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Posts tagged ‘Marriott International’

Dick Morris: NFL, Flake Forced Brewer’s Hand.


Image: Dick Morris: NFL, Flake Forced Brewer's HandArizona Gov. Jan Brewer and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during a Super Bowl host committee handover ceremony in New York.

By Todd Beamon

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a religious protection bill concerning gay rights because she was pressured by the state’s business community and the National Football League, which is scheduled to hold the Super Bowl in the state next year, political analyst Dick Morris told Newsmax late Wednesday.

“I think she vetoed the bill because of pressure from the Arizona business community,” Morris, who served as an aide to President Bill Clinton, told Newsmax in an email. “When Sen. Jeff Flake, a tea party conservative from Arizona, joined his colleague John McCain in urging a veto, it gave her political cover on the right to veto the bill,” Morris said.

Urgent: Is Obamacare Hurting Your Wallet? Vote in Poll 

“I think the [National Football League] had a lot to do with it also,” he said. “By threatening to move the Super Bowl, they epitomized the harm that would flow to Arizona had she signed the bill.

“I don’t think she realistically had any choice. It became a jobs issue — and she had to veto the bill.”

In vetoing the legislation, Brewer said the controversial measure could “create more problems than it purports to solve.”

State Senate Bill 1062 would have allowed business owners to cite their religious beliefs as legal grounds for refusing to serve same-sex couples or any other prospective customer. It was passed by the Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature last week.

“Senate Bill 1062 does not address a specific or present concern related to religious liberty in Arizona,” Brewer said in a brief statement from her office as she announced her decision. “I have not heard one example in Arizona where a business owner’s religious liberty has been violated.”

She then attacked the bill as a broadly worded proposal that “could result in unintended and negative consequences.”

Brewer had come under mounting pressure to veto the measure after both McCain and Flake, both Republicans, opposed it. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential candidate, also spoke against the bill.

Three state Republicans who voted for the bill last week also reversed course and urged Brewer to veto it.

“I appreciate the decision made by Gov. Brewer to veto this legislation,” McCain said in a statement posted on his website. “I hope that we can now move on from this controversy and assure the American people that everyone is welcome to live, work and enjoy our beautiful State of Arizona.”

Flake said on Twitter:

He added in a later post:

The legislation was backed by the Center for Arizona Policy, a socially conservative group that opposes abortion and gay marriage.

Cathi Herrod, the group’s president, said Brewer’s veto marked “a sad day for Arizonans who cherish and understand religious liberty.”

The bill, she said, “passed the legislature for one reason only: to guarantee that all Arizonans would be free to live and work according to their faith.”

“Opponents were desperate to distort this bill rather than debate the merits,” Herrod said. “Essentially, they succeeded in getting a veto of a bill that does not even exist.”

Perhaps the strongest opposition to the legislation came from business leaders. Some who had opposed it threatened to boycott Arizona if Brewer approved it, similar to what many groups did after the state passed a tough anti-illegal immigration law in 2010.

That possibility worried some companies and business organizations, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Among the companies opposing the bill were Apple, American Airlines, Marriott International, and Delta Air Lines.

The Arizona Super Bowl Committee also voiced its opposition to the bill, contending that it would “deal a significant blow” to the state’s economy, the Times reports.

The 2015 Super Bowl is scheduled to be played at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, just outside Phoenix.

In addition, the Hispanic National Bar Association said on Wednesday that it would move its 40th annual convention, scheduled for September 2015 in Phoenix, to another city because of the legislation, the Times reported.

Urgent: Is Obamacare Hurting Your Wallet? Vote in Poll 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 

Pastors Lay Hands on Rand Paul, Ted Cruz During Prayer Meeting.


Rand Paul
Iowa pastors pray for Sen. Rand Paul (center) and his wife, Kelly. (CBN News)

It was a sight to behold inside a conference ballroom at the downtown Marriott hotel in Des Moines, Iowa, as hundreds of Iowa pastors called out to God and prayed over two U.S. senators, both of whom seem interested in running for president of the United States.

Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul came to Iowa Friday to speak at this Pastors and Pews event, organized by influential evangelical political operative David LaneThe Brody File got an up-close look and access to the private event.

Cruz, who received a warm greeting, spoke for about 30 minutes and then took questions from the audience. He outlined how he championed religious freedom cases ranging from the Ten Commandments to the Mojave Cross case. He touched on how to go about eliminating Obamacare; he called for abolishing the IRS (which received a standing ovation), and on the issue of marriage he said, “There’s no issue where we need to be more on our knees … we are facing an assault on marriage.”

On spiritual matters, he told the pastors that, “We are in a battle to turn this country around.” Later, in a one-on-one sit-down interview with The Brody File, he said this country is badly in need of spiritual revival. He charged the pastors to step up and speak boldly about the issues facing our country today. He compared all of them to Esther, saying the biblical woman was put in a position of leadership, “for such a time as this.”

Afterwards, pastors gathered around Cruz and his father (who was on hand for the conference) to pray for them.

As for Paul, he spoke for about 20 minutes and then the pastors prayed for the senator and his wife, Kelly. Paul spent the bulk of his time explain how liberty, freedom and virtue go hand in hand. His biggest applause lines came when he talked about his dedication to the pro-life issue and how he believes America needs to cut off aid to countries that hate America.

He briefly addressed his foreign policy views, explaining that we should be focused on peace not war. He invoked the name of Jesus saying how He says in the Bible, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” However, he made clear that he was not against war and if war was necessary, he would make sure America would win it decisively.

There’s no doubt Paul and Cruz have begun thinking about running for president in 2016 and this event was a chance to introduce themselves to a pivotal group of pastors who will play a significant role in the presidential selection process since Iowa is always the first state in the nation to vote. However, the main goal of the two-day conference was to really motivate pastors to speak boldly about issues from the pulpit and to awake Christian voters, who may agree that America’s culture is going in the toilet, but sit on their hands and do nothing about it.

While getting more evangelicals to the polls is a political goal of the conference, there is a much deeper spiritual purpose. These pastors want to see spiritual revival in America. Speaker after speaker implored them to simply preach the word from the Bible and leave the outcome to God.

A big theme was praying for another Great Awakening in this country but the pastors here agreed that it could only come if evangelicals truly repent and get down on their knees in prayer. In other words, there won’t be any Great Awakening if Christians don’t get serious in their prayer life.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

DAVID BRODY/CBN NEWS

Romney’s New Marriott Job Pays Him a Fraction of What He Made It This Year.


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After pumping his own gas, watching terrible movies, visiting Disneyland, and, oh yeah, lunching at the White House — all while his former staffers were trying to explain videos and ads and pollsand everything else — we’re in that stage of Mitt Romney‘s post-election saga where he has found a new job. Not that it will pay him much, or that he hasn’t held it before, but Romney will rejoin the board of directors at Marriott, the exclusive hotel of the campaign announced Monday. (That’s Romney with J.W. Mariott above.)

RELATED: Ron Paul Goes Negative on Newt Gingrich

“It is the former presidential candidate’s third time on the board. He served from 1993 to 2002, quitting to serve as governor of Massachusetts and from 2009 to 2011, when he left to run his campaign against President Obama,” reports The Washington Post‘s Rachel Weiner, who adds that Romney’s first day will be Monday. But you could argue that Romney was doing a lot of work for Marriott throughout the campaign, even after he recused himself from his position for a third straight presidential run. Romney, as WaPo’s Jason Horowitz reported in October, turned the chain (and its deep Mormon ties) into the “semi-official innkeeper of his presidential campaign.” “From Iowa to Ohio to New York City, Romney has wheeled his carry-on bag into Marriott lobbies,” reported Horowitz. And that kind of publicity was enough to catch the eye of The New York Times‘s Nick Confessore:

Romney’s Marriott board salary probably a tiny fraction of business he brought in toMarriott hotels during the campaign.

— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) December 3, 2012

Confessore tweeted this partial answer to just how much he raised for the hotel chain:

@philiprucker @alecmacgillis This question has an answer! Romney disbursements to Marriott (only one part of the pie) totaled $1,471,555.

— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) December 3, 2012

And according to The Wall Street Journal‘s David Wessell, Romney’s new job won’t send him over the $250,000 middle class threshold…

Pays $60,000 a year plus $1,250 /meeting RT @breakingnews: Mitt Romney rejoins board of directors of Marriott International @cnbc

— David Wessel (@davidmwessel) December 3, 2012

…though, yes, we know that his assets and investments clearly do.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Alexander Abad-Santos | The Atlantic Wire

U.S. airlines cancel flights, hotels book up before hurricane.


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NEW YORK (Reuters) – Hurricane Sandy will likely cause financial headaches for U.S. airlines that canceled more than 7,000 flights to and from the Northeast corridor on Sunday.

Hotels in the region were busy handling cancellations for guests who could not get to destinations in the Northeast, extending stays for guests who could not leave town, and booking rooms for people who left their homes.

Airlines started cancelling flights in the U.S. Northeast region Sunday evening as cities from Washington D.C. to Boston braced for floods and high winds from the hurricane, which was expected to make landfall in the next few days.

According to Flightaware.com, more than 7,100 flights had been canceled by 9 p.m. on Sunday due to Sandy. Airlines waived fees for people who have to change travel plans because of the grounded flights.

In New York City, the timing of flight cancellations like US Airways, was determined by the city’s decision to start shutting down its mass transit systems at 7 p.m. as passengers would have no way to get to and from the airport.

U.S. Airways said it would likely have to cancel close to 2,000 flights because of the storm, starting at 7 p.m. Sunday. The airline said it expects to resume flights on Tuesday, but noted that flooding and the storm’s duration could cause additional delays.

The airline also said it would move planes from the hurricane zone to try to avoid damage. Repositioning those planes after the weather clears could cause additional delays.

Transportation consultant George Hamlin estimated that Sandy could cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars.

“It’s a disruption in terms of extra costs,” Hamlin said.

On top of lost flight revenue, airlines will likely have to pay their crew extra if they are stranded away from their home base.

“If you cancel a day or two’s flights, it may take some people days to get to where they want to go,” he said.

American Airlines said it would stop its Northeast flights at 9 p.m. Sunday night. This involved 140 cancellations Sunday and pre-cancellation of another 1,431 flights from Monday to Wednesday.

JetBlue Airways Corp said it canceled more than a 1,000 flights through Wednesday morning. Delta Airlines Inc said it canceled 180 flights Sunday and that it expects canceled flights Monday to be in the hundreds.

Reuters was not able to obtain estimates for flight cancellations for United Continental Holdings Inc.

Meanwhile the reservation desks at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, which operates hotels such as Westin, Sheraton and Marriott International Inc hotel groups said they had a busy day.

“I’ve had a lot of calls about New York properties today, a lot of people who are cancelling, a lot of people who come here because we have generators,” a Starwood reservations employee said.

“People are really just frightened of the storm … they’re frightened of water levels and they’re frightened of losing power and they want to be somewhere where they’re safe,” the employee said.

A reservations worker for Marriott said her work day had been “really crazy” with all the calls for cancellations and last-minute reservations, including calls from corporations booking blocks of rooms for their employees.

Corporate spokespeople for Starwood and Marriott were not immediately available for comment Sunday.

(Additional reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta, Caroline Humer and Michael Erman in New York)

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Sinead Carew | Reuters

Obama Ad Alleges Romney Role in ‘Notorious’ Tax Scandal.


COLORADO SPRINGS – As he decries the negativity of campaign ads while on the stump in battleground states, President Obama should take a close look in the mirror. His campaign Thursday continued its vigorous pace of attacks on rival Mitt Romney, with a new TV ad alleging the presumptive GOP presidential nominee once participated in “one of the largest tax avoidance schemes in history.”

“We do know that Romney personally approved over $70 million in fictional losses to the IRS as part of the notorious ‘Son of Boss’ tax scandal,” the narrator says, “One of the largest tax avoidance schemes in history. Isn’t it time for Romney to come clean?”

The ad refers to Romney’s role as chairman of the audit committee for hotel giant Marriott International for six years in the 1990s. During that time, the company took advantage of complicated tax avoidance measures, including the so-called “Son of Boss” tax shelter which was later challenged successfully by the Justice Department and IRS. Romney, as an auditor, presumably knew about the practice.

The Obama campaign says the ad, which will air in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio, fairly illustrates a pattern of behavior by Romney to minimize tax liabilities in his personal life and in business dealings.

“These questions are especially relevant given voters’ heightened attention in this election to the fate of their own tax rates, and the central role tax reform will play in the next administration,” said Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt in a memo to reporters.

The Romney campaign says the charge that the candidate “personally” oversaw Marriott’s tax avoidance practices and had a key role in “scandal” is overblown – both “dishonorable and dishonest,” said spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg.

Republicans also point out that the Obama ad’s primary sourcing for its central allegation is a CNN.com op-ed published Wednesday by two major Democratic donors, “tax experts” Peter Canellos and Edward Kleinbard.

Canellos and Kleinbard have participated in press conference calls hosted by the Democratic National Committee to attack Romney, and each has donated significant sums to Democrats in election campaigns, Federal Election Commission records show.

“In 2008, candidate Obama said ‘you make a big election about small things’ when you don’t have a record to run on. Since President Obama can’t run on record unemployment, falling incomes, and massive debt, he has decided to run a dirty campaign that is an affront to everything he claims to stand for,” Henneberg said.

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Devin Dwyer | ABC OTUS News

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