Boston sports teams are always a hot topic in Massachusetts political races, and with Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox celebrating their 100th season in legendary Fenway Park this summer, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) is attempting to take advantage. Brown released a new ad this week about Fenway Park and the great memories Red Sox fans share there. In the ad, Brown praises Red Sox ownership for keeping the Red Sox in Fenway instead of moving them to a new stadium, a plan that was under consideration a decade ago.
BROWN: You know there’s been a lot of talk over the years about replacing the park. But that would have been a mistake. John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino deserve credit for improving what we have instead of starting over somewhere else. Families throughout the years will never forget their first Fenway appearance.
But as the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein found, Brown himself wanted to move the Red Sox to the Boston suburbs. “Exploring the possibility of a Red Sox relocation to Foxboro makes fiscal and economic sense,” Brown, then a state senator, wrote in January 2001. Brown was apparently alone with his proposal to move the Red Sox to Foxboro, a suburb 20 miles from Boston that is home to the National Football League’s New England Patriots, because Red Sox owners laughed it off. “The Red Sox belong in Boston where we have played for the last century,” team vice president Jim Healey said.
Ultimately, the Red Sox ignored Brown’s proposal and abandoned their own effort to build a new stadium, making this summer’s 100th anniversary celebration — and Brown’s misleading ad — a possibility.
Mitt Romney has not publicly stated his opinion on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the reauthorization of which Republicans are delaying this year because of added provisions for marginalized communities.
During an “Ask Mitt Anything” forum at the Derry-Salem Elks Club here, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney demurred when an audience member asked him whether he would hold up reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act on the grounds that it kept men from visiting their children.
“I’m not familiar with the Act,” Romney replied.
The answer surprised some women’s rights advocates, since the Violence Against Women Act — which established new federal crimes for domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking — has been federal law for more than a dozen years. Former President Bill Clinton signed it in 1994, it was the subject of a high-profile Supreme Court case in 2000 and has been reauthorized twice by Congress. Bush signed the most recent version in 2006.
Now that the presumed GOP nominee is accusing President Obama of waging a “war on women,” Romney should disclose his position on this bill.
His campaign has hedged on another key piece of legislation to help women, the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act of 2009, which Republicans blocked in 2008 and almost uniformly voted against the next year. He has not yet not taken a position on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would help close the pay gap between men and women. Republicans have so far killed that bill too.
But new Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings out yesterday reveal that in the final weeks before Rick Santorum’s withdrawal from the race, Friess struck out on his own in support of the candidate. Friess personally bankrolled a series of pro-Santorum newspaper and radio ads, printed grip cards, and gatherings without funneling the money through an outside group, with at least $71,614.11 in his own independent expenditures.
Like super PACs and corporations, individuals may legally run unlimited “independent expenditures” in support of their favored candidates, but it is exceedingly rare to see someone open their wallet directly, in this fashion.
In Wisconsin, he ran a minute-long spot about why he believed Rick Santorum was, “the only candidate capable of beating President Obama in November.” Friess told listeners:
When others say one thing in the primary elections and then another in the general election, Rick Santorum stays strong in his positions. Rasmussen polls show Santorum being President Obama by four percentage points in the four core states of Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia, while Mitt Romney loses by four points.
By Igor Volsky and Alex Seitz-Wald on Apr 12, 2012 at 1:24 pm
Concerned Women For America CEO Penny Nance
This morning, Mitt Romney’s campaign hosted a press call with women supporters to beef up the presumed GOP nominee’s flagging support among female voters. And while it was supposed to be about the economy — it was called “The Obama Economy Isn’t Working For Women” — most of the call was spent attacking a democratic strategist’s (and CAPAF board member) poorly chosencomments about Romney’s wife, Ann.
The call featured Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Virginia Delegte Barbra Comstock (R), Concerned Women For America’s Penny Nance, and a “mommy blogger.” But these surrogates are an odd choice to defend Romney on women’s issues.
Meanwhile, Comstock supported Virginia’s infamous bill to force women to be vaginally probed before getting an abortion, in addition its radical Personhood bill, and another bill that would prevent a woman from using her own money to purchase health private insurance that covers abortion.
Nance is a particularly egregious choice. Her group, CWA, holds some radical views that don’t reflect the beliefs of most American women. For example:
A WOMAN’S JOB IS TO HELP HER HUSBAND: Janice Shaw Crouse of CWA told the Christian post that “Many Christian women choose to work part time, to bring in some extra income to help the family, but they don’t view their job as a career or they don’t see themselves as career women — they see themselves helping their husbands. It’s a completely different perspective from modern secular feminists, a fundamental disagreement and a different worldview about what it means to be a woman.” [10/2011]
ATTACKED WORKING-MOTHERS: A paper penned by CWFA’s Beverly LaHaye Institute claimed that “the feminists have achieved their goal: widely available child care to ‘free themselves of motherhood.’” “[W]e’ve known for years that the outcomes are undesirable when children spend too much time in day care… The best environment to foster a child’s intellectual development is one in which his or her mother is actively involved on a day-to-day basis; the best environment is the home.” 
ATTACKED BIRTH CONTROL: The group put out a brochure titled “‘Birth Control’: Health Care or Health Risk?” It lists trumped-up side effects for common forms of birth control, such as, “poisoning of the organs,” “heart attack,” and even “death.” [Undated brochure]
GAY MOTHERS TREAT CHILDREN LIKE ‘GUINEA PIGS’: CWA’s Janice Shaw Crouse claimed “the data overwhelmingly says” that homes headed by same-sex couples “are not as good for children.” She went on to say that the “homosexual agenda” is “being advanced at the expense of our children and at the expense of the future of our country” and that we are witnessing “children who are being used as guinea pigs.” [11/2011]
Meanwhile, Nance — who endorsed and campaigned for Rick Santorum — has attacked Romney in the past, and even his religion. “With evangelical Christians being one of the largest voting blocs in America, ‘the Mormon thing’ may be an issue,” she wrote in an op-ed. “Some of my CWALAC ladies would love to understand the whole ‘eternal pregnancy in heaven thing,’ which, admittedly, to me sounds more like damnation than heaven,” she said of his religion.
The Romney campaign has issued a press release touting Concerned Women For America:
Ann Romney went on television this morning to champion a woman’s right to choose. Responding to Democratic strategist and CAP Action board member Hilary Rosen’s criticism that she “never worked a day in her life,” Mrs. Romney rebutted the attack and talked about her experience being a stay-at-home mom. Speaking to that point, she said, “we need to respect choices that women make.” Watch it:
Indeed, Ann Romney hit the nail on the head: We should respect the choices that women make when it comes to family planning. But those choices run the gamut — there’s the “choice” to stay home or work (though, that’s economically tough, and Ann Romney has probably never had to calculate the cost of daycare versus that of driving to work), take contraception to delay having a family until a woman is ready, and terminate a pregnancy that a woman cannot afford or handle.
But Romney’s positions have “evolved” to favor a conservative social agenda meant to endear him to the right wing. He now supports policies that limit women’s choices. Romney’s recent assaults on women’s health include “getting rid of” Planned Parenthood, supporting a personhood amendment, limiting contraception and restricting access to abortions.
Ann Romney’s message to women is clear: respect my choices, even if my husband may not respect yours.
Now that President Obama has distanced himself from this fake advisor’s statement, it’s time for Mitt Romney to show his commitment to women’s rights by also distancing himself from actual members of his campaign who’ve disrespected women or women’s rights. Unlike Rosen, these anti-woman Romney supporters are official advisors to Romney’s campaign or top campaign surrogates that Romney has proudly shared a stage with:
Bay Buchanan: Yesterday, in an attempt to overcome Romney’s weak poll numbers with women voters, the Romney campaign hosted Bay Buchanan on a press call as an official campaign surrogate. Bay, the sister of disgraced former TV pundit Pat Buchanan, has a long history of opposition to women’s rights. In a 2003 speech on the “four failures” of feminism, Bay Buchanan claimed that women are being “sold a bill of goods” when they pursue careers instead of having children, and she compared modern women to “alleycats” with respect to sex.
Robert Bork: Former judge and failed Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork is the co-chair of Romney’s “Judicial Advisory Committee.” Bork opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans employment and other discrimination against women, calling the idea that laws can require private companies to cease discriminating a “principle of unsurpassed ugliness.” More recently, the top Romney legal advisor mocked the very idea that gender discrimination even exists. In Bork’s words, “[i]t seems to me silly to say, ‘Gee, they’re discriminated against and we need to do something about it.’ They aren’t discriminated against anymore.”
Mitt Romney either believes that women who claim gender discrimination are “silly” or he does not. He either believes that women who express their sexuality are “alleycats,” or he does not. And he either believes that it is acceptable for one of his campaign’s top surrogates to offer to expose his genitals, or he does not. If the Obama campaign needs to disassociate himself from its non-advisor, than the least Romney can do is prove that he does not think women like Lilly Ledbetter are silly by abandoning his campaign’s most sexist advisors and surrogates.
With a fiercely contested May 8 primary looming, the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is making a big investment in support of Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) in his efforts to unseat sixth-term U.S. Sen. Richard “Dick” Lugar (R). The group has so far reported $199,058.19 in expenditures for their new pro-Mourdock, anti-Lugar campaign — and they may well spend more. But while the gun-rights group’s attack ads say Lugar has “changed,” it appears that it is actually the NRA that has shifted its priorities – from legislative dominance to judicial control.
Some things shouldn’t change. Our Indiana values, stewardship of the land, and the protection of our Second Amendment and hunting rights. But over his 36 years in Washington, Dick Lugar HAS changed. He’s become the only Republican candidate in Indiana with an F-rating from the NRA. It’s time for another change. Time to elect a senator who will protect our rights. Time to elect Richard Murdouck for Senate.
Watch the video:
The radio ad is more explicit with the group’s grievances, claiming that Lugar voted for gun bans, a hunting ban, and to confirm “both of Barack Obama’s anti-gun nominees to the Supreme Court.”
But Lugar’s record of supporting some gun-safety legislation is hardly a change. He voted Brady Bill and the assault weapons ban in 1993. He even ran a TV ad during his unsuccessful 1996 presidential run highlighting his assault weapons vote, explaining “being a conservative doesn’t mean you have to lose your common sense.” His 1994 NRA score was 50 percent and his lifetime NRA score as of 2000 was a C-.
In recent years, Lugar has actually cast several key votes with gun rights advocates, backing a 2009 amendment to allow Amtrak riders to check their guns on trains and 2004 and 2005 bills to shield gun manufacturers from liability and lawsuits. In 2006, the Gun Owners of America gave Lugar a 100 percent rating.
Now the NRA gives Lugar an “F,” which it says means he is a “true enemy of gun owners’ rights,” and “a consistent anti-gun candidate who always opposes gun owners’ rights and/or actively leads anti-gun legislative efforts, or sponsors anti-gun legislation.” Why did they sour on Lugar even as backed a number of gun lobby priorities? It appears that it isn’t Dick Lugar whose changed, but rather the NRA itself.
The top complaint on the anti-Lugar website is: “He voted to confirm both Elena Kagan, and Sonya Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, one of only four Republican Senators to vote for both. (Vote 262, 8/6/2009, and Vote 229, 8/5/2010).” Yet, prior to the Obama administration, the NRA had never jumped into a Supreme Court nomination battle. The group came out against Sotomayor’s confirmation and announced it would count the vote on its legislative scorecard. Some reports suggested that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the Senate Republican leadership pushed the NRA to score the vote. The group similarly opposed and scored the 2010 confirmation of Kagan. Both were confirmed easily, despite the NRA’s efforts.
So rather than really being about his record on legislation, the NRA-PVF appears to be punishing Sen. Lugar for not giving it a veto over judicial nominations — and betting that a Sen. Mourdock would.
Ultimately, however, it’s not clear how many potential judicial nominees could ever satisfy the NRA’s absurd standards — in its brief history in the business of judicial politics, the NRA has routinely opposed nominees who did nothing more than refuse to ignore binding legal precedents that the NRA doesn’t like. In other words, lawmakers who support judges who faithfully follow the law could be subject to the same attacks that Lugar now faces, while supporters of conservative judicial activism will get off scot free.
Romney Conference Call On Women To Feature Another Anti-Pay Equity Republican Congresswoman |
Yesterday, Mitt Romney’s campaign enlisted Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) to attack President Obama’s record on women’s issues, despite the fact that both had voted against two signature Obama administration efforts designed to fight pay discrimination against women. Today, the campaign announced a conference call to continue the bizarre attacks featuring three Republican women. The call will feature Rodgers and another Congresswoman, Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), who also voted against both the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. A third Romney supporter on the call, first-term Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), was not yet in Congress when the votes came up.
Newt Gingrich, who just a year ago was on the payroll at Fox News channel as a political analyst, attacked his former employer at a private campaign event yesterday, accusing the conservative cable news channel of being in the tank for Mitt Romney.
Real Clear Politics was granted access to the event, and flagged Gingrich’s remarks:
“I think FOX has been for Romney all the way through,” Gingrich said during the private meeting — to which RealClearPolitics was granted access — at Wesley College. “In our experience, Callista and I both believe CNN is less biased than FOX this year. We are more likely to get neutral coverage out of CNN than we are of FOX, and we’re more likely to get distortion out of FOX. That’s just a fact.” [...]
“I assume it’s because Murdoch at some point [who] said, ‘I want Romney,’ and so ‘fair and balanced’ became ‘Romney,’ ” Gingrich said. “And there’s no question that Fox had a lot to do with stopping my campaign because such a high percentage of our base watches FOX.”
Fox News ended its contract with Gingrich last spring as it became clear that the former Speaker intended to launch a presidential campaign.
The decision to admonish Fox News is a departure from other recent unsuccessful Republican presidential candidates, several of whom have converted their elevated prominence on the national stage into lucrative contracts with the network. Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin signed a deal with the network, and 2008 candidate Mike Huckabee now has his own weekend show.
“This is nothing other than Newt auditioning for a windfall of a gig at CNN–that’s the kind of man he is,” a spokeswoman for Fox News responded in a statement to Yahoo News. “Not to mention, he’s still bitter about the fact that we terminated his contributor contract.”