Skip to comments.Questions about Romney's ties to Marriott porn sales
Posted on 07/02/2007 4:17:47 PM PDT by AFA-Michigan
Some anti-pornography groups are demanding answers as to how much presidential candidate Mitt Romney knew about the Marriott hotel chain's profits of pornography sales during his nearly ten years on the Board of Directors in the 1990's.
The hotel chain is one of many that offer pay per view sex videos for sale through in-room entertainment.
Though Marriott doesn't release their revenues when it comes to X-rated videos, industry analysts estimate it is in the tens of millions of dollars.
During his run for President, Romney has campaigned on a platform of "family values" recently telling a graduation class, "Pornography and violence poison our music and movies and television and video games."
Some of these conservative grassroots activists want to know whether he spoke up or tried to put a stop to Marriott's business dealings back then.
Phil Burress, founder of Citizens for Community Values, has been fighting hotel chains for decades on this issue. He tells The Brody File that every month a group of roughly 15 anti-pornography leaders meet in Washington to discuss the latest happenings.
Mitt Romney's Marriott connection has come up repeatedly. "Ever since he announced for president, it's been a topic of discussion."
Mitt Romney's campaign told CBN the following: "Governor Romney's role as board member was in an advisory capacity on financial matters related to the company and, obviously, he did not have a role in the day-to-day operations or decisions of individual franchise holders."
John Harmer, president of the anti-pornography group The Lighted Candle Society and the former Lieutenant Governor of California under Ronald Reagan isn't buying it. He wants to hear more.
"My attitude toward board members is that they are fully responsible. They knew exactly what they were receiving. I don't think any board member under any rationale could claim ignorance. You're either a board member or not. I can't imagine a board member going a full year and not receiving a revenue report from the company."
Previous news accounts researched by The Brody File show that Romney was paid more than $100,000 per year while on the board of Marriott.
When he left in 2002, J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International, called him, "an active, hands-on Director From his first days on our Board nine years ago, Mitt has been an extraordinarily effective director and visionary leader."
Mitt Romney has a very close relationship with the Marriott family.
Romney's father, George Romney was best friends with Marriott's original founder J. Willard Marriott. Mitt Romney's first name is Willard, in honor of the Marriott founder. The Marriott family gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Mitt Romney's campaign when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1994.
So far during Romney's presidential run, they have given close to $80,000.
When asked about Romney's time on the board of directors, Marriott Spokesman Roger Conner told CBN, "We don't comment on board level matters."
Conner wouldn't speculate whether Romney had any knowledge about the fight to get rid of pornography in room entertainment or whether he did anything about it. He would only say, "This area would not have been a board area "
Conner is quick to point out that voting on in room entertainment packages would not have been something the board would have voted on. Rather, he says, this is an operations matter.
Moreover, he says that many of Marriott hotels are either owned by others or franchised.
"We have to respect the business decisions and needs of owners. The guest has a choice to opt out of the adult entertainment options."
The Brody File made repeated calls to LodgeNet, one of the main providers for hotel in-room entertainment. We asked whether hotels have the option to opt out of the X-rated films if they would like.
They did not return our phone calls. On their website, it does say that they work "closely with its hotel partners to determine the best mix of titles to maximize viewing levels. Unlike most systems, On Command Video has the ability to tailor the programming at individual hotels to match the demographic profile of that particular property's guests.
Conservative pro-family groups have been putting pressure on hotel chains for years to change their ways.
In a letter to Bill Johnson of the American Decency Association, Marriott's Chairman of the Board wrote in June of 2000, "The in-room entertainment operators who provide our systems rely upon a certain volume of movie types in order to be economically viable. If we were to eliminate the R and non rated offerings, the systems would not be economic."
Industry analysts estimate that roughly 60% of hotel chains provide in room entertainment with the X-rated pornography movie option. Yet, some have decided to drop the adult videos.
In 1999, Omni Hotels announced that it would remove adult pay-per-view movies from its guest room televisions. It took a financial hit but Peter Strebel, Omni Hotels vice president of marketing, said in a press release at the time, "
"Money is not the issue in this matter. Not all business decisions should be fiscally driven. We believe that this is the right thing to do; the right thing for Omni Hotels, our associates and our customers."
Gary Glenn, a well known pro-family activist in Michigan recently sent an email to Justin Hart, one of Mitt Romney's Faith and Values Steering Committee members. Hart also works for the The Lighted Candle Society.
Glenn writes, "It is a matter of record that during the time Romney served as a 'hands on' member of its board of directors, the Marriott Corporation sold tens of millions of dollars worth of hardcore pornographic videos as a candidate for president, Gov. Romney has a bully pulpit from which he could greatly assist your organization and others in applying sufficient public pressure to Marriott and other white-collar porn peddlers to 'dry up some of that funding' we encourage you to urge the Romney campaign to initiate public discussion of the above concerns and questions in a proactive fashion, for which he may receive some credit for initiative and leadership on an issue that speaks both to his personal and political integrity and to his trustworthiness should he be elected as the chief law enforcement officer of the United States."
The Brody File contacted Justin Hart who said "In this important fight against pornography there are those people who are determined to make enemies and effect zero change and there are those who propose to use their influence to create serious lasting change - Romney is in this latter camp pure societal turnaround can only happen when people of influence find the right moment in time to lead change In my opinion, Romney's record shows that he could very well effect that change to happen. The fact that he included a serious anti-pornography group on his Faith and Values committee suggests this as well."
That's not satisfying to Phil Buress. He wants answers from Romney. "This man is very knowledgeable about the issues, but for him to not know anything about what Marriott is selling, I found that very interesting."
The Romney campaign won't go beyond their initial statement.
Instead they point out that Governor Romney is actively talking about pornography issues and today's culture wars.
In a speech Romney gave nearly three months ago, he said, "I have great faith in the American people. I have faith in our children, and in our grandchildren. But at the same time, I am deeply troubled by the culture that surrounds them today.I'd like to keep pornography from coming up on kid's computers. I'd like to keep drugs off the streets. I'd like to see less violence and sex on TV and in movies and in video games
I believe that the most important work being done to strengthen America's future is the work that is being done within the 4 walls of the American home."
I don’t think neither men are making money off a few franchies that offer this!
You do like to embellish your story!
What they don’t include in the story is this is only offered by a hand full of independant franchies.
“A man that misrepresents his world view will never make a good president Look at Bush.”
Thus the reason why I remain unconvinced.
From the article:
"Previous news accounts researched by The Brody File show that Romney was paid more than $100,000 per year while on the board of Marriott."
You do like to embellish your story!
Someone does and it's not me.
“What they dont include in the story is this is only offered by a hand full of independant franchies.”
The reason it’s not included in the story, Restornu, is that it’s simply false.
It’s only a handful of Marriotts that don’t offer porn (at least two because they were threatened with obscenity charges by local prosecutors).
In fact, Marriott Corp. negotiated a system-wide contract for the porn with On Command.
Here’s how Marriott CEO and board chair J.W. Marriott, Jr., explained corporate policy in a June 6, 2000 letter:
“The in-room entertainment operators who provide our systems rely upon a certain volume of movie types in order to be economically viable. If we were to elminate the R- and non-rated offerings, the systems would not be economic.”
Please note that Bill Marriott does not falsely claim that R- and X-rated porn flicks, some of which anti-porn activists and prosecutors believe violate state and federal obscenity laws, are available only at a “handful” of Marriott hotels.
In my hometown, the big fancy Marriott downtown is the only hotel in town that offers X-rated movies:
“Patty Perry, Ashman Court director of sales and marketing, confirmed that X-rated movies are available through On Command.” Midland Daily News, Aug. 17, 2002 at:
I dont really care that Mariott has porn in their hotels. Its not even good porn. One night at one of my many stays at marriott, my box was blown open. I could scan the channels and see each movie as it was started and run, across about 100 channels. Porn after porn after porn. Very boring.
What really pisses me off about Romney is how he tied his dog to the top of his car for a trip across country. Someone that does that is incredibly stupid and insensitive. What a maroon.
I couldnt stand the guy as an ineffective governor. I cant say that if the choice was between he and Hillary that I would flip the other switch. But it would be close. I’ve said it a hundred times here...he is an empty suit and you should be very careful before you vote for him.
Now the dog thing proves what an idiot he is. Yeah, you can go to school and get a great education. It doesnt give you common sense and compassion for lesser beings (be they canine or human.)
no kidding. Besides, I can get alcohol, caffenated drinks, and even share a room with a woman other than my non-existent wife.
So I should hope one that works get paid that still is not making a profit from porn!
and that is a drop in the bucket as far as money goes for what you are trying to imply!
I cannot believe this thread. I’m not a Mitt fan, but this is ridiculous!!
The nanny state comes in all shapes and sizes.
They sell beer at baseball games, don’t they? Horrors! They have bars at Marriott hotels. Mitt Romney doesn’t drink, smoke or do illegal drugs but all of those things go on in Marriott hotels night after night after night. Anyone who views porn is an evil fool. It’s not Romney’s fault. People make bad choices. That’s all.
I am not a Romney fan (note the tag) but the incessant bashing gets tiresome and this article is a heck of a stretch.
Could you rephrase this for clarity?
“but the incessant bashing gets tiresome and this article is a heck of a stretch”
You’re not a Romney fan but I sure do appreciate what you said. Thanks!
Boy what a bunch of ignoramus, I keep trying to figure out what you were talking about than I realized my Time Warner cable has Command pay-per-view service
TIME WARNER CABLE
All the major cable services has this service and yes for a hefty fee you can get smut!
This service is offered to anyone that has digital cable an is in any home across America that has digital cable service.
There is no way a young person could watch this stuff unless they ordered it for a costly fee. It is not inexpensive like $3.95 a movie, if you have digital cable service you have it on you own TV.
Are you justifying the selling of pornography?
We have Direct TV on which we watch the BYU Channel (highly recommend it, by the way). Subscribers to Direct TV can also pay to watch you-know-what which is an evil choice.
and the fact that the majority Hotel have this and for some reason everytimes this article is recylcs in the news, it only name Marroitt no other hotels even though the article says hotel chains!
Those other hotel that don't have it also don't have HDTV cable service they offer the cheaper version of cable service!
If the cheaper hotels had a higher quality TV they would have it but it cost more to provide this service so who is kidding who!
The Cheaper hotels have trouble with guess ripping off their equipment!
That's all Mitt's fault. /sarcasm
Romney gets blamed for a lot of stuff that’s not true or unfair but he seems to keep rollin’ along. I admire him for that. Keeps his focus. Right on!
So, your answer is “yes.”
It’s good practice for the presidency. In the near future, people will be blaming everything on President Romney! : )
After all the Dog and Porny farce
TIME FOR SOME ROMNEY REALAITY
Where can I find one of those huge ottomans?
It’s a nice, warm family video, unpretentious and relaxed. Thoroughly enjoyable. Thanks, restornu. : )
Yep, sweet Anne. Donor to Planned Parenthood who did TV appearances in 2002 to assure pro-abort women that her husband as governor would protect abortion on demand.
Nothing that’s any of your damn business, that’s for sure.
Happy Fourth of July!
So what? Doesn't make the prosecutors right. Nifong came to a different conclusion than we did. The Fed prosecutors came to a different conclusion regarding the Waco survivors than we did. Fitzpatrick came to a different conclusion than we did. Guiliani damned sure came to different conclusions in the Milken case than dispassionate, rational people.
Using a prosecutor's opinion to buttress one's argument only undercuts it. It certainly does not buttress it.
I'm not for Romney at all, but as gcruse says above, socons are their own worst enemies. I think many try to parody themselves as agents provocateur.
Think of the person that, at present, you would like to see become the next President. Got it?
Now, suddenly, that person has converted to Mormonism.
Do you still want him/her to be President? Yes or No.
AFA-Michigan: Dont care, Smithee. Instead of straw men, you keep putting up softballs. Unless you are one, Ive helped elect more Mormons to public office than youve probably ever met.
Like I said, it's a "Yes" or "No" question. "Don't Care" is NOT an answer. But you've answered the question nonetheless.
Hey, Cartouche! Looks like you could be right.
Smithee, last night you got all giddy and made a fool of yourself, high-fiving about my leaving the thread in a post two minutes after I’d responded to you.
Apparently, you haven’t learned your lesson.
First, you’re free to ask questions any way you wish. And I’m free to answer them any way I wish.
Just so my use of the English language isn’t over your head, “don’t care” means I don’t care whether Mitt or my hypothetical candidate is a Mormon (or a Baptist or a Presbyterian).
Don’t even need the “just converted” angle. I’d support a candidate who’s been a lifelong Mormon, if he actually has a record of supporting LDS values (unlike Mitt).
Managed my first legislative campaign 29 years ago at age 20 for an LDS auto mechanic, at whose funeral I sang last year. Consulted another state rep candidate that year, an LDS farmer who won.
Two years later, in the GOP primary, took out an incumbent state rep who was a Nazarene minister with an LDS Realtor. Also that year consulted an LDS former county prosecutor running for state Senate, who narrowly lost. Plus managed the manager of an LDS insurance salesman who took out an incumbent Dem state senator in the fall.
Two years later, managed the manager of an LDS guy running against an incumbent GOP senator. But did my best to take out the incumbent LDS Democrat governor. (Woops, you finally caught me opposing an LDS candidate.)
Two years later, personally managed LDS printer’s ouster of incumbent Dem state senator. Gave my PAC’s largest donation ever to an LDS electrician. Helped LDS insurance agent get reelected. My PAC’s only contribution to a state House candidate that cycle was to an LDS farmer.
And that cycle was over 20 years ago...but three months, supported two LDS candidates in a local school board race.
Now, wild man, tell me how many LDS candidates you’ve help get elected to public office — then, if you qualify, I might let you throw that “religious bigotry” slow pitch across the plate again.
In further reply to Smithee’s dazzlingly clever “yes” or “no” question — zzzzzzz (to indicate snoring) — go to my post on another thread yesterday...
Well, this time, I waited for a response. I didn't get one.
First, youre free to ask questions any way you wish. And Im free to answer them any way I wish.
I'm glad you realize that. So you should understand that if you choose to be vague or non-responsive, you have nothing to complain about when people get the wrong impression. You gave it.
I told you explicitly it was a "yes" or "no" question TWICE, and you chose an answer that was neither "yes" nor "no." Now, since you're such a hotshot political consultant, you know good and well that when a politician/spokesperson/bureaucrat is given a perfectly relevant "yes" or "no" question and chooses to respond with an answer that is neither "yes" or "no," s/he is -- almost 100% of the time -- giving you a load of crap. (There is no better illustration of this than Michael Chertoff's refusal to answer Chris Wallace "yes" or "no" as to whether all the enforcement billion$ the Bush Admin offered Republicans as a sweetener to the amnesty bill would now be proposed to enforce current immigration law.)
Just so my use of the English language isnt over your head, dont care means I dont care whether Mitt or my hypothetical candidate is a Mormon (or a Baptist or a Presbyterian).
Dont even need the just converted angle. Id support a candidate whos been a lifelong Mormon, if he actually has a record of supporting LDS values (unlike Mitt).
Then you should have simply answered "Yes." Why didn't you?
Even if you don't have a problem, I have serious doubts about a Pat Robertson-affiliated organization's motivations. Robertson is a failed Presidential candidate and a loose cannon with delusions of grandeur -- remember how in 2005, he publicly urged the White House to assassinate Hugo Chavez, as if they would have listened? What a maroon.
As so too does strenuous exercise, sex (of course only that sex blessed by marriage)and any number of other activities (like freeping)
I believe this kind of thinking was tried out earlier in Afghanistan by the Taleban Morality Police.
Oh, Saundra ~ I’m so grateful for your post.
It’s the most positive, endearing one I’ve ever read from you, and it prompted me to watch the video.
I think Ann Romney is Mitt’s greatest asset. She’s absolutely beautiful, both face and soul.
My favorite part was the kiddles sledding down the stairs on a mattress!
restornu ~ thanks for posting this peek into the Romney family. I hope it does them a lot of good.
In a past life did you wear a turban and answer to "Mullah"?
Didn't Jimmy Swagert practice what he preached against?
Wierdos go on the offense to defend, in advance, against their own transgressions.
Let’s see from 1993 to 1998 pay per view in-room sales constituted less than 1/2 of 1% of total revenues of operating franchises. It would be quite amazing at that point in time for item which represented an 1/2 percent of sales to be discussed by Honorary Members of the Board.
From 1999 to 2000 in-room sales increased to around 7% of revenues (in 2006 it is around 12%). At this point in time, I would expect the Members of the Board to take notice. However, as you may know, at this point in time Romney was thoroughly involved in the Olympics and it would be hard to imagine that he had any actual substantial dealings with the board during this timeframe.
If you think that is weird check this out every home in America that has Digital cable has this as part of their package on their home TV!
Some how that part always never seems to be clarify that in these article and only names in these attack is Marriott Hotels when also in the article say it is the Hotel Chains...Humm!
Don’t forget the:
...gay couples raising kids. That’s the American way... -Mitt Romney
While I can't speak for Mariott directly, I can say that many national hotel chains DO offer "real" hard core movies, on a pay per view basis. These aren't the "soft core" sort of movies you see on late night cable... But the real thing.
But again, they're on pay per view, and it's the sort of thing that parents can have disabled from their room. And if you're an adult who doesn't like porn, you don't have to watch it.
That is a total distortion and in your heart you know it but it sounds good when you hate someone.
Sorry I don’t live in your world of thinking its is very small to be vindictive!
The full quote is worse:
There are other ways to raise kids thats fine: single moms, grandparents raising kids, gay couples raising kids. Thats the American way, to have people have their freedom of choice.
- Mitt Romney -
CONCORD, N.H. --A New Hampshire woman, frustrated with Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's opposition to gay marriage, made a point Wednesday of telling him about her personal experience.
"I am a gay woman and I have children. Your comment that you just made, it sort of invalidates my family," said Cynthia Fish, a mother of a 6- and 8-year-old. "... I wish you could explain to me more, why if we are sending our troops over to fight for liberty and justice for all throughout this country, why not for me? Why not for my family?"
Romney paused, asked Fish about her children and then praised her.
"Wonderful," Romney said. "I'm delighted that you have a family and you're happy with your family. That's the American way. ... People can live their lives as they choose and children can be a great source of joy, as you know. And I welcome that."
But then Romney repeated his view of marriage.
"Marriage is an institution which is designed to bring a man and woman together to raise a child and that the ideal setting for society at large is where there is a male and a female are associated with the development and nurturing a child," Romney said.
The former Massachusetts governor acknowledged other scenarios that raise children.
"There are other ways to raise kids that's fine: single moms, grandparents raising kids, gay couples raising kids. That's the American way, to have people have their freedom of choice," he said.
What Romney said was true it is the American Way is it not?
Romney already exlain his view on the subject but so many here ignore that part!
So Mitt’s in bed with the porno industry. It’s certainly no secret that Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt rely heavily on people like J. Willard Marriott Jr. to legitimize their industry. If ever there is a hero for the porn industry its Marriott. Maybe someday we’ll see colleges put up Marriott centers as places to hold assemblies and basketball games in order to pay homage to the $$(s) of the porn industry.
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