Connect with us

Photo Op: Romney Campaign Bought Supplies To Give To Red Cross Which Only Accepts Money



With all due respect to the people personally impacted by Hurricane Sandy, allow me to explain why this event is the perfect symbol of what a Mitt Romney presidency would look like.

Mitt Romney, desperate to maintain some form of relevance during a national disaster that killed dozens of people, put millions out of their homes, plunged millions more into darkness and plunged hundreds of towns under water, decided to rename his “victory rally” slated for today in Ohio, and dress it up as a World War II “relief effort,” complete with a canned goods drive.

READ: Romney Donating Sandy Supplies To GOP Swing States — Not NY

Team Romney didn’t want to be caught making the same mistake they have made throughout his campaign — shoot first and don’t even bother to ask questions or correct the record later — as they did on September 11 this year when we were attacked in Egypt and Libya. As someone on Twitter today aptly wrote, this time, team Romney didn’t want to release a statement in the middle of the night attacking President Obama for ignoring and then apologizing to Mother Nature.

Anyone who has ever donated to the Red Cross, or any one of dozens of charities over the past decade’s worth of natural disasters, like the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, or the 2010 Haiti earthquake, know that it’s cash — or credit — charities ask for. (Or, in the case of the Red Cross, blood.)

You cannot send the Red Cross blankets. Or canned goods. Or bottled water.

Why would you?

For what it would cost to go to the store, buy those items, and ship them to the Red Cross or drop them at a local office, and then have the Red Cross spend countless man hours (person hours!) sorting and packaging them, then sending them to victims would take days or weeks and cost a small fortune.

A $50 donation of supplies could easily cost $50 to process.

Thanks. So. Much.

So, of course, that’s exactly what candidate Romney did.

Romney personally asked people to bring blankets, bottled water, and canned goods — just like they did in World War II — to his victory rally, or, now, “relief effort.”

The Red Cross does not accept supplies. They accept cash (and blood.)

So the Romney camp had to pressure the Red Cross to accept their supplies, which they finally did, after the campaign had asked supporters to bring them to the rally-cum-relief effort, after the campaign made donors stand in line until candidate Romney came to be photographed, rolled up sleeves and all, behind a table, accepting bags of beans and blankets.

But now news comes that Team Romney not only collected Poland Spring, they went out and bought it.


And that’s the point.

Team Romney took campaign contributions and used them to buy supplies — water, canned goods, and blankets — to use as photo op props, then forced the Red Cross to take them, rather than just taking that cash and giving it to the Red Cross.

Romney today “spoke while standing in front of a bank of tables where campaign volunteers had neatly lined up toothpaste, diapers, canned food and fleece blankets, among other goods,” an AP story at reports:

A spokesman later confirmed that Romney’s campaign had purchased some of the supplies. Though it was billed as a “storm relief event,” the candidate’s trademark campaign video was broadcast on large screens set up for the supporters who gathered inside the arena before Romney arrived.

“I will devote every waking hour of my energy to getting America strong again. That’s what an American president has to do,” Romney says in the video.

After he spoke, he stood behind a table full of relief supplies and shook hands with attendees one at a time, taking bags full of relief supplies from many of them. Romney later loaded more relief supplies into a waiting truck as a handful of reporters watched. He loaded bottled water, boxes of diapers and pallets of canned food into the truck, and was joined by Ohio Sen. Rob Portman.

Buying supplies, rather than providing the structure and support — rather than directing supporters to donate to the Red Cross — is what Team Romney chose to do to appear relevant.

How would a President Romney, who has said it would be “immoral” to keep FEMA, handle our nation’s next natural disaster?

Sometimes, as the New York Times editors eloquently wrote yesterday, “A Big Storm Requires Big Government.”

FEMA, the Times notes, “was put back in working order by President Obama, but ideology still blinds Republicans to its value. Many don’t like the idea of free aid for poor people, or they think people should pay for their bad decisions, which this week includes living on the East Coast.”

The East Coast, especially the northern East Coast, isn’t “real America,” to the GOP.

And sometimes — despite what the mind and machinations of Mitt Romney would hope for — big business doesn’t trump big government.

Republicans are so fond of attacking government, so keen on exposing how government “doesn’t work,” how government, to quote Reagan, “is the problem,”  that they trip over themselves to ensure their thesis is correct. Republicans spend their time in government — or campaigning for the opportunity — making sure government doesn’t work so they can tell you how much government doesn’t work.

Like FEMA under George W. Bush, who put in charge of it Michael Brown, who today was caught berating President Obama for “jumping on” Hurricane Sandy “so quickly.” Michael Brown, the man who was forced to resign as the Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association — his job immediately before coming to head FEMA. Michael Brown, who, as Katrina beared down on New Orleans, told his staff he needed more time for dinner before he would respond. Michael Brown, who made sure the cameras caught him standing with the president, pretending everything was being taken care of as people, ultimately, at least 1833 people, were dying in Katrina’s wake. Michael Brown, who made FEMA into such a disgrace.

Mitt Romney would do the same.

Doubt it?

Look what he just did.


You can donate to the American Red Cross at their website.

Images: Top: Part_Deux, Bottom, Think Progress, which has an excellent Timeline Of Katrina

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 9:00 PM to include the Michael Brown paragraph.


Trump Using Hurricane Sandy Deaths To Promote $5 Million Obama Challenge

Romney Campaigning Off Storm: Holding ‘Relief Event’ With NASCAR’s Petty

Romney Attempts To Use Hurricane For Campaign, Impede Emergency Response

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.


Lindsey Graham Admonished by Senate Ethics Committee



U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been formally admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for violating ethics rules and standards by repeatedly soliciting campaign donations during an interview at the Capitol.

The bipartisan committee issued Graham a Public Letter of Admonition after the South Carolina Republican solicited donations for Georgia GOP Senate nominee Herschel Walker.

“Based upon all available information, the Committee concluded that on November 30, 2022, you conducted a media interview with Fox News in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building and that your interview was slightly over nine minutes, with over four minutes devoted to a discussion of the 2022 senatorial run-off election in Georgia. The Committee further concluded that during your discussion of the senatorial run-off election, you directly solicited campaign contributions on behalf of Mr. Walker’s campaign committee,, five separate times.”

The letter notes that Sen. Graham had previously violated the same standards when he solicited campaign donations in a federal building in October of 2020, but said it was an “unplanned media interview.” When a reporter had asked him about fundraising, Graham “directly solicited campaign contributions” for his re-election campaign.

READ MORE: Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing

The Committee noted “mitigating” circumstances and did not cite him for that violation.

“The public must feel confident that Members use public resources only for official actions in the best interests of the United States, not for partisan political activity,” the letter concludes. “Your actions failed to uphold that standard, resulting in harm to the public trust and confidence in the United States Senate. You are hereby admonished.”

CNN’s Manu Raju posted the letter to social media.

You can read the letter below or at this link.

Continue Reading


Watch: GOP Lawmaker Orders Grieving Parkland Parents Removed From ‘ATF Overreach’ Hearing



U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) is being criticized for having the parents of a victim of the Parkland school massacre removed from a GOP-led House committee hearing on “ATF Overreach” after he deemed them “out of order” for remarks they made while a Member was speaking. Minutes later, Capital Police pinned the father to the ground in the hallway and arrested him.

“See this is, exactly what we have to avoid!” Rep. Fallon, chairing the joint hearing, angrily declared as he pointed his finger after the father, Manuel Oliver, made a remark that was inaudible. “Which is some minority of folks trying to silence dissent. Dissent shouldn’t be kryptonite.”

“There’s a decorum that should be adhered to,” Fallon, who recently refused to sign a statement denouncing white supremacy, said as he chastising Oliver.

After another, louder outburst, Fallon mockingly asked, “Is this an insurrection? So will they be held to the same — I don’t want another January 6.”

READ MORE: ‘Unlawful Incursion’: Manhattan DA Schools Jim Jordan for Demanding He Testify in Ongoing Trump Investigation

Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) responded, “If they’re trying to overthrow the government, they oughta be held to the same standard, but I think they’re trying to express their frustrations.”

Angrily again, Rep. Fallon interjected.

“Whoa whoa whoa whoa,” he shouted as he banged the gavel.

“Member’s out of line,” Fallon said (incorrectly. The term is “out of order.”)

Shortly thereafter, Rep. Fallon had both Manuel and Patricia Oliver removed.

ABC News reporter Will Steakin, who was in the hearing, tweeted video and said bot Manuel and Patricia Oliver “appear to leave without resistance… moments later there was a loud thud outside the hearing room and I found Manuel being pinned to the ground by multiple officers.”

“Manuel Oliver, the father of a 17-year-old Parkland shooting victim, was arrested Thursday on Capitol Hill after he appeared to shout at a Republican lawmaker who was speaking during a hearing on gun regulations,” NBC News reports. Patricia Oliver, his wife and the mother of their 17-year old son, Joaquin Oliver, who was one of 17 people who died in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, was not arrested.

READ MORE: ‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs

On social media critics expressed anger at Fallon.

“Rep. Pat Fallon (R) thinks parents of slaughtered children should just sit down & shut up as Republicans maintain outrageously dangerous gun laws. He had this parent expelled rather than just giving a warning, which is the usual,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Texas Rep. Pat Fallon: You are the EXACT problem with the gun violence and why it keeps being the leading cause of death in children today,” wrote another.

According to the NIH, gun violence is the leading cause of childhood death.

Still another Twitter user blasted Fallon: “What disgraceful & despicable behavior by Representative Pat Fallon. Exercising your right to free speech is being an insurrectionist? The man lost his son. Have you no compassion? I think he has more than earned the right to be heard by Congress. Such an abuse of power.”

And one called Fallon “feckless.”

Continue Reading


‘Repercussions’: Biden White House Warns Uganda ‘Kill the Gays’ Bill Could Force US to Cancel $950 Million in Annual Aid



The Biden administration may cancel the $950 million in annual assistance the U.S. provides to Uganda if President Yoweri Museveni signs into law its latest “Kill the Gays” bill, which calls for the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and between ten and 20 years in prison for other LGBTQ “acts.”

National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby on Wednesday made clear if Uganda further criminalizes homosexuality and the LGBTQ community there could be “repercussions that we would have to take.”

“That would be really unfortunate because so much of the economic assistance that we provide Uganda is health assistance,” Admiral Kirby said at a White House press briefing.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also told reporters Wednesday the Biden administration has “grave concerns” over the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA), and “increasing violence targeting LGBTQIA+ persons.”

READ MORE: Florida GOP Lawmaker Who Wrote ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Facing Up to 35 Years After Pleading Guilty in COVID Fraud Case

“If the AHA is signed into law and enacted, it would impinge upon universal human rights, jeopardize progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, deter tourism and invest in Uganda and damage Uganda’s international reputation,” Jean-Pierre warned. “The bill is one of the most extreme anti-LGBTQI+ laws in the world.”

Kirby and Jean-Pierre’s remarks came on the same day as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Uganda’s “Kill the Gays” legislation, saying it “would undermine fundamental human rights of all Ugandans and could reverse gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”

“The United States provides more than $950 million in aid to Uganda each year, according to the State Department. The money supports development and health care measures, such as combating HIV/AIDS,” Courthouse News reported Wednesday. “Uganda is already among 30 African countries that ban same-sex relations. The new proposal would broaden penalties and appears to be the first to outlaw identifying as LGBTQ+, according to Human Rights Watch.”

Watch the videos above or at this link.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.