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free103point9 Newsroom has moved to of March 18, 2010 A blog for radio artists with transmission art news, open calls, microradio news, and discussion of issues about radio art, creative use of radio, and radio technologies. free103point9 announcements are also included here.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mitt Romney and Ham radio

From Southgate Amateur Radio Club:
Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney says that he never intended to demean Amateur radio in an exchange with a television reporter two years ago. This, as the debate over his comments flares anew on the ham bands and on hobby radio blogging websites nationwide....during a televised town meeting that aired on November 16 of 2005 on segment 2 of WCVB television's "When Disaster Strikes." The program featured public safety and volunteer organization officials from across Massachusetts.

Moderator Natalie Jacobson had asked Governor Romney questions about communications interoperability, and communication without commercial power. During the exchange Jacobson commented ' you don't see yourself getting down to ham radio operators?...' The then governor replied: "No, we don't need to deal with ham radio operators. We have power systems that allow us to speak with one another and to manage our response."

Hams across Massachusetts and eventually across the nation only seemed to hear the words "we don't need to deal with ham radio operators" and reacted negatively.... The issue eventually died away only to reappear on the ham radio blogs in recent weeks as a result of Romney seeking the Republican party's nomination to run for the U.S. presidency. For example, in the Talk and Opinion area of there is a subject titled: "Do we want a President who hates ham radio?" Reading the ongoing discussion shows that few of those taking part have ever have seen or heard the show in question,

Amateur Radio Newsline's Don Wilbanks was the one who contacted Mitt Romney and asked him to explain. The Romney staff wrote back: "The exchange with Natalie Jacobsen was meant to imply that we need to strengthen our emergency response infrastructure, rather than demean the important role I recognize that Ham Radio Operators play around our country."

The entire segment of the program "When Disaster Strikes" can be seen at the WCVB website. The url is

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At Jan 31, 2008, 3:10:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Feb 1, 2008, 2:20:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Profanity isn't necessary, and only makes your argument seem dumb. Especially when the post agrees with you basically. It describes a controversy in the ham radio world, but explains it is pretty much just a little slip of the tongue, and the hams really shouldn't take offense.

At Feb 8, 2008, 2:57:00 AM , Blogger John said...

I received the following email clarification from the Romney folks regarding the November 2005 statement that Governor Romney made:

Mitt Romney Banner

Dear John:
Thank you for following up with me on the responsibility of Ham Radio Operators. The exchange with Natalie Jacobsen was meant to imply that we need to strengthen our emergency response infrastructure, rather than demean the important role I recognize that Ham Radio Operators play around our country. I hope this will clear up any confusion.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I encourage you to visit my website at for updated information on other issues that may be of interest to you. I look forward to hearing from you in the future, and earning your support.


(Mitt Romney Signature)
Paid for by Romney for President, Inc.

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