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.