Last month, three of the four current Republican presidential contenders responded to a survey from the group Morality in Media’s War on Illegal Pornography campaign. They all agreed to get aggressive with violators of federal obscenity laws if elected president. Mitt Romney specifically said he would be for “strict enforcement of our nation’s obscenity laws, as well as the promotion of parental software controls that guard our children from Internet pornography.”
But campaign filings show that, last September, Romney accepted the maximum campaign contribution of $2,500 from Daniel Staton, the chairman of Friend Finder Networks Inc. that owns —among several other properties — Penthouse, BDSM sites like Bondage.com and BDSM.com, and LikeMyNudePhoto.com. Romney also accepted $2,000 from Staton and an additional $2,300 from Friend Finder Network CEO Marc Bell during his failed 2008 presidential campaign.
Romney's attempt—as Jon Stewart so aptly pointed out on Letterman last night—to become Rick Santorum will fail if he keeps cozying up to pornographers. The thing about becoming a social conservative is that once you make that claim about yourself, you're not allowed to flip-flop on values (unless your name is Newt Gingrich, apparently). If I were Rick Santorum—shudder—I would make sure to hit Romney with this affiliation at the next debate on February 22nd.