Thought I would share my experience with everyone on the trials and tribulations of dealing with the Romney campaign on our key issues, especially given the recent post on the non-dialogue with the Obama campaign. This started back in April when I visited the Romney website to see where he stood on FATCA, citizenship based taxation, taxation without representation, etc. There is a sub-page of the website for “issues” and the campaign has obviously gone to great effort to tell everyone where he stands with respect to the US economy, jobs, gun rights, etc… but of course a complete vacuum when it comes to the main issues that impact US citizens abroad. So I fill out the form on the website to contact the campaign and note the total lack of information on the website concerning the issues most important to me, (i.e. FATCA, citizenship based taxation, taxation without representation) and ask where he stands on these issues, as it would be an important consideration to me as to who to vote for and who to financially support as well.
Here is the pathetic form letter I received in response:
Thank you for contacting me to learn more about my policy positions. I appreciate your interest in my campaign for president.
Over the course of the campaign, I look forward to having a continuing conversation with voters about the issues that are so important to ensuring our success as a nation. I hope you’ll take the time to learn about my views at www.MittRomney.com/issues.
I am running for president because I believe in America and know that our best days are still ahead. I believe that the principles that made America the leader of the world today – freedom, opportunity, and free enterprise to name just a few – are the very principles that will keep America the leader of the world tomorrow. These last few years have not been the best of times. But, while we’ve lost a few years, we have not lost our way.
Again, thank you for contacting me. I encourage you to visit my website at www.MittRomney.com to connect further with my campaign and learn about my vision for America’s future.
So, months go by and I decided to visit the Romney website again. To my surprise, the “issues” page is even more developed and contains more subjects and more depth on some issues, but again I am disappointed to find absolutely nothing with respect to the issues most important to me. So lesson learned the first time, won’t go down that route again, so I try another approach or two. On the contact page there is a place to report problems with the website, ok, let’s try the technical approach since the substance approach did not work the first time. I report that I have problems finding any issues related to US citizens abroad, and that the sub-page on the “states” does not list where I live, there must be a problem and could they rectify these issues with the website. Total silence, I received absolutely no response or acknowledgement of my problem with the website.
So I try a third attempt—this time I take the money approach, as that often makes people listen, I hope. Also on the “contacts” page is place to report problems making a donation. So I try this out. Indeed there is a problem. The page to make a donation has a mandatory field for “state” and “zipcode”. The “state” field has a drop down menu, so you have to choose one of their choices, of course the 50 states and the District of Columbia are listed but no Switzerland, nor any other foreign country for that matter, and no way to get around it. But then I do notice they have the Mariana Islands listed, hmmmm, quite interesting but still no foreign locations. So I try to report this deficiency through the webform, only there is a problem just reporting the problem, you have to fill out the mandatory “state” field just to report. Ok, so I become an honorary resident of the Mariana Islands in the eyes of the Romney campaign in order to report this issue. I am able to input a fake zipcode of “00000”. I tell them I cannot make a donation as my resident country is not listed and I temporarily lied and do not live in the Mariana Islands. Could they fix this problem in case I or other US citizens abroad would like to donate, and would appreciate Romney revoking FATCA as a first priority as we might not have a bank account long enough to make a donation. I wait, but am surprised to find a response 3 days later…it seems money does make people listen, but still they have not answered any of the real questions. Here is the response:
Thank you for your email. We are working on helping our U.S. citizens to donate abroad. For the time being please mail in your contributions. You can send your donation to the following address:
Romney Victory, Inc.
PO Box 149756
Boston, MA 02114-9756
Please note that a donor form needs to accompany your donation. I’ve attached one to this email.
So in sum, it is clear we do not exist in the eyes of the Romney campaign, our issues are non-existant, and I suspect we will get nowhere trying to engage these politicians in an election year on issues that are important to us. However, they are willing to take our money!