Skip to comments.Romney "Disses" Amateur Radio In Televised Town Meeting (and why he won't get my vote)
Posted on 01/10/2008 11:30:21 AM PST by Rick.Donaldson
Romney "Disses" Amateur Radio In Televised Town Meeting Posted on Wednesday 16 November 2005 @ 15:48:10
Governor Mitt Romney dismissed the role of Amateur Radio operators in emergency communications during a televised "town meeting" program last night on WCVB's "When Disaster Strikes: Segment Two." The program featured public safety and volunteer organization officials from across Massachusetts among its audience.
Host and moderator Natalie Jacobson asked an increasingly-agitated Governor Romney questions about communications interoperability, and communication without commercial power. Romney was next asked by Jacobson, "...so does it come down to ham radio?..."
The Governor replied in a disgusted tone, "No, we don't need to deal with ham radio operators..."
Embarrassed public safety officials later tried to put in a good word for Amateur Radio. National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Glenn Field was prepared to state the importance of Amateur Radio, when Salvation Army Colonel Fred Van Brunt was called upon. Van Brunt remarked about his organization's quest to improve its communications capabilities and how Amateur Radio has aided his organization. "The ham radio situation helps a great deal," he stated.
"I have already written and submitted a letter to the Governor's Office," wrote Eastern MA Section Emergency Coordinator Rob Macedo, KD1CY. "I have also written an email to Natalie Jacobson."
ARRL Section Manager Mike Neilsen, W1MPN sent a section-wide email today to all Eastern MA ARRL members describing the incident along with actions he and his staff were taking to mitigate the situation.
"[Romney's] attitude about us sets an unfortunate tone within the state's executive branch," wrote Neilsen. "As a former military officer, I see this as a failure in leadership. My immediate concern is our working relationship within the [Massachusetts Emergency Management Team] environment." Neilsen intends to address the Governor's comments as "an urgent matter" at a meeting on November 17 with Don Carlton from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
"I was very disturbed about what the Governor stated on the program," wrote Ron Wood, W1PLW, the section's Public Information Coordinator. "It does show that more work is needed by all hams in the section. It's a great idea to write letters explaining the good we do." Wood is attempting to schedule a meeting with the Governor's office tomorrow so that EMA ARRL staffers might discuss the matter further.
Tom Kinahan, N1CPE wrote that Governor Romney's comment has made "a PR problem" for Kinahan in his role as MA State RACES Officer.
"I've got a roster of over 150 Amateur Radio operators that support local communities, and those of us that directly support the state government. There are at least double that in terms of people that are actually out there that I don't have formal paperwork on that support Amateur Radio emergency communications in some organized manner... The Governor has said that he 'certainly doesn't need to rely on ham radio' -- where does that leave the RACES program now?"
"I am ashamed tonight that I am a Republican!" remarked one ham radio viewer. "[Romney] speaks in derogatory tones about hams. He certainly shows an ignorance as to what we do and are capable of. I suggest a grass roots campaign of local hams calling the State House and The Governor's Office to protest."
The television program can be viewed at http://www.thebostonchannel.com/video/5334306/detail.html.
Totally agree. Mitt has bigger fish to fry. He’s running for president;-)
The simple fact is Romney has every reason to be wary of amateur radio.
It is no longer the corp of motivated technically competent individuals that filled the ranks in years past. Over the last 30 years the amateur license has become a farce. Instead of demonstrating proficiency in the radio craft the license applicant simply simply pays $15.00 for a Q&A manual, takes the exam from a —”Volunteer Examiner”— (wink-wink) and walks out with a federal permit to operate with over a 1000 watts of power after simply regurgitating the multiple choice answers. Lots of technical competence there, let alone the ability to operate under adverse conditions.
Thanks for the feedback. I work in EMS and am obviously not up to speed on amateur radio. Romney is not alone;-)
Well, I was considering Romney but because of this, I cannot vote for him unless he apologizes to us as amateur radio operators. I guess I’ll have to go with Huckabee or Paul.
An outright lie, not even near it. The FCC is constantly calling in licensees for reexamination since the inception of “Volunteer Examination” program. If it was just one or two occurrences one would write it off but large numbers of enforcement actions by the FCC recalling examinees for retesting and the almost universal failure for the examinees to appear as requested indicate a system that does not properly vette the applicants qualifications due to procedural failures at a minimum. Take the number of licensees recalled since the inception of Volunteer Examiners. If a college or university had 0.01% of that number of students recalled for re-examination it would be shut down in disgrace. Pretty pathetic in my opinion.
Two links below are listed as posted by the Amateur Radio Relay League relative to the many Amateur Radio Enforcement actions of the FCC over Volunteer Examiner sessions gone wrong. More appear on the ARRL site and others can be found on Google.
The above posting included notice of six separate license cancellations in two different areas.
The next link below indicates that five individuals from four different states were recalled by the FCC for re-examination.
It would seem this is a frequent and ongoing problem as published by the Amateur Service’s official representative organization and the FCC.
——As an electronics engineer myself, and a proponent of testing, I can tell you you’re also incorrect on the testing itself.——
I know of no university or college with any credibility that issues degrees at the BS level or above in “Electronics Engineering”. I have seen degrees in “Bachelor of Science in Electronics Engineering Technology” which infers the holder is a technologist and not an engineer. My experience in the past has been when someone states they are an “Electronics Engineer” it is due their not recognizing the difference and have self proclaimed to be an engineer.
——Yes, it is multiple “guess”, but there are still technical calculations that are required for the higher tests (General and Extra). There is no farce about testing as you’re implying. The math, and material is real. While you certainly can sit and memorize several hundred questions (and the 15 dollar books you mentioned don’t always have the newest questions I might add) the ability for most people to do so is beyond a normal person. You MUST know the math, the calculations and the material and understand it.——
You have discredited your own position in the above paragraph.
——You are an ass, and you’re nothing more than a troll. I hold an Amateur Extra Class license, and quite simply, I doubt that you do, or could because you’re an idiot who makes ASSumptions.——
You are entitled to your opinion. I doubt seriously you can comprehend the inference in the previous statement when taken in context with your last paragraph above.
——Mitt Romney on the other hand flip flops on several issues, and he is simply untrustworthy.——
I have heard the rhetoric flying around about Mr. Romney’s alleged political escapades. Can you state with factually based personal knowledge which can be verified from a source with no ax to grind that the current rhetoric ciculating is true? I doubt it. (There I go making an assumption. :-)) Just because the press said it, that some politician said it, that it is written, that Dan Rather said it, that Rush Limbaugh said it or any of the other media sources said it, does not make it true.
If Mitt Romney does not have any respect for the amateur service I do not find his dislike to be unfounded. All I have to do is read the postings at the FCC, ARRL and other websites to see printed factual data indicating the less than mediocre requirements to obtain an amateur license.
Yeh...boo hoo boo hoo
boo freakity hoo
Hahaha. you really are an ass. You called me a liar, without proof. “Constantly calling in people for retesting”? No, on OCCASION there are reasons to do so, but guess what? There are testing sessions almost every, single weekend of the year somewhere. We have in my region, one per month. There has NEVER been an incident of the FCC calling someone in for retesting. Furthermore, the FCC doesn’t do that, so you’re the one that is incorrect, they will refuse to issue a license, but, the FCC DOES NOT DO THE TESTING. the testing is sanctioned by the FCC.
You have no idea what you’re talking about.
Obviously YOUR experience with the term “Electronics engineer” is different from the folks with whom I work. LOL. You really haven’t any clue what you’re talking about - My technical title is “Systems Engineer” and I engineer things down to the component level. But, whatever you wish to believe. Calling MY education into question here doesn’t change the fact that you’re an ass nor that you’re attacking the Amateur Radio service. Mitt ROMNEY is also an ass and apparently ALL of his supporters are ASSES as well.
He did what happened on the video. He’ll not get my vote, and you’re certainly NOT doing much to convince folks otherwise, especially me.
This isn’t about ME, it’s about him.
Apparently, you’re one of those idiot Citizens banders who couldn’t GET an FCC license or something, which is why you’re attacking the Amateur Radio Service and the people in it. I’m sorry you’re not intelligent enough to take a “multiple guess test” and get a license GIVEN to you by a “wink wink” volunteer examiner, but apparently you’re just too ignorant. /shrug
Mitt Romney has made several statements that make him unqualified as a President. All he has to do is apologize for his stupid remarks to make me reconsider him, but at this point if you’re a supporter, and it appears you are, then you’re a very BAD example of the kind of people who support him - and if he is elected President because of you, then I suspect there will be a lot of dumb asses like yourself put into offices
They all are.
Without the hyperbole it sounds like a “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” response. This did not appear as a “diss”.
Everybody knows the role of ham radio operators it is old news in hurricanes, earthquakes and fires.
That said, are you really an amature operator or just looking for something to complain about. Every single emergency shelter put into operation since 9/11 considers ham operators. Why would anyone need to “deal” with that fact? seems everything is moving along just fine without new government BS.
Me thinks you doth protest too much.
When Disaster Strikes: Segment 2 Video here of event. Romney responds at 7:00 min in. http://www.thebostonchannel.com/video/5334306/index.html
Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney says that he never intended to demean Amateur radio in an exchange with a television reporter two years ago. This, as the debate over his comments flares anew on the ham bands and on hobby radio blogging websites nationwide.
Amateur Radio Newsline’s Don Wilbanks was the one who contacted Mitt Romney and asked him to explain:
It all began during a televised Town Meeting that aired on November 16th of 2005 on segment 2 of WCVB television’s “When Disaster Strikes” The program featured public safety and volunteer organization officials from across Massachusetts.
Moderator Natalie Jacobson had asked Governor Romney questions about communications interoperability, and communication without commercial power.
During the exchange Jacobson commented ‘...so you don’t see yourself getting down to ham radio operators?...’ The then governor replied: “No, we don’t need to deal with ham radio operators. We have power systems that allow us to speak with one another and to manage our response.”
Hams across Massachusetts and eventually across the nation only seemed to hear the words “we don’t need to deal with ham radio operators” and reacted negatively. This, even though the remark was taken out of context. Most hams never bothered to find out what really transpired even though the entire program has been available on the WCVB website since it was broadcast. Instead they relied on inaccurate and incomplete information being passed along on the World Wide Web.
The issue eventually died away only to reappear on the ham radio blogs in recent weeks as a result of Romney seeking the Republican party’s nomination to run for the U-S presidency. For example, in the Talk and Opinion area of QRZ.com there is a subject titled: “Do we want a President who hates ham radio?” Reading the ongoing discussion shows that few of those taking part have ever have seen or heard the show in question,
So on Friday, January 18th I decided to see if Mitt Romney would be willing to address this issue in a clear an concise manner. So I wrote him the following e-mail:
” Mr. Romney,
In November of 2005 in a televised town meeting you commented that in an emergency you “don’t need to deal with ham radio operators”.
My family lived in the greater New Orleans area when Hurricane Katrina hit. Hams made huge contributions down here. I am also a licensed ham, AE5DW.
My question is simple: Tell me how I can support you if you don’t support us?
Don Wilbanks, AE5DW”
I did not know if I would get a response or not, but felt it was worth the effort to find out if Mitt Romney even remembered the incident and i so, what he might have to say.
On Tuesday, January 22nd I received thefollowing response via email in which the key paragraph read:
Thank you for following up with me on the responsibility of Ham Radio Operators. The exchange with Natalie Jacobsen was meant to imply that we need to strengthen our emergency response infrastructure, rather than demean the important role I recognize that Ham Radio Operators play around our country. I hope this will clear up any confusion. Again, thank you for contacting me. “
Well... THANK YOU for posting that, I appreciate it. He hasn’t responded to any of the four letters I wrote. ALL of my correspondence was short, to the point and polite, and I asked almost exactly the same questions. No response.
Oh what a bunch of hooey. You have an article that gives an organization’s view of a public event, you have a half-quote of a question, a half-quote of Romney with Romney being decribed as “disgusted”.
This article is fuzzy and tries to create an impression by limiting quotes and making judgements about demeanor. I can’t possibly take this at face value and neither should others. But Romney-haters will love it so congradulations.
If Mitt Romney tells me he doesn't care or has no opinion on who does the best version of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower," then he loses my vote. Simple as that.
Also, if he tells me it was Jimi Hendrix who did the best version of AATW, than I'll figure he's just shamelessly pandering for my vote and I won't vote for him on that basis as well.
Sorry but that is exactly what you are doing. You claim that you are telling a truth and that Romney was wrong and this is indicitive of him and his style and so we shouldn't vote for him.
Your proof is a fuzzy article with half-quotes and the term "agitated" but it doesn't seem to really prove anything.
People need full quotes without interpretation vs. half-quotes with interpretation.
LOL. It’s not about a hobby, Sam. It never was. Ham radio is a hobby for some people. For others, it’s precisely what it is mandated to be... “The Amateur Radio Service”. We’re not talking about someone dissing a hobby. We’re talking someone disrespecting the SERVICE these people do. I’ll further point out that while he did respond to one Ham’s requests for explanation, he did NOT respond to any of my own letters. Further more, he made the remarks about upping infrastructure - and obviously is still clueless about this.
Understand that if you’re the Governor of a state, you certainly have at your beck and call some good monies, equipment, people and services. And in an emergency - that is usually something that happens when you have NO CONTROL OVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES - those things may be used. Until they are afflicted by the Emergency.
When this emergency happens, that infrastructure may be very good and continue to function. In most cases, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men” notwithstanding tend to fail in the face of nature.
Of all of this discussion — there has been one recurring theme here, and people are continually attempting to misdirect the thread or worse, misinterpret or misrepresent what I’ve been saying.
That theme is simple. Men are what they are and Men, humans make mistakes. Of those mistakes that Men/humans make, the one that is nearly unforgivable is the arrogance of one against many. That arrogance is, on it’s face, nothing at all to those who support the man who was arrogant.
When the time comes for such a man to stand on his own and call upon the people to whom he belittled — will those people help him? Probably, but in spite of himself.
Will I still do duty as an emergency radio operator when necessary, in SPITE of Romney? Yes.
Will I VOTE for Romney as President? Probably not, for he can not truly see the depth of the insult, and some of the folks here who make light of me and this thread, or try to reduce the remarks to “a meaningless remark” on the part of the Candidate simply are themselves arrogant in their belief that “a simply hobby is nothing”.
I wish you all very well - but, Romney still doesn’t get my vote, even if he gets the nomination. He’s neither a Conservative, nor is he honest. Nor are many of the people supporting him here.
Rick Donaldson said:
——There has NEVER been an incident
of the FCC calling someone in for
retesting. Furthermore, the FCC doesnt
do that, so youre the one that is incorrect,
they will refuse to issue a license, but, the
FCC DOES NOT DO THE TESTING.
the testing is sanctioned by the FCC.——
Afraid you are off in the weeds on that one Rick. Before you make such a carte blanche statement you need to research public records. For your review you will find links below which specifically have notices where the licensees were notified to report for retesting under the auspices of FCC examiners and in FCC offices.
Notice in particular the item which occurred in CALIMESA, CA.
MIRAMAR SAN JUAN, PR, NEW YORK, NY, PONCE, PR, SAN FRANCISCO, CA licensees were order to appear for retesting at FCC facilities under FCC staff supervision in the above reference URL.
COROZAL, PR, NEW ALMADEN, CA, NEW YORK, NY, SACRAMENTO, CA, TAMPA, FL, licensees in the above referenced URL were similarly ordered to report for retesting under FCC supervision.
Again these are not isolated incidents.
Rick Donaldson said:
——You have no idea what
youre talking about.——
Obviously I am better informed on amateur radio issues then you.
Rick Donaldson said:
——My technical title is Systems
Engineer and I engineer things
down to the component level.——
So now you are Systems Engineer instead of an “Electronics Engineer”? What body titled you a Systems Engineer? A check of the Colorado State Board of Registration shows no Rick Donaldson registered as either a Professional Engineer or Engineer Intern. Are you a full member of the IEEE or associate member? You did not elaborate on your degree, alma mater or if you are a Licensed Professional Engineer in any state. Do you wish to continue to discredit yourself?
——This isnt about ME, its about him.——
I disagree! You made yourself an issue when you used your professional engineer background as a qualification to make statements based on your intellectual abilities.
Rick Donaldson said:
——Apparently, youre one of those idiot Citizens banders who couldnt GET an FCC license or something, which is why youre attacking the Amateur Radio Service and the people in it. Im sorry youre not intelligent enough to take a multiple guess test and get a license GIVEN to you by a wink wink volunteer examiner, but apparently youre just too ignorant. /shrug——
Since I do not own a CB Radio I fail to see how I can be a CB Operator. I do however occasionally listen to shortwave transmissions and many of the tirades heard on the 27 MHz Citizens Band sound a lot like your rants here and those on 14.313 MHz.
——Mitt Romney has made several statements that make him unqualified as a President. All he has to do is apologize for his stupid remarks to make me reconsider him, but at this point if youre a supporter, and it appears you are, then youre a very BAD example of the kind of people who support him - and if he is elected President because of you, then I suspect there will be a lot of dumb asses like yourself put into offices——
I find it amusing you repeatedly refer to me as a donkey although I suspect your implication is that I am a vital anatomical part. If that is the case, thank you for the complement.
To: Rick Donaldson (et al).
I received the following email from the Romney folks regarding the statement Governor Romney made during the Townhall meeting back in November of 2005:
Mitt Romney Banner
Thank you for following up with me on the responsibility of Ham Radio Operators. The exchange with Natalie Jacobsen was meant to imply that we need to strengthen our emergency response infrastructure, rather than demean the important role I recognize that Ham Radio Operators play around our country. I hope this will clear up any confusion.
Again, thank you for contacting me. I encourage you to visit my website at www.MittRomney.com for updated information on other issues that may be of interest to you. I look forward to hearing from you in the future, and earning your support.
(Mitt Romney Signature)
Well, the point is moot now, isn’t it? At least until 2012.
Nothing new about that.
My dad is n3hkq.
I’m not a ham op myself, but I grew up with my dad huddled in the basement on Tuesday nights, which I assume is the big ham night? He’s always going to field days. I was always interested in weather and used to want to be a meteorologist, so I liked listening to the SkyWarn stuff when he was tinkering on his radios.
I know my dad won’t be happy about this, but I don’t think he’s a Romney supporter anyway.
Oh snap, didn’t see the date on this article. :)
Whether he knows it or not, Romney has just placed himself in opposition to a network of real newsmen that will blunt any political future that he may have had.
He is now officially toast.
Add yourself to the ever growing list of those that "just don't get it!"
It's all about who is in control, the people, or their 'masters.' - Romney has just decisively tipped his hand, and the cards he's shown are truly ugly.
It is you that are 'off base.'
The capability to operate on all frequencies, and modes in emergencies could easily be added to any amateur station that chose to expand their license and capabilities, but Romney has made himself clear that he opposes this public intrusion into the domain of the controllers.
I would have willingly voted for him in the past election, but he has shown his true colors, and is now off my list for sure.
Maybe, but its just one more nail in a VERY securely nailed down coffin (including MA Care, gun control, gay marriage, etc.)
Loads of Barbara Streisand!
Are you talking about the non-code Tech license? - That is a very limited license, and 1000 watts is chump change in most frequencies, except 0n the wee hours of the morning.
That's OK, you now have important knowledge that you previously didn't (same here) and that's a good thing!
I've had a FCC license for 30 years. I used to own a 100,000 watt station.Hopefully I'm the umpteenth person to call 'BS' on this particular claim ... (unless he means a commercial broadcast radio station and what used to be known as an FCC "First Class Radiotelephone Operator License" and now in its place a "General Radiotelephone Operator License").
Part 97 Amateur Radio Service §97.313 Transmitter power standards
Commercial Radio Operator License Program Types of Licenses, Permits, and Endorsements
Yup. In an emergency most first responders can just wait for the system to come back on-line. HAMs can build a radio out of scrap and start transmitting.Mneawhile, all the 'users' on those mighty-fine trunking systems hear a low-level beep as the controller attempts to re-boot and come back up (thereby restoring order to the system).
Oh - did I mention?
While that 'controller' is booting literally THOUSANDS of "first responder" (and bus driver and trash collector etc.) radios on the 5, 10, 15 or 20+ trunking system 'scan' for the control channel and NOT FINDING ONE will park on a pre-programmed voice channel where it becomes one huge "CH 19" party line where everybody can here everboy else (think busy intersection but now with a "blinking four-way stop" system instead of the usual staged Green-Yellow-Red light system).
Somehow federalism has gone out the window for some. Not I. Romney would have no comments either for of against something the Federal government has no business in except to the extent that the FCC regulates currently. The FCC does not tell a State what it must have, nor how to do it.Subpart E -- Providing Emergency Communications and it begins with:
And in particular:
The man was governor and as governor was in charge of emergency operations in his state. As a result of that he should know and very well understand the importance of HAM Radio to emergency management. I'm not a HAM Operator but when tornado watches go up my police scanner goes to HAM Bands and SKYWARN. Those HAM Operators are trained weather spotters and NWS depends on them for visual confirmations.
In my area a couple of years ago a school was on a field trip to the Smoky Mountains and one of the kids drowned. A kid in the class have brought along his hand held VHF Ham Radio and was able to summon help in an area cell phones could not. It cut down the Rangers response time to them by at least an hour as someone would have had to hiked out for help.
Romney needs an education on emergency management and maybe attend a few HAM practice drills so he would appreciate the dedication involved. Even the USN recognizes their value.
It is no longer the corp of motivated technically competent individuals that filled the ranks in years past. Over the last 30 years the amateur license has become a farceOnly an expressed opinion; not necessarily representative of actual fact.
My conjecture is: You're only hearing the 'lids' that seem to inhabit 80 Meters ...
It's all about who is in control, the people, or their 'masters.'More and more we are becoming 'wards of the state' as opposed to being involved in the matters and part of our state (or states).
I would think, that being 'charged' with the reponsibility of the welfare/well-being of any particular governor's state, that they would be versed in all that they can do in ANY situation to minimize loss of life and property, making use of any and ALL asssets and resources.
Take for instance in the the Katrina debacle the actions or rather, inaction of one Kathleen Blanco.
All that came to mind when I saw her was 'nest sitter'; in no way a leader, thinker or problem solver.
And then there's Arnold Swartzenkennedy. - Every moment is a photo-opp. He offers zingers and wise cracks in the most dire of circumstances. We are in deeep do-do.
Jim, do you know how old this thread is? It’s old.....LOL
Anyhoo, That FCC quote was not mine, however I do know about the license as I had one 30 years ago. It was mandatory for all who worked at the station.
This thread is really about getting some misinformation about Romney addressed back during the primary. It made no difference. He lost, we ended up with McStain and now we are totally screwed.
I am thinking about Costa Rica.........LOL
I want to take this time to thank the Republican Party! I want to thank all those who attacked each other and destroyed the base. Even Rush won’t escape that charge.
As the founders roll over in their graves, I want to thank all the good conservatives who blindly flailed away at the moderates.
Keep up the great work! I’m so proud!
And thank you Jim for reminding me of the primary!
And your signal here is 5-9.....thanks for posting...73
It doesn't work that way. Ham operators will be working with public officials, hospitals, etc., to link them together.
Just as an example, there's an annual half-marathon race run near here. Some years ago, one of the runners collapsed and there was no way to get word back to the race organizers. A Ham was asked to organize fellow hams to support the race. We now put operators at every water point, and communicate with race headquarters. The other people at the water points, the driver of the "sag wagon," and those at race headquarters, don't listen to the ham radios. Each is assisted by a ham operator who handles their message traffic.
The point is that ham operators handle message traffic for people who are not themselves hams, but who need to communicate. Supporting this race is simply practice for us hams, to be ready for a real emergency. We can provide communications even when everything else is down, because we have (and pay for) our own backup power, our own radios, etc.
International Regulators have been chipping away at ham radio share of the broadcast spectrum ever since commercial radio got going. The main reason it isn’t completely gone is that the old Soviet Union fought to preserve the ham spectrum every time the subject was brought up, because they relied on their amateurs for their own communications.