AFL-CIO: Up With Porn, Down With Romney

By Chris Good

Porn is already an issue in the 2012 presidential race.

Marriott, on whose board Mitt Romney sat until earlier this month, has decided to remove adult content from its in-room movie options--a decision that would appear to have little to do with electoral politics, except that Romney was blasted by some social conservatives in 2008 for his connection to Marriott, in light of the soft-core in-room offerings.

That won't be an issue for Romney this time around, should he enter the GOP primary.

But it is earning him criticism from the left, as the AFL-CIO has taken umbrage at Marriott's anti-pornographic move.

"When it comes to folks who actually work for a living--and negotiating on their wages, benefits, etc--we always hear the mantra 'we must maximize revenue and value for the shareholders,'" AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale wrote in a mass e-mail to reporters today. "Interesting how this pillar of corporate philosophy seems to have gone right out the window when it comes to helping their billionaire buddy's presidential campaign."

It's not that the AFL-CIO likes porn on its own merits, according to Vale; rather, it's the "hypocrisy" of cutting a revenue stream that could be spent on higher wages. UNITE HERE, an AFL-CIO member, represents some Marriott workers.

Modern national elections are marked by such commentary--reporters can measure the intensity of the political moment by the pace at which mass-emails about hypocrisy are sent--and it's never too early to start. Especially when the debate is over entertainment options for traveling businessmen.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/01/afl-cio-up-with-porn-down-with-romney/70074/