Skip to comments.Conservative Jabs at Romney Record (Writes A 28 Page Report On Romney!)
Posted on 01/12/2007 9:57:05 AM PST by areafiftyone
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's political record is relatively brief - four years as Massachusetts governor and a failed campaign for the U.S. Senate. That's enough, however, for Brian Camenker, a conservative gadfly and longtime thorn in Romney's side, to write a 28-page report that portrays Romney as sympathetic to gay rights and sexual behavior that clashes with his burnished image as a defender of traditional values.
Camenker's report, which has been making the rounds of conservative blogs and Web sites, threatens to undermine Romney's carefully crafted image, portraying him as far more liberal on social issues, particularly gay rights.
Detailed in the report, which includes five pages of footnotes and sources, are several mostly obscure incidents during Romney's four-year tenure as governor: a news release by a state advisory commission on gay youth, a proclamation hailing a gay pride parade, and distribution of a safe sex pamphlet, among others.
Romney's record on such touchstone social issues as homosexuality is crucial as he pitches himself to conservative Republican voters as a bulwark against gay marriage in the only state that allows same-sex marriage.
"The biggest problem is that Romney is so clearly and blatantly faking this. He's a fraud," Camenker said.
Romney's spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom dismissed Camenker's report, saying Romney governed as a "mainstream conservative."
"Politics has always had a fringe element," Fehrnstrom said. "We can't be distracted by those who scream and shout their opinion with a total disregard for the facts."
In a radio interview Wednesday, Romney said he was "wrong on some issues back then," and added: "If you want to know where I stand, by the way, you don't just have to listen to my words, you can go to look at my record as governor."
Camenker agrees, but he offers a different take on that record. As an example, he points to a question on the Boy Scouts and gays that got minimal notice in a 1994 Senate debate between Romney and Democratic incumbent Edward M. Kennedy.
When asked about the Boy Scouts' ban on gays as scoutmasters, Romney - then a member of the group's executive board - initially defended the right of the Boy Scouts to set a tough policy. But he added: "I feel that all people should be allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation."
Last April, Camenker's group MassResistance pressured Romney to end a state advisory commission on gay youth after showing administration officials a news release on an annual parade featuring a cross-dressing master of ceremonies and embracing transgender teens.
The release included Romney's name but wasn't vetted by the administration.
Romney, who had signed a proclamation hailing the same parade in 2003, moved to kill the commission. The head of the commission said she received a call from Romney's chief of staff saying he had issued an executive order revoking the commission. Fehrnstrom later confirmed Romney considered the move but "thought that was too harsh."
Instead, Romney ordered the commission to focus on its original mission of suicide prevention among gay and lesbian teens. He eventually abolished it after state lawmakers created a similar commission out of his reach.
Camenker's report also takes Romney to task for not firing any state workers after a pamphlet called "The Little Black Book: Queer in the 21st Century" was distributed at a high school conference on gay and lesbian issues.
The pamphlet, produced by the nonprofit AIDS Action Committee and discovered by Camenker's group, goes into graphic detail about safer sex practices. The pamphlet acknowledged the help of the state Department of Public Health, which was under Romney's control.
School officials said the pamphlet was intended for adults and was mistakenly made available at the event.
"We're not saying he wrote it or anything like that, but you would like to think that there would be a little more to get to the bottom of it and find out who had a hand in publishing something as horrible as that," Camenker said.
At the time, Romney distanced himself from the incident, saying that the state did not directly fund the booklet, and denounced the distribution of "graphic pornographic material on the gay lifestyle" in schools.
Another section of the report criticizes Romney for naming as his Transportation Secretary Daniel Grabauskas, who is gay and had previously been registrar of motor vehicles.
"Grabauskas, for example ... instituted a policy of placing a sex-change checkoff box on drivers license renewal forms," the report reads.
Amy Breton, a spokeswoman for the registrar, said the box was added over the objections of gay rights advocates as a law enforcement tool to help police verify gender when making arrests.
For his part, Romney has defended statements he's made in the past in support of gay rights.
"I don't think there's any conflict between feeling that all people deserve respect and tolerance and that discrimination is wrong and a belief that marriage is between a man and a woman," he said recently.
Romney's defenders say his conservative bona fides are unshakable.
"He's been rock solid on the issue of marriage," said Kris Mineau of the Massachusetts Family Institute, which pushed a proposed constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage.
But Camenker's report and other reports of pro-gay statements by Romney have struck a nerve with some conservatives.
"He does need to address better the comments he made in the past if he truly wants to court social conservatives," said Tom McClusky, spokesman for the conservative Family Research Council. "Too many people are going to be cynical and wonder if his actions are politically motivated."
HERE IS THE REPORT Mass Resistance
I've decided we need to encourage people to observe Ronald Reagan's "11th Commandment" -- "Thou shalt not speak ill of thy fellow Republican." I know for many here on FR, that will be impossible. Let's have a spirited debate and discussion, but after the nominee is picked, I've already decided I'm voting for whomever it is. The likely option is too horrible to contemplate.
That's the nature of politics, no matter what side of the aisle.
My thoughts exactly.
I guess - but we were so united in 2000 and 2004 - what a shame we have resorted to EXACTLY what the Democrats did in 2004 just because we lost seats in 2006 we have to divide ourselves. I remember laughing myself and joking about how they were eating their own and poking fun at them in 2004.
The info's well sourced. Folks can read it and judge for themselves.
Regardless of who wins (and I plan to back whomever wins the nomination) we need to all unite and back him up! This is suicidal for the Republican party to do this!
I wish Romney luck in a already divisive campaign! I'm a Rudy fan but you all know that BUT If Romney wins the nomination he's got my vote and my support - I won't turn my back on him or any candidate who wins!
I am not a Romney fan. I'll say it up front. But I think you're being disengenious to suggest that we cannot have serious dialog before a primary election to discuss the strengths and weakness of each candidate.
That is just plain unsensible.
And if Romney wins the nomination are you going to vote for him, his opponent, third party or sit it out?
I agree with your assesment, but I think areafiftyone is merely asking why the dialogue has to be so negative and harsh? Especially within the primaries.
Romney is my front-runner right now, but that can all change. So many people are closing their minds to him so early without really giving the guy a chance to explain himself or for that matter explain his campaign, where he stands on issues NOW, etc.
Personally, I want to hear more about Duncan Hunter, specifically who the heck is he? So many people were backing Brownback and now he has come out critical of the President's new plan and all of these backers scatter like cockroaches in the light.
2008 is long way off, people, keep your minds open, let the candidates clearly state where they stand, let's keep the dialogue positive so that we can have the best candidate for President, which doesn't necessarily mean the most conservative.
"The pamphlet acknowledged the help of the state Department of Public Health, which was under Romney's control."
So what? Do they detail the who, what, when, where and how of this acknowledgement? NO.
As if to imply Romney even knew anything about it. Propoganda: no way to prove or disprove. Like telling the jury to disregard something that's already out there.
I too want to hear more about Duncan Hunter. Just because we aren't being spoonfed Hunter's candidacy by the MSM, does NOT mean he is not a viable, conservative, electable candidate.
I can live with this rule now. Let the Romney bashing proceed.
Exposing the hypocrisy of a much-touted "blank slate" candidate scarcely qualifies as "Eating our own" - except to those who prefer to keep their heads in the sand.
Thank you. I've been holding out hope that I could be convinced that Romney had an ounce of conservatism to him, but this report proves that he's a distant second to liberal Rudy Giuliani when it comes to liberalism. Point is, just as Giuliani is far too liberal, so is Romney. McCain is a RINO nutjob and I won't ever vote for him either. If this is the cream of the crop, the Republican Party's traditional values are doomed. The party might regain a majority or keep the White House or whatever, but they'll have to sell their soul to do it. And what's the point of that beyond gaining power for power's sake.
""The biggest problem is that Romney is so clearly and blatantly faking this. He's a fraud," Camenker said.
That's a pretty big problem for a guy who expects to get conservative votes.
Camenker's not a serious social conservative hear, and gained reknown only after the Goodridge fiasco. His views on Romney are rejected by the wide majority of Massachusetts social conservatives.
That's an open letter released yesterday from the absolute top tier of pro-family, Massachusetts social conservatives who wholly reject Camenker's characterizations.
because romney is a rino and shouldn't become president.
There's no use in being kind to a person who acts one way and governs another. They need to be exposed and removed from contention early so better candidates emerge.
The reason reason rudy, mcain and romney (the three rinos) get mention is that the liberal media wants to put them forward to keep a real conservative candidate from emerging.
I really do think a lot of it is that there's internal division between conservatives and Republicans proper. In other words, now one can be a conservative and not necessarily Republican, and vice-versa; whereas before, the two were so closely connected they were practically interchangeable.
The way I see it, we're still somewhat fractured into two main groups--on the one side we have those who've remained loyal to President Bush, the RNC, etc. and on the other are disgruntled and dissatisfied conservatives who, by the actions of the President and the RNC feel like they've been driven to either tow the line (e.g. supporting Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court and support for Bush's spending policies) or dissociate themselves with the Republican Party, and elected to do the latter. Thus costing us the margin we needed to win the last round of elections.
And now, we're finding that this division has had the effect of cutting one of the legs off a three-legged stool. I really do believe that now we as conservatives and Republicans are beginning to see that without the support of the other, none of us are going to win.
We need to unite if we're going to get anywhere, and the only way that will happen is if the Republican leadership takes the initiative, grows a definite spine, and seeks to return back to its conservative roots--even Reagan-era philosophy would work quite well. Which, IMHO, would give a lot of indie conservatives reason to come back into the fold.
In turn, the indie conservatives should be encouraged to give-and-take a bit as well and work with the Republican leadership. It is quite clear that both sides must be flexible if we're going to get back on track and keep our country rolling.
Whether we want to admit it or not is irrelevant. If we don't change and don't unite, it only emboldens all of our enemies. Any continued split (even if it's simply internal) is bad for us and good for the Dims--and we must simply work to patch it at all costs.
That's simply my .02...
"That's an open letter released yesterday from the absolute top tier of pro-family, Massachusetts social conservatives who wholly reject Camenker's characterizations.
Wouldn't be the first time such a group was fooled by a snake-oil salesman. Having watched him run for office in 1994 from a front-row seat in Boston, I remain deeply unimpressed and suspicious of his bona fides. His positions conveniently reflect those of the voters he's courting and shift accordingly as he seeks a different office--as if by magic.
I continue to think of him as the Republican John Kerry. "I was FOR same sex marriage, before I voted against it.""
He was never for same-sex marriage. Get another tune. There's certainly room in Romney's past to accuse him of flip-flopping, including on other "gay" issues, but same-sex marriage isn't one of them.
It's certainly your right to reject Romney. I can't say I expect to convince you. But misrepresenting someone's record, as Camenker is clearly doing, and as is attested to by the social conservatives that Romney actually WORKED WITH in Massachusetts, deserves derision and condemnation. Especially when it's supported by such a poor understanding of a myriad of issues.
"Brin Camenker is a very serious guy, and he has been fighting the homosex agenda in MA for a long time now.
This Newsmax article tends to give the reader the idea that Camenker is some fringe crackpot. If you click on the Mass
Resistance link at the bottom of the article, you will be quite stunned to see what Camenker and his group have been up against. In particular, the Little Black Book. The last page is a listing of all Boston homosex bars that are very happy to serve liquor to 15 yr. old boys."
Brian Camenker is a one issue wonders who's assertions with regards to Romney have been rejected by the leaders of the top-tier of socially conservative groups in Massachusetts. He's not a bad man, but looking at the pro-family community as a whole, Camenker's position is very much in the minority in Massachusetts.
I think that it's much better to get all of the "pros" and "cons" of all of the Republican candidates for the '08 Presidency out in the open now. There's still plenty of time for the Republican Party to regain the support of a majority of voters before the November '08 elections, but the majority of conservatives must also "hold the Republican Party's feet to the fire" by helping them become again the "Party of Smaller Government", the "Party of Fiscal Discipline", and the "Party of Tax Reform" for now and for always! Also, the idea of the Republican Party being a "Big Tent" political party is profoundly harming the entire existence of the Republican Party!
And when Duncan Hunter doesn't win the nomination, what will you do then? Sit on your hands and curse the darkness? FreeRepublic is going to become either the place where people united FOR the Republican candidate in '08 whomever it is and AGAINST the Democrat candidate whomever she is, or it's going to become the haunt of the malcontent and the self-disenfranchised. It's still not clear which way this community will go. If it goes the latter direction and becomes a collection of self-righteous sore-losers, I hope it goes that way quickly, so I can get out of here and not waste my time in '08.
I wish you people would just go away.
****"....but after the nominee is picked, I've already decided I'm voting for whomever it is."****
Nope! Not if it's McCain!
As for Romney, nobody west of the Mississippi has even heard of him. His chances of being elected President in 2008 are exactly zero.
Romney is not qualified to be a Republican candidate for President, anymore so than JulieAnnie or McClown.
Knowing his father - one of the Rockefeller Republicans
that stabbed Goldwater in the back - its hard for me to believe he's any different - just like little Tommy Kean Junior and Tommy Kean Senior.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree and the Rockefeller "Republicans" were the first modern day cannibals who eat their own - ANYTIME A CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN GETS NOMINATED. Check it out.
That comes straight from my heart.
It's only January 2007, but I'm really sick and tired of you "My-Way-or-the-Highway" types. You people want a "true conservative" (whatever that is). At a time of war, principally, I want a leader who will take the fight to the enemy, and has a chance of uniting the country. I see no one on the "true conservatives'" hotlist who comes close to having the leadership qualities of someone like Giuliani or Romney. I've been a conservative since my high school days when I cut my ideological teeth on Wm. F. Buckley and National Review. But my assessment is that the "true conservatives" should go off to a corner somewhere and figure out what it is you actually believe in, craft a vision for the 21st Century, and most of all, develop a new generation of leaders along the lines of Reagan.
Hear this: This back-biting "RINO"-labeling of everyone you disagree with is infantile at best, and in a time of war when the Democrats threaten to take over and plunge our nation into a new Dark Ages, the attitude of you "true believers" is unAmerican.
My pst 37 goes for you, too.
"I see no one on the "true conservatives'" hotlist who comes close to having the leadership qualities of someone like Giuliani or Romney. I've been a conservative since my high school days when I cut my ideological teeth on Wm. F. Buckley and National Review. "
Take a look at Hunter. Take a look at Gingrich.
Then take a close look at JulieAnnie's views and track record, and Mitty wafffling, and McCain's back-stabbing and loose cannoneering.
The primaries will determine all of this -- and it will do so via skill as a candidate, and that includes money.
The conservative hotlist of Hunter and Gingrich is what it is, and either would be excellent candidates for president IF they close the deal. That means if they raise the money and orchestrate a campaign organization and persuade enough voters to help them win. And it also means if YOU do what's necessary to get them the money they need and the campaign organization they need.
If your candidate does not get nominated it is not the GOP's fault. It is not some amorphous evil agenda's fault. It is YOUR fault. YOU didn't raise enough money for them. YOU didn't persuade enough voters to support them.
So if the GOP winds up with some other candidate nominated, don't blame that candidate or the GOP. Look in the mirror. That's who is to blame.
That only matter to people who have a brain to spot a phoney. Not everyone has this gift. It used to be called "Common Sense". But heck I am now an oldtimer.
Maybe you misunderstood. If Romney is the Republican nominee I will keep my mouth shut and support him. Until such time as he is, I will fight tooth and nail to keep him from said nomination. He is nothing more than a native-born Schwarzengger.
>>Maybe you misunderstood. If Romney is the Republican nominee I will keep my mouth shut and support him. Until such time as he is, I will fight tooth and nail to keep him from said nomination.
That, sir, is exactly the right attitude -- with one minor suggestion. Don't fight so hard and dig so deep for dirt that you provide the enemy ammunition should he get the nomination. Accuse him of being too far leftward if you wish, and if he survives the nomination process and proves himself to be the best candidate (by so doing), then being accused of being too leftward will still leave him to the right of the enemy's nominee and preferable for all conservatives.
But no Republican should go after him in a sideways manner, making an issue of his religion or something about his kids or anything like that. Folks doing that are just helping the enemy.
I agree Pukin Dog. I have felt that way for some time.
Who had heard of Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton???? They got elected.
He's a conservative 17-year House legislator who's angling for a VP or Secretarty of Defense position. The guy's not going to win the GOP nomination.
Since you can never ever change a position in some people's mind:
Camenker Admits He Used To Be "A Social Liberal." "For much of my life I thought of myself as a social liberal. I voted for John Anderson for president and Michael Dukakis for governor." (Brian Camenker, "How A Good Jewish Boy Joined The 'Religious Right'," The Jewish Advocate, 12/25/96)
Ever heard of Utah?
The problem is Romney is a fraud.
This guy led the effort in 2004 to make sure the Clinton Gun Ban did not sunset in MA. Granted, the MA legislature would have done this with or without him, but he made a point of leading the initiative.
Then he shows up at SHOT Show in Orlando this week looking for support from gun owners. I would love to see him explain his comments of 2004 while he's admiring these weapons in 2007.