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate and instead set a schedule an early special election. This was in large part an attempt to keep a seat in Democratic hands should Senator John Kerry
's campaign in the United States presidential election, 2004
, succeed. (This measure was reversed in 2009 following the death of Senator Edward M. Kennedy
, permitting the then-Democratic governor to promptly appoint to fill the vacancy, pending the mandated election no more than 160 days after the vacancy occurred.) In any case, Romney did not think much of Kerry, labeling him "a very conflicted person" who would be "a most unfortunate person to have as president of the United States." By comparison, Romney expressed a measure of admiration for his one-time electoral rival, saying "Senator Kennedy is a workhorse."
In the Massachusetts Senate elections, 2004
and Massachusetts House election, 2004
, Romney campaigned heavily to try to recruit Republican candidates to contest seats, coming up with 131 such candidates, an unusually large number for the weak Massachusetts Republican party to field. Overseeing a $3 million fund-raising effort for what he called Team Reform, he financed radio and television convincement campaigns on issues such as tuition for children of illegal immigrants. However, his efforts were for naught. Republicans lost two seats in the state House and one seat in the state Senate, and the Democrats who had supported some of Romney's measures but were nonetheless still targeted took personal offense at the entire effort. Romney subsequently made a conscious decision to focus less on the state Republican Party and more on bipartisanship at the state level and his own interests at the national level.
Romney issued 844 vetos as governor, the large share of which of which were overturned by one or the other of the state houses. Late in Romney's term, his vetos issued began to annoy Republicans in the legislature and he lost support among them too. Nevertheless, Romney defended the practice:
"I know how to veto. I like vetoes. I've vetoed hundreds of spending appropriations as governor."
] Last year of term
On December 14, 2005, Romney announced that he would not seek re-election for a second term as governor, fueling speculation about a run for the White House in 2008 in the face of rising dissatisfaction with the Republican Party in the state.
In 2006, his last year as governor, Romney spent all or part of 212 days out of state, laying the foundation for his anticipated presidential campaign. The cost of the Governor's security detail for out-of-state trips increased from $63,874 in fiscal year
2005 to a cost of $103,365 in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2006. Romney's use of state troopers for security during his campaign trips was criticized by former Governor Michael Dukakis
, who never traveled with state troopers during his 1988 presidential run, and Mary Boyle of Common Cause
who complained that "[t]he people of Massachusetts are essentially funding his presidential campaign, whether they like it or not." A Romney spokesman noted that Romney did not accept a salary while he was Governor and that he paid for his personal and political travel, while the superintendent of the State Police pointed out that the Governor never requested the security and that the security detail followed the Governor on all trips. In some cases his statements made while campaigning elsewhere in the country came back to affect him in Massachusetts, such as when he caused offense by using the term "tar baby
" in Iowa
in reference to the potential pitfalls of taking responsibility for the Big Dig.
At the end of Romney's term, several of his staffers purchased the hard drives from their state-issued computers, and emails were deleted from the server. The amounts expended purchasing the drives came to nearly $100,000. Under the Massachusetts Public Records Law
, the emails did not have to be made public but did have to be preserved. Terry Dolan, who worked as director of administration under Romney and several other governors, has said that scrubbing the servers was a common practice but that selling the hard drives was not. When news of the actions became widely known in 2011, a Romney spokesperson said that the purchase of the computer equipment "complied with the law and longtime executive branch practice." State government officials and aides to Romney's three predecessors as governor said that they did not know of any prior sales of hard drives to staffers. When questioned on the subject in 2011, Romney responded that he had not wanted the information to be available to "opposition research teams".
Romney's term ended January 4, 2007. Romney filed papers to establish a formal exploratory presidential campaign committee on his next-to-last day in office as governor.
] Approval ratings as governor
Nov. 18, 200366%33%Before Supreme Court ruling on Gay Marriage.Nov. 27, 200345%39%After taking a stance against Gay Marriage.July 200448% ?Jan. 200556% ?March 200552%37%After rumors of running for president.April 200543% ?March 200646%47%After announcing not running for re-election.May 200646%52%June 200639%56%Nov. 200634%65%Lowest approval of governorship.Dec. 200639%59%End of governorship.
Romney had approval ratings around 50 percent for most of his term, but they began to decline towards the end of his term. One of the possible explanations for this is Romney's out-of-state travel as he began to focus on moving on to national politics, and his making jokes at the expense of the state during appearances in early Republican primary states.
Will this be another round of smash mouth politics? It certain looks and sounds like it. I voted for President Obama, not because he was black, but because of the energy and freshness he brought to the lame game of politics as usual. Where is that level of energy?
I believe President Obama is getting bad advise from his campaign advisers; his messages aren't hitting home like the 2008 election. President Obama is sounding like the career politican...somthing that will turn off the younger generation. I am only 50 and it has lulled me to sleep.
Romney, doesn't ignite anything but hate and hostility towards the President. While I can't get a cost of living raise, his wife is out buying horses for the Olympics. Nothing wrong with enjoying your wealth...but don't rub it in our faces!!
Romney come off as smug and arrogant...out of touch with the youth and non-whites. I don't see him changing as a candidate and especially if he is elected. Hey Romney...when will you talk to non-whites or do you have enough whites to win the election?
Here is the real issue of this election...it will boil down to race and get the black out of the White House. I heard a Republican co-worker remark, "we need our White House" back...after all it is the "White House". After a teaching her the history of "for the people, by the people" that the "White House" belongs to ALL Americans regardless of race.
This is just a reminder of what we can expect in the weeks and months to come...good old mud slinging; not much in terms of jobs creation and viable resolutions for the economy.
What most naive voters will pay little attention to is the fact; if you don't have Congress working together, it won't matter who is in the White House. While Democrats and Republicans play these silly control games, we the American people sufferer.
Don't get caught up in the politics; let's put pressure on both parties and both presidential candidates to give us real solutions, quit playing politics as usual and admit neither of them can change a damn thing, until both the Senate and Congress work together to get us out of this mess.
IT IS TIME FOR A NEW CONGRESS!!!!!
In light of revelations regarding Mitt Romney's involvement of leading an group of his high school pals in an unprovoked assualt on another student who may or may not have been gay...it leads us to question whether Romney is "anti-gay"?
In addition, you very seldom if any Romney addressing African American forums or voters. Again, it leads to the question of whether he would be a President who only concerns himself with the plight of wealthy Americans and groups of European descent. Romney, are you "anti-black"?
America, we would like to hear from you...in addition, we challenge the Romney Camp to address our questions...or would the only why to receive an answer would be wealthy or white???
Trayvon Martin's death has brought about a media frenzy. There has been world wide coverage regarding his death, the rallies and protest. Now his death has polarized Republicans and Democrats, Blacks and Whites.
We want to know if you are tired of hearing about Trayvon's death and if so why?
Sanford, Florida (CNN) -- While the story behind Trayvon Martin's shooting death continues to grab headlines, interest in the case is sharply divided along partisan and racial lines, according to a new study by Pew Research Center.
Far more Republicans (56%) than Democrats (25%) say there has been too much coverage of Martin's death, according to Pew, which surveyed a "nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults" last Thursday through Sunday about top new stories.
In addition, 43% of whites said the story has garnered too much coverage, compared with just 16% of blacks, Pew said.
Martin's death fractured not just public interest opinions; it also continues to divide supporters of the slain Florida teen and those of George Zimmerman, the man who admitted killing the 17-year-old but claims he did so in self-defense.
Rallies nationwide have called for Zimmerman's arrest, decrying the Sanford Police Department's handling of the case.
On Tuesday, Martin family attorney Jasmine Rand insisted again that a former prosecutor in the case, State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, met with the now sidelined Sanford police Chief Bill Lee the night of the killing and overruled a police detective urging that Zimmerman be arrested.
Rand said the family's legal team has multiple, credible sources who say Wolfinger and Lee met that night. She declined to elaborate.
FBI agents were in Sanford on Tuesday, continuing their interviews in a civil rights investigation. Martin family supporters say the situation is a clear-cut case of racial profiling leading to an unjust killing.
On Monday, agents interviewed Martin's girlfriend, the 16-year-old girl who, phone records show, was on the line with him shortly before the fatal confrontation, Martin family attorney Daryl Parks confirmed Tuesday.
It doesn't matter who you are, if you wear a hoodie and you are black you are a hoodlum...even if you are a Congressman!!!
The congressman spoke during the morning session, when members are allowed to address any issue. He applauded young people across the country who are wearing hoodies to make a statement about Martin, the teen who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt when he was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida.
As soon as Rush removed his jacket and put the hood on his head, Rep. Greg Harper, R-Mississippi, who was presiding over the House floor, began to gavel Rush down, saying he was out of order.
Rush ignored him, and with the hoodie still pulled over his head, continued to speak, citing the Bible.
Harper continued to bang the gavel. "The gentleman will suspend. The member is no longer recognized," he said. "The chair must remind members that clause 5 of rule 17 prohibits the wearing of hats in the chamber when the House is in session."
A floor clerk approached Rush as he finished his remarks and led him away from the podium.
Afterward, Rush told CNN he was wearing a tie, suggesting he was appropriately dressed for the House floor. He said the purpose of putting on the hoodie was to send a message to young people, "to stand their ground, stand up and don't stand down."
As for violating the House rule on wearing hats, Rush pointed to his hooded shirt and argued, "this is not a hat, this is a hoodie."
"I don't mind being out of order if it means standing up for truth and justice," Rush said.
He said the public debate over Martin's death was a continuation of the movement in which he participated during the 1960's. "This is just another part of the struggle. I've never left those days. Those days are deep down in my soul."
Noting that he was standing in the Capitol, Rush added, "Many people have given their lives so I can be here and once I got here I can't forget whose shoulders I'm standing on."
The Illinois lawmaker said he understood that those on the floor who ruled him out of order and the staffer who moved him off the floor were doing their jobs, and said he was able to finish his speech.
"A lot of it was theatrical, but I wanted the message to go forward," he said.
Rush said he and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, were organizing a gathering of House members wearing hoodies on the East Front of the Capitol later this week.
THE COMMENTS YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ COME FROM NBC 12'S VIEWER COMMENTS SECTION (RICHMOND,VA).
WHILE WE LIVE IN A COUNTRY WHERE WE RECOGNIZE THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH...THE COMMENTS OF THIS PERSON REFLECTS THE THOUGHTS OF MANY WHO SIDE WITH ZIMMERMAN.
Pamela - are you kidding. If you had some gold toothed, tatooed, unknown, 6'3" male in a hoodie, in the dark, coming towards you, I think you might be suspect of that person, too. I think Mr. Zimmerman was walking back to his vehicle as instructed by LE and was jumped and beaten by a gangsta talkin punk. You people don't want to hear the truth. You just want a story told of a poor black boy who was murdered by a white racist. Well, sorry dear. That's not the story unfolding. You guys should be ashamed. This kid's parents have lowered themselves to a new level. Oh boy, I'll remember Tvon. Trust me, just like I remember what the Duke Lacrosse team endured.
Well, it is not surprising that there would be an attack on Trayvon's character to justify Zimmerman's killing of an unarmed teen. There is a subtle movement to continue to cast a shadow over the fact that a 28 year old man confronted a 17 year old teen.
Trayvon Martin had as much right to defend himself from a man who was following and perhaps attempting to apprehend him for no reason. It appears Zimmerman thought he would be able to bully and intimidate a young man while no one was present. Trayvon out of fear for his life fought to save himself. Trayvon's adrenalin kicks in and he gets the best of Zimmerman in a hand to hand combat.
Even if that was the case, Zimmerman shot and killed an UNARMED TEEN!!! When will those investigating this stick to the fact that Zimmerman NEVER should have confronted Trayvon...this was a community watch junkie, want to be Charles Brunson vigilante!!
This claims in the story below are just another attempt to distort the facts and continue to blame Trayvon Martin for his own death.
Trayvon Martin had been suspended from his Miami high school for possession of an empty marijuana baggie, a family spokesperson confirmed Monday.
Martin had been suspended for 10 days from Krop Senior High School after the baggie was found, the spokesperson told MSNBC.
Meanwhile, John Schuster, the spokesman for the Miami-Dade Public Schools, said the school district has not released any student records in accordance with federal law.
The news comes as authorities revealed that Martin took down George Zimmerman with one punch then climbed on top of him and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times before the 17-year-old was shot to death by the community watch volunteer, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.
The latest report of the altercation between the teen and the 28-year-old man at a Sanford gated community on Feb. 26 has been corroborated by witnesses, authorities told the Sentinel.
The Sanford Police said in a statement that the report was "consistent with the information provided to the State Attorney's office by the police department."
"We do not condone these unauthorized leaks of information," said Norton Bonaparte Jr., city manager. "
He said there would be an internal investigation into the leak and disciplinary action could include termination for anyone found to have been the source of the leak.
City Manager Norton Bonaparte Jr. named Scott acting chief and Capt. Robert O'Connor acting deputy chief, just three days after he introduced both of them as the Sanford police department's temporary leaders in the absence of Police Chief Bill Lee Jr. On Monday, Bonaparte clarified that Scott will be the top official on duty at the police department.
Calls to the FBI, U.S. Justice Department and Sanford Police weren't immediately returned Monday.
Zimmerman told police he had turned around and was walking back to his SUV when Martin approached him from behind and the two got into a verbal altercation, the report said.
Martin punched Zimmerman in the nose and began beating him on the ground, leaving him bloodied and battered, authorities said, according to the report. Zimmerman told police he shot the unarmed Martin in self-defense.
Police said Martin was visiting with his father at his father's girlfriend's home in the gated community and had gone to buy a bag of Skittles and iced tea at a nearby convenience store and was walking back when the altercation happened.
According to police, Zimmerman was following the teen in his SUV and then on foot and called 911 to report a suspicious person. In a recording of Zimmerman's call to 911, a dispatcher tells him to stop following the teen.
Zimmerman told police he had lost sight of Martin and was walking back to his car when Martin approached him from behind.
Martin asked Zimmerman if he had a problem and Zimmerman said no and reached for his phone, he told police, according to the report.
"Well, you do now," Martin said, according to Zimmerman, before he threw the first punch, the Sentinel report said.
Zimmerman told police he began yelling for help, though the attorney for Martin's parents said the cries for help came from the teen.
Witness Mary Cutcher said she thought the cry fro help may have come from Martin.
"It sounded young. It didn’t sound like a grown man is my point," Cutcher said on NBC's "Dateline." It sounded to me like someone was in distress and it wasn’t like a crying, sobbing boo-hoo, it was a definite whine."
When police arrived, Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose, had a swollen lip and had bloody wounds to the back of his head. Zimmerman's attorney said he suffered a broken nose in the altercation.
Zimmerman wasn't arrested and hasn't been charged in the shooting. His attorney, Craig Sonner, appeared on NBC's Today Show" Monday, where he backed up the self-defense claim.
"This case has taken on a whole different meaning because it's been interpreted as being a racial issue and it's not a racial issue," Sonner said. "George Zimmerman is absolutely not a racist, whatever happened that night was self-defense."
Martin's friends have said the teen never would have started a fight and Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump has called the claim that Martin was the aggressor "preposterous."
The shooting has led to several rallies and marches throughout South Florida and across the country, with tens of thousands of protesters demanding Zimmerman's arrest.
Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, will attend a rally at 4 p.m. Monday in Sanford. They're also expected to speak before the Sanford City Commission following the march.
The U.S. Justice Department and FBI are investigating the shooting, and last week Lee, the police chief, announced he was temporarily stepping down during the investigation into the shooting.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has appointed a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Martin's death and has formed a task force to hold hearings on the shooting.
Friends of the man who shot and killed Florida teen Trayvon Martin say he is now afraid for his life and hiding in a secure location. As outrage has built, friends say George Zimmerman, who says he shot the unarmed boy in self-defense, has received death threats and yesterday, the New Black Panther party put out a $10,000 bounty to locate him. "What makes all these people who are threatening George any better than the person they think he is?" said Joe Oliver, a friend of Zimmerman. "You've got all these people wanting to lynch the man, and they don't know the whole story."
Mr. Joe Oliver, just tell your friend that people want justice, they want Zimmerman to tell the truth about the incident that occurred a month ago today.
Tell us why he continued to follow Trayvon, why did he confront Trayvon...why didn't he allow the police to do their job?
Take a look at the photos below and then read the storyline below. We want to know based on general perception, who would be percieved as a danger?
The next question is to blacks; before the Trayvon Martin Murder; when you would seen young black men, would you assume that they were up to know good?
By James Eng, msnbc.com
The fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a community crime-watch volunteer in a Florida suburb raises an uneasy question: Would he have been killed had he not been young, black and wearing a hoodie?
Most decidedly not, say some interested observers.
“This kid happened to have fallen into a wrong shade of black, and coupled with the fact that he was hooded made it more problematic,” said Jason J. Campbell, a blogger and an assistant professor of conflict resolution and philosophy at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“There’s a sense that this child was naive in the way he conducted himself (by wearing a hoodie). Unfortunately, African American males cannot conduct themselves in the same way that young white males can,” Campbell, who is black, told msnbc.com.
“It’s because society has said that a young black male dressed in this manner is up to no good,” Allie Braswell, CEO of the Central Florida Urban League, told msnbc.com. “Some of this is self-inflicted by dressing style, but it doesn’t mean every kid who puts a hoodie on is up to no good.”
Which male would be perceived as the greater threat??
CNN) -- If Joseph Kony wasn't the most wanted man in the world, he may be now.
In the past week, a documentary detailing accusations of vile acts committed by the Ugandan warlord has spread like wildfire on social media (at the time of writing it has had more than 50 million views), prompting international outrage and a groundswell of support for his capture.
In the documentary, "Kony 2012," which was posted online by the U.S.-based group Invisible Children, the tales of atrocities are horrifying: armed supporters force abducted children to kill their own parents, brutal mutilations include the hacking off of lips and limbs, and the sexual slavery of young girls stolen from their families. The group says its aim is to raise awareness and bring Kony to justice.
While some critics question whether the film captures the full scope of the conflict, one matter is without debate: Kony now ranks as one of the International Criminal Court's most wanted men, facing arrest on charges of crimes against humanity after a 26-year campaign of brutality in his failed bid to overthrow the Ugandan government.
How did Kony rise to power?
Kony, a former altar boy, was a young man in his early 20s when he was caught in the storm of violence that marked the final years of Milton Obote's presidency.
Obote was deposed in a military coup in 1985, and soon after Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Army (NRA) seized power. Kony's Lord's Resistance Army was among those who rose up against Museveni's NRA.
Kony was a spiritual leader, known as a healer among the Acholi people. He inherited a powerful support base from Alice Lakwena, a spirit-medium.
Lakwena's followers would "daub themselves in shea butter crosses which they believed would protect them from bullets and they believed that stones would explode like grenades," explains Matthew Green, author of "The Wizard of the Nile - The Hunt for Africa's Most Wanted," about Kony.
"It was a mystical rebellion," Green says, adding that Kony "was very much an inheritor of her mantle." Lakwena fled to Kenya after Museveni's forces launched a brutal attack on her and her followers.
Staying in northern Uganda, Kony rallied Lakwena's remaining supporters and recruited more with a powerful mix of mythical claims, charisma and unconscionable violence.
What is Kony like?
Green describes being one of the few journalists to ever meet Kony when the rebel leader briefly emerged from his jungle hideout in 2006.
"Although he was surrounded by phalanxes of child soldiers with Kalashnikov rifles and bayonets fixed to them, he actually looked terrified of meeting strangers," Green said.
Despite Kony's apparent fear and paranoia, Green says the rebel leader was charismatic and clearly a "very powerful orator" when speaking to his people.
"He had an almost musical voice as he spoke in his Acholi language and you could see that the people listening were completely captivated."
What are Kony's tactics?
If Kony attracted supporters through his "mystical powers" and charisma, he kept them through fear.
"Certainly the violence is what made his movement so terrifying," Green says. "These attacks were carried out often with machetes or clubs and the violence was designed with a very clear political purpose. It was designed to illustrate to the people in northern Uganda that the government of President Museveni could not protect them."
Kony's forces are believed to have abducted thousands of children to join his cause -- however the exact number is unconfirmed. At the height of the violence during the mid-2000s, parents tried to protect their children from harm by sending them to sleep in towns, away from Kony's ruthless kidnappers.
Brutal punishments were inflicted on those who were accused of disloyalty by an increasingly paranoid leader, Green says. "Kony once gave an order that anyone caught riding a bicycle should have their legs cut off. Bicycles were a very common means of transport in rural areas and he was worried that informers, if they saw the rebels, would rapidly pedal away and alert the nearest army post."
And similarly he would cut off people's hands as a kind of warning not to raise any hands against the rebels," Green adds.
How organized is the Lord's Resistance Army?
Kony created the Lord's Resistance Army with the intention to lead, based on his version of the Ten Commandments. Since then it has grown into a "disciplined fighting force," says Green, explaining that its members occupy a rank and are rewarded for loyalty.
Kony has been able to maintain his hold over them with his mix of self-proclaimed spiritual powers and military strategy, Ned Dalby, Central Africa researcher with the International Crisis Group, said in a 2011 interview with CNN.
"He cultivates this image of himself as a medium for the power of the spirit and at other times, he presents himself as a ruthless military leader. So he's able to maintain cohesion as a group and maintain the loyalty of his fighters," Dalby said.
He noted that some former LRA fighters from northern Uganda have given clues as to why some outside the group stayed loyal to Kony. "They expressed the feeling that because they were given a rank, they were given a certain purpose, and respect and authority," Dalby says. "And then, once they're outside the LRA, they find they've become just another poor person, trying to survive."
Where is Kony now?
"Kony fled back into Sudan probably in late 2005, 2006 and he has not been back into Uganda since, as far as we know," Green said.
He is believed to be accompanied by a small band of supporters, though his followers are still said to be terrorizing people elsewhere on the continent.
"The mass abduction of Ugandan children and the terrible atrocities, the massacres that Kony committed have not occurred for some years now," added Green. "However, his forces are still on the loose in places like Central African Republic and Eastern Congo, and they still retain the capacity to kill large numbers of civilians. So although they're not a threat to Uganda now, they certainly are a threat to the region."
The U.S. has listed the LRA as a terrorist group and in October, Washington authorized up to 100 U.S. Special Operations trainers and military advisers to assist African forces searching for Kony and other leaders of the LRA.
The activities of the group are tracked on a website that uses information from the Invisible Children's Early Warning Radio Network, U.N. agencies and local NGOs to map and document recent crimes.
Here is a real question; do blacks here in America even care that other people of color are being subjected to this type of Warlord? What about the Joseph Kony's here in America...the Drug Dealers, some of the Rappers that depict and promote black or black violence in their songs and videos?
Maybe this is why we are so numb to this type of story outside of the US, simply because we see Joseph Kony and his homies everyday in ours, in our communities, on TV.
To borrow a line from "Boyz n da Hood", 'it is just another day in the hood"; both here in America and in Africa...what do you think?
After 20 plus years of terror and abuse by Joseph Kony, his terrible deeds come to the eyes of the world!!
Why did it take so long for this black bastard's acts go under the radar for so long? This shouldn't surprise anyone; the plight of people of color is always by-passed or over-looked. People of Color are not priority, until thousands are affected.
But now that his reign of terror and abuse has come to light, what should the UN or the United States do? Should we send Special Forces and cut the head of this snake off? Should he be arrested and brought up on charges?
What do you think should happen? Why does it take so long for people to react to the issues of "people of color"?
Joseph Kony- A terrorist...it is time to include him in our war on terroism????
I am informing those in the Tri-Cities area of Petesburg, VA regarding the cover-up and arrogance of South Regional Medical Center at 200 Medical Park Boulevard in Petersburg, VA. Not only in Petersburg, but across America. Big businesses covering up wrong doings.
After my prostate cancer surgery on November 8 at this hospital, I suffered several unexplainable injuries while in their care. After reporting my injuries to the Director of Patient Relations, Ms Ava Warren; they of course are denying any wrong doings.
Their focus of their investigation was only on one of three of my injuries. Again, we see the machine at work, they refuse to offer any assistance regarding my on going medical care I sustained while in their care and more or less drew a line in the sands, indicating that the only way they will assist me, will be via the legal system. After consulting with several legal firms, I was informed they I would have to wait to see how long it will take or if my injuries would heal, before pursuing any legal actions.
In the meantime, I have PT bills that will be growing, a neurologist bill...but more importantly I can't get any answers on what actually happen to me that caused my injuries and present complications. So big SRMC, let it be known, I will NOT go away, simply because you closed your investigation; you are about to find out the power of media and the social media. America, we can't allow big business to skate on their moral obligations to silence us based on their war chest in comparison to the victims they refuse to acknowledge that they injured..remember my circumstances could be yours or someone you love...please re-post.
WERE ARE JOINING TOM JOYNER TO RE-ELECT PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!
We've all expressed our opinions, vented, aired it out, and in my heart of
hearts, no matter how we got to this point, I believe most of us share a
common goal - to re-elect President Obama. That can only happen if we take
all the time and energy we've been using to debate, defend - and yes,
digress (Tavis didn't patent that word, did he?) and move forward. Like the
mamas on my staff tell their little boys when they're distracted by
whatever is on the PSP, DS or Wii screen, "Let's focus."
If we can learn anything from Republicans, it is that they have the ability
to not just rally together, but to grab onto a single candidate, issue,
piece of propaganda, whatever, and clamp down like a pit bull. Once they
make a decision, they will not be swayed. How many times have you listened
to one of them recite the party line, and you think to yourself, I KNOW
they don't really believe that? Maybe not, but by being consistent and
steady until the end, they come out victorious - or, at the least, united.
That's what we need to do more.
Of course, we are not all "like minded" across the board, and no one is
expected to believe that every single thing that President Obama says or
does is perfect and beyond reproach. But, let's look at the big picture
and remember that if he's going to win, he needs all of our votes - every
last one of them.
At one time, I didn't see the harm in the public criticisms from black
leaders, but a conversation I had with a friend and colleague who voted for
Obama last time around made me think differently. This guy is black, high
school-educated and gets most of his news from our show, CNN, MSNBC and
C-SPAN. A few weeks ago, when Tavis Smiley and Cornel West began to make
the rounds on the cable networks, he started to h ave second thoughts about
Obama. He actually began to let the negativity seep into his brain and
said, "What IS Obama doing for Black people?
Look at how many of us are unemployed; he's not doing nothing about that."
That's when I knew that more harm was being done than some people realize.
Keep in mind, that was just one person who happened to express his opinion
to me. How many more black people will stay home from the polls this
November because they think the prez is turning his back on black people?
Forget that that's a lie - that he has done plenty for African-Americans
and will do more if he gets the chance to serve another term. Forget that
bin Laden was captured and killed under his watch. Let's not even deal with
the facts right now. Let's deal with just our blackness and pride - and
loyalty. We have the chance to re-elect the first African-American
president, and that's what we ought to be doing. And I'm not afraid or
ashamed to say that as black people, we should do it because he's a black
man. There are a great number of people who are against him because he's a
black man. That should be enough motivation for us to band together and get
I'll be making an announcement soon about voter registration and what we'll
do on the TJMS to make sure that everybody is ready come November. In the
meantime, we need to start showing the same kind of enthusiasm as we did
when we were electing the president .......... the first time. Please don't think it's
going to be any easier because we made it happen before. In fact, this time it will be harder.
For years, I've heard people who weren't around during the civil rights
movement say that they wished they had been there. They have a deep need to
be a part of some great historic moment that will make a difference, not
just to us but to future generations as well. Well, t his is our moment. And
before I hear the haters say President Obama is no Dr. Martin Luther King,
of course he isn't. There will never be another Dr, King, Malcolm X, JFK
... and there doesn't need to be.
We're not dwelling on the past - not 50 years ago, not even 50 days ago.
Whether you're in a race to the finish line, the goal post or to making
history, you've got to keep your eye on the prize if you're going to win.
The naysayers have a vested interest in chunking rocks. We can't stop that.
What's our interest? What are we willing to stand up for, fight for, make
a sacrifice for?
When is the last time we did more than talk about how much we support the
president? When is the last time you mailed a check to his campaign? When
you hear people who claim to represent you and black America saying things
you don't believe or support, you ought to light up the phones, send
emails, tweets, write blogs, fax. Every little bit helps. Don't let hate,
pettiness, jealousy, whatever, overshadow truth.
We're on a mission, and a mission isn't always fun, sexy or comfortable.
When you step out there and believe in what you say and what you do, you've
got to take the heat and keep it moving.
In the words of that great philosopher Jay-Z, on to the next.
Focus on November. We're moving forward. Can we do it together? That's the
only way we will be victorious.
Thanks.....Pass it on!!
*YOU MAY LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS OR CONTACT US TO VOICE YOUR SENTIMENTS
WE WANT TO KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS SUBJECT.
DO YOU FEEL OR THINK THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS BEEN GIVEN ENOUGH TIME TO BRING ABOUT THE CHANGE THAT HE CAMPAIGNED ON IN 2008?
SHOULD PRESIDENT OBAMA HAVE 4 MORE YEARS OR NO MORE YEARS?
WHY OR WHY NOT?
Troy Davis faced execution Wednesday despite a furious campaign in the U.S. and Europe to win clemency for the 1989 slaying of a Georgia policeman he claims he did not commit.
We are asking for 5000 or more people to respond to this Blog, asking the Supreme Courts to grant a stay of execution and grant Troy Davis a new trial in light of the new revelations surrounding his trial and 7 of the 9 witnesses changing their story.
PLEASE RESPOND, TROY DAVIS COULD BE INNOCENT!
The plan for September 11th observance We have less than two weeks to get the word out all across this great land and into every community in the United States of America .
If you forward this email to at least 11 people and each of those people do the same ... you get the idea.
On Sunday September 11th, 2011, everyone needs to display the flag of these United States of America!!!
On Sunday, September 11th, 2011, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States . Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this tenth anniversary of one of our country's worst tragedies. We do this to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.
In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn't take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.
So, here's what we need you to do.
(1) Forward this email to everyone you know (at least 11 people).
Please don't be the one to break this chain.
Take a moment to think back to how you felt on 9/11 and let those sentiments guide you.
(2) Fly an American flag of any size on 9/11
Thank you for your participation... God Bless You and God Bless America !