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Vanderbilt poll ...; Political scientist says anti-Mormon bias finds cover
Vanderbilt News Service ^ | 01/18/08 | Ann Marie Deer Owens

Posted on 01/19/2008 12:27:37 PM PST by Reaganesque

Bias against Mitt Romney’s religion is one of the reasons that the tag “flip-flopper” sticks with the former Massachusetts governor but not his Republican opponents, according to Vanderbilt political scientist John Geer. “There is no question that Romney has changed his positions on some issues, but so have some of the other candidates,” Geer said. “Why does the label stick to Romney but not his opponents? At least some of the answer lies in Romney’s Mormon beliefs.”

Geer and colleagues Brett Benson of Vanderbilt and Jennifer Merolla of Claremont Graduate University designed an Internet survey to assess bias against Mormons, how best to combat it and its potential impact on the nomination process and general election campaign.

“We find that of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping, many admit it is Romney’s Mormonism and not his flip-flopping that is the real issue,” Benson said. “Our survey shows that 26 percent of those who accuse Romney of flip-flopping also indicate that Mormonism, not flip-flopping, is their problem with Romney.” Benson noted that the pattern is especially strong for conservative Evangelicals. According to the poll, 57 percent of them have a bias against Mormons.

The poll, which was conducted by Polimetrix, included an oversample of Southern Evangelicals that Geer said measured bias with far more precision than previous efforts. The survey shows that 50 percent of conservative Evangelicals evaluate a moderate Christian candidate more positively than a conservative Mormon candidate.

The study’s findings suggest that criticizing Romney for flip-flopping is an effective campaign strategy because it sticks with two different groups: those who are genuinely concerned about Romney’s shifts on certain issues and those who use the label as cover for the fact that they do not want to vote for a Mormon for president.

“As the campaign continues to unfold, these data become increasingly relevant as the Republicans choose a presidential nominee,” Geer said.


TOPICS: Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bias; mormon; romney; vanderbilt
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Given the sour grapes going on in other threads this afternoon, I think this deserves it's own thread.
1 posted on 01/19/2008 12:27:42 PM PST by Reaganesque
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To: Abbeville Conservative; ajay_kumar; americanophile; Austin1; bethtopaz; BlueAngel; ...
Mitt Ping!



Mitt Romney Ping List

• Send FReep Mail to Unmarked Package to get [ON] or [OFF] the Mitt Romney Ping List


2 posted on 01/19/2008 12:29:22 PM PST by Reaganesque
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To: Reaganesque
And just to beat the crowd:


3 posted on 01/19/2008 12:31:37 PM PST by Reaganesque
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To: Reaganesque

I think it is possible. Ann Coulter didn’t find the flip flops that the FR 14 do. Huck gets a pass on his flip/flops occurring the same day.

and our only MSM Fox News that I am weaning myself of says Mitt’s win is in large part due to the mormons living there ....what 9%? oh my.


4 posted on 01/19/2008 12:34:26 PM PST by libbylu (Why vote for a democrat with an R next to his name? Proud MITTen.)
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To: Reaganesque

Ping to read later.


5 posted on 01/19/2008 12:41:59 PM PST by Alex Murphy ("Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, for it is an evil time." - Amos 5:13)
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To: libbylu

As a Mormon with no bias.. it’s amazing how a former Stake President could be ambivalent about Abortion over so many years. His statement about “seeing” Martin Luther King marching, etc..

My sister is a key supporter of his in California, but him and Ron Paul are the only Repubs I don’t like.


6 posted on 01/19/2008 12:47:25 PM PST by Count of Monte Logan
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To: libbylu

There’s a clip on YouTube from Mitt’s 1994 debate against Fatboy Kennedy for the Senate seat.

But of that 1+hour debate (which I watched in full, live back then) the anti-Mitt Evangelicals (”Values Voters” ha ha) have included only a 1 minute excerpt, in which Mitt allegedly is flip-flopping on (guess what?) Abortion.

But Mitt is clearly saying “I’m personally against it” but he’ll defend it because it’s the law.

Unfortunate he had to take that position, but this is in a Senate run against the extremely venal Fatboy in the most liberal state in the USA. What else was he to say?

If that’s the best the Social Conservatives and Evangelicals and “Values Voters” (ha ha) can produce from thatentire debate, it must be pretty thin-pickings on the flip-flopping front.


7 posted on 01/19/2008 12:47:40 PM PST by angkor ("We are not very many mistakes away from a second Holocaust." Newt Gingrich, Nov 15 2007)
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To: Reaganesque
I'm not sure if I buy it. All these political scientists assured me that Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein would have nothing to do with each other because of their religious differences.

I live in Arizona which has a lot of LDS. There are LDS candidates in darn near every single election. It's never been an issue.

Orrin Hatch is a Mormon. Harry Reid is a Mormon. You never hear anyone complain about it.

I actually think that Mitt will have an easier time with the press because his religion is kind of out there and exotic. They can attack fundamentalist Christians just fine, but being a Mormon almost qualifies you as being Multicultural.
8 posted on 01/19/2008 12:47:56 PM PST by Question Liberal Authority (Carbon Dioxide is NOT POLLUTION. It is PLANT FOOD, necessary for all life on Earth.)
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To: Reaganesque
Well there you have it folks. If you are one of the 80% of Freepers who oppose Mitt Romney, Reaganesque has declared you an anti-Mormon bigot. Of course previously Mittbots only impugned the good name of individual Freepers one at a time. Having a thread to declare this blanket designation is quite a bit more efficient.

Oh, and Go Pats!

U.S. Army Retired


9 posted on 01/19/2008 12:48:43 PM PST by big'ol_freeper (REAGAN: "..party..must represent certain fundamental beliefs [not] compromised..[for] expediency")
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To: libbylu

Ann Coulter.., yes I guess she is trying to find someone to support. This is the first time I have seen her somewhat sheepish when she talks about her opinions.. she seems a bit unsure of herself.


10 posted on 01/19/2008 12:48:44 PM PST by Count of Monte Logan
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To: Reaganesque

This image is in poor taste.. please don’t post something like this. Even Mitt would not like it.


11 posted on 01/19/2008 12:50:14 PM PST by Count of Monte Logan
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To: Reaganesque

>>>>the pattern is especially strong for conservative Evangelicals. According to the poll, 57 percent of them have a bias against Mormons.

Odd coincidence I guess, but an older and completely unrelated Pew poll showed that about 55 to 60 percent of Evangelicals (”Values Voters” ???) would expressly NOT vote for Mitt.

Kind of confirms their religious bigotry.


12 posted on 01/19/2008 12:51:23 PM PST by angkor ("We are not very many mistakes away from a second Holocaust." Newt Gingrich, Nov 15 2007)
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To: Question Liberal Authority

.... also - if Obama gets the Dem nomination .... or even if he and Hillary partner-up - then it will be hard for the Mormon issue to ring very loud... since Barry Hussein Obama also has a religious label to deal with


13 posted on 01/19/2008 12:51:29 PM PST by rface (Romney 2008 ... the RIGHT Conservative)
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To: libbylu

As a person of hindu faith, and therefore neutral in this mormon vs. evangelical tussle, I find it remarkable that Romney is repeatedly called a flip-flopper mainly on his pro-abortio to pro-life flip, yet Huckabee flip-flops almost every day from his record in Arkansas and very few here are incensed.

So to this hindu person, and a lifelong republican, there is but one conclusion...there is a strong anti-mormon bias here. I hope by the time my 16 year old daughter decides to run for president, the country will have evolved for the better.

And I always thought this country was formed on freedom of religion, which is why I fell in love with it.


14 posted on 01/19/2008 12:52:04 PM PST by ajay_kumar (United we win, divided democrats win. How difficult is that to understand?)
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To: big'ol_freeper

I agree. THere are a ton of reasons not to support Mitt.. bigotry of his faith is an unnecessary thing.

His ambivalence on abortion is #1. Even Rudi’s position is better, even with his occasional nuiance. Mitt is though just totally lacking genuineness.


15 posted on 01/19/2008 12:52:34 PM PST by Count of Monte Logan
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To: Count of Monte Logan

>>>>>could be ambivalent about Abortion over so many years.

I’ve never heard him being ambivalent, and this goes back to when he was running for Senate against Fatboy.

He’s always said “I’m against it personally, and now here is the law, which I would be sworn to uphold.”


16 posted on 01/19/2008 12:54:21 PM PST by angkor ("We are not very many mistakes away from a second Holocaust." Newt Gingrich, Nov 15 2007)
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To: angkor

“Unfortunate he had to take that position, but this is in a Senate run against the extremely venal Fatboy in the most liberal state in the USA. What else was he to say?”

Why is Mitt running for office in that state then? He could move somewhere else and be honest about his views or run in Mass and be a Clinton-type word parser. Honestly, his parsing is not limited to abortion. He just doesn’t have a core. His main-stream conservative values are a means, not an end for him.


17 posted on 01/19/2008 12:56:09 PM PST by Count of Monte Logan
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To: Count of Monte Logan

The graphic above states that even if Christ himself descended from above and endorsed Mitt Romney, there would be Freepers who would claim that Christ was either a RINO, bought off or just plain stupid. That’s what’s offensive. It doesn’t matter who endorses Mitt, it doesn’t matter what Mitt says or does or has done in the past. There is a small but devoted group of Freepers who hate his guts regardless of fact. There are even those here on FR who have hinted that Romney may be the anti-Christ. And yet, my humorous graphic is offensive. I’ll have to live with that, I guess.


18 posted on 01/19/2008 12:57:52 PM PST by Reaganesque
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To: Question Liberal Authority

>>>>>They can attack fundamentalist Christians just fine, but being a Mormon almost qualifies you as being Multicultural.

The Evangelicals, Values Voters, Social Conservatives, and fundamentalists support the Huckster who allegedly is “one of them”, but is also a clown and a Democrat.

They open themselves to attack.


19 posted on 01/19/2008 12:59:01 PM PST by angkor ("We are not very many mistakes away from a second Holocaust." Newt Gingrich, Nov 15 2007)
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To: Reaganesque

It takes something very beautiful (within our faith and even some without), and puts it here where it doesn’t belong in this context.

If you were posting it in a religious discussion to show inspiration you could post it and I would like it. Putting Mitt on it like that is not something the church would support. It’s just the wrong context and the manipulation is even worse.


20 posted on 01/19/2008 1:01:22 PM PST by Count of Monte Logan
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To: Count of Monte Logan

>>>>Clinton-type word parser. Honestly, his parsing is not limited to abortion.

I was a Mass resident and a republican and conservative at the time.

He was not “parsing”, he was explaining why he was between a rock and a hard place.

I thought his position was unfortunate but certainly it was not ambiguous.


21 posted on 01/19/2008 1:02:49 PM PST by angkor ("We are not very many mistakes away from a second Holocaust." Newt Gingrich, Nov 15 2007)
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To: angkor

Mitt won the Evangelical vote in Michigan. Bible thumpers vote for Mormons all the time in Arizona. This whole “Evangelicals won’t vote for a Mormon” is mostly an invention of the press. The line is thrown around not because Evangelicals hate Mormons, but because the press hates Evangelicals.


22 posted on 01/19/2008 1:03:53 PM PST by Question Liberal Authority (Carbon Dioxide is NOT POLLUTION. It is PLANT FOOD, necessary for all life on Earth.)
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To: Reaganesque; Count of Monte Logan
Mitt's not the Anti-Christ. I should know as one Mittbot told me I was a Son of Perdition.

U.S. Army Retired


23 posted on 01/19/2008 1:04:39 PM PST by big'ol_freeper (REAGAN: "..party..must represent certain fundamental beliefs [not] compromised..[for] expediency")
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To: angkor

What I am talking about primarily is his realizing right before his Presidential run about his beliefs on abortion(i.e., his 2004 Harvard Stem Cell research meeting). My gosh, a former Stake President aged 55 needs to reach this far in his life to figure out his position on life and abortion? Give me a break.


24 posted on 01/19/2008 1:07:17 PM PST by Count of Monte Logan
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To: Question Liberal Authority

I agree with you.. I think the press hates Evangelicals more than Evangelicals dislike or hate Mormons. However, there are some pretty hardlined Mormon haters on this forum.. perhaps 20% of the Freepers sympathize with them. THey may create the impression of a higher count.


25 posted on 01/19/2008 1:10:33 PM PST by Count of Monte Logan
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To: big'ol_freeper

Well, Mormon Freepers make mistakes or say the wrong things. I hope you can overlook that. We attack each other for sport on this forum too much.


26 posted on 01/19/2008 1:12:19 PM PST by Count of Monte Logan
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To: Count of Monte Logan
You are precisely right on that issue and his shallowness and lack of core convictions stretches to a number of social issues. And in that regard he is VERY un-LDS. They tend to have firm core convictions on social issues that are right in line with other conservatives. If he were any other religious faith he would have very little support among LDS.

U.S. Army Retired


27 posted on 01/19/2008 1:12:37 PM PST by big'ol_freeper (REAGAN: "..party..must represent certain fundamental beliefs [not] compromised..[for] expediency")
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To: Count of Monte Logan
Oh definitely. I often joke with that particular Freeper about it as we continue to argue over the Romney candidacy.

U.S. Army Retired


28 posted on 01/19/2008 1:14:12 PM PST by big'ol_freeper (REAGAN: "..party..must represent certain fundamental beliefs [not] compromised..[for] expediency")
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To: Reaganesque
Ronald Reagan on religious bigotry.
29 posted on 01/19/2008 1:15:25 PM PST by redgirlinabluestate (MITTens United 4 Mitt - Stop McCain, Huck & Rudy)
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To: Reaganesque

Now THAT is good.


30 posted on 01/19/2008 1:16:30 PM PST by redgirlinabluestate (MITTens United 4 Mitt - Stop McCain, Huck & Rudy)
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To: Count of Monte Logan
THey may create the impression of a higher count.

If elections were decided by the enthusiasm of Freepers, then Duncan Hunter would be Emperor Of The Universe by now. And there'd be a really big fence around it.
31 posted on 01/19/2008 1:17:22 PM PST by Question Liberal Authority (Carbon Dioxide is NOT POLLUTION. It is PLANT FOOD, necessary for all life on Earth.)
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To: Question Liberal Authority
Orrin Hatch is a Mormon. Harry Reid is a Mormon. You never hear anyone complain about it.

Well of course not. They represent states where a lot of voters are Mormon. Very unlikely either one could have been elected from South Carolina. Or lots of other states.

32 posted on 01/19/2008 1:19:03 PM PST by freespirited (Still a proud member of the Stupid Party. It beats the Evil Party any day of the week.)
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To: Question Liberal Authority

Yes. Duncan Hunter doesn’t have Mitt’s money.. otherwise he would be a contender.

Fred Thompson has just blown it. He had all the potential momentum before he entered the race. He has just gone lazy since announcing. Too bad, I think he had Reagan potentiall too. He just lacked motivation and a the race was crowed too with various candidates ahead of him. Reagan was really in a strong position.. hard to member back to 1980?


33 posted on 01/19/2008 1:21:25 PM PST by Count of Monte Logan
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To: Reaganesque

lol!


34 posted on 01/19/2008 1:28:20 PM PST by TheLion
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To: Count of Monte Logan

I’m sorry you feel that way.


35 posted on 01/19/2008 1:33:18 PM PST by Reaganesque
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To: freespirited
Well of course not. They represent states where a lot of voters are Mormon. Very unlikely either one could have been elected from South Carolina. Or lots of other states.

What I'm saying is - people from South Carolina don't complain about Hatch or Reid being Mormons. Nor do you see them shooting out their television sets whenever Donny Osmond is on.

Nevada is 6% Mormon. Arizona is 6% Mormon. Both states have had plenty of Mormons winning statewide elections. It's not because Mormons are such a huge percentage of the population. It's because many of the very successful people in these states are Mormon, and non-Mormons don't have trouble voting for them.

It's not like you ever see Mormons busting down shop windows, spray painting graffiti on public buildings or carjacking SUV's to support their heroin habit. Weird religion or not, the faith produces folks who are competent, productive executives.
36 posted on 01/19/2008 1:38:01 PM PST by Question Liberal Authority (Carbon Dioxide is NOT POLLUTION. It is PLANT FOOD, necessary for all life on Earth.)
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To: freespirited

“Well of course not. They represent states where a lot of voters are Mormon. Very unlikely either one could have been elected from South Carolina. Or lots of other states.”

That says a lot about S. Carolina — none of it good.


37 posted on 01/19/2008 1:39:44 PM PST by Bushwacker777
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To: angkor
"it must be pretty thin-pickings on the flip-flopping front."

I agree! I add one more word: it must be pretty thin-picking nit-pickings on the flip-flopping front.

38 posted on 01/19/2008 1:40:03 PM PST by jonrick46
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To: Count of Monte Logan
Duncan Hunter doesn’t have Mitt’s money.. otherwise he would be a contender.

Mitt earned a pretty big chunk of that money. Maybe the family was already rich, but Mitt didn't exactly run the family's fortune into the ground.

I'm not beating up on Hunter. I'm just pointing out that there's a difference between what people say when they're spouting off on message boards and what actually happens when there's a real live election.

If you listened to chat room buzz, you'd think that the Libertarians had 400 seats in Congress.
39 posted on 01/19/2008 1:45:27 PM PST by Question Liberal Authority (Carbon Dioxide is NOT POLLUTION. It is PLANT FOOD, necessary for all life on Earth.)
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To: big'ol_freeper

You stop that!:)


40 posted on 01/19/2008 1:47:27 PM PST by restornu (Understanding that Grace and Mercy is what one receives after all they can do!)
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To: restornu
I always say it with a smile, as I pointed out in #28. *hug*

U.S. Army Retired


41 posted on 01/19/2008 1:49:15 PM PST by big'ol_freeper (REAGAN: "..party..must represent certain fundamental beliefs [not] compromised..[for] expediency")
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To: Question Liberal Authority

I worked for a company (and laid off) by a company that Bain took over in Salt Lake in the 80s. I saw alot of the Bain guys coming in as VPs. Nothing against Romney, but he fits the mold of the guys I saw there.

I’m sure Romney did fine in his job, but this kind of Bain culture was not something I have fond memories of.


42 posted on 01/19/2008 1:52:13 PM PST by Count of Monte Logan
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To: Reaganesque
"There is no question that Romney has changed his positions on some issues, but so have some of the other candidates,” Geer said. “Why does the label stick to Romney but not his opponents? At least some of the answer lies in Romney’s Mormon beliefs.”

That could be part of the answer. The other problem, I think, is that Romney usually takes a position unequivocally, so when he changes it, the change is easy to spot. Thompson, on the other hand, at least in the past, tended to use equivocal and weasly language when talking about, say, abortion, so his flip-flop becomes much less apparent.

43 posted on 01/19/2008 2:00:39 PM PST by curiosity
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To: angkor
He was not “parsing”, he was explaining why he was between a rock and a hard place.

If you want to see parsing, check out the way Thompson was talking about abortion during his 1994 Senate campaign.

44 posted on 01/19/2008 2:03:13 PM PST by curiosity
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To: Reaganesque

surprise, surprise!


45 posted on 01/19/2008 2:29:16 PM PST by americanophile
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To: big'ol_freeper
If you are one of the 80% of Freepers who oppose Mitt Romney, Reaganesque has declared you an anti-Mormon bigot.

What I read stated that 26% of those who accused Romney of FF also cited his religion as a point of opposition. If one applied that to Freepers, one could say that 1/4 of the 80% of Freepers who oppose Romney, or about 20%, might have an issue with his religion. I think that sounds too high. I am not a Mormon. Objectively however, it appears to me as if more than a few Republicans really are anti Mormon. This has surprised me.

46 posted on 01/19/2008 2:53:07 PM PST by outofstyle (My Ride's Here)
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To: Reaganesque; colorcountry; Pan_Yans Wife; MHGinTN; Colofornian; Elsie; FastCoyote; Osage Orange; ...
From your post: The survey shows that 50 percent of conservative Evangelicals evaluate a moderate Christian candidate more positively than a conservative Mormon candidate.

Tsk, Tsk....however, THIS is just fine, isn't it?

John Podhoretz, noting that Romney appears to have won 94 percent of Mormons in Nevada, comments: "(Forget Mike Huckabee’s claim on evangelicals; a number like that suggests Romney is this year’s unqualified king of identity politics.)"

HERE

Just a coincidence, isn't it?

Photobucket

I have been stating for monthst that Mitt's religion is a factor in the race. Just wait until the general rolls around and the Clinton machine and MSM get REALLY started, if we are unlucky enough that Mitt gets the nomination...say hello to President Hillary.

47 posted on 01/19/2008 4:28:57 PM PST by greyfoxx39 (Mitt willingly gives up his personal freedoms to his church..why would he protect YOURS!)
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To: ajay_kumar

Ok, you as a hindu person you may not have been reading the posts here on MH flip flops.


48 posted on 01/19/2008 4:49:04 PM PST by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: angkor

He’s always said “I’m against it personally,

No, he has not.


49 posted on 01/19/2008 4:50:45 PM PST by svcw (There is no plan B.)
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To: Question Liberal Authority
>>>If elections were decided by the enthusiasm of Freepers, then Duncan Hunter would be Emperor Of The Universe by now. And there'd be a really big fence around it.

LOL.... Best line of the Day.

Incidentally since the above graphic seems to have generated some buzz I thought I'd point out that the painter of the orignal artwork used his wife's face for each of the angels sounding the trumpets. Look closely the angels are all the same. Now that's a classy artist. Paints a picture of devotion to his Lord and his beloved spouse.

50 posted on 01/19/2008 4:57:32 PM PST by Rameumptom (Gen X= they killed 1 in 4 of us)
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