Monday, October 23, 2006

Summary of Romneys activites with LDS Church

A good summary of the LDS church/Romney controversy can be detailed here.

Apparantly emails were published over the weekend by the Boston Globe between Romney Consultant Don Stirling and Deseret Book Publisher CEO Sheri Dew. On the surface these e-mails appear incriminating but a further analysis show they are nothing but an over zealous supporter. The church has emphatically denied any such collaboration with Romney.

Even if everything the Globe has reported was true, would it damage Romney? Probably not. Two points to remember:

1. Romney is not an official candidate so it would be impossible for the church to be breaking anysort of IRS laws concerning their support of a political candidate.

2. What potential candidate would not use his social networks?

In the aformentioned Tribune article quoted Pollster John Zogby:

As for political ramifications of the story, veteran pollster John Zogby said Sunday the revelation so far probably doesn't carry much weight with potential voters.

"The polling that we've done indicates a very strong national consensus on separation of church and state," Zogby said. "This is seen as more of a social network than a church network. Everyone who runs for office calls upon their social network."

In my mind I can't help but wonder why a newspaper would be willing to carry a story with such major ramifications with only a couple 3rd party emails. The follow up question would be how in the world did the Globe obtain these private emails? I am sure that neither Dew nor Stirling would have handed them over so one is left questioning the tactics of the Globe. The Globe seemed to eager to play this up from the start. The original articles with black and white mugshots on the side of Jeffrey Holland, Kem Gartner and Josh Romney were something worthy of The Onion.

I have a feeling that from here there is not much more room for the story though, unless they find Jimmy Hoffa in the Commonwealth PAC meatlocker (I am sure they have looked.)

Lastly the LDS church released (as does prior to every major election) it's statement on political neutrality:

"In this election year church members are again reminded to exercise their right to study the issues and candidates, and then vote for those they believe will most nearly carry out their ideas of good government.

"While affirming its constitutional right of expression on political and social issues, the church reaffirms its long-standing policy of neutrality and does not endorse candidates for political office. Church facilities and membership data are not to be used for political purposes.

"Members who hold public office should not imply or give the impression they represent the church as they work for solutions to social problems."


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