UPDATE: I wrote the basics of this in a comment this morning, but I was at the DC Walk for the Homeless, and so could only update via my blackberry.  I have been contacted by Vic Lundquist, who’s post is referenced below. Lindquist described the caption as a "mistake" and has back-pedaled on it. At the same time, Ben Lindorf, the son of the Lindorfs discussed below emailed me to say, "My parents are avid supporters of Mitt Romney, and would love to be friends with him."

UPDATE: Vic Lindquist, whose site had the original picture, is accusing me of being dishonest. I said that Ron Lindorf was the chairman of Western Wats. Where did I get this infromation? From Ron Lindorf’s bio at BYU. But it was changed recently. That’s how this has worked. Lindquist comes under scrutiny and changes his story. Ron Lindorf’s relationship with Western Wats comes under scrutiny and the story gets changed. So let’s be clear. This WAS a Lindorf family firm. Ron is the Founder. Until recently, he was chairman. And Paul recently retired from working at Western Wats. Claiming that Western Wats and Lindorf are not linked is totally disingenuous.

So I spent most of the day being unsure of the various theories about the push-polls. Some people have suggested that Mitt Romney could be behind it, like Liz Mair, David Freddoso, and Allahpundit, although Allah has clarified that he no longer thinks that. But just as possibly, it could be an outside group.

I did ask, however, this question:

If someone is trying to slime Mitt Romney with his religion, do they really go to a Utah-based call center run by people in Romney’s world? Wouldn’t they know that it would get out? What does it tell us if it doesn’t?

Something didn’t square. After all, it seemed likely that the people running Western Wats were in the same social circles as the Romneys. I was right.

Check out this picture from the blog Elect Romney in 2008:


The woman in the picture is Teena Lindorf, sister-in-law of Ron Lindorf, the Founder and Chairman of Western Wats. According to the blog, the photo was taken by Paul Lindorf, her husband and Ron Lindorf’s brother. The caption says:

Romney’s last greeting with friend Teena Lindorf before entering car (photo by Paul Lindorf)

(emphasis in the original)

The author of the blog post is a friend of the Lindorf family. He writes:

Today I attended an “Ask Mitt Anything” townhall meeting at Chapman University in Orange, CA (where Hugh Hewitt teaches law) with my daughter Bree and friends Paul & Teena Lindorf

So let’s get this straight. Mitt Romney is friends with the family of the Founder and Chairman of the company that is placing anti-Mormon and anti-Romney phone calls?

This morning Hugh Hewitt said:

If the campaign that used appeals to religious bigotry is identified, it will be over for that candidate.  Let’s hope someone inside Western Wats tips the MSM.

I wonder if Hugh still thinks that.

UPDATE: David Freddoso and Allah Pundit want to make it very clear that they did not suggest that the Romney campaign is behind it. I am not making that claim either. Just that people in Romney’s circle appear to be responsible for it.

UPDATE: Liz Mair has more completely described her position here. She doesn’t think that Romney is behind this but that something smells pretty bad nonetheless.

Categories:

19 Comments

rwb82 · November 16, 2007 at 9:30 PM

Ronald Steven Lindorf was the founder of the company, Western Wats, who is reportedly making the calls. Ron is, in fact, Mormon as there is a trust set up (Bruce Lindorf Memorial Fund) under BYU with Ron as the president and his wife the secretary. (This is not surprising as Ron is also a BYU Business School founder). The trust’s purpose is “Giving for primarily to the Mormon Church, some giving to education for scholarships.”

It would be rather odd that a company founded by a Mormon in a predominantly Mormon town of a heavily Mormon state would be attacking a fellow Mormon for being a Mormon. Claim ignorance all you wish, but I think something else is going on here.

eye · November 16, 2007 at 10:42 PM

Western Wats has a simple recourse.

They can deny that they are responsible for making the phone calls.

They have refused to do so.

Refusing to deny guilt looks like ….

Rachel · November 16, 2007 at 11:20 PM

Over at My Man Mitt, they got a comment from someone at WesternWats.

Something to the effect that this is so overblown, and not really a big deal.

Umm. Yeah right.

sampo · November 16, 2007 at 11:28 PM

Funny you should mention Hugh Hewitt. I was listening to him on my drive home from work. When a caller asked Hugh to draw the line on an acceptable religion for a candidate, Hugh said the religion should be around at least 100 years (how arbitrary is that?). So Mitt’s old man George barely squeaked by in the 60’s as governor of MI, but had to wait half his life to be qualified.

eye · November 17, 2007 at 10:10 AM

Update from the road. I am walking in the DC Walk for the Homeless this morning. I can’t post from my blackberry, so this is the best I can do.

A spokesman for the Lindorf family has contacted me to say that Teena and Paul are merely “avid fans” not friends of Romney. I asked them to help clarify whether Western Wats was indeed responsible for the calls. No response yet

Vic Lindquist, the author of the blog post discussed above has contacted me. He has changed the text of his post to back away from the implication that the Lindorfs are friends of Romney. And he has apologized for his mistake. Of course, he attacked me in public, but what can you expect?

However some other information has also appeared that seems to tie Western Wats to Romney campaign leadership in a number of states.

tiny68300 · November 17, 2007 at 2:14 PM

So you really think Romney is so stupid that he would do this using a company that has links to him? Come on, people, think!

The talk is on the same level as the CFR, Bildebergers, UN world domination conspiracy idiots.

If Romney did it, why would he use a company with such obvious links? The man and his machine are NOT first timers. To attribute such idiocy to them is beyond comprehension.

Whoever is behind it, I hope the bright light of discovery soon burns white-hot in their dark political sewer.

Charles Wilson · November 17, 2007 at 7:23 PM

This is really interesting. I agree that it would be stupid for Romney to have done it, but there’s a logic to it: To paint him as a sympathetic victim of religious bigotry and make it unacceptable to mention the “M word” (and we’re not talking “Mitt”) in the future. All while allowing him to play up his “faith,” while never telling anyone talk in any real substance about WHICH faith.

My understanding is that Western Wats has ruled out Guiliani. I don’t think McCain would be that dumb; he’s from Arizona, which is pretty much run by the Mormons. He or his people would have to know who Western Wats is. Maybe Ron Paul?

But even so, you’d have to wonder why this Mormon company would have its people making anti-Mormon phone calls. Very, very curious indeed.

RDWinmill · November 17, 2007 at 8:15 PM

Charles Wilson said: you’d have to wonder why this Mormon company would have its people making anti-Mormon phone calls. Very, very curious indeed.

Curious indeed. Chew on this one. Do we “know” Western Wats made these push polling calls?

We only “know” some caller self identified. Is it possible this is really a spoof by a third party?

Might not be a campaign. Might not even be the rabid an anti-Mormon floks. It might in fact, be a prank that some Kos Kids or other nut roots are really enjoying righ tnow.

Charles Wilson · November 18, 2007 at 12:21 AM

RDW, take off your Zion-colored glasses and put down your Kult Kool-Aid. The Associated Press reported that Western Wats made the calls. Western Wats has confirmed it.

Pissed Off · March 29, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Who is this Ron Lindorf character? He just called me at work, too incompetent to use the internet, and in turn harassed ME for the way I answer the phone. Well Ron, unfortunately you’re right, I do hate my job, which is probably why that is conveyed in my tone when answering the ever-ringing phone at a company I do not believe in. In case you didn’t know, it’s pretty hypercritical to scold me when you don’t have any manners yourself–as illustrated by the media attention to you and your family that took 5 seconds to find online, and by your inquisition via phone call of my personal information. Alas, joke’s on you for signing up for a service from my company and indirectly contributing to MY paycheck.

FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog · November 16, 2007 at 8:05 PM

Push Polls Highlighting Mitt Romney as a Mormon Being Conducted in Iowa and New Hampshire – Part Two…

*****Scroll down for Updates*****

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to reporters following a ‘Town Hall’ meeting as the Republican presidential hopeful campaigns in Burbank, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 15, 2007.
Remember the Flap last night…

ComMITTed to Romney! » Highly Misleading Post by Soren Dayton · November 17, 2007 at 4:29 AM

[…] Today, Soren Dayton posted this at eyeon08.com and mistakenly referred to an attendee (my friend) at the Chapman University in this way: Mitt Romney is friends with the family of the Founder and Chairman of the company that is placing anti-Mormon and anti-Romney phone calls? […]

Patrick Ruffini :: links for 2007-11-17 · November 17, 2007 at 8:18 AM

[…] eyeon08.com » Romney is friends with Western Wats family Wow. (tags: romney 2008) […]

The Right’s Field » ...And Even Curiouser · November 17, 2007 at 11:36 AM

[…] Why, asks Soren Dayton, would operatives trying to smear Romney employ a Utah-based call center to do the job? And it’s not just a question of geography: as Dayton finds, Mitt Romney is in fact “friends with the family of the Founder and Chairman of the company that is placing anti-Mormon and anti-Romney phone calls.” A blog supporting Romney even has pictures of the candidate greeting members of the Lindorf Family, who run Western Wats, the company in question. […]

KVNU’s For The People » Romney Proponents Involved in Push Polls? · November 18, 2007 at 2:41 AM

[…] However, the calls are being made by Utah-based Western Wats.  This company has some ties to the Romney camp, and as such seems to be an odd choice to make these calls.  This has led to some speculation (more here) that Romney proponents might be behind the calls, in an effort to gain sympathy for their candidate. […]

eyeon08.com » Stock tactic: Sleazy bigoted phone calls · November 18, 2007 at 4:06 PM

[…] To prove a crime, you need means, motive, and opportunity. The Romney campaign has the motive.  They have the means financially, intellectually, and logistically. And there is lots of circumstantial evidence linking the Romney campaign and his supporters to the people that used the weapon. Opportunity? Well, that’s self-evident, if it happens. […]

Did Romney Pull A Tawana? @ Outside The Wire · November 19, 2007 at 9:55 AM

[…] […]Shortly after reports of Romney being targeted in a push poll emerged, the firm making the calls was identified as Western Wats, which is based in Utah and has a number of Romney campaign contributors on the payroll. Western Wats was founded by Ron Lindorf who has ties to the business school at the Mormon-owned Brigham Young University, Romney’s alma mater (Lindorf has since divested himself from the company). Lindorf’s brother Paul and his wife Teena are avid supporters of Romney (Paul is a former employee of Western Wats who retired five years ago; Paul and Teena claim not to know Romney or have a vested interest in his campaign). […]

Push Polling « Rett Hatcher & Company · November 19, 2007 at 2:09 PM

[…] November 19, 2007 by Rett Hatcher It would seem that Romney has Push-Polled himself in a dirty trick… Shortly after reports of Romney being targeted in a push poll emerged, the firm making the calls was identified as Western Wats, which is based in Utah and has a number of Romney campaign contributors on the payroll. Western Wats was founded by Ron Lindorf who has ties to the business school at the Mormon-owned Brigham Young University, Romney’s alma mater (Lindorf has since divested himself from the company). Lindorf’s brother Paul and his wife Teena are avid supporters of Romney (Paul is a former employee of Western Wats who retired five years ago; Paul and Teena claim not to know Romney or have a vested interest in his campaign). […]

Something fishy going on with Romney (again) « WHY ORGANIC · January 14, 2008 at 1:27 AM

[…] On its face it seems preposterous. But commentators, online columnists, and political blogs are giving it increasing credence. And the idea is being talked about among insiders and higher-ups. […]

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