Will Immigration be "THE ISSUE" in 2008?--Romney's looking tough on it:
Thanks to Jason B0nham who runs Illinoisians for Mitt for being quickest on the draw with this major headliner. Romney has "up-ed the ante" on the immigration issue. This article details how he is seeking an exemption from federal oversight on immigration so that ILLEGALs could be arrested by state police for just that (being here illegally). A brief quote of the article:
"It's one more thing you can do to make this a less attractive place for illegal aliens to come to work," Romney told The Boston Globe. State police currently have no authority to arrest people on the basis of their immigration status alone, Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said.
This Red State Diary (Cross-posted at Race 4 2008) has line by line commentary on the above article and some comments . . . including a comment by me (jjfuller72) detailing some of Romney's previous stances on illegal immigration and related issues (such as biligual education). His positions continue to himself to the right of McCain, Frist, and Huckabee on this hot-button issue. Granted, he's not a Tom Tancredo or even a Steve King on the issue . . . but he'll be one of the furthest right among serious GOP contenders (and definitely stronger than Bush). Another opinion (from a Boston area Talk Radio Station) on the importance of Romney's immigration move matter can be found here and another blog opinion here
The Pro-Business Politician:
One of the next pieces of Mass legislation to come across Romney's desk will be the minimum wage bill (two versions: house/senate) which seeks to take them to the highest level in the country at $8.25: "Governor Mitt Romney in the past has endorsed the notion of indexing (min wage increases to the economy). He has not taken a position on either of these bills . . ." the article says. I can gaurantee you that, as a pro-business politician, Romney will not sign a bill that would make his already-difficult-to-run-a-business state even worse by mandating the highest minimum wage in the nation. Look for him to make suggestions back about indexing the minumum wage &/or a minimal increased wage and if the legislature won't budge . . . he will VETO it. Here is another article addressing the issue.
Ongoing Fiscal Conservatism:
Mass judges have gone for a while without a pay raise . . . but now the Mass legislature is trying to give them a 13% raise AND MAKING THE RAISE RETROACTIVE ALLOWING MASSIVE "BACKPAY." Romney sees this as a good way to squander tax-payers dollars and suggested a more modest pay raise of 4.1%. Ann Marie Curling at Elect Romney in 2008 blog has a good review of this one with the appropriate links.
Conservative Icons, Policymakers, and Business leaders Congregate and "Think":
This Vail Daily News article "Solving the World's Problems--Behind Closed Doors" tells us where Romney was on Friday before going to the Idaho State GOP convention . . . he was in
"The American Enterprise Institute, a
No media was allowed . . .
More on Romney's visit to
A VA paper had a reporter at the GOP convention last Sat that weighs in with opinions of random people at the convention. Mentions of all the GOP hopefuls that were there, including Romney.
Romney's PAC website now has the list of all 50+ members of his Iowa Advisory Board (including yours truly) added to the press release:
"The Fix"--The Washington Post's Political blogsite weighs in with their opinion of Romney's move in forming the Advisory Board. Quoting from there:
Rhetoric aside, the committee is aimed squarely at Romney's 2008 presidential ambitions, not the 2006 midterm elections. Romney has made little secret of his interest in seeking the GOP nomination and has already spent considerable time and money in early caucus and primary states like
, Iowa and New Hampshire . South Carolina
So just how influential are the Iowans recruited for Romney's group? Seeking an answer The Fix asked a high-level
strategist who has yet to sign on with any '08 candidate. The source was granted anonymity so that he could speak freely about the names on the list. Iowa
Aside from Gross, the influential members include: Debi Durham, Gross's ticketmate in 2002 and the current president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce; state Sens. Dave Mulder and Brad Zaun; former state party chairman Rich Schwarm; Kim Schmett, former chief of staff to Rep. Greg Ganske and legal counsel to the state party; and Joni Scotter, a leading Republican activist in Cedar Rapids (Linn County).
An Elephant in the Room?
This blog entry at Advance Indiana brings up an interesting issue. With all the talk of family values and protecting the sanctity of marriage, I, personally, have been largely disappointed with the GOP field of candidates. Maybe this is inappropriate or insensitive to say, but, currently, Mitt Romney is the only top-teir candidate that is believable on these issues because he has lived them. All of the other top-tier candidates are on, at least, their second marriage (though the article does not mention George Allen, he was divorced when he was 31 and remarried when he was 34 to his wife of 20+ years, Susan--three children). This article from the Washington Monthly titled "High Infidelity" talks about this issue in depth though it takes a much broader and historical approach. One paragraph from the article states:
Lurking just over the horizon are liabilities for three Republicans who have topped several national, independent polls for the GOP's favorite 2008 nominee: Sen. John McCain (affair, divorce), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (affair, divorce, affair, divorce), and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (divorce, affair, nasty divorce). Together, they form the most maritally challenged crop of presidential hopefuls in American political history.
Growing Fan Base?
Please understand that I don't bring this up to "slander" the other candidates, I just know that one argument against the Marriage Protection Amendment and gay adoption is the high divorce/single-parenthood rates (a weak argument since the state doesn't encourage divorce/single-partenthood . . . but that's for another time and place). I believe we need a leader who is solid on these issues in their personal life in order to carry through these important policies in the public forum.
The Mormonism/"Evangelical Problem" Revisited:
It's been a couple of weeks since this topic has been revisited (I will soon get sick of it) . . . but this article in "NewWest" is a balanced take on the issue . . . while the 65+ comments that followed quickly deteriorate into attacks on and defense of Mormonism (which, in my opinion, has little, if anything, to do with what kind of POTUS Mitt Romney would make).
And this blog entry from "Stand to Reason" mentions ideas the blogger has heard that Mormons must have defective brains to believe as they do and so cannot be trusted in political office. The "comments" section here is more level-headed than the aforementioned.
This blogger seems to be a Romney fan too(Last paragraph):
"Mitt Romney is still my man with George Allen as running mate, Mitt's religious leanings mean nothing to his abilities as a fiscal genious and other awesome qualities. This is the '08 combo I will work hardest for, as it is our strongest ticket."