Category Archives: Mitt Romney

Secret Republicans in California’s Silicon Valley and Hollywood

The two-party system is embedded in the institutional structural DNA of the United States. That’s why historically, third parties have built-in disadvantages and thus fare poorly in elections. Some of us still remember both the allure as well as the ultimate defeat of Ross Perot.

It is bad enough that at the élite leadership level, often there’s precious little difference between the Democratic and Republican parties, despite the fact that a majority of Americans (62% in October 2010) identify themselves as “conservatives.” (Note: Conservative is not synonymous with Republican.) But in some states, California being a notable example, government has become the monopoly of the Democratic party, with all the attendant corruption and unaccountability endemic to single-party states. (See, for example, DCG’s “Shocker, not: Audit finds California departments break law, game personnel system for money“.)

Blacklist

Significant industries and sectors of America are also effective one-party states. Below is Rebecca Nelson’s article in the National Journal, April 8, 2015, on two such sectors that are dominant in forming and molding public opinion and popular culture — Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

Deep in Silicon Valley, where the free market reigns and the exchange of ideas is celebrated, a subset of tech workers are hiding their true selves. Working as programmers and software engineers, they don’t want the stigma that comes with revealing who they really are.

They’re the tech company employees, startup founders, and CEOs who vote for and donate to Republican candidates, bucking the Bay Area’s liberal supremacy. Fearing the repercussions of associating with a much-maligned minority, they keep their political views fiercely hidden.

“It’s a liberal echo chamber,” Garrett Johnson, a co-founder of Lincoln Labs, which was started in 2013 to connect the right-of-center outsiders in Silicon Valley, told National Journal. “People have been convinced that Silicon Valley is reflexively liberal or progressive. And so their response is to conform.”

Silicon Valley has long been a bastion of liberalism. Since George H.W. Bush won Napa County in 1988, Republican presidential nominees have lost every county in the Bay Area. In 2012, President Obama won 84 percent of the vote in San Francisco to Mitt Romney’s 13 percent and raised more for his reelection campaign from Bay Area donors than from those in New York or Hollywood. Political donations specifically from tech workers follow that trend: Google employees collectively gave $720,000 to Obama in 2012, versus $25,000 for Romney. Crowdpac, a nonpartisan political analytics firm, found that between 1979 and 2012, tech companies have overwhelmingly favored liberal candidates.

Rather than ruffle feathers—or worse—Republicans who work there often just keep quiet. Rich Tafel, who coaches tech companies in politics and policy, understands the dynamic. The founder of the gay group Log Cabin Republicans, he’s had many Republicans in Silicon Valley confide to him their true political views.

“You just learn how to operate, if you will, in the closet as a Republican,” Tafel told National Journal. “You keep your viewpoints to yourself.”

One startup CEO who has worked in Silicon Valley for more than a decade says that while it’s popular to talk politics in the workplace, the underlying assumption is that everyone has similar views.

The CEO, who generally votes Republican and donates to GOP candidates—he spoke on background to conceal his right-leaning views—said that in 2012, “you wouldn’t want to say you’re voting for Romney in the election.” At the same time, openly expressing one’s support for Obama was “incredibly common.”

His opposition to raising the minimum wage is just one area where he diverges with most of his colleagues…. But he would never reveal his more conservative outlook on the matter…. “They can’t fathom that somebody disagrees with them,” he said. “And I disagree with them. So I’m not going to open up that box.”

Closeted Republicans aren’t just a phenomenon in the tech industry. In Hollywood, where acclaimed movie stars and directors throw lavish fundraisers for Democrats and unabashedly support liberal causes, Republicans are a rare breed. Friends of Abe, a GOP support group of sorts, caters to A-list conservatives in the entertainment industry. Only a handful of its members have made their affiliation known, and its roster is kept secret out of fears of a blacklisting reminiscent of the McCarthy era.

For some right-leaning techies, the GOP brand itself is a liability. The startup CEO stressed that there are “a number of ideas that conservatives have that I totally disagree with,” such as opposition to same-sex marriage, and he abhors the thought of being lumped in with Republicans who deny climate change or evolution.

“Republicans are regarded as assholes,” he said. “And I wouldn’t want to be associated with assholes.”

Another Republican who founded a small San Francisco-based startup told National Journal that he’s worried potential partners and investors would be turned off by his libertarian views. Recently, it seems like all of his peers in Silicon Valley have been outspoken about their opposition to the thwarted religious liberty law in Indiana, he said. He thinks business owners should be allowed to decide whom they serve, and if they discriminate against gays, people can choose not to patronize their business. He won’t discuss that view, though, or debate his left-leaning colleagues on Facebook or Twitter.

“If I were to speak out about something like that, maybe one of these companies wants to buy my company one day and the CEO is like, ‘Oh, I remember this guy saying all this stuff about this thing that I really disagree with.’ And that obviously could have negative effects,” he said. “Getting your point across isn’t worth it.”

The consequences for being outed for conservative views can be dire. In a highly public controversy last year, newly-hired Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich stepped down after critics attacked his 2008 donation to support Proposition 8, the anti-same-sex marriage law in California. Eich, who declined to comment for this story, faced an internal uprising from within the Mozilla community, as well as boycotts from other tech companies, and quit after just two weeks on the job.

Though Eich’s was an extreme case, some Republicans in Silicon Valley fear that if they go public, they’ll face subtler, less direct repercussions. The CEO who spoke on background keeps his conservative-leaning views to himself, he said, because he doesn’t want to risk people not liking him, which could hurt his job in imperceptible ways. As a leader, he needs to be able to inspire people to join and thrive in his company. If he’s “contrarian,” he said, he can’t build the necessary camaraderie to succeed.

Matthew Del Carlo, the former president of the San Francisco Young Republicans and the COO of the California Young Republican Federation, said that transparent Republicans can have a much harder time finding work in the Bay Area. “I’ve had people tell me, ‘If I found out that this person’s a Republican, their resume’s off the list.‘”

Prominent Republicans do openly work in Silicon Valley, and not all of them feel stigmatized for their political views. Billionaire Paypal founder Peter Thiel is a high-profile GOP supporter who has made considerable donations to presidential contender Ted Cruz’s 2012 Senate run and former congressman Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential super PAC. And Sarah Pompei, who handled Romney’s regional press in 2012 and now serves as Hewlett-Packard’s director of corporate communications, told National Journal she’s never felt denigrated for her conservative views.

Both Pompei and Thiel, who declined to comment for this story, prove success in the tech industry is possible for Republicans who are open about their political leanings. But they wield more power and cachet than the average start-up employee.

“There’s fearless people out there that don’t care, but those tend to be people that are in a better position financially. They’re secure in their job,” Del Carlo said. Those with more to lose, he said, often find it easier to keep quiet.

Still, Thiel’s attention-getting fundraising for GOP candidates and libertarian causes, along with other high-profile Republicans in the tech sector, show that the climate in Silicon Valley is—albeit incrementally—becoming more politically inclusive. Lincoln Labs, the group dedicated to connecting right-of-center techies in the Bay Area, has been a big part of that effort. Earlier this year, its annual conference, Reboot, brought libertarians and conservatives from Silicon Valley to Washington to hear Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul speak on deregulation, net neutrality, and other tech-industry priorities.

Throughout the year, the organization holds meetups and hackathons to build a “sense of community, so that people don’t feel like they are isolated,” Johnson said. He and Lincoln Labs’ other co-founders, Aaron Ginn and Chris Abrams, want to empower a true exchange of ideas within the tech community, without ostracizing any one view.

Silicon Valley purports to be a place where the best ideas win,” Johnson said. “If we are going to encourage diversity, let’s not just stop with gender and ethnicity. How about ideological perspective?

Conservatives and libertarians in Silicon Valley like Johnson are pioneering a new kind of Republican. With a distinctly libertarian flavor, they align with the party on the principles of liberty and limited government, but don’t necessarily lean right on—or care much about—social issues.

The entrepreneurs and techies of the Bay Area, said Tafel, are “very aligned to what could be a Republican party.” They just need to come out.

See also:

~Éowyn

Catholics are leaving the Democratic Party

It seems that every day, we are inundated by bad news, including posts published on FOTM.

It gets depressing.

But never fear! I bring you a piece of good news for a refreshing change!

Though U.S. Catholics are not a monolithic voting bloc, their votes are very important because in election after election, Catholics consistently voted the way that the majority in the election voted. In other words, the Catholic vote is a swing vote.

But the term “Catholic Democrats” should be and is an oxymoron. Despite church teachings on the sanctity of (heterosexual) marriage and on abortion being an un-negotiable “intrinsic evil,” too many American Catholics are and vote Democrat. Even worse, they remained Democrats despite their party openly and publicly denying God three times at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

But that is beginning to change. Catholics, especially white Catholics, are leaving the Democratic Party.

Hallelujah!

~Éowyn

Armor of God I can do all things through Christ

From California Catholic Daily, March 19, 2015:

It’s one of the central contradictions of American politics: that there’s no such thing as the “Catholic vote,” yet the Catholics vote still matters.

There’s no “Catholic vote” in terms of Catholics representing an electoral bloc that votes according to what their bishops tell them, or in lockstep with the tenets of their religion. Yet winning Catholic voters has been essential to almost every presidential victory in modern times. And the defection of Catholics voters has played a role in some of the most consequential congressional turnovers in recent history — from 1994 to 2014 — making Catholics the ultimate swing voters. And for Democrats, that could be bad news.

While Catholics have been swing voters since Richard Nixon’s second term, white Catholics are now identifying as Republican by historic margins. According to the most recent polling from the Pew Research Center, 53 percent of white Catholics now favor the GOP, versus 39 percent who favor the Democrats—the largest point spread in the history of the Pew poll. And for the first time, white Catholics are more Republican than the voting group usually considered the ultimate Republicans: white Protestants (a designation that includes both mainline and evangelical Protestants).

These are ominous signs for the Democrats, evincing a new and growing allegiance with the Republican Party that has long-term implications.

So why are white Catholics abandoning the Democratic Party? There are some long-term trends at play. Steve Krueger, head of the group Catholic Democrats, notes that conservative bishops have been beating the war drums since the George W. Bush administration, even going so far in some cases as to argue that “good” Catholics can’t vote for Democrats because of their support for abortion rights and, more recently, same-sex marriage — which has resulted in an increased politicization of the church.

Stephen Schneck of Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies has noted that there’s been a certain “distillation” of the Catholic vote as a record number of presumably more liberal-leaning Catholics — some one-third of those raised Catholic — have left the faith altogether. “More and more of those who remain are those who actively choose to embrace the church and its teachings,” he wrote.

But neither of these trends explains why white Catholics have abandoned the Democratic Party so suddenly and so dramatically. After all, in 2008 Barack Obama managed to keep his margin of loss of white Catholic voters to John McCain to just 5 points. But four years later, he lost the white Catholic vote to Mitt Romney by a stunning 19 points.

Krueger points to the Catholic bishop’s demonization in 2011 of the “contraceptive mandate” in the Affordable Care Act, and their subsequent ginning up of the war on “religious liberty” — which was joined by elements of the religious right and fused with its war on Obamacare — as another factor helping to drive Catholics toward the GOP. And the numbers bear Krueger out. According to Pew, between 2009 and 2014, the number of white Catholics who said the Obama administration — and by inference the Democratic Party — was “unfriendly to religion” more than doubled from 17 percent to 36 percent. 

“The shift in the Catholic vote should really be a wakeup call to the Democrats,” says Krueger. “White Catholics are 18 percent of the electorate and Catholics vote 1 to 2 percentage points above their representation in the overall population. This is a significant voting bloc that now perceives Republicans as being more welcoming to people of faith.”

Taxpayers paid $225,756 for Senator Hillary Clinton’s private plane trips

Faces of Hillary

Jonathan Allen reports for Bloomberg, Jan. 29, 2015, that during her 8 years as a U.S. senator (D-NY), Hillary Clinton took more than 200 privately chartered flights at taxpayers’ expense, to the tune of $225,756.

More troubling is the fact that for some of those private plane trips, she used the jets of corporations and major campaign donors. So much for Hillary being for the poor and the little people.

Clinton, 67, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, reported the travel in official filings with the Senate. While there is no evidence Hillary’s Senate trips, which ranged in cost from less than $200 to upwards of $3,000 per flight, ran afoul of Senate rules, some senators don’t charter private flights at all. Others, like Hillary, do. Their privately chartered flights in just one year — 2013 — cost taxpayers $1 million, according to a report in USA Today.

The practice became a political issue last year for Democratic Senate candidates, including Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu, who spent $47,000 on charter flights in 2013, and Virginia’s Mark Warner, who spent $8,500 on a tour around his state that year. Landrieu lost, while Warner narrowly won.

In Clinton’s case, her private air travel included jets owned by a handful of private companies and investment groups, including Coca-Cola, Citigroup, Abbott Laboratories, InfoUSA (now known as InfoGroup Inc.), Avenue Capital Group LLC, and Saban Capital Group. Some of those private companies are major donors to Hillary and Bill Clinton which, of course, should raise conflict-of-interest questions:

1. Saban Capital Group was founded by longtime Clinton campaign financier Haim Saban, who, along with his wife and their family foundation, contributed between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation through 2013. Saban told Bloomberg Television he will spend “as much as needed” to help elect Hillary president in 2016.

2. Avenue Capital Group: On April 8, 2006, when Hillary criticized President George W. Bush’s use of the powers of the presidency at a women’s leadership forum in Providence, Rhode Island, she flew round trip on Avenue Capital Group’s plane at a cost of $408, which was billed to taxpayers. The firm, run by Clinton campaign benefactor Marc Lasry, later hired Hillary’s daughter, Chelsea, who worked there until 2013.

3. InfoUSA: On Dec. 30, 2005, Hillary flew from White Plains, New York, to Washington to pick up top aide Huma Abedin on the way to Charleston, South Carolina. They rode aboard InfoUSA’s jet, which company founder Vinod Gupta, a close family friend, often used to transport and entertain the Clintons and other recognizable figures, according to court filings. Hillary Clinton billed the Senate for $858 to fly on his company’s plane. Bill Clinton made more than $3 million as an adviser to InfoUSA after leaving the White House in January 2001 and also was given options on 100,000 shares of stock, which were never exercised. In 2010, Gupta paid a $7.4 million settlement after the Securities and Exchange Commission charged him with misappropriating company funds.

4. Aircraft Services Group Inc.: The bulk of Senator Hillary’s privately chartered flights were chartered through Aircraft Services Group Inc., which boasts two Gulstream IV jets and a 16-seat Embraer Legacy among its managed fleet. The president and chief executive officer of Aircraft Services Group, George Reenstra, donated $500 apiece to Clinton’s Senate and presidential campaigns in 2006 and 2007, according to Federal Election Commission records.

An unnamed aide to Mitt Romney — who was criticized by the media for being an out-of-touch rich man during the 2012 presidential campaign — told multiple news outlets this week that Hillary would have a hard time portraying Romney as out of touch in a 2016 campaign when she owns multimillion dollar houses and seldom flies commercial.

See also:

~Éowyn

Home ownership increasingly out of reach for U.S. middle class

Home ownership is increasingly out of reach for America’s middle class.

In just one year, the percentage of all homes for sale considered affordable for the middle class has fallen from 62% in 2013 to 59% in 2014.

That’s the finding of a new report by Trulia, an online residential real estate site for home buyers, sellers, renters and real estate professionals.

U.S. home ownership

Mail Online reports, Nov. 21, 2014, that Trulia defines an affordable city as one in which the “total monthly payment, including mortgage, insurance, and property taxes, is less than 31% of the metro area’s median household income.”

By that definition, owning a home is increasingly hard to do for most middle class families.

Other findings in the Trulia report:

  • Most of America’s most affordable cities are around the Great Lakes.
  • Ohio is the state with three cities in the top ten most affordable cities.
  • The two cities where a middle class income is most likely to find you a home are Dayton, Ohio, followed by Rochestor, New York.
  • The least affordable cities tend to be on the coasts, with six on that list being in California.

Trulia economist Jed Kolko said the dream of owning a home is falling out of reach of many Americans: “Homeownership is getting less affordable for the middle class. Unless incomes increase substantially, home ownership will slip further beyond the reach of many households.”

elections have consequences

I’ve been meaning to ask this question to those who had reelected Obama to the presidency in 2012, in particular voters who are in business or in the military or are Christians:

Do you honestly think that if the pro-business and business-experienced, pro-military and military-supported, and Mormon Mitt Romney — who is not perfect — had been elected president, America’s economy, military, and Christianity would be in the sorry state they are today?

And do you honestly think that a President Romney would now be enmeshed in one scandal after another — IRSgate, Grubergate, Benghazigate, VA hospital-gate, Amnestygate, ad nauseum?

Stop being blindly partisan. Try and be honest, for once in your life.

See:

~Eowyn

Romney tells a birther joke

On Sunday night (Oct. 12, 2014), while campaigning for 2014 U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst of Iowa, former GOP presidential nominee and Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney told a birther joke about President Ebola:

President Obama went to the bank to cash a check and he didn’t have his ID. And the teller said you’ve got to prove who you are.

He said, “How should I do that?” She said the other day Phil Mickelson came in, he didn’t have his ID but he set up a little cup on the ground, took a golf ball, putted it right into that cup so they knew it was Phil Mickelson. They cashed his check.

And then Andre Agassi came in. And Andre Agassi didn’t have his ID either. He put a little target on the wall, took a tennis ball and racquet– hit it onto that target time. We knew that was Andre Agassi so we cashed his check.

And she said to him, “Is there anything you can do to prove who you are?” And [Obama] said, “I don’t have a clue.”

And she said, “Well, Mr. President, do you want your money in small bills or large bills.”

H/t BirtherReport

Remember what the late Joan Rivers said to a reporter two months before she died, after going into a coma while undergoing a routine endoscopy?

She said, “We all know he [Obama] is gay and Michelle is a tranny.”

Just as Hollywood and the MSM “all know” we have a homosexual president and a transgender first lady, America’s political élites also “all know” about Obama’s bogus birth certificate and his constitutional ineligibility to be president of the United States.

But I do give Romney some credit for being the first nationally-known politician to bring up this subject, albeit in a joke.

See also:

~Eowyn

Virginia Democrat wishes Ebola on the NRA

File this in the now-voluminous “Liberals Are Such Nice People” folder.

Mike Dickinson1

See the bald, fat guy with the double chin in the photo above?

He’s Mike Dickinson, a Democrat running for Congress from Richmond, Virginia.

In his “Dickinson For Congress” Twitter bio, he describes himself as:

Left wing liberal and soon to be radio host. Published in Hustler. Seen on Fox news. Written about in major media.

He’s proud to be published in the hard porn mag, Hustler. Good grief.

Hey, Dickinson! You can add this FOTM post to your “written about in major media” bio.

Douglas Barclay reports for Rare that on Aug. 31, 2014, the warm-and-fuzzy oh-so-tolerant “left wing liberal” Dickinson sent out this tweet to his 2,285 Twitter followers, wishing that members of the National Rifle Association be infected with the deadly Ebola virus that has a fatality rate of 60-90%:

Dear god [sic]. Please use Ebola to infect the @NRA and it’s [sic] various members. For they are A (sic) true virus and true terrorists in America.

Mike Dickinson

Not only is the man vicious, he’s also a grammar idiot.

Note to Mike Dickinson:

It’s “its,” not “it’s”!

Earlier this July, dirty-old-man Dickinson had made headlines for offering money for nude photos of 19-year-old Kendall Jones, the Texan cheerleader who hunts exotic wild animals.

Dickinson is not endorsed by the Democrat Party.

H/t Clash Daily

See also these other warm-and-fuzzy oh-so-peaceful leftwing liberals:

~Eowyn

“Being a liberal is the best thing on earth you can be”

Narcissist: Inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity. Synonyms: self-centeredness, smugness, ecocentrism.

Grandiose: Affectedly grand or important; pompous.

Hyperbole: A figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect; an extravagant statement.

lauren bacall

After Lauren Bacall’s death, Daily Beast had an article describing her as “as a smart and sharp liberal and anti-communist” and “she was a worldview person”. They said she told Larry King in 2005 that she was “anti-Republican…A liberal. The L-word.”  Let’s examine some of that “total, total, total” best thing on earth shall we?

“You are welcoming to everyone when you’re a liberal (and anti-Republican)

tolerance2

palin2

  • Unless you are a woman who chooses to keep her baby with Potter’s Syndrome.
  • Unless you are a conservative woman (Playboy’s list of conservative women to hate f*ck).
  • Unless you are a conservative Asian woman.

Vile Palin t-shirt

palin3

  • Unless you are a conservative man.
  • Unless you are a former republican vice president.

cheney

  • Unless you are a republican governor who wants to protect his state’s borders.
  • Unless you are a rich republican who donates money for a new ambulatory care center.
  • Unless you are a conservative black man.
  • Unless you are a conservative black man on the SCOTUS.

thomas

  • Unless you are a black man who chaired the RNC.
  • Unless you are a conservative black man who runs for president.

cain

“Liberals gave more to the population of the United States than any other group”

  • Liberals haven’t done much for the population of Chicago.
  • Liberals haven’t done much for the population of Detroit.

detroit

hopeandchange3

california

  • Liberals haven’t done much for the population of Boston, who will be paying for the “Big Dig” through 2038 (at a cost overrun of 190%).
  • Liberals haven’t done much for the population of Multnomah County (OR) stuck in poverty (one in three Multnomah County residents earn less money than needed to meet their basic needs).
  • Liberals haven’t done much for the US student population when it comes to math, reading and science.
  • Liberals haven’t done much for the student population of Washington (Nearly every school in Washington is failing, at least according to the No Child Left Behind federal proficiency standards).
  • Liberals haven’t done much for the future US population (unless you think record debt is a good thing).
  • And lasty, liberals sure haven’t given us more of a population (Margaret Sanger would be proud).

proud liberal

DCG