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Monday, April 30, 2007

New GOP Bloggers Straw Poll

April GOP Bloggers Straw Poll is up.

Thompson's off an running (when's that guy gonna get his "vetting"?). Romney and Rudy not far behind. I think this poll can be voted in daily.

Don't forget to mark Romney as your "First Choice" in the poll.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

McCain's talk a bit TOO straight on Ames Straw Poll

Rarely, if ever, do I use this site to bash other GOP candidates. However, John McCain has upset a lot of GOP activits and party faithful with his recent comments about the Ames Straw Poll coming up on August 11th.

"I think it's one of the great ways for the Iowa Republican Party to raise money, but it's part of the process," McCain said during an interview. "Would I prefer that there wasn't an Iowa Straw Poll? Probably, because I could be doing other things. But that's what the party wants and that's what the party's going to get."


So is he saying that the us Iowan Republicans are spoiled brats and abusing our priviledge of being the first in the nation caucus? Sure sounds like it. Sure he's not going to heap praise on the process (would be accused of a major flip-flop since in 1999 he skipped it and called the whole process "a sham" . . . but he doesn't need to throw out needless lines to humiliate his potential base. Someone who wants to be president should at least act presidential.

With Rudy's team far behind in orginization here in Iowa (and having called the Ames Straw Poll "a circus") it's looking like Romney stands a great chance of consolidating most of the party faithful here into his tent and securing a big win in August! Help make it happen by signing up to help be an organizer for the poll and getting yourself and every other registered Republican you can to Ames on August 11th to cast your vote for Mitt.

Volunteers Coming Out of the Woodwork

First-let me apologize for being gone for a few weeks from the blog. I have been busy with the recent Romney visit, and more recently catching up on everything else in life (neighborhood association stuff, getting my garden ready for the growing season, catching up on episodes of "The Office", and all likely important things. Much thanks to Jeff for his continued blog entries despite his busy schedule as well!

The Romney visit to Iowa City last week was great. We had so many people there! We had decent coverage from the press, including some TV and paper spots. I must say, for the Press-Citizen article that Rob Daniel wrote, it was a good article, but of all the people in the room, he had a quote from an "apparent supporter" and a democrat. The quote from the "apparent supporter" was "apparently" overrun with the word "apparent", and apparently the apparent Romney supporter was an apparent fan of the word "apparent". I imagine that the person being quoted would not have agreed with the way the quote was published. I would love to elaborate as to why there were democrats there, but I don't want to scare any other dems by letting them know that some of their own are actually supporting Mitt due to his common sense, and the fact that he is not afraid to tackle government waste and red-tape on BOTH sides of the aisle! I have some photos from the visit, but they only got the middle of the room and they aren't very clear. I am not a photographer, so I assume you will forgive me.


Our County Chair Margaret McDonald introducing Governor Romney

Governor Romney speaking to the crowd!

Here is a video from the event:

As for the name of the post, it describes what I have seen in the last week since Mitt's visit. I have people coming up to me all over asking me how to get involved! Many of my acquaintances have heard that I am one of the county coordinators this last week, and they all say the same thing "HOW CAN I HELP?". This is awesome, and I say to all of you who have asked........."Come join us for some work, some great fun, and a chance to be part of history." There has not been a political situation like the one we have since the 1950's where neither party has a potential candidate already in the white house. And together we will put Governor Romney in the white house!

Johnson County volunteers can email jc4romney2008@gmail.com to be added to the announcement list which will alert us to upcoming volunteer opportunities and upcoming events and visits form Governor Romney. In the mean time, if you are not in Johnson County, you can contact the HQ in Des Moines to find a local group to join. My final plea: if you have or have not already donated, PLEASE CONSIDER A DONATION to the campaign. Timing is critical in this election process, and the Ames Straw poll is only 3 months away. As much as I don't like how the presidential race has become just as much a fund-raising race, it is true, and it's the only way to get all the "media zombies" to accept the fact that Mitt is very well supported, and is well on his way to early victories in the upcoming months! Even if you donate a small amount, it helps the campaign to grow and reach out to more and more people. Visit http://www.mittromney.com/ today and make a donation!! We are so happy you are willing to support Mitt!

More later-
Keith

Friday, April 27, 2007

THE AMES STRAW POLL . . . A little history and it's current importance.

This write-up from My Man Mitt about the Ames Straw Poll is vital knowledge for every Iowan Romney supporter. In short, make sure you, your spouse, your voting age children, your friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc . . . get to Ames on Aug 11th to cast a vote for Romney (and participate in the festive atmosphere as well).

With the Ames Straw Poll version 2007 coming up in roughly 100 days, now is as good of time as ever to look at what this massive political event is, what it means, and what it takes to win it.

History of the Poll

The Ames Straw Poll began in 1979 and has continued every year preceding a competitive election (1987, 1995, and 1999) for a total of four times. The upcoming poll on August 11, 2007, therefore will be the fifth Ames Straw Poll held.

Even though the poll dates back nearly three decades, it was only in 1999 that it began to take on the significance it has now. Until that most recent straw poll, charges of cheating ran rampant at the event (voters would have their hands stamped, run into the bathroom to wash the ink off, and go vote again), meaning that no one took the results too seriously. In 1999, the Iowa GOP officials began using indelible ink that couldn’t be washed off as well as posting voting monitors at the voting areas and in all the bathrooms to ensure more reliable results.

At the last straw poll, George W Bush won with 31% of the vote. He would, of course, go on to win the nomination, but such foretelling is not a historical definite at the event. For instance, Bush 41 won the first straw poll in 1979 and Reagan ended up with the nomination, and in 1987 Pat Robertson won the contest but lost the nomination to Bush. Now that the voting is fairer and more reliable, though, some people argue that the results are a more significant barometer of a candidate’s success.

What it Means and How to Win

It’s the first real test of candidates on two different levels: organization and support. A win in Ames generally means you’ve succeeded in both of those arenas. And it also means you’ve succeeded in raising extravagant amounts of cash prior to the event.

Consider these statistics: Dubya spent $825,000 on the event in 1999 and walked away with first place. Steve Forbes spent over $2 million for his second place finish. What did they spend the money on?

A better question might be what didn’t they spend the money on. Tickets to the event in 1999 were $25 apiece, which all the campaigns gladly paid for in return for a vote. Parking cost money, which again, the campaigns paid for - if you even drove your own vehicle and didn’t take one of the free buses the campaigns chartered. Each campaign had tents outside the main hall for which they paid money - increasing in price the closer to the hall the tent space was (the apex being Bush’s tent, which was closest to the hall and cost him $63,000). At each tent, the campaigns offered food and drinks as well as live music from famous musicians, all free. Steve Forbes even hosted a carnival of sorts, complete with children’s rides that he rented and set up. All in the quest to attract voters.

Truth be told, the real winner of the Ames Straw Poll is the Iowa GOP which hosts the event as its annual fundraiser.

This should be instructive when thinking about how to win the poll now, in 2007. If Bush spent nearly a million dollars and Forbes nearly two million eight years ago, one can only imagine how much the campaigns will spend on the event this year. That does not bode well for poorly funded campaigns such as Tommy Huckback, Gilmore, Paul, or Tancredo. And it says something to the chances of a late-comer such as Fred Thompson succeeding in such an environment.

Of course, there are always going to be the die hards that will pay their own tickets, drive their own cars, vote, and go home all without being tied to a campaign, but the vast majority of the voters there will be there thanks to candidates’ generosity.

But, as mentioned above, organization is only one half of the coin. You can’t very well pay for people’s tickets to the event if you can’t find people who support you enough to go in the first place and sit through hours of speeches and give up their entire Saturday just to throw your name in a box - and for a poll, nonetheless, not even a real election. This is where all the grassroots campaigning leading up to the event pays off. You’ve gotta have a voter base to turnout in the first place before you can start paying for tickets and bus rides and the like.

So it takes both to emerge victorious in Ames: support from people who want to go and vote for you, and the organization to get more of them there than your opponents can. And in 1999, the results did mean something - after disappointing finishes at Ames, Alexander and Quayle both dropped out of the race; after his first place showing, Bush’s frontrunner status was cemented (at least until McCain got in the race a month later).

Roughly a hundred days from now, we will watch the hoopla and extravagance with great excitement and great anticipation, because the Ames Straw Poll is the first real test of the candidates’ strength in this campaign.


Let's get organized and get a great showing for Romney!!! A first place showing is possible and would be a huge lift to his campaign and national media exposure. We can make it happen!

Marvin Pomerantz to Co-Chair Governor Romney's Iowa Presidential Campaign

See this press release from Mitt Romney's campaign website.

Marvin Pomerantz to Co-Chair Governor Romney's Iowa Presidential Campaign

Friday, Apr 27, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kevin Madden (857) 288-6390

Boston, MA – Governor Mitt Romney announced today that Des Moines businessman Marvin Pomerantz will serve as Co-Chair of his Iowa presidential campaign.

"Marvin is the epitome of the American dream, and his support is going to be enormously helpful to my campaign," said Governor Romney. "He shares my vision of a strong and vibrant economy, one that is able to successfully compete with extraordinary economic challenges from abroad. To do so, Marvin and I share the same belief that we must have a rigorous educational system preparing our children for the future."

Pomerantz said that upon reviewing all the candidates, Governor Romney is the clear choice.

"Governor Romney has a proven record of accomplishment, and has the leadership needed to meet a new generation of challenges," said Pomerantz. "He has shown a positive vision of the future, and that sets him apart from the other candidates."

Background On Marvin Pomerantz:

Marvin Pomerantz Has Served On A Number Of Campaigns And Is Widely Renowned For His Business, Civic And Religious Contributions. Pomerantz served as an adviser to Republican Governors Bob Ray and Terry Branstad. He also was Finance Chairman for the Republican Party of Iowa, Branstad for Governor and Gross for Governor.

In his community, Pomerantz is deeply dedicated to excellence in education. From 1987 to 1993 and again from 1995 to 1996, Pomerantz was President of the Iowa Board of Regents. He served for 21 years on the University of Iowa Foundation Board and was head of the Commission on Education Excellence for the 21st Century. He is a member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

Pomerantz currently serves on the national board of the Republican Jewish Coalition. In 2006, he was appointed by President Bush to serve on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.


Cool tidbit . . . the eye clinic I work in is located in the Pomerantz Family Pavillion here at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Great Coverage of Romney's recent visit to Bettendorf, IA.

Some great coverage over at InMuscatine. of Romney's visit to Bettendorf, IA late last week.

Some highlights from the coverage:

Why did people show up tonight? According to some of the people here, they liked Romney, but felt a need to educate themselves. A few had been contacted by Tommy Thompson camp asking them for support, and they were put off by the brash nature of the calls. This will probably be a major mis-step from the Thompson campaign.

Also, many here tonight were first time political even attendants. It is clear that Romney is able to generate a crowd, and excite that crowd to action.


Buster finishes his commentary with some strong (and encouraging) words:

Romney is an excellent public speaker. If you go to hear him speak, you had better listen fast, because he throws a lot at you in a brief period of time. If Romney and Obama were in a debate, that would be a donnybrook I would pay to see. If Romney and Clinton were in a debate, Romney would make hamburger of Clinton. If Romney were in a debate with Giuliani or McCain… well, whatever they have to say after Romney has spoken is just white noise while you walk to your car.

Almost forgot to mention - the room was set for 250, but there were 500 people there if there was one. You couldn’t have got another person in the room with a crowbar.


Also mentioned was that many of the folks from "Iowans for Tax Relief" were there and it was speculated that they may end up lining up with Romney (whereas it was thought they may be heading toward McCain).

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Iowa Update

Romney's upward movement in Iowa continues.

He had a great trip through eastern Iowa on Thursday and Friday. He drew over 400 people here in Johnson County (the Bluest County in Iowa). That's a good sign. Here's the coverage for the event (gotta love our local little liberal paper giving the only Democrat in the room the last word in the article . . . sheez!) My wife, Laura, went to the event with two of my cousins (one, Susan Sorenson, is holding her son Randall with Mitt in the photo at the link). Mitt recognized and remembered my wife, and, after going around the rest of the table she was seated turned back to her and asked "Where's Jeff?". Pretty cool, eh? This is a political gift that not many people have. Romney's got it.

Also, former Iowa Lietenant Governor candidate (and current head of the Souixland Chamber of Commerce) Debbie Durham has endorsed Gov. Romney and will be heading up some of his efforts in GOP heavy western Iowa

Also, turns out that Romney raised more money in Iowa than all the other Republican candidates combined (same for New Hampshire . . . he also led in South Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and Michigan . . . actually 30 states in all . . . but we're supposed to believe that it's all coming from Utah, right?)

Some more coverage of Romney in Iowa here, here and here.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

AFA poll, GO VOTE!

The American Family Association is conducting their own straw poll online. It is a very conservative Christian group, chaired by Donald Wildmon. Please take a second to vote for Ronmey!! Voters can only vote once, so it can't be robotically altered (that they know of).

http://www.afa.net/petitions/strawpoll/strawpoll.asp

Take a look at the poll so far. On the republican side, the top three are Fred Thompson, Gingrich, and then Romney. Considering the fact the the first two are not currently running, Romney is the top Republican who is actually running. He is way ahead of Rudy and McCain, too.


Now hurry up and vote! And tell your friends.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

"Deep but Narrow?" Other POTUS hopefuls rely on Big $$$$ donors MUCH more than Romney

I love numbers and graphs. Here, the NY Times has provided a great resource.

Many may have seen my post on the MSM's attempts to "explain" or "knock" Romney's fundraising.

I've analyzed some of the numbers and we can see who's REALLY tapping the big money donors the most.

Analysis of maxed-out donors ($2300/donor):

Candidate
Total(mil) from max-out donors
% of total contributions from maxed-out donors

Clinton
$19.2
74%

Obama
$12.6
49%

Romney
$10.2
48%

Giuliani
$9.8
61%

Edwards
$6.6
47%

McCain
$5.9
43%

Tancredo
$0.9
79%

Huckabee
$0.3
57%

T. Thompson
$0.2
56%

Brownback
$0.1
11%

The one thing that stands out is that Hillary is the epitome of the "Big Money" candidate. 3/4th of her massive haul came from donors who contributed the max. She nearly doubles all other candidate in the total haul from maxed-out donors at $19.2 million. This is obviously a testament to the Bill and Hillary Clinton fundraising machine. However, it portends that she has a lot of work to do to expand her fundraising base.

Also, Obama and Edwards aren't quite the pure "candidates of the common man" that they get made out to be (they are grouped with Romney getting just under half of their funds from "big money" donors . . . but the MSM's been telling us that Romney's the one whose "Rolodex is stuffed with wealthy supporters")

Giuliani, percentage-wise at 61%, drew much more heavily on wealthy supporters than any other GOP candidate. He'll have more work to do than Romney (48%) and McCain (43%) at building a more sustainable fundraising base.

Among non-top-tier GOP candidates it appears that Brownback has the most hope of building some fundraising momentum in smaller donations . . . but he doesn't seem to be able to lock up the big donors, which is not good news for him. It is actually doubtful that any of them will be able to raise much money in comparison to the top-tier candidates.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

"Deep but Narrow"--The MSM's line on Romney's support

***Action oriented post . . . take action by donating to Romney's campaign****

Many pundits and reporters are apparently shocked that Romney rivaled Hillary and Obama in fundraising (while strongly outpacing his GOP rivals). They feel like they have "some splanin' to do" and boy have they been spinning his success as negatively as they can.

Always leading the liberal MSM charge we can count on the NY Times with this piece "Romney Used His Wealth to Enlist Richest Donors"

Mr. Romney's financial support is deep but narrow. He amassed $20 million from fewer than 33,000 donors, according to figures disclosed by his campaign. By comparison, Mr. McCain raised $12.5 million from nearly 50,000 donors while Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, raised $25 million from more than 100,000. Their average contributors each gave about $250; Mr. Romney's gave more than $600.


(Why do they think Romney "amassed" his money while McCain and Obama "raised" theirs? . . . a small point, but unmistakably biased)

Need more evidence? Plenty to follow . . .

Newsweek article:

The Romney 2008 campaign has been very methodical. His fund-raising machine is a marvel; in just one day last January, he raised $6.5 million, almost just to show that he could. But his base is narrow—mostly wealthy Mormons and Wall Streeters.


From the Economist (one of my favorite periodicals BTW):

It helps Mr Romney that his Rolodex is stuffed with wealthy supporters. His money came from just 33,000 contributors. Mr McCain, in contrast, relied on 60,000 people.


What is the natural conclusion of all this? It is that Romney can't sustain this fundraising pace . . . that he lacks a grassroots appeal . . . that his donors will be tapped out early.

From Poltical tip sheet Hotline:

It's likely that the average gift was astronomically high, meaning there is almost no chance this is a "grassroots outpouring" in favor of Romney. (which is confirmed by the very skewed ratio of donors to dollars raised) This is a large dollar candidate, not an Internet candidate.


Another opinion from RedState:

Don't get me wrong, for Mitt Romney to have raised over 20 million is impressive. But if one takes a closer look at where the donations came from, one finds Romney got far more "big" donations than did McCain. What that means is that in the next round or two of fundraising, Romney's donors will be tapped out to the max, whereas McCain's campaign can go back and get repeat donations (in smaller quantities) from the same loyal donors . . . For Mitt Romney, it could be a case where he might have peaked too early.


I view this all as a challenge!

We all know that Mitt has a great "ground game". . . both in organized political staff and grassroots supporters; so let's show that we can prove all the naysayers wrong and help him win the next round of fundraising (this time with over 100,000 donors!).

DONATE TO ROMNEY'S CAMPAIGN. (for those that use my Fundraiser ID 225003, rest assured that 100% of your contribution goes to Romney's campaign directly . . . or use someone else's ID, or use nobody's ID . . . JUST CONTRIBUTE TO ROMNEY'S CAMPAIGN!!!) Get your spouse to donate, get your kids, parents, friends, in-laws, neighbors, co-workers, dogs (OK . . . I think McCain-Feingold prohibits doggie donations) to donate too. Even just $10 would be very helpful (and rest assured that names are not reported on FEC filings for contributions under $200 . . . if it's that important to you).

This second challenge is for everyone that has already donated in the first quarter. Great! Now match or exceed your Q1 contribution to keep the MittMentum going!

Forward a link of this blog entry (copy and paste URL from here) to anyone who you think might want to support Romney's campaign. Let's prove all the MSM pundits and naysaywers wrong!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Romney For President Announces Story County Leadership Team

Romney For President Announces Story County Leadership Team in this Press Release

Ames is a key place to be organized (Straw Poll home in August) and Romney has a strong ground game going there. More good news in Iowa for Romney!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Romney In Iowa City April 20th!

Mitt Romney will be hosting a lunch from 12-1pm on April 20th at the Holiday Inn on 1st Ave in Coralville.

Please RSVP if you are planning on attending 1-888-722-4704 ext 200.



Saturday, April 07, 2007

More Mainstream Media (MSM) Love For Romney (heavy sarcasm intended)

Newsweek just came out with a piece called "Mitt's Initial Public Offering". I'm not sure if it's an opinion piece or investigative reporting. For MSNBC/Newsweek there often isn't much there to distinguish the two. It's full of some zingers right from the get-go.

The sub-title is:

"Can Romney, a big shot from the private sector who is accustomed to control, handle the chaos of a political campaign?"


Phrases like "Big shot" are so endearing, aren't they? . . . especially big shots that are inflexible control freaks, eh?

The caption for their lead photo has a markedly negative tone:

President CEO: Romney jumped to the lead in the GOP presidential race with a fund-raising machine that is a marvel, but his base is narrow, and he seems to lack the common touch


All this "narrow base" crud comes from the fact that he "only" had 33,000 donors (compared to Hillary's 60,000 and Obama's 100,000). Romneyacs, this is something we can do something about. I implore even the poorest among us to donate $5 or $10 to Romney's campaign. Do it now before you forget . . . email your parents, adult children, and friends to do the same. If you've already donated in your name, donate (with apporval of course) in your spouse's name (names will not appear on any publically relased documents if you donate less than $200). Click on this link to donate. (ID # 225003)

I'm waiting for their evidence for their "lacks a common touch" line. My personal experiences with him have been that he connects well with the people he meets.

Romney was starting to move in the polls, and on the campaign trail he seemed loose, even funny.


So, they're talking about 2-3 days ago in the past tense . . . making it seem even distant. No, Romney IS moving in the polls.

Then they bring up "Hunting-gate" . . . the recent media circus where reporters latched on to Romeny's peripheral comment that he's been "a hunter pretty much all [his] life." When a campaign staffer said that Romney had only been hunting twice the media ran with it like wildfire and have been trying to dig up hunting licences, etc . . . (that staffer should be flogged a time or two.) Romney has corrected the record, that he's hunted small game on numerous occasions . . . but that was mysteriously left out of this Newsweek article.

Sure, Romney should have said that he's "hunted pretty much all his life", but even, as it was, his comment was not a lie and barely could be called an exaggeration. Just shows you how tightly the media are watching Mitt's every move and ready to "go for the kill."

But the explanations sounded stiff and lameone more example of Romney's trying to pander to true-blue conservatives and getting called out for it.


That's not a loaded sentence is it? I'll need to look into their coverage of other candidates . . . but I'm sure they don't call Hillary's courting of the unions or Obama's kissing up to trial lawyers "pandering".

Romney has tried to sell himself as a "turnaround" artist who can use his skills as a businessman to come in and clean up the mess created by the current administration.



Note to Newsweek . . . he IS convincing millions of Americans than he is the one who could best do this (not "trying to sell us").

But he doesn't seem quite ready for prime-time politics, and his stumbles raise a familiar question: can a big shot from the private sector, accustomed to control, handle the chaos of a political campaign? And can a high roller in the secretive world of finance stand the exposure of public life?


Another note to Newsweek . . . Romney's been continuously highly visible to the public and dealt with the media since 1999 (Olympics, Mass Gov campaign and Governorship, directly leading into this presidential campaign). That's not even counting 1994 and his US Senate GOP primary race win and general election loss.

The next paragraphs are fairly informative and have the good with the bad (I mean, with someone as clean and successful as Romney you can't write a piece entirely negativly and maintain credibility). I did chuckle at this line though:

But some colleagues found Romney to be manipulative. Romney had an "ability to identify people's insecurities and exploit them to his own benefit," says a source who worked with Romney but refused to be quoted for "fear of retribution."


That's right, Mafia Mitt will have their kneecaps blown off if they say anything bad about him.

I found the coverage of his business tactics very intersting . . . and the comparisons to Lincoln and FDR somewhat appropriate. Mitt will get results . . . he has the best track record of results of anyone on either side.

Another funny one:

. . . recalls Romney's arriving at meetings: he would "go into the room with his hair flowing, all of his people very well dressed, and he'd sweep through the room, touch who he needed to touch and then move on. It created power." Romney liked to play the white knight riding to the rescue.
.

They had to get the "hair" comment in there, eh? Moving on . . .

But he seems to lack good fingertips for the subtleties of politics.


That sounds like EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED IN A CHEIF EXECUTIVE!!

But after some early successes, Romney had a hard time getting much done with the legislature. A kind of petty righteousness undermined him further. When the Democrats wanted to name a Big Dig tunnel in Boston after former Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill, instead of adopting Romney's proposed name—"the Liberty Tunnel"—the governor's spokesman implied the Democrats weren't sufficiently patriotic.


It wasn't just about the name . . . but Romney's proposal was to name the tunnel such in honor of the fallen soldiers in the War on Terror. The Dems wanted to play politics and honor the leader of the the unrestrained Democratic congress of the 70s and 80s and vocal opponent of Ronald Reagan.

His fund-raising machine is a marvel; in just one day last January, he raised $6.5 million, almost just to show that he could. But his base is narrow—mostly wealthy Mormons and Wall Streeters. And fund-raising alone does not mean much if the candidate lacks a common touch.


Where are they getting this stuff? The official papers of donors won't be made public for another week or two. And Romney does not lack "a common touch" though that is how opponents will try to define him.

They end the article with:

One of the most important qualities in any president is nimbleness—the ability to react quickly and flexibly to any number of crises that pop up routinely in and around the Oval Office. Romney's former colleagues at Bain say that dealmakers often have to move quickly with unclear or incomplete data. Romney knows when to hold 'em—often his smartest move was not buying into a particular company, saving Bain from backing losers in a plunging market. But he has yet to master the skills of, say, Bill Clinton, at rounding off corners as he repositions himself in the political world. Fortunately for Romney, he has money and time to learn from his mistakes. In business, turnarounds are matters of dollars and cents. In politics, they are all about character.


If they're trying to suggest that Romney lacks character, that is a very low blow. If it's just advice or foreshadowing then I feel confident that no candidate on either side has more character than Mitt Romney.

Romney's HQ opening from last week

A recent Cyclone Conservatives blog entry "Romney has Momentum, Beautiful Headquarters" covers Romney's HQ opening late last week. The author was obviously impressed with the facilities and with Romney's message (don't forget to vote for Romney in the online poll there too). There was quite a buzz there.

I got to talk to Romney again and he thanked me for my efforts . . . he remembered that I'd be finishing training soon and asked if I was set in my plans. I was impressed that he would remember so much. He's got a great memory since I'm sure he meets hundreds to thousands of people a day.

I'll see if I can get pictures posted soon, but I'm away from home now.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

"I LOVE VETOES"



New Romney Commercial

IOWA LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM ANNOUNCED!

GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY ANNOUNCES
IOWA LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM

Des Moines, IA – At an Iowa Statehouse news conference today, Governor Mitt Romney announced that 12 Republican state legislators have endorsed his candidacy for President of the United States.
The legislators will offer their insight and advice to Governor Romney on issues facing Iowa and the nation. Further legislative endorsements will be announced as Governor Romney expands his base of support at the Statehouse.
"I am proud to have the support of these dedicated lawmakers whose hard work and conservative values help to make Iowa such a great place to live and raise a family," said Governor Romney. "I look forward to working with them as I travel across Iowa to share my optimistic vision for America's future."
Governor Romney's Iowa Legislative Leadership Team:

• Sen. Jim Hahn, Muscatine
• Sen. David Johnson, Ocheyeden
• Sen. Dave Mulder, Orange City
• Sen. Brad Zaun, Urbandale
• Rep. Dave Deyoe, Nevada
• Rep. Linda Miller, Bettendorf
• Rep. Christopher Rants, Sioux City
• Rep. Doug Struyk, Council Bluffs
• Rep. Dave Tjepkes, Gowrie
• Rep. Jodi Tymeson, Winterset
• Rep. Ralph Watts, Adel
• Rep. Tami Wiencek, Waterloo

Saw this one Coming a Mile Away. WaPo reporter's "misleading" investigative techinques result in "Mormons Prop Up Romney" story

Many of you following this and other Romney Blogs have seen my post a few weeks ago about my contact (and others) with a Washington Post reporter. Well, my suspicions were confirmed with his recent piece "Mormon Base a Mixed Blessing for Romney"

Yep, this article that was researched as "I'm trying to gauge the nature of the support for Romney in early pirmary/caucus states" was truly, like I suspected from his line of questioning, another Romney-Mormon hit piece. This one very planned and purposeful.

I don't have time now to point out some of the faulty logic, presumptions, and conclusions of the piece . . . but there are plenty. It's dissappointing to see the process of a liberal, anti-conservative, anti-religion (if not directly, at least by overall impression) agenda unfold before my eyes.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

U of I poll results

A statewide poll conducted by University of Iowa political scientists was released today. Of the registered republican voters, when asked to choose between Romney, McCain and Giuliani, here are the results:

Giuliani : 22.8 percent
McCain : 21.2 percent
Romney :17.4 percent

Keep in mind, the margin of error reported was 6.5%.

This is a big point drop for McCain and a solid gain for Romney. The poll was conducted up until March 31st before any news was released on campaign fund raising 1Q results. It will be interesting to watch as Romney's recognition gains.

Visit From Tagg Romney in Iowa City

Last Friday, Governor Romney's oldest son, Tagg, made a visit to eastern Iowa, and stopped in Iowa City along his tour. Besides myself, there were about 35 to 40 locals who gathered at the Iowa City Public Library to hear him speak on behalf of his dad. The impressive thing was that he did not speak on specific political issues, but rather focused on his relationship with his father, and the leadership that Mitt Romney has shown by example throughout Tagg's life. This was truly a new way to get to know a candidate. Tagg is the oldest of the 5 sons, and related several experiences from his childhood, up to a few months ago when Mitt asked him to move from L.A. to Boston to work with his campaign. The funniest was when Tagg lost an anchor from their small row boat when he forgot to tie it to the boat as he tossed it into the bay. When he returned home, his dad was determined that they would find the anchor. The two of them set up a grid over the water and scoured the sea floor with snorkel masks until they found it. In retrospect, Tagg appreciated the lessons he learned from his fathers dedication and drive. I hope to see Tagg on the campaign trail more often. It was great.

As a reminder to those in the Iowa City area, there is a visit from Governor Romney coming up on Friday, April 20th. If you would like to be included on Johnson County area emails, send an inscription request to jc4romney2008@gmail.com

In light of the recent articles in the Press Citizen, or lack-there-of, on Mitt Romney, remember the power of a letter to the editor. Let Johnson County, or your local county, know that you support Mitt Romney, and tell them why!! Feel free to mention that the biased media coverage (see Previous Blog) does not change your mind about him, either. Don't be fooled by the local coverage offered only to Obama and Hillary. They are watching Romney very closely. Problem is, they can't come up with anything negative to say about him, so they wait for articles to trickle down from the NYTimes, thru the networks, and finally thru their subscription to AP news distribution. I was curious as to why they justified a 1/4 page article on how the local police are preparing for Hilary's visit to Iowa City. Good thing the P-C was all over that one!

New York Times "explaining away" Romney's fundraising success.

Seen this article from the NY Times yet?

Their lead-off Paragraph:

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign said Monday that it had raised $20 million in the first quarter, tapping two distant but rich networks — Wall Street and the Mormon Church — to easily outpace his better-known Republican primary rivals.


There are a full six paragraphs devoted to Romney's poltical ties with Mormons and they drag up the "pseudo-scandal" of Romney officials and church officials meeting to supposedly coordinate efforts. However, they have NO evidence (yet because this information has not been made public) that "the Mormon Church" helped him raise this money. I'm sure plenty of Mormons contributed . . . but that's not what the piece says . . . it says that "the Mormon Church" was "tapped". A slip of the keyboard? . . . or a targeted attack?

Something to keep in mind (and pass along on message boards/blogs/comments). Romney received donations from about 33,000 people. There are over 6 million Mormons in the USA. Assuming that EVERY Romeny donor was Mormon (an absurd assumption, but it helps prove the point) that would represent about one-half of one percent of USA Mormons donated to Romney's campaign. POINT: there is no organized, directed (or even effective) Mormon movement/conspiracy to artificially prop up Mitt's fundraising.

They then go to explain how people who Romney "made rich" via his Venture capital career are now simply "returning the favor" . . . just a pay-back or pay-off rather than them actually supporting him as the best candidate for POTUS. Case in point:

Mr. Romney helped make many others rich through steep annual returns for investors in Bain Capital and through its payments to finance or buy out private companies. Some. like Thomas Stemberg, founder of Staples, have returned the favor with political contributions.


Then they throw in this one:

Unlike the other leading primary campaigns, Mr. Romney's declined to disclose how many individual donors had contributed or how many small donations it had received. Some campaigns use those measurements to show that they have broad support.


Where did they get that? I've seen the 33,000 Romney donors figure a few times already. However, this will be used to attack Romney . . .

Romney only had 33,000 different contributors while Hillary had 50,000 and McCain had 60,000 (not sure if the McCain # is "contributors" or "contributions"). Of course, many will try to negatively spin this that Romney is "being propped up by a lot of rich donors" who have maxed out their contributions and so he has less "room to grow" from his base. So, I encourage everyone who hasn't donated yet to contribute $10 to his campaign. Get your spouse or kids over 18 to donate $10 as well (donations less than $300 will not become part of the "public record" as names of such donors are not reported as part of the FEC filings . . . so don't worry about that) You can contribute to Romney 's campaign online using this webpage (please consider using my fundraiser ID# 225003 when making your contribution)

Loved this one:

Mr. Romney's first-quarter take may undercut some of Mrs. Clinton's triumph, but his lead over his party rivals most damages Mr. McCain.


Love that phrase . . . "Mrs. Clinton's TRIUMPH". They're so in love with Hillary (and Barack) it makes me sick.

Let me tell you, that ANY GOP candidate that could outraise every Dem sans Hillary (and Romney apparently did outraiser her in "Primary funds raised") in this "low point" for the GOP has got to scare all the other competitors in the race ON BOTH SIDES. Be prepared for the attack machines to be revved up again.

Make sure to pass along this article to all your friends and paste in the URL on every message board you can. We know evenhanded or positive press is hard to come by for Romney. However, the facts don't lie and more people need to know the facts about Romney. This article does a good job of that.

UPDATE: Compare the Piece the NYTimes did on Romney above to the piece they did on Obama today "Obama Built Donor Network From Roots Up" . . .
No accusations of Obama presently being propped up by donations mostly from Trial lawyers, African Americans, Hollywood and media elites, or the Union bosses. Nope . . . he's done it "the American way" by "hard work" building it from the "Roots up". The headline for Obama should read "Obama's Donor Network Provided by Overly Positive and Overly Copious Mainstream Media Coverage"

This is simply amazing!

Monday, April 02, 2007

First Quarter Fundraising Champion!

Gov. Mitt Romney came in first place for GOP presidential candidates for the first quarter fundraising. The Romney juggernaut raked in $23 Million. This will send a loud message to the GOP field. Rudy pulled in $15 Million while the McCain numbers are expected to be released tomorrow, but his team has been downplaying expectations.

I encourage all bloggers, lurkers, and supporters to donate to the Romney campaign to build on the first quarter success!

Please check out this link

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Not an April Fool's Joke . . . Positive Press for Romney!!!

I thought it was an April Fool's joke when I saw the following cover . . .



. . . not because I'm not in total agreement with Romney being the most Reaganesque candidate in the field (he's that by a long shot), but because it's seemed nearly all media sources have been overwhelmingly and unfairly harsh to Romney for several months (trying to stifle a Romney candidacy before it gets off the ground.)

This article is definitely "a keeper." It's a very informative read and pretty spot on (even though it got wrong the issue that Romney "used to be against a Federal Marriage Amendment and now he's for it". I've already e-mailed the author (pointing him to my previous blog entry on the issue here) and he thanked me for the input. I have a copy of the PDF should anyone deeply desire that.

Some of the highlights:

1) Crisis leadership is where Romney really shines

Gay's daughter, when they found her in the basement of that home, was shivering through detox after a massive dose of ecstasy. Doctors later told Gay that he was indeed fortunate - his daughter probably would not have lasted another day.

"It was the most amazing thing, and I'll never forget this to the day I die," Gay says, adding of Romney's intervention, "I'm not sure we would have gotten her back without him."

It is often during a crisis that we gain insight into a person's real character. Romney's action demonstrated leadership, loyalty, and selflessness - attributes that Americans just might like to see in a president of the United States.


2) The "feel good" candidate

People say that Mitt Romney lights up a room. But there are all kinds of ways to light up a room - fluorescent, neon, sunlight, strobe. Romney alternates between sparkle and a warm, steady glow. He is not in your face. He is low-key, self-assured, and self-contained.

That could be a metaphor for Romney's candidacy. When the subject of the 2008 presidential election comes up, Republicans talk about the prospects of the obvious front-runners, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. But they often end the conversation by saying, "You know, I really like Mitt Romney."


3) Can you be 60 and still "Hot?"

The fact that Massachusetts, where only 13 percent of registered voters are Republicans, could elect Romney governor by a five-point margin (50 percent versus 45 percent for his Democratic opponent) underscores his popularity among Republicans and Democrats alike.

In the coming months, Americans will be focusing on the candidates - and most of their initial impressions will be based on how the candidates come across on TV. In this media-driven age, Romney begins with a decisive advantage.

First, he has sensational good looks. People magazine named him one of the 50 most beautiful people in America. Standing 6 feet, 2 inches tall, Romney has jet-black hair, graying naturally at the temples. Women - who will play a critical role in this coming election - have a word for him: hot.


4) Eloquence counts (especially in 2008):

Romney speaks with the effortless delivery of the best news anchors, making the 60-year-old "the un-Bush," according to Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.


5) Romney's don't "rest on laurels"

The Romneys lived in the upscale suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where Mitt attended the private Cranbrook School. He spent summers with his family in a vacation home on Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada.

However, if the family was financially set, it had little impact on Mitt's upbringing. Like most other kids, he had summer jobs. His sister Jane, an actress in Beverly Hills, remembers that she was allowed to buy only one new dress a year.

"I always hated the word 'privileged' and I never thought we were," she says. "My dad grew up with nothing. His father went bankrupt twice when my father was a kid."


6) Yet another Romney "Turnaround"

Because of these and other successful investments, Bain Capital now manages $40 billion.

By 1990, Bain & Co., the mother ship, was in dire straits because of excess debt. Founder William Bain asked Romney to return to the company as interim CEO to straighten things out.

Romney tightened expenses, renegotiated loans, and improved morale. He returned the company to profitability within a year before returning to lead Bain Capital.


7) Gave Teddy K. the closest race of his career

In 1994, Romney decided to run for the Senate against Democrat Ted Kennedy. It was an audacious move, and Romney spent $6.1 million of his own money on the campaign. He felt liberal social programs of the 1960s and 1970s had created a permanent underclass and fostered poverty rather than eliminating it.


8) Non-discriminatory protection of the traditional family

But in 2003, when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, in a 4-3 decision, ruled that marriage in the commonwealth would no longer be limited to unions between men and women, Romney pushed for an amendment to the state constitution that would outlaw gay marriage.

In a recent interview in his corner office at his campaign headquarters, Romney sticks by his position condemning discrimination against gays and lesbians.

"I can tell you this, which is I believe gay individuals should enjoy tolerance and respect," Romney says. "They should have equal opportunities in housing and employment. We shouldn't discriminate against people based upon their sexual preference or orientation."

Romney's position is the same one staked out by President Bush.

"At the same time, I believe that marriage should be reserved for a relationship between one man and one woman. For me, that's not a matter of discrimination," Romney adds.

He also supports Bush's effort to ban gay marriage by an amendment to the U.S. Constitution - which separates him from Giuliani and McCain, who oppose such a change.


9) Not JUST good on judicial philosophy . . . but a pro-life record in liberals-ville is something to be proud of.

"He feels passionately that the value of human life begins at conception," says South Carolina state Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican who supports Romney. "The idea that he might have changed his mind [on Roe v. Wade] is very appealing to me, because we're not going to win that debate unless people change their minds and think it through."

Romney has vetoed bills that authorized embryo farming, therapeutic cloning, and access to emergency contraception without parental consent. He is a critic of liberal judges who legislate from the bench, and he says he would like to see the court return the abortion issue to the people to decide.

"President Bush has done a fine job in bringing to the Supreme Court Justice [John] Roberts and Justice [Sam] Alito," Romney says. "Those are exactly the kind of individuals you'd hope would come to the bench."


10) Healthcare

With input from the Heritage Foundation, Romney came up with a way to provide universal health insurance by requiring that everyone buy coverage, just as drivers are required to buy car insurance. If they don't, they lose their personal exemption on their state income taxes and part of their state tax refund. The idea was that in a reformed marketplace, everyone has the responsibility to have health insurance - no more free riders.

For those who cannot afford coverage, Romney cobbled together funds from Medicaid and the state's free-care pool to make sure everyone is covered.

By merging individual and group plans, Romney covered more healthy individuals, lowering prices . . .

Romney likes to contrast his health-care plan with the one proposed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. "My plan is based on personal responsibility and allowing the free market to work in a more effective manner," he says. "Her approach was to build a large government bureaucracy and provide more controls to help the health-care system work."

He adds with a smile: "Perhaps the biggest difference between our two plans was that mine got passed, and hers didn't."

States such as Iowa, California, and New Jersey are looking into adopting the Massachusetts approach, and Bush is pushing other states to look into it. To conservatives who bristle at the idea of an imposed plan, Romney says, "The key factor that some of my libertarian friends forget is that today, everybody who doesn't have insurance is getting free coverage from government."


11) This is what he ran on . . . this is what he delivered.

Romney's bottom line in Massachusetts: He erased the budget deficit he inherited when he took over, just as he'd done with the Olympics.

When Romney left office on Jan. 4, 2006, the Bay State had a balanced budget plus a "rainy day fund" - all without ever raising taxes.


12) I can't stop adding quotes . . . make me stop.

On Oct. 26, 2006, Romney met with 15 evangelical leaders at his home in Belmont. The meeting was set up by Mark DeMoss, son of the late billionaire Arthur DeMoss. A public relations consultant, DeMoss represents many evangelicals. The attendees included Gary Bauer, Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell, and the pastors from several evangelical megachurches, such as Paula White of Without Walls International Church, based in Tampa, Fla.

"Our discussion was open and frank," says Richard Land, who heads the policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

"Evangelicals know that they're not electing a theologian in chief, but a commander in chief. If they agree with Romney on social issues, his Mormonism won't be a hindrance, especially if he's the only viable social conservative in the mix," he says.

Says Falwell: "There's no question that there are strong feelings about Mormonism. But we're not electing a Sunday school teacher, we're electing a president. I do not believe [Romney's] church affiliation will hinder his being a viable candidate among evangelicals." Mormons are fiscally and socially conservative, and 95 percent of them voted for Bush in the last election.


12) The right responses:

"The term 'Christian' means different things to different people," Romney says. "And so I don't try and describe my faith in terms of categories. Instead I tell them what I believe. And I believe in God. I believe in marriage. I believe in family. I believe in helping people, in service and compassion. I believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and is my savior.

"But there are people of other faiths who don't believe that, and that's of course their right. But I don't try and describe my faith other than in terms of the fact that it has made me a better person than I would have been, and it has made my kids better than they would have been."

Of course, any religious beliefs sound strange to those who are not familiar with them. What matters most, Romney argues, is not his religious beliefs but his agenda for America.


13)

In the make-or-break caucus state of Iowa, a majority of Republican county chairmen who responded to queries from Roll Call in January said the one presidential candidate who is exciting the base is Romney.

Romney's fans range from Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, to Ann Coulter, to talk-show host Laura Ingraham. While governor of Florida, Jeb Bush gave his blessing to key staffers to migrate to the Romney camp.

Grover Norquist notes that Romney was the first major candidate to sign Americans for Tax Reform's pledge to oppose any effort to raise marginal income tax rates. Norquist says Romney is moving to "place himself dead center of the Reagan coalition." If he succeeds, Norquist says,"He will be the strongest candidate for the nomination."

When asked which Republican candidate she fears the most, Donna Brazile - who managed Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign - replies, "Mitt Romney." Asked whether Romney's religion will hurt him, Ted Kennedy said recently, "The answer is no. We've moved on. That died with my brother Jack."

Romney is "a spectacular candidate," says Republican strategist Mary Matalin, a former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney. "He is methodical, and he's definitely got the happy warrior thing. He's substantive, and he's got executive skills. And he's 21st century, too." Romney's Mormon religion will turn out to be a plus, she says, because people "like that have a source of strength."


Like I said . . . this was an informative piece and one that you'll never see from the AP, New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, or LA Times . . . they save that space for pumping up Obama and Clinton or cutting down conservative Republican competitors.