Tuesday, October 23, 2012

In the November general election

In the November general election, despite a disastrous showing for Democrats nationwide, Kennedy won the election with 58 percent of the vote to Romney's 41 percent,[56] the smallest margin in any of Kennedy's re-election campaigns for the Senate.[143]

The day after the election, Romney returned to Bain Capital, but the loss had a lasting effect; Sony VAIO VPCF115FG/B Battery

he told his brother, "I never want to run for something again unless I can win."[47][144] When his father died in 1995, Mitt donated his inheritance to BYU's George W. Romney Institute of Public Management.[55] He also joined the board, as vice-chair, of the Points of Light Foundation,which had incorporated his father's National Volunteer Center. Sony VAIO VPCF116FGBI Battery

Romney felt restless as the decade neared a close; the goal of simply making more money was becoming inadequate for him.Although no longer in a local leadership position in his church, he still taught Sunday School.During the long and controversial approval and construction process for the $30 million Mormon temple in Belmont, he feared that, as a political figure who had opposed Kennedy,Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ/W Battery

he would become a focal point for opposition to the structure.[113] He thus kept to a limited, behind-the-scenes role in attempts to ease tensions between the church and local residents.

In 1998, Ann Romney learned that she had multiple sclerosis; Mitt described watching her fail a series of neurological tests as the worst day of his life. Sony VAIO VPCF117HG/BI Battery

After experiencing two years of severe difficulties with the disease, she found – while living in Park City, Utah, where the couple had built a vacation home – a combination of mainstream, alternative, and equestrian therapies that enabled her to lead a lifestyle mostly without limitations.Sony VAIO VPCF118FJ/W Battery

When her husband received an offer to take over the troubled organization responsible for the 2002 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, to be held in Salt Lake City in Utah, she urged him to accept it; eager for a new challenge, as well as another chance to prove himself in public life, he did. On February 11, 1999, Sony VAIO VPCF119FC Battery

theSalt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games of 2002 hired Romney as their president and CEO.

Before Romney took the position, the event was running $379 million short of its revenue goals. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC/BI Battery

Officials had made plans to scale back the Games to compensate for the fiscal crisis, and there were fears it might be moved away entirely.[149]Additionally, the image of the Games had been damaged by allegations of bribery against top officials including prior committee president and CEO Frank Joklik. Sony VAIO VPCF119FJ/BI Battery

The Salt Lake Organizing Committee forced Joklik and committee vice president Dave Johnson to resign.[150] Utah power brokers, including Governor Mike Leavitt, searched for someone with a scandal-free reputation to take charge of the Olympics, and chose Romney based on his business and legal expertise as well as his connections to both the LDS Church and the state. Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ Battery

The appointment faced some initial criticism from non-Mormons, and fears from Mormons, that it represented cronyism or made the Games seem too Mormon-dominated.[38] Romney donated to charity the $1.4 million in salary and severance payments he received for his three years as president and CEO, and also contributed $1 million to the Olympics. Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ Battery

Romney restructured the organization's leadership and policies.  He reduced budgets and boosted fundraising, alleviating the concerns of corporate sponsors while recruiting new ones.Romney worked to ensure the safety of the Games following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by coordinating a $300 million security budget. Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery

He oversaw a $1.32 billion total budget, 700 employees, and 26,000 volunteers The federal government provided approximately $400 million to $600 millionof that budget, much of it a result of Romney's having aggressively lobbied Congress and federal agencies.[ It was a record level of federal funding for the staging of a U.S. Olympics. Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery

An additional $1.1 billion of indirect federal funding came to the state in the form of highway and transit projects.

Romney emerged as the local public face of the Olympic effort, appearing in photographs, in news stories, on collectible Olympics pins depicting Romney wrapped by an American flag, Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery

and on buttons carrying phrases like "Hey, Mitt, we love you!" Robert H. Garff, the chair of the organizing committee, later said "It was obvious that he had an agenda larger than just the Olympics,"and that Romney wanted to use the Olympics to propel himself into the national spotlight and a political career.[Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery

Garff believed the initial budget situation was not as bad as Romney portrayed, given there were still three years to reorganize.Utah Senator Bob Bennett said that much of the needed federal money was already in place.An analysis by The Boston Globe later stated that the committee had nearly $1 billion in committed revenues at that time. Sony VAIO VPCF11MFX/B Battery

Olympics critic Steve Pace, who led Utahns for Responsible Public Spending, thought Romney exaggerated the initial fiscal state to lay the groundwork for a well-publicized rescue.[160] Kenneth Bullock, another board member of the organizing committee and also head of the Utah League of Cities and Towns, Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E Battery

often clashed with Romney at the time, and later said that Romney deserved some credit for the turnaround but not as much as he claimed.[144] Bullock said: "He tried very hard to build an image of himself as a savior, the great white hope. He was very good at characterizing and castigating people and putting himself on a pedestal." Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B Battery

Despite the initial fiscal shortfall, the Games ended up with a surplus of $100 million.[161] President George W. Bush praised Romney's efforts and 87 percent of Utahns approved of his performance as Olympics head. It solidified his reputation as a "turnaround artist", and Harvard Business School taught a case study based around his actions. Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E Battery

U.S. Olympic Committee head William Hybl credited Romney with an extraordinary effort in overcoming a difficult time for the Olympics, culminating in "the greatest Winter Games I have ever seen".Romney wrote a book about his experience titled Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games, published in 2004. Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery

The role gave Romney experience in dealing with federal, state, and local entities, a public persona he had previously lacked, and the chance to relaunch his political aspirations.

In 2002, plagued by political missteps and personal scandals, the administration of Republican Acting Governor of Massachusetts Jane Swift appeared vulnerable, and many Republicans viewed her as unable to win a general election. Sony VAIO VPCF11ZHJ Battery

Prominent party figures – as well as the White House – wanted Romney to run for governorand the opportunity appealed to him for reasons including its national visibility.[168] A poll by the Boston Herald showed Republicans favoring Romney over Swift by more than 50 percentage points.On March 19, 2002, Sony VAIO VGN-SR2RVN/S Battery

Swift announced she would not seek her party's nomination, and hours later Romney declared his candidacy,[169] for which he would face no opposition in the primary.[170] In June 2002, the Massachusetts Democratic Party challenged Romney's eligibility to run for governor, noting that state law required seven years' consecutive residence and that Sony VAIO VGN-SR390NAB Battery

Romney had filed his state tax returns as a Utah resident in 1999 and 2000.In response, the bipartisan Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission unanimously ruled that he had maintained sufficient financial and personal ties to Massachusetts and was, therefore, an eligible candidate.[173]

Romney again ran as a political outsider.[162] He played down his party affiliation, Sony VAIO VGN-SR390NAH Battery

saying he was "not a partisan Republican" but rather a "moderate" with "progressive" views.[175] He stated that he would observe a moratorium on changes to the state's laws on abortion, but reiterated that he would "preserve and protect a woman's right to choose" and that his position was "unequivocal".Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery

He touted his private sector experience as qualifying him for addressing the state's fiscal problems[170] and stressed his ability to obtain federal funds for the state, offering his Olympics record as evidence.He proposed to reorganize the state government while eliminating waste, fraud, and mismanagement . Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery

The campaign innovatively utilized microtargeting techniques, identifying like-minded groups of voters and reaching them with narrowly tailored messaging.[178]

In an attempt to overcome the image that had damaged him in the 1994 Senate race – that of a wealthy corporate buyout specialist out of touch with the needs of regular people – the campaign staged a series of "work days",Sony VAIO VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

in which Romney performed blue-collar jobs such as herding cows and baling hay, unloading a fishing boat, and hauling garbage. Television ads highlighting the effort, as well as one portraying his family in gushing terms and showing him shirtless,[ received a poor public response and were a factor in his Democratic opponent, Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/P Battery

Massachusetts State Treasurer Shannon O'Brien, leading in the polls as late as mid-October.He responded with ads that accused O'Brien of being a failed watchdog for state pension fund losses in the stock market and that associated her husband, a former lobbyist, with the Enron scandal.These were effective in capturing independent voters. Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/S Battery

O'Brien said that Romney's budget plans were unrealistic; the two also differed on capital punishment and bilingual education, with Romney supporting the former and opposing the latter.[181]

During the election, Romney contributed more than $6 million – a state record at the time – to the nearly $10 million raised for his campaign overall. Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF Battery

On November 5, 2002, Romney won the governorship, earning 50 percent of the vote to O'Brien's 45 percent.

The swearing in of Romney as the 70th governor of Massachusetts took place on January 2, 2003.He faced a Massachusetts state legislature with large Democratic majorities in both houses, and had picked his cabinet and advisors based more on managerial abilities than partisan affiliation. Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery

He declined a governor's salary of $135,000 during his term.[188] Upon entering office in the middle of a fiscal year, he faced an immediate $650 million shortfall and a projected $3 billion deficit for the next year.[174] Unexpected revenue of $1.0–1.3 billion from a previously enacted capital gains tax increase and $500 million in new federal grants decreased the deficit to $1.2–1.5 billion. Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/S Battery

Through a combination of spending cuts, increased fees, and removal of corporate tax loopholes,[189] the state achieved surpluses of around $600–700 million during Romney's last two full fiscal years in office, although it began running deficits again after that.

Romney supported raising various fees, including those for driver's licenses and gun licenses, to raise more than $300 million. Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery

He increased a special gasoline retailer fee by two cents per gallon, generating about $60 million per year in additional revenue.Opponents said the reliance on fees sometimes imposed a hardship on those who could least afford them.Romney also closed tax loopholes that brought in another $181 million from businesses over the next two years and over $300 million for his term. Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery

He did so in the face of conservative and corporate critics who viewed these actions as tax increases.

The state legislature, with the governor's support, cut spending by $1.6 billion, including $700 million in reductions in state aid to cities and towns.The cuts also included a $140 million reduction in state funding for higher education, Sony VAIO VGN-SR59VG Battery

which led state-run colleges and universities to increase fees by 63 percent over four years.Romney sought additional cuts in his last year as governor by vetoing nearly 250 items in the state budget; a heavily Democratic legislature overrode all the vetoes.

The cuts in state spending put added pressure on localities to reduce services or raise property taxes,Sony VAIO VGN-SR59VG/H Battery

and the share of town and city revenues coming from property taxes rose from 49 to 53 percent. The combined state and local tax burden in Massachusetts increased during Romney's governorship. He did propose a reduction in the state income tax rate that the legislature rejected.

Romney sought to bring near-universal health insurance coverage to the state.  Sony VAIO VGN-SR70B/S Battery

This came after Staples founder Stemberg told him at the start of his term that doing so would be the best way he could help people.Another factor was that the federal government, owing to the rules of Medicaid funding, threatened to cut $385 million in those payments to Massachusetts if the state did not reduce the number of uninsured recipients of health care services. Sony VAIO VGN-SR72B/P Battery

Although the idea of universal health insurance had not come to the fore during the campaign, Romney decided that because people without insurance still received expensive health care, the money spent by the state for such care could be better used to subsidize insurance for the poor.

Determined that a new Massachusetts health insurance measure not raise taxes or resemble the previous decade's failed "Hillarycare" proposal at the federal level, Sony VAIO VGN-SR72B/S Battery

Romney formed a team of consultants from diverse political backgrounds to apply those principles.  Beginning in late 2004, they devised a set of proposals that were more ambitious than an incremental one from the Massachusetts Senate and more acceptable to him than one from the Massachusetts House of Representatives that incorporated a new payroll tax. Sony VAIO VGN-SR73JB/S Battery

In particular, Romney pushed for incorporating an individual mandate at the state level.[20]Past rival Ted Kennedy, who had made universal health coverage his life's work and who, over time, had developed a warm relationship with Romney,gave the plan a positive reception, which encouraged Democratic legislators to cooperate. Sony VAIO VGN-SR74FB/S Battery

The effort eventually gained the support of all major stakeholders within the state, and Romney helped break a logjam between rival Democratic leaders in the legislature.

On April 12, 2006, the governor signed the resulting Massachusetts health reform law, commonly called "Romneycare", Sony VAIO VGN-SR90FS Battery

which requires nearly all Massachusetts residents to buy health insurance coverage or face escalating tax penalties, such as the loss of their personal income tax exemption.The bill also established means-tested state subsidies for people who lacked adequate employer insurance and whose income was below a threshold, using funds that had covered the health costs of the uninsured. Sony VAIO VGN-SR90NS Battery

He vetoed eight sections of the health care legislation, including a controversial $295-per-employee assessment on businesses that do not offer health insurance and provisions guaranteeing dental benefits to Medicaid recipients.The legislature overrode all eight vetoes, but the governor's office said the differences were not essential. Sony VAIO VGN-SR90S Battery

The law was the first of its kind in the nation and became the signature achievement of Romney's term in office.

At the beginning of his governorship, Romney opposed same-sex marriage and civil unions, but advocated tolerance and supported some domestic partnership benefits. Sony VAIO VGN-SR90US Battery

A November 2003 Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision required the state to recognize same-sex marriages (Goodridge v. Department of Public Health).[210] Romney reluctantly backed a state constitutional amendment in February 2004 that would have banned those marriages but still allowed civil unions, viewing it as the only feasible way to accomplish the former. Sony VAIO VGN-SR91NS Battery

In May 2004, in compliance with the court decision, the governor instructed town clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However, citing a 1913 law that barred out-of-state residents from getting married in Massachusetts if their union would be illegal in their home state, he said no marriage licenses were to be issued to those people not planning to move to Massachusetts. Sony VAIO VGN-SR91PS Battery

In June 2005, Romney abandoned his support for the compromise amendment, stating that it confused voters who opposed both same-sex marriage and civil unions.[208] Instead, he endorsed a ballot initiative led by the Coalition for Marriage and Family (an alliance of socially conservative organizations) that would have banned same-sex marriage and made no provisions for civil unions. Sony VAIO VGN-SR91S Battery

In 2004 and 2006, he urged the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment.[212][213]

In 2005, Romney revealed a change of view regarding abortion, moving from the pro-choice positions expressed during his 1994 and 2002 campaigns to a pro-lifeone in opposition to Roe v. Wade. Sony VAIO VGN-SR91US Battery

Romney attributed his conversion to an interaction with Harvard University biologist Douglas Melton, an expert onembryonic stem cell biology, although Melton vehemently disputed Romney's recollection of their conversation.[214] Romney subsequently vetoed a bill on pro-life grounds that expanded access to emergency contraception in hospitals and pharmacies (the legislature overrode the veto). Sony VAIO VGN-SR92NS Battery

He also amended his position on embryonic stem cell research itself.[nb 14]

Romney used a bully pulpit approach towards promoting his agenda, staging well-organized media events to appeal directly to the public rather than pushing his proposals in behind-doors sessions with the state legislature. Sony VAIO VGN-SR92PS Battery

He dealt with a public crisis of confidence in Boston's Big Dig project – that followed afatal ceiling collapse in 2006 – by wresting control of the project from the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.After two years of negotiating the state's participation in the landmark Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that instituted a cap and trade arrangement for power plant emissions in the Northeast, Sony VAIO VGN-SR92S Battery

Romney pulled Massachusetts out of the initiative shortly before its signing in December 2005, citing a lack of cost limits for industry.[216]

During 2004, Romney spent considerable effort trying to bolster the state Republican Party, but it failed to gain any seats in the state legislative elections that year. Sony VAIO VGN-SR92US Battery

Given a prime-time appearance at the 2004 Republican National Convention, political figures began discussing him as a potential 2008 presidential candidate.[218] Midway through his term, Romney decided that he wanted to stage a full-time run for president,[219] and on December 14, 2005, announced that he would not seek re-election for a second term. Sony VAIO VGN-SR93DS Battery

As chair of the Republican Governors Association, Romney traveled around the country, meeting prominent Republicans and building a national political network;[219] he spent all, or parts of, more than 200 days out of state during 2006, preparing for his run.

The governor had a 61 percent job approval rating in public polls after his initial fiscal actions in 2003, Sony VAIO VGN-SR93JS Battery

although his approval rating subsequently declined,driven in part by his frequent out-of-state travel. Romney's approval rating stood at 34 percent in November 2006, ranking 48th of the 50 U.S. governors.Dissatisfaction with Romney's administration and the weak condition of the Republican state party were among several factors contributing to Sony VAIO VGN-SR93PS Battery

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