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."
In the small community where I live, the big fancy Marriott downtown is the only hotel in the city that sells X-rated movies:
Hmm, I thought he was complimenting Fred. Shows you my perspecitve on this.
Well, once again, while I don’t agree with you, I sort of figured that all of the hotels sold porn, so that what you were demanding was truly absurd. Now, I don’t really agree, but I would state that it is not totally absurd to put pressure on them to act like other major hotel chains.
Lion says: “I have a mutual fund that owns Marriott stock....I am therefore guilty by this association also.”
If you say so, Lion, but you didn’t sit for a decade on the board of directors that sets corporate policy as to what is and is not allowed to be sold in Marriott hotels.
Plus, you’re not asking us to elect you president and appoint the Attorney General and enforce federal obscenity laws.
Below are the titles of X-rated porn flicks offered by the Marriott chain-wide video system the month two Cincinnati area Marriotts were forced to remove them under threat of obscenity charges by local prosecutors:
* Risque Biz & Bad Habits
* Women in Uniform Special
* Three Women & A Resort
* Young As They Come
* Spring Break Pantyhoes
* Newlywed Infidelities
* Naughty Neighbors
* Maximum Ram
* Kinky Kouples Sex Games
* Bad Wives 2 & Club Sin
* Nasty Office Nymphs
* Naughty Collegiate Schoolgirls
See Cincinnati Enquirer, Aug. 29, 2002: http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2002/08/29/loc_two_more_hotels_pull.html
This is about the dumbest thing I have ever read. What imbecile at CBN came up with this nonsense?
Yeah, so sick of tight-ass moralists who need to get laid and chill out. The stuff in hotel rooms are far more hilarious than arousing.
Unfortunately, it is quite pervasive in our society.
Has this moron author ever stayed at a Holiday Inn, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Ramada, or any other hotel which also offers softcore “porn”? If so then he contributed to the profits of those who would destroy American society and he must hereby pay Pat Robertson a tithe of 10 times the cost of his stay.
David Brody at CBN came up with it, Montag.
And he quoted former California Lt. Gov. John Harmer of the Lighted Candle Society, Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values, and Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan attesting to the fact that it’s considered a serious issue among social conservatives — which I can tell you, having met regularly with national and state activists on the issue, it certainly is.
"Initial Reaction: It has some nice thoughts, but in the end doesnt make it too far by trying to keep it inoffensive and by focusing more on being artistic than sexual....[A]rtistic and not explicit enough, left this reviewer shrugging..."
Doesn't sound too "hardcore" to me.
The author, regardless of what hotels he’s frequented, has not been in a position of corporate decision-making for a white-collar porn distributor, is not running for president, and is not seeking the responsibility of appointing the Att. General and enforcing federal obscenity laws.
Mitt Romney has and is.
Oh, me. The socons are their own worst enemy.
Look at it this way, guys, even Jesus Christ blew one out of twelve.
“Doesn’t sound too ‘hardcore’ to me.”
Happy to leave the porn reviews to you, Montag.
The Cincinnati area prosecutors came to a different conclusion, threatening obscenity charges.
Cincinnati Enquirer: http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2002/08/29/loc_two_more_hotels_pull.html
I'm going to enjoy watching your pompous, slick-ass candidate circle the toilet drain from here on out.
“We supposedly live in a nation with a majority claiming belief in Christ. ‘
That’s what they tell pollsters. It’s still icky to claim anything else in the US, so people don’t.
Yea, but it matters to consevative Christians like myself.
Shhh! Hyper-moralists are immune to the laws of supply and demand.