[caption id="attachment_16556" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Fathers and Families supporter Marc Simmons, MD, shakes hands with presidential candidate Gary Johnson at a GOP event June 3."][/caption] A contingent of Fathers and Families' Election Campaign 2012 activists attended two New Hampshire GOP events over the weekend and asked presidential candidate Gary Johnson, a former two-term governor of New Mexico, about family court reform.
In Nashua on June 5, Johnson told F & F activists Roy Corbeil, a grandfather, and Seth Diamond:
"Anything I could do on the federal level I would do, as president, to address [this] real inequality. I recognize it, having been Governor of New Mexico. It's a huge issue...the courts rule...usually [if not] always against the fathers...[in these rulings, fathers rights'] are obliterated, they're nonexistent. I recognize that...I'm open to ideas [on fixing it]."
At a Belknap County event, Johnson responded to a question from F & F activist Shawn Gliklich, MD by telling the audience:
[caption id="attachment_16567" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Presidential candidate Gary Johnson pledges support for family court reform at GOP event June 3."][/caption] At a recent New Hampshire GOP Straw Poll, Johnson finished behind the 1st place finisher, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, in a close knot for 2nd with Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Ron Paul. This is the second success in two weeks for the Fathers and Families' Election Campaign 2012---at the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Seacoast Republican Women's Breakfast with Newt Gingrich on May 26, F & F member Deanna Marchand asked presidential candidate Newt Gingrich:"[Family court] is an area that is really ripe for reform...I understand this issue and have researched hundreds of these cases."
Family courts generally allow fit loving fathers only a few days a month with their children. This is not only harmful to children since it"s so important level of involvement by both parents in their lives, but it"s also a terrible civil rights violation when the government dictates how much time a father or mother can spend with his or her children. What are your thoughts on family court reform?In response, Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, criticized the family law system for its "extreme anti-male bias." Gingrich added that he was "in favor of fathers having rights...We live in an age that is very different than 50 years ago and I think that it is very often very important...that we have a much greater sensitivity that both sides, both parents, both have rights and have responsibilities..." We commend both Johnson and Gingrich for their awareness of and interest in the crisis in family courts. To watch videos of the candidates' remarks, visit http://www.youtube.com/fathersandfamilies. Since family law is usually a state matter, it's a fair question to ask, "What could the federal government do to promote shared parenting?" One answer is this:
The federal government helps shape states" policies in many areas by the payment or withholding of federal reimbursement funds. It works the same way with family law--the federal government reimburses the states billions of dollars each year in child support collection funds. One of the things a pro-shared parenting administration could do to greatly encourage shared parenting is to tie those funds to progress in enacting shared parenting laws, implementing and encouraging shared parenting arrangements, and enforcing visitation orders.
1) If you are in New England and can volunteer to make appearances at campaign stops and townhalls, please fill out our volunteer form here and type "Fathers and Families' Election 2012 Campaign" at the beginning of the "How I Can Help" section. 2) We understand that many of you can"t participate due to geography or other limitations. We still want you to fill out our volunteer form here and participate by:We Are Non-Partisan Fathers and Families is resolutely non-partisan and has and continues to work successfully with legislators on both sides of the aisle on legislation to promote family court reform. Our primary goal is to protect the loving bonds children share with both parents after divorce or separation, and we're happy to work with any legislators or political figures who share this goal. During the Fathers and Families Election Campaign 2012 we will be intervening at both Republican and Democratic events. However, there are many more Republican events than Democratic events because the Republican primary will be hotly contested, whereas the Democrats have an incumbent running.
- Helping us organize by making phone calls and doing web research.
- Making calls to reporters, radio talk shows, and candidates' offices, writing letters and posting comments in response to our campaign Action Alerts. You will see these on our website at www.FathersandFamilies.org, our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/FathersandFamilies, and in our weekly ENewsletter.
- Our New Hampshire efforts cost money---help defray our costs by giving at www.FathersandFamilies.org/give.
GOP presidential candidate Gary Johnson (left) shakes hands with F & F activist Seth Diamond (right) at Nashua BBQ June 5, pledging "Anything I could do on the federal level I would do, as president, to address this real inequality."