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Romney Attacked for Marriott Porn Policy

Fellow conservatives call him a hypocrite

Romney Attacked for Marriott Porn Policy
BOSTON - Right-wing presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has been drawing cries of hypocrisy from fellow conservatives for espousing a "family" ideology despite failing to block pay-per-view pornography from Marriott hotels during his nearly 10 years on the chain's board of directors.

According to an Associated Press story, Ohio's Citizens for Community Values (CCV), Washington's Family Research Council and other anti-porn groups have called Romney on the carpet for not using his influence as a Marriott board member to halt the offering of hardcore movies in the company's rooms, something they feel contradicts the "family man" image he's cottoned to in his campaign.

"Marriott is a major pornographer," said CCV president Phil Burgess. "And even though he may have fought it, everyone on that board is a hypocrite for presenting themselves as [having] family values when their hotels offer 70 different types of hardcore pornography."

Romney served on the Marriott board from 1992 to 2001, and has told the AP that he has no recollection of pornography being brought up for discussion during that time, nor any knowledge of how much revenue was being generated for the chain by porn, despite sitting at the head of the board's audit committee.

In a noncommittal statement on the matter, Romney remarked, "I am not pursuing an effort to try and stop adults from being able to acquire or see things that I find objectionable; that's their right. But I do vehemently oppose practices or business procedures that will allow kids to be exposed to obscenity."

Marriott's television and movie services during Romney's board tenure were provided by On Command Corp., bought out last year by LodgeNet Entertainment Corp., which assumed the contract. Marriott has refused to disclose whether the On Command contract was ever discussed or voted upon by the board, but spokesman Roger Conner did reveal that the contract was signed in 1991, the year prior to Romney's start. The company argues that offering PPV porn is a fiscal necessity due to customer demand and contract stipulations.

"It certainly would have been wrong to impose his own personal beliefs if they were contrary to the financial interests of the company," said Conner.

In a "Focus on the Family" radio broadcast this week, media analyst Daniel Weiss said, "If [Romney] made money off pornography in the post, is he going to turn a blind eye to it if he's president? Because as chief executive of the nation, it's his responsibility to make sure our nation's obscenity laws are efficiently and vigorously enforced."

Romney, meanwhile, during a May 5 commencement address at evangelist Pat Robertson's Regent University, drew a link between pornography and the Virginia Tech and Columbine High School shooting sprees, saying, "Pornography and violence poison our music and movies and TV and video games. The Virginia Tech shooter, like the Columbine shooters before him, had drunk from this cesspool."
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