Thursday, November 29, 2007

GOP Gay Group Slams Romney in New Ad

GOP Gay Group Slams Romney in New Ad
1 hour ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican gay rights advocacy group accuses Mitt Romney of "Mitt-flops" in a new radio ad that criticizes the former Massachusetts governor on his tax record.
The ad by the Log Cabin Republicans notes that Romney signed legislation in 2003 that increased taxes on New Hampshire residents who worked in Massachusetts. It also says Romney raised taxes on businesses, a point Romney disputes by saying he was merely closing tax loopholes.

"Mitt Flops — sounds like something you'd wear to the beach, but they could cost you," the ad states. "Let's see. Running for governor, Mitt Romney said he'd balance the budget without raising taxes. So what'd he really do? He raised taxes on some New Hampshire residents who worked in Massachusetts, taxing their income and their pensions."

The ad represents yet another anti-Romney campaign by an independent political group that is hitting the airwaves with six weeks before the New Hampshire primary. This weekend, the Republican Majority for Choice, a group that advocates abortion rights, is running television and newspaper ads in New Hampshire and Iowa accusing Romney of flip-flopping on abortion.
The radio ad represents the second effort by the Log Cabin Republicans to cast Romney as a flip-flopper. Last month, the group aired an ad in Iowa and on national cable that sought to undercut his support among social conservatives.

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said it was no surprise that a gay rights group would oppose Romney because he has supported a federal amendment that would declare marriage to be between a man and a woman.

"This negative attack and gross distortion of the governor's record was launched and paid for by a group recognized as having Mayor (Rudy) Giuliani as their 'favorite' candidate," Madden said. Giuliani has had the support of some gay rights groups in the past and has backed limited legal recognition for same-sex couples.

"Governor Romney has a stellar record of fiscal responsibility, having cut wasteful spending and worked to lower taxes as a chief executive focused on pro-growth economic policies," Madden said.
The criticism from the Log Cabin Republicans is similar to criticism of Romney contained in Giuliani's Web site, and in some cases the two camps cite the same sources.
But Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon said there was no coordination between his group and the Giuliani camp.
"We are not endorsing any candidates in this race," he said. "We have members who are working and supporting different candidates. Gov. Romney is, as usual, trying to attack the messenger instead of responding to the message."

Romney Wins Fast-Talking Honors and shows temper

Romney Wins Fast-Talking Honors
November 29, 2007 03:46 PM ET Permanent Link

As U.S. News 's Liz Halloran reported earlier today, the heated CNN/YouTube Republican presidential debate last night proved particularly rough for Iowa caucus front-runner and former Gov. Mitt Romney, who was pushed repeatedly to clarify his stances on a number of fire-and-brimstone issues, like abortion.

His defensiveness showed. According to an (unscientific) U.S. News analysis of all eight candidates at the debate, Romney, over the course of the two-hour event, had the fastest average rate of speaking, as measured in words per minute.

Here's the tally, ranked in descending order from the night's fastest talker to the slowest (words per minute = wpm):
Mitt Romney: 233 wpm
Tom Tancredo: 226 wpm
Rudy Giuliani: 201 wpm
Mike Huckabee: 199 wpm
Duncan Hunter: 188 wpm
John McCain: 182 wpm
Ron Paul: 179 wpm
Fred Thompson: 177 wpm

To be fair, Romney was also the fastest talker at the October 21 debate in Orlando, with an average that night of 205 wpm (nearly 30 words per minute slower). That finding alone might be surprising, given Giuliani's reputation as a fast- and tough-talking New Yorker.
More tellingly, though, is the observation that Romney couldn't keep calm last night when faced with accusatory remarks. By our analysis, there was a clear statistical difference between Romney's rate of speaking when he was on the attack and in control of his answers, and, conversely, when he was fending off an attack himself. In the latter cases, his wpm spiked. For instance:

* Accused by Giuliani of hiring illegal immigrants at his mansion, Romney responded with apparent disbelief—"Are you suggesting, Mr. Mayor—because I think it is really kind of offensive..."—and covered a sizable 105 words in 25 seconds, for a rate of 250 wpm, above his average for the night.

* Forced to respond to a video of a younger Mitt Romney expressing support for abortion rights, Romney quickly pumped out 190 words in just over 45 seconds, a rate of 247 wpm.

* Pressed to explain his views on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, Romney, with visible frustration, ramped all the way up to 325 wpm to deliver this blitz of a line: "I look forward to hearing from the military exactly what they believe is the right way to have the right kind of cohesion and support in our troops and I listen to what they have to say."

—Kent Garber

Jesse Harris gets smacked down by Utah Taxpayers Association


Rep. Urquhart and Jesse Harris have recently been discussing questions regarding the financial position of UTOPIA on their respective blogs, and Jesse Harris has focused on what he perceives as the dearth of public information on UTOPIA’s financial position. Fortunately, UTOPIA has published much of the data Rep. Urquhart is asking for. Given the dismal story the data tells, however, it’s not surprising UTOPIA doesn’t like to talk about it.

UTOPIA’s original feasibility study projected that they would receive an average revenue per user (ARPU) of $58 (page 16). Page 29 of the same feasibility study anticipates that a take rate of less than 20% would jeopardize the $10.1 million annual sales tax pledges from member cities. Over the 20 years of the UTOPIA bonds, that means UTOPIA pledging members would have to pay $202 million.

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