Well, Romney won the CPAC straw vote but what the media does not report is the extent to which Romney rigged the vote. His campaign bused in hundreds of College Republicans from all over, paid their registration fees, their hotel rooms, and even provided pizza for them. All the campaign demanded in return is that they vote for Romney. I talked to some of these kids the last time Romney did this in ’08, and most of them didn’t know the first thing about Romney. The most common sentiment was “Hey, he’s paying me to come to DC, meet girls, drink beer and party? I’ll vote for anyone who does that!”
No, there’s nothing illegal about it, but one would think the media would at least report how Romney manipulates straw votes. It’s really all about money. The candidate willing to spend the most money on registration fees, wins the straw vote. Simple as that. Moreover, since the vast majority of CPAC attendees know the straw vote is rigged, they don’t participate. Very few real conservative activists actually voted.
Only 3,408 of the 10,000-plus attendees participated in the straw vote with 1,295 voting for Romney. That’s about 12% of the total CPAC attendance. Not exactly a mandate for leadership. In 2008, Romney organizers admitted to paying for the registration fees for hundreds of CPAC attendees so one has to wonder how many people actually voted for Romney at this CPAC who aren’t recipients of his campaign cash. To give one an idea how serious the Romney campaign takes straw votes, Romney’s 2008 FEC disclosures reveal they spent $285,000 on registration fees for just the Ames, Iowa straw vote.
Clearly, the CPAC vote is NOT a representative sample of conservative activists by any stretch of the imagination. It is, however, one more example of Romney’s phoniness. His straw vote victories are as phony as his poll-driven conservative image. Unfortunately, many conservative voters around the country may think this straw vote victory is a sign the conservative movement is consolidating behind Romney. And that’s precisely why Romney pours so much money into rigging straw votes.
Romney’s CPAC speech was not too bad as far as delivery goes but its content was as phony as a $3 bill. And of course, the Romney-bots were everywhere passing out a flyer, that I must say, may be the most deceptive campaign literature I’ve seen in a long time. It’s brilliant propaganda but none of it has any
resemblance to reality.
Both Romney’s speech and his literature repeatedly used the word “conservative” as if his campaign thinks if they repeat this word enough, people will forget that Romney led the country in advancing three of the left’s most important policies: Gay marriage, Cap-and-Trade, and government control of health care. It’s like George Orwell’s 1984; if you say white is black enough times, some people will believe it. Romney even used the phrase “severely conservative” to describe his record. Wow, he’s a “severe” conservative. That must be someone really, really right-wing. Oh my! How pathetic. He’s trying so hard to appear conservative, it’s painful.
Romney’s CPAC flyer boasts of how he defended traditional marriage as Governor, but the reality is that he not only laid the regulatory groundwork for the implementation of the Goodridge same-sex marriage decision, but he needlessly and illegally implemented it. People forget that Romney was NOT a party to the Goodridge decision. The high court ordered the legislature to change the marriage statutes and they refused to do so. Romney, without any legislative authority, unilaterally implemented the
Goodridge decision by ordering his clerks to marry same-sex couples. He even threatened to fire them if they didn’t comply – the First Amendment be damned.
Moreover, Romney personally issued special “One-Day” marriage permits to at least 189 same-sex couples, using an obscure law that granted him this authority. This was purely discretionary and, as reported by the Boston Globe, many of the same-sex couples receiving permits were his friends. Thus, Romney is the only Republican Governor in American history to personally issue permits for same-sex couples. Congrats Mitt.
The CPAC flyer also claims Romney governed as a pro-lifer, that he was opposed to stem cell research and that he’s a big supporter of abstinence education. However, Romney flipped on stem cell research and supports aspects of stem cell research to this day. He even invested in companies that engaged in stem cell research. And his abstinence program was a joke. A watered-down version was implemented in a handful of schools alongside Planned Parenthood’s “here’s-how-to-have-sex-with-anyone-anytime” approach. As pro-lifers in Massachusetts will tell you, it had no impact whatsoever, but it does allow Romney to now claim he was an abstinence supporter while governor.
What Romney won’t boast about was that he personally gave $10,000 to a radical gay group that
works against abstinence education. Of course, the CPAC flyer also omits how Romney included
unrestricted abortion coverage in RomneyCare, thereby dramatically advancing state-funded abortion
in Massachusetts; or how his administration gave money to Planned Parenthood to build an abortion
clinic. And both actions occurred after his alleged 2004 pro-life “conversion.” Yeah, and I’m the tooth
Another outlandish claim made by Romney’s CPAC flyer is that he “fought to ensure that Catholic
Charities could continue their adoption services as a matter of ‘religious liberty.’” That’s complete
hooey. It was Romney’s own bureaucrats who shut down Catholic Charities for refusing to place kids
with gay couples. Contrary to the mythology created by the Romney camp, it wasn’t even a law that
supposedly prevented Catholic Charities from managing its adoption program based on its religious
In fact, it was an internal regulation created by Romney’s own Department of Social Services; one that he could have easily waived, but refused to. Catholic leaders pleaded with him and he ignored them. He sided with his DSS appointees, many of whom were gay. Even former liberal governor Michal Dukakis came to the defense of Catholic Charities, saying “there’s nothing in there [the existing laws] to the best of my knowledge that mandates anything here,” adding that “governors can change regulations if they want to, that’s up to him.”
On fiscal issues, the flyer claims that Romney “inherited a $3 billion budget shortfall” and that he closed it without tax hikes, but that’s false. All the fiscal watchdog groups in Massachusetts dispute that notion. It was actually a $1.2 billion dollar gap and at least half of it was made up with a slew of fee increases and a steep hike on taxes paid by subchapter S corporations. Along with Romneycare and his draconian cap-and-trade policies, the impact of this tax hike caused job creation to suffer greatly during the Romney era and in fact, the state was 49th in the country in job creation. Romney did pass a few inconsequential tax credit bills, but overall, Romney increased the tax burden for almost all Massachusetts taxpayers.
The Romney camp also released a letter at CPAC signed by nine conservative leaders that defended his record. However, four of the groups represented by the nine leaders have received contributions from Romney. One group is led by a Romney big donor and boyhood friend and two of the groups listed have no office, no staff, and no budget. They’re basically front group operations. As pro-family leader Brian Camenker of the Massachusetts-based MassResistance group states, “The real conservative leaders of Massachusetts had to fight the Romney regime day in and day out on just about every issue; we wish the media would talk to us instead of talking to groups that are on the take with Romney.”
Once again, phoniness abounds with Romney; his image, his literature, his straw vote victories, and even the groups that “vouch” for him. The question is, of course, will enough voters fall for this trickery to make him our presidential nominee?