Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney relented to pressure and released two years of tax returns today, an action that an expert on investing and entrepreneurship believes can be used as a "teaching moment" to educate voters on the nation's complicated tax structure. The Romney’s 2010 tax return shows the couple paid 13.9 percent in taxes, and an estimate of their 2011 return shows an estimated 15.4 percent tax rate. With both years combined, this amounts to about $6.2 million in taxes on about $42.4 million of income. The returns are more than 500 pages and can be found here. The couple gave around $4.1 million to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. ($2.6 million in 2011 and $1.5 million in 2010). They also contributed to The Tyler Foundation thus making their charitable contributions well above 10 percent. One reason Romney may have been hesitant to release his tax returns are due to the complex nature of the return, it takes more than a 30 second sound byte to explain. For example, the vast majority of the couple’s income has already been taxed, thus underestimating his total tax burden on the same dollar. [...]
Charleston, S.C. – Voters are accustomed to seeing the spouses of political candidates stump for their better half’s on the trail. But in this week’s South Carolina primary, the children of two of the remaining GOP hopeful are fulfilling critical role in their father’s campaigns and in a unique ways. The children of the other candidates may be more active, but none are larger than the Santorum clan of seven children ranging in age from 20 to 3 and a half. They include Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick and Bella. The former Pennsylvania Senator and his wife Karen are tireless campaigners and public servants who have chosen to involve their children in all aspects of their political life. When Santorum moved from the House of Representatives to the Senate in 1995, the couple decided it was best to move the family to Washington so the Senator could come home, have dinner with the kids and put the younger ones to bed, before returning to the Hill for late night votes. Seeing them on the campaign trail offers a unique glimpse into their family dynamics. To read the rest of the article click here.
Charleston, SC – A new poll released by LifeWay Research shows that presidential candidates who share their faith on the campaign trail may not be helping their cause. The results of this study may go against the strategy being implemented by at least two of the GOP candidates this week in South Carolina as they try to woo evangelicals to the polls on Saturday. The online survey of adult Americans was conducted Sept. 23-26 and asked the question, “When a candidate running for office regularly expresses religious conviction or activity, how does that impact your vote?” According to the study’s findings, only 1 in 6 Americans, or 16 percent, are more likely to vote for a candidate who regularly shares their religious beliefs. Even more interesting, 30 percent indicated they would be less likely to vote for a candidate expressing religious activity, 28 percent say it would have no impact on their choice of a candidate and 21 percent of Americans said it would depend on the candidate’s religion. Despite this study’s findings, at least half of the GOP candidates have been touting their personal religious convictions when speaking to groups in Iowa, New Hampshire and now in South Carolina. [...]
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is continuing to ride a wave of support despite revelations from his second wife on Thursday that he asked her for an "open marriage." I've been in South Carolina all week and I have to say that things have changed drastically since Sunday. At the beginning of the week there were six GOP presidential hopefuls. Now that Huntsman and Perry have dropped out we're down to four. If one of the remaining group does not have a respectable finish in the Palmetto State, there could be one less. Needless to say, Thursday was the most eventful day in the presidential campaign season to date. Besides the news of Marianne Gingrich "outing" her former husband, Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the race and endorsed Gingrich, who later the same day laid into CNN's John King for beginning the networks Thursday evening debate on the marriage issue. Many of my colleagues in the press feel that Gingrich won the debate. Yet despite all the negative news the Gingrich campaign had to deal with, I sense he is going to win in South Carolina. Romney will come in second which means Santorum will finish [...]
CHARLESTON, S.C. – With less than 48 hours until the South Carolina primary, GOP presidential candidates are hustling about to win over the state's many still undecided, if not conflicted, Values Voters. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum stopped in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., this afternoon to try to convince undecided voters why he is their best option. But before speaking to voters, Santorum presented Family Research Council President Tony Perkins with a sweater vest – now a Santorum trademark. FRC along with The Heritage Foundation are sponsors of the Values Voter bus tour. Santorum spoke at the bus tour's stop in Mt. Pleasant. “I would encourage voters to look for core convictions,” said Santorum. It’s one think to talk about values; it’s another to live them – to walk the walk. Plus they need to look for someone who is not afraid to lead.” To read the remainder of the article click here.