OK

God I hate Mitt Romney. That slick snake-oil salesman masquerading as our Governor and would-be presidential candidate is so oily you probably couldn't grip his hand to shake it if you tried...or if you wanted to. I've never like the guy, having seen his crap before when he took a run at Ted Kennedy, but that so many in Massachusetts bought his act hook, line and sinker simply amazed me. He rested on his laurels of saving the Utah Olympics, which he didn't, and then used it to run for governor.  
Since he's been here he's been out of town more than here, flip-flopped on his promises and opinions and has been blatantly using our state as his launching pad in a run for president in 2008.
But this morning, I open my paper and see this gem (front page, above the fold!)...
Romney camp consulted with Mormon leaders
Eyes nationwide network to aid White House bid

WTF?...

Governor Mitt Romney's political team has quietly consulted with leaders of the Mormon Church to map out plans for a nationwide network of Mormon supporters to help Romney capture the presidency in 2008, according to interviews and written materials reflecting plans for the initiative.

Apparently, over the past two months, Romney's political operatives and church leaders have discussed building a grass-roots political organization using alumni chapters of Brigham Young University's business school around the country.

Well, Romney wouldn't do something as stupid as this would he? I mean, if this network set-up is true, it breaks the laws regarding separation of church and state and the Mormon church could lose their tax-exempt status. Would even they be so stupid? Apparently so...

...recently, representatives of BYU, which is run by the church, and Romney's political action committee have begun soliciting help from prominent Mormons, including a well-known author suggested by the governor, to build the program, which Romney advisers dubbed Mutual Values and Priorities, or MVP.
The president and prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley, has been made aware of the effort and expressed no opposition, the documents show, and at least one other top church official has played a more active role.
Church officials and Romney advisers downplayed the discussions. Church officials say they have a position of strict neutrality on political matters and are not supporting Romney's candidacy.

I'm no expert on the Mormon religion, but I think we've all seen kids out on the streets of our cities, large and small, doing their required missionary work. And the layers upon layers of leaders (all men, by the way, mostly white) could give Romney a ready-made organization to get the word out about his campaign as well as getting the vote out in the primaries. Perhaps the first states where caucuses and primaries will be held will see an influx of well-scrubbed white boys I their white shirts and black ties.

Anyway, the whole article is well worth a read. There is also a timeline graphic and companion piece about the IRS having to step up oversight of churches being fined or losing tax-exempt status for promoting (or denigrating) politicians to their flock. I can't post the whole thing `cause I don't want to violate the Globe's copyright.I 'm at work and don't have the time to digest the article for the diary, but folks should read it. You might have to register, but it's free (unless there's already a Kos user/pw set up already that I don't know about).
But here's the linky if you're interested.
C'mon IRS, do your thing!

Originally posted to MA Liberal on Thu Oct 19, 2006 at 11:27 AM PDT.

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