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Romney pal takes blame for dust-up</p><p>LDS Church denies claim it backs Mitt
The Salt Lake Tribune ^ | 10/23/2006 | Thomas Burr,Joe Baird, Peggy Stack

Posted on 10/23/2006 5:53:17 AM PDT by Utah Binger

Romney pal takes blame for dust-up LDS Church denies claim it backs Mitt

A longtime friend and major campaign contributor of Mitt Romney took the blame Sunday for a politically damaging controversy about the Massachusetts governor reportedly seeking LDS Church help setting up a nationwide network of Mormons to advance his expected 2008 presidential bid. "I'm to blame for this whole mess," Romney confidant Kem Gardner told The Salt Lake Tribune, saying characterizations of what were "innocent" discussions between the governor, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and church officials were "unfortunate."

The Boston Globe printed e-mails Sunday from a Romney political adviser, recounting a meeting with Gardner and Romney's son, Josh, about efforts to garner church support for a program to organize Mormons in support of a Romney campaign. In the e-mails, Don Stirling, a paid consultant for Romney's political action committee, told Sheri Dew, the chief executive officer of LDS Church-owned Deseret Book Co., that church President Gordon B. Hinckley and a top lieutenant, James E. Faust, were aware of the effort and raised no objections - a claim strongly denied by the LDS Church.

(Excerpt) Read more at sltrib.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Politics/Elections; US: Utah
KEYWORDS: politics; religion; romneytherino
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Priesthood meeting was a-poppin' yesterday!
1 posted on 10/23/2006 5:53:18 AM PDT by Utah Binger
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To: Utah Binger

Anyone with a brain knows that the LDS church and its leaders want Mitt Romney to be president.
And they will do what they can to help that effort.

Next time they will just be more secretive about it.


2 posted on 10/23/2006 6:03:32 AM PDT by JRochelle (You can believe what you want, but you can't have your own facts!)
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To: Utah Binger
According to the Globe editorial, Mitt is accused of having asked Jeffrey R. Holland to organize a group of BYU alumni for a fund raiser. What the Globe fails to mention is that Jeffrey Holland was President of BYU for most of the 80's and 90's. I also find it fascinating that in the same issue of the Globe, they have another article that breathlessly anticipates the election of Congress's first Muslim representative. So, Muslim good, Mormon bad. Or in other words, Democrat good (regardless of religion, because hey, the important thing is, their true religion is Liberalism), Mormon bad (because most Mormons are Conservatives).

The Globe then clearly annuciates their opinion on relgion and politics: "Non-Catholics were unduly fearful that the worldly Kennedy would take orders from the Vatican." In other words, he was Catholic in name only, so it was OK. Heaven forbid that any Presidential candidate actually believes this religion stuff! Ewwww!

3 posted on 10/23/2006 6:21:15 AM PDT by Reaganesque
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To: JRochelle

How would you know what the LDS church and its leaders want? If you really knew anything about these matters you would know that the LDS Church does not endorse particular political candidates.


4 posted on 10/23/2006 6:26:40 AM PDT by allouchsit
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To: Utah Binger

Where?


5 posted on 10/23/2006 6:28:15 AM PDT by allouchsit
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To: allouchsit
Duh.
Of course they don't publicly endorse anyone. They would lose their tax exempt status if they would.

But if you think that they are not going to help Romney behind the scenes, you are naive beyond words.

If you read the emails, there is the evidence. Why would the guy lie to a fellow Romney supporter? Why was Romney's son meeting with a high-level person in the LDS church?
6 posted on 10/23/2006 6:34:44 AM PDT by JRochelle (You can believe what you want, but you can't have your own facts!)
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To: allouchsit
Where?

Silly questions deserve no answers.

7 posted on 10/23/2006 7:06:30 AM PDT by Utah Binger (Southern Utah, where the world comes to see America)
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To: JRochelle

I agree. Why should anyone care if the LDS faithful support one of their own and would like to see him succeed? Any other religious or ethnic group would behave no differently. It's embarassing to watch people deny the obvious, but I do understand the sensitivity issues the LDS church faces if it's accused of throwing its substantial weight around in the primaries.


8 posted on 10/23/2006 7:15:18 AM PDT by HostileTerritory
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To: JRochelle

I've met with high level leaders of the church. So what? President Clinton met with high level leaders of the church during campaigns. But Utah is the only place in the nation where Clinton came in third, behind Perot. The church leaders allow lots of courtesy calls.

The governor of Utah is a stalwart member of the Church. His grandfather was a general authority. He has endorsed McCain.

Stories like these are all nasty innuendo.


9 posted on 10/23/2006 7:25:40 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: lady lawyer

PS. I have been against Romney's candidacy for this very reason. I don't think he can win because the evangelical base will either oppose him or stay home. But, in the meantime, the church will take all kinds of undeserved shots.


10 posted on 10/23/2006 7:27:12 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: Utah Binger

I don't support Gov. Romney for the presidency, and if he's the Republican nominee, it is unlikely that I'll vote for him.

That being said, I just don't see what's such a big deal about this. If the folks of the Latter Day Saints want to organize and support his candidacy, well gee whiz, that's what politics is about.


11 posted on 10/23/2006 7:28:56 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Utah Binger

This is ridiculous. There is no need for any "secret" or underhanded meetings with mormon officials. Given the choice, mormons will support mormons without any influence or urging from leaders.


12 posted on 10/23/2006 7:31:43 AM PDT by greyfoxx39 (Clinton's FBI, media whores and judges are working overtime to defeat the Republicans in November.)
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To: sitetest
That being said, I just don't see what's such a big deal about this. If the folks of the Latter Day Saints want to organize and support his candidacy, well gee whiz, that's what politics is about.

Because this isn't about reason. This is about gut-level, ignorant religious bigotry.

13 posted on 10/23/2006 7:33:10 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: Utah Binger

I am LDS and do not care much for Mitt Romney, since he seems to Left leaning. On the other hand we have people in Arizona complaining that the LDS church isn't political enough. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1719323/posts Just can't win.


14 posted on 10/23/2006 7:33:54 AM PDT by HungarianGypsy
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To: lady lawyer

Could you clarify what the "undeserved shot" is?


15 posted on 10/23/2006 7:35:29 AM PDT by JRochelle (You can believe what you want, but you can't have your own facts!)
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To: HostileTerritory
I do understand the sensitivity issues the LDS church faces if it's accused of throwing its substantial weight around in the primaries.

I don't think we have "substantial weight" anywhere but Utah and Idaho. And Mitt wouldn't need a special organization in either of those states. Everybody knows he is Mormon. If the Mormons are inclined to vote for him because of religion, they will do that without any special organization. And, whoever is the ultimate Republican nominee will carry those states without any special organization.

16 posted on 10/23/2006 7:38:19 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: JRochelle

This series of articles, trying to paint the Church as some kind of dark political conspiracy.


17 posted on 10/23/2006 7:38:53 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: JRochelle

Plus, all the stupid things people say about our theology.


18 posted on 10/23/2006 7:40:36 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: JRochelle; allouchsit
But if you think that they are not going to help Romney behind the scenes, you are naive beyond words.

Yeah, don't you get it!? It's a vast Mormon conspiracy, man!

Sheesh!

19 posted on 10/23/2006 7:41:54 AM PDT by TChris (The United Nations is suffering from delusions of relevance.)
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To: lady lawyer
I don't think we have "substantial weight" anywhere but Utah and Idaho.

The LDS church played an important role in protecting marriage in the 2000 referendum campaign in California. Not many people take part in primaries, and a mid-sized group of engaged people can help a candidate break away from the pack if they vote when others aren't. Maybe not in South Carolina or New Hampshire, but there are key primaries in Arizona, Washington, and Nevada very early in the process where the numbers are there. And of course it's good to have personal connections for fundraising no matter where the donors live. Joe Lieberman has been able to draw from Jewish donors elsewhere in the country, why should Mitt Romney be held to a different standard?

Please don't take this the wrong way--I know you have to battle against conspiracy theorists all the time, even here, from people who have misperceptions about your church. I almost wish this country were mature enough to accept that this is how democracy works and there's nothing bad about it.
20 posted on 10/23/2006 7:44:26 AM PDT by HostileTerritory
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To: lady lawyer

I would say the emails tend to show that the senior members of the church were involved in plans to help Romney's election.

The church can't publically endose anyone, unless they are willing to give up their tax-exempt status.

I don't understand why they would do that. Mormons will vote for Mitt.


21 posted on 10/23/2006 7:44:55 AM PDT by JRochelle (You can believe what you want, but you can't have your own facts!)
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To: greyfoxx39

I suspect it's more about "rainmaking" campaign funds than motivating voters.


22 posted on 10/23/2006 7:45:13 AM PDT by HostileTerritory
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To: JRochelle; allouchsit
Why was Romney's son meeting with a high-level person in the LDS church?

I dare say that 90% of Mormons in good standing who are older than 25 have, at one point in their lives, met with a "high-level" person in the LDS Church.

I think you are paranoid.

And what difference would it make if some of the leaders of the Mormon Church supported Romney? Is that a crime?

23 posted on 10/23/2006 7:49:27 AM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: Utah Binger
The double standard and hypocrisy against conservatives is ridiculous!
24 posted on 10/23/2006 7:51:06 AM PDT by jan in Colorado (Don't be a "Cut and Run" Republican. INCREASE the Republican majority! VOTE 'R')
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To: P-Marlowe

"And what difference would it make if some of the leaders of the Mormon Church supported Romney? Is that a crime?"


Umm, no. No crime.

Why deny it? I fully expect his son to support him! But to deny the reasons for the meeting is silly. Whats wrong with the truth?


25 posted on 10/23/2006 7:56:01 AM PDT by JRochelle (You can believe what you want, but you can't have your own facts!)
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To: JRochelle

Jeff Holland granted a courtesy meeting with some Romney staffers. The staffers ran the idea of contacting BYU Management Society members past him, probably to see if would cause problems for the Church. I suspect that Mitt is a member of the BYU Management Society, or that his backers in Utah are. Everyone who is running for office uses the networks they belong to.

I suspect that the Mitt backers were being deferential to the Church's concerns because they know how adamant the Church is about political neutrality. We've had the neutrality statement read to us in church before every election for years now. We're not even supposed to use our ward lists for campaigning.

Once in a while, the Church gets involved in a political issue when an important moral issue is at stake, like gay marriage. I also know a law professor at BYU who has been involved for years in emerging democracies in Eastern Europe and in the Third World, where constitutions are being drafted, trying to make sure that guarantees of religious freedom are included. When the Church gets involved in political matters, they do it openly.

But to suggest that somehow the Church, as an institution, is going to "secretly" mobilize for Mitt Romney is just ridiculous.


26 posted on 10/23/2006 7:58:00 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: JRochelle
Next time they will just be more secretive about it.

What's the big deal? So What? The Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton aren't secretive about enlisting support and votes from the black Baptist churches.

Double Standard BARF ALERT!!!
27 posted on 10/23/2006 8:00:07 AM PDT by no dems (I'll take a moral Mormon over a demonic Democrat or repugnant RINO anyday.)
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To: HostileTerritory

Thanks for the clarification. You're right. Even where there are not a lot of us, we can usually mobilize a fair number of people who know how to work and who are interested in protecting constitutional liberties.


28 posted on 10/23/2006 8:00:42 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: lady lawyer

I fully expect the Church to support Mitt as much as possible!
So what?
And I don't think there is anything wrong with that!

I tend to think the emails were accurate. Unless someone can prove that they weren't.

My problem is the denials.


29 posted on 10/23/2006 8:05:45 AM PDT by JRochelle (You can believe what you want, but you can't have your own facts!)
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To: JRochelle

I don't think the church leaders are lying about what was said, to whom.


30 posted on 10/23/2006 8:07:30 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: lady lawyer

Shhhhhhh before the romney brigade calls you a bigot.


31 posted on 10/23/2006 8:20:33 AM PDT by SDGOP
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To: lady lawyer

LOL. Why would they call me a bigot? I'm a Mormon. I just don't want to get all the anti-Mormon bigots riled up for what I see as a lost cause.


32 posted on 10/23/2006 8:32:06 AM PDT by lady lawyer
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To: JRochelle
Democrat leaders and candidates have all met with Mormon leaders in the past, the candidates recognizing that the Mormons are fervent voters. However, I have never heard any Church leader recommend that members vote one way or another. That some members met with an authority is not strange or an indicator that the Church is going to make certain a future Mormon candidate will win. I have met with several Church Authorities and found them to be truly "fair and balanced." One wonders how many you have met with? I suspect, in fact, that some may be Democrats, but they would never push members to vote for "their" candidate. After all, why did Harry Reid win in Nevada? It wasn't because the Church members backed him or were asked to do so.

Mormons have not always been in the Republican camp. During the 30's and 40's the majority of members and their non-member neighbors were Democrats and voted that way. My parents and grandparents thought FDR was a minor deity. In the 70' and 80's many members saw the light and went right. Now they are solid conservatives, but no one in authority told them to go in that direction. They simply learned the facts and chose correctly. Would that the rest of the nation were as well informed about the real issues and the political facts of life.

33 posted on 10/23/2006 9:10:08 AM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: JRochelle
Mormons will vote for Mitt.

Some will, some won't. It all depends on (1) what kind of campaign he runs and (2) who else is running.

I am a "Mormon" who is not especially impressed by Mitt Romney. I certainly would not vote for him merely because he belongs to the same church as I do. (Harry Reid purports to be a "Mormon" too, and I would not vote for him.)

If Romney is the most conservative choice, I will support him. Otherwise, I will not.

34 posted on 10/23/2006 9:14:04 AM PDT by Logophile
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To: sitetest
Does this mean you'll vote for Hillary or Obama instead, or you are staying home? Just curious.
35 posted on 10/23/2006 10:27:06 AM PDT by top 2 toe red (To the enemy in Iraq..."Don't bet on American politics forcing my hand!" President Bush)
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To: JRochelle
Anyone with a brain knows that the LDS church and its leaders want Mitt Romney to be president.

Well this "brainless" person disagrees with you. I can't imagine why in the world the LDS church leadership would want a Mormon in the white house...or even the long path to get him/her there.

36 posted on 10/23/2006 10:34:55 AM PDT by Lekker 1 (("...the world will be...eleven degrees colder by the year 2000" -- K. Watt, Earth Day, 1970)
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To: jan in Colorado
I live in two places in Utah. I winter in Salt Lake City mostly, but most times I am in Southern Utah near Zion Park.

I can tell you this. Salt Lake is a hot bed of wanna-be liberals. They mostly are that as a measure of being against the church plus the idiot Rocky Anderson has them "Hood-Winked". (pun intended) I really do not understand their thinking. I met Mitt last winter at a speech he was doing there. While I wouldn't vote for him if he were running against a Reagan or Goldwater Republican, I would certainly vote for him against Hitlery or Obama.

He's very smooth...maybe too smooth, however in a debate he would massacre almost any opponent. And no, I'm not a member of the church. I made the post as a slight tease to a couple of my Mormon friends. I hope nobody was offended.

37 posted on 10/23/2006 10:46:47 AM PDT by Utah Binger (Southern Utah, where the world comes to see America)
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To: top 2 toe red

Dear top 2 toe red,

"Does this mean you'll vote for Hillary or Obama instead, or you are staying home? Just curious."

No. The likelihood is that if both major parties nominate a liberal, I'll vote third-party.

But that bridge is a bit of a ways from having to be crossed.

For now, I'll just see who runs, and push the person I think is the best person for the nomination. I'm a little skeptical that a liberal could get the Republican nomination.


sitetest


38 posted on 10/23/2006 10:47:44 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Paulus Invictus; JRochelle
Joseph Smith met with Democratic Governor Lilburn W. Boggs in the past. JS certainly wasn't a supporter of Boggs and his Extermination Order. But he was interested in the Constituional rights. Joseph Smith ran for President as an abolitionist in Missouri. 4 Months after he announced his run for President he was murdered. Joseph Smith said he didn't care whather one was a Whig or Democrat but said he would support whichever protected their consitutional rights. Unfortunately neither party at that time did.

Most Mormons I know are more conservative than Romney. They are Republican usually by default... or the more enlightened among us... Constitutionalist... ;-)

39 posted on 10/23/2006 1:18:16 PM PDT by Rameumptom (Gen X= they killed 1 in 4 of us)
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To: Utah Binger
Your take on Mitt is essentially the same as mine for essentially the same reasons.

Biggest minus: A smarmy New England image.

Biggest plus: He's actually shown he can run a business, make a payroll and balance a budget. Something very few candidates have shown in the last few years.

Another plus: Ties to the bluest of the blue states and the reddest of the red states. I think he is electable if he picks a solid conservative, preferably a governor and preferably from the south, as veep.

40 posted on 10/23/2006 1:31:10 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Are there any men left in Washington? Or are there only cowards? Ahmad Shah Massoud)
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To: Utah Binger

Oh, and were you in attendance?


41 posted on 10/24/2006 8:48:15 AM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: greyfoxx39

How do you know this to be true? Lots of Mormons in Nevada did not support or vote for Reid for the Senate and he's a Mormon (although a weird one, to be sure)..


42 posted on 10/24/2006 8:51:16 AM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: Paulus Invictus
Oh, and were you in attendance?

Oh, and what's it to you Mr. bigshot?

43 posted on 10/24/2006 1:17:21 PM PDT by Utah Binger (Southern Utah, where the world comes to see America)
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To: Utah Binger

Just trying to figure out how you know what happens in Mormon meetings, that's all, but I'm not a "big shot" yet.


44 posted on 10/24/2006 3:35:25 PM PDT by Paulus Invictus
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To: HungarianGypsy
Mitt is a RINO, just like his Father, only he wasn't born in Mexico and can legally run for Prez.
45 posted on 10/24/2006 3:47:14 PM PDT by Little Bill (A 37%'r, a Red Spot on a Blue State, rats are evil.)
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To: JRochelle
Anyone with a brain knows that the LDS church and its leaders want Mitt Romney to be president.

I have a brain, and I am very well acqainted with Utah politics and the LDS Chruch.

The LDS Church is scrupulously and thoroughly neutral on political candidacies.

Individual members of the LDS Church are another matter. They are overwhelmingly Republican and will likely support Romney by margins of 9 to 1--not because he is LDS but because he honestly reflects their values.

They supported the non-LDS George W. Bush by similar margins and for similar reasons.

Only Democrats would dare to imply that's a crime against nature.

46 posted on 10/24/2006 3:53:53 PM PDT by JCEccles
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To: Utah Binger
Priesthood meeting was a-poppin' yesterday!

Really? I'm in one of the most politically attuned and well-connected stakes and wards in the entire LDS Church and absolutely nothing of a political nature was brought up in priesthood meeting in our ward yesterday.

Guess you had to be there.

47 posted on 10/24/2006 3:56:51 PM PDT by JCEccles
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To: Paulus Invictus
My parents and grandparents thought FDR was a minor deity.

My Parents and Grand Parents thought that FDR had the Mark of the Beast.

48 posted on 10/24/2006 3:57:28 PM PDT by Little Bill (A 37%'r, a Red Spot on a Blue State, rats are evil.)
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To: JRochelle
But if you think that they are not going to help Romney behind the scenes, . . .

They are not going to help him behind the scenes.

I've been involved in enough political campaigns in Utah to know first-hand that the LDS Church does NOT assist partisan candidates whether directly or indirectly.

49 posted on 10/24/2006 4:01:23 PM PDT by JCEccles
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To: Paulus Invictus; JCEccles
So the name Romney doesn't come up in Mormon meetings? How silly and probably dishonest it is to imply it doesn't happen. After fifty years of trying to be a good member, I figured it out. Glad I continued to be a conservative though. Romney is not very conservative, but I like him in many ways. Mainly because he has a good stage and debate presence and will appeal to all the little cuties who voted in high school for the pretty boy. That alone will elect him. Remember a guy named Clinton

RINO? No question, but better for us than Hitlery.

50 posted on 10/24/2006 4:49:32 PM PDT by Utah Binger (Southern Utah, where the world comes to see America)
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