Skip to comments.Veterans group could retract endorsements
Posted on 10/13/2010 1:51:44 PM PDT by jazusamo
The board of directors of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Committee will decide late Wednesday or early Thursday whether to rescind its midterm endorsements, which have sparked a revolt among members.
Tuesday night, VFW Commander-in-Chief Richard L. Eubank and two other top officers asked VFW PAC to pull its current picks, saying the process "unintentionally provided favoritism to the incumbents."
"It is now evident it was unfairly skewed," Eubank wrote in a letter to VFWs 1.6 million members and published on the groups website.
The VFW PAC, which operates independently of the veterans affairs group, is currently working to count the votes of all 11 board members. According to VFW PAC's treasurer and board member, Mike Wysong, it would require a simple majority vote to retract the endorsements.
"The PAC is presently polling its board of directors as nationals has requested," Wysong told POLITICO. "Hopefully today, early tomorrow morning we will have a decision; it's just a matter of contacting all 11 board members."
Wysong declined to comment on how he felt about the request to pull endorsements, including those of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.). VFW members across the country have criticized the PAC's selection of both these candidates.
Last week, Pete Nicholsen, the state commander of the Florida VFW, sent a letter of protest to the PAC's executive director regarding its endorsement of Klein over Republican challenger Allen West a retired Army lieutenant colonel saying he was "concerned that the selection process adopted by the PAC will have both lasting and negative consequences on our ability to recruit and retain members" in Florida. Nicholsen also noted the PAC's inclination to support incumbents.
How the board's pending vote could affect the PAC's operations in future years is unclear. But Eubanks letter hints the future of the PAC, established in 1979, is at risk.
Unfortunately, many questions have been raised regarding VFWs involvement in the endorsement process and the integrity of the organization as a whole, Eubank wrote. Regrettably, many of our members and supporters are disappointed and have misdirected their anger toward the VFW as having lost its purpose.
By supporting incumbents, the VFW PAC would not be straying from the norm in terms of how other political groups operates, and Wysong said the board did not change its criteria from previous elections.
"Each cycle, the board reviews and establishes criteria for the endorsement policy," Wysong said. "This particular policy was used in years past without much uproar, but times have changed with the Internet and blast e-mails."
Meanwhile, the PAC continues to endorse. Wednesday, the Rep. Charlie Melancon (D) touted the VFW PACs endorsement in the Louisiana Senate race over Republican incumbent David Vitter.
He should have been here when the VFW in Mn endorsed Wellstone.
The VFW is doing poorly in gaining new members. From conversations I’ve had at different ceremonies, the VFW leadership are gutless. They don’t want to talk politics because it might offend someone. Tough crap. If they can’t stand up and be counted, the hell with them. That’s why I never joined.
......”is currently working to count the votes of all 11 board members....”
Phew! WOW! Bet they’re workin’ up a sweat countin’ those eleven votes jaz.
Wonderin’ if we should send them some Gatorade or sumpthin’?
Haven’t had a chance to talk to my son about this but he’s about as conservative as they come and not bashful, he won’t be happy.
Is it any wonder? They have endorsed a real whizbanger here in NH.
Agreed, that count can’t be much of a problem unless there’s at least 6 votes to let it stand.
They endorsed Carol “Che” Porter here in NH when she was NOT an incumbent. That business about the incumbents is a bunch of Bovine Scatology. They endorse a bunch of lieburrals who suck up to them to get elected, PERIOD.
Now unless there's something funny going on inside VFW we don't know about, this is just wrong!
Well that puts the "We endorse incumbents." lie into the shredder.
I’m sure your son would agree with my experiences with VFW leadership.
Does anyone think those are the only bad endorsements?
What about endorsing Lt. Col Allen West?
Seems the problem is their definition of enforcement is rather quirky. What they should say is simply “This Candidate’s voting record on Veteran’s Issues is pretty good - FWIW”.
enforcement = endorsement
I’ve made that mistake 4 times today.
Agreed, there’s a lot of bad endorsements and the piece does point out endorsing Klein over West, that just blows my mind.
I saw that list in my latest VFW magazine and almost threw a s*** fit.
Then I looked through the list and I knew what the defense of it would be: “They voted for our benefit stuff in the past.”
Basically, I think the PAC people are either lazy and don’t want to do research, or they have that “entitlement” mindset that, unfortunately, a lot of ‘veterans’ seem to have fallen into as of late.
I see it in both my Legion and VFW magazines. “I served a two year stint in the military with 6 months duty in Adak Alaska, I DESERVE lifetime bennies!”
Don’t mean to frost anyone, just an observation from reading the letters to the editors.
Good. That particular one was just as unbeleivable as the Boxer one.
ARTICLE V - OFFICERSThe VFW Council of Administration can amend the PAC's bylaws
The VFW-PAC shall have a Director, a Treasurer, and nine (9) Board Members each of whom shall be appointed by the Commander-in-Chief, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States in accordance with Section 615 of the By-Laws of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.
ARTICLE XII - AMENDMENTSI suggest they meet in emergency session and do just that.
These By-Laws may be amended by the Council of Administration.
The next National Convention should be a hoot. Get your motions ready
ARTICLE IV - DURATIONWill Judge Doom bring The Dip?
The VFW-PAC shall have perpetual existence, but may be dissolved by the National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Here is their criteria:
ARTICLE X - DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDSI daresay some of their choices just don't measure up. Is removal for cause an option?
In determining how funds shall be distributed, the committee shall consider the recommendations of the Director, each member of the Board of Directors, and other knowledgeable persons. Of primary consideration shall be the candidate's position and/or voting record on issues involving national defense and veterans legislation.
Additional factors include, but are not necessarily limited to:
A. The integrity and character of the candidate.
B. Whether the candidate holds a leadership or policy-shaping position in his party or on a congressional committee or is likely to hold such a position in the future;
C. The nature and strength of the candidate's opposition in primary or general elections;
D. Other sources of fnancial [sic] assistance available to the candidate.
Many years ago my nephew married a Jehovah’s witness and had the wedding reception in our local VFW hall in Alice, Texas.
They asked the VFW management to either take out the American flag or cover it because it offended the attendees.
They did! They placed a cover over the flag and set it into a corner until the event was over. I was so pissed off that I just left and didn’t want any part of it.
I guess I should not have surprised since the VFW here is simply nothing more than a “beer joint” and serves the Hispanic community well. I don’t know any of my fellow “white” veterans who are active members there any longer.
It’s a shame. Back in the 50’s and 60’s it was one of the best places to be. There were always family events and very good country and western dances there. Now, all you hear from there is tejano music.
Yes, and speaking to a LOT of today's veterans, true veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, our veterans' organizations look too much like bar fly socials and "closed club" members to them. I've experienced it too.
They whine about not gaining members when they tend to shun those interested in joining. The endorsement of anti-American, anti-veteran cheap politicians is unconscionable, run their sorry a***s out of leadership.
We live in a very small town in Texas that had both a VFW and an American Legion, quite a few young veterans around, they just weren't interested and oddly enough, the members didn't seem to mind if they didn't get new blood either. The Am. Legion went inactive due to lack of interest, can you imagine?
I've said all this before but it bears repeating. As Scoutmaster, we strove to get them involved in patriotic activities other than riding in a float playing hero such as flag presentations and flag disposal ceremonies, etc. Invited them to speak to the Scouts many times about duty to country, service, all good things, no takers. We had a very active Troop. One member who tried hard to help us got disgusted and quit the VFW because of that do-nothing attitude.
Funeral honors for local vets are performed by a nearby town VFW or American Legion, firing party and all. I play ceremonial bagpipes for my part to honor them.
I did a little digging yesterday on this very subject and found the criteria used by VFW-PAC for their endorsements and, in the case of Ron Klein, his voting record on the bills used by VFW-PAC to determine whether a candidate receives an endorsement.
Here is what I found out:
VFW-PAC claims to have criteria that has to be met by an incumbent to get the VFW-PAC endorsement. That criteria are several bills that the VFW wants the incumbent to have voted that supported the VFW position.
In the case of Ron Klein, OUT OF NINE BILLS the VFW-PAC considered criteria for endorsement, Ron Klein DIDN'T EVEN VOTE IN SIX OUT OF THE NINE BILLS. Out of the box, Democrat Ron Klein didn't vote 66% OF THE TIME!!! Of the remaining three bills, KLEIN VOTED AGAINST THE VFW POSITION ONCE!!
So seven of the nine bills Democrat Ron Klein voted against the VFW or not at all! And the remaining two votes he did vote in accordance with the VFW - HR 3288: Fiscal 2010 Omnibus Appropriations and HR 2647: Fiscal 2010 Defense Authorization. Both huge bills that Ron Klein had to vote for so the Democrat Party didn't look like bumbling fools against the military.
The following bills are the ones chosen by the VFW-PAC as criteria for endorsing a candidate for congress
Ron Klein Vote Record
HR 3082: Fiscal 2010 Military Construction-VA Appropriations - Passage - Klein=No Vote
HR 3288: Fiscal 2010 Omnibus Appropriations - Conference Report VFW=Y/Klein=Y
HR 1016: Advanced VA Health Care Budget - Adoption- Klein=No Vote
HR 4872: Health Care Reconciliation - Passage VFW=N/Klein=Y HR 4887: Military Health Plan Qualification - Passage- Klein=No Vote
HR 4592: Energy Jobs for Veterans - Passage - Klein=No Vote
HR 3949: Veterans' Small Business Assistance - Passage Klein=No Vote
HR 2647: Fiscal 2010 Defense Authorization - VFW=Y/Klein=Y HR 2647A: Fiscal 2010 Defense Authorization - Missile Defense Amendment Klein=No Vote
So, VFW-PAC, why did you endorse Ron Klein over Allen West when using YOUR OWN CRITERIA, Ron Klein was an utter failure in his support for VFW-PAC legislation?
Thanks for posting. I’d say the PAC completely ignored some of the criteria and it doesn’t speak well for them.
You are to be commended for what you do. You are right on the button. The last time I was in a VFW about 10 years ago (as a guest) I wasn’t impressed. Drinking beer and shots and shooting the bull. My World War II Marine uncle belongs to the Marine Corps League but they are dying off pretty quickly.
That’s really sad. I can’t picture a JW even wanting to be married in a VFW hall.
I'm one of those combat vets, but this info makes me wonder whose veterans the VFW represent. Us or the commies?
Thanks for taking the time to look into that and posting it here.
You will need to provide in writing your request to cancel your membership.As a Vietnam Veteran I canceled my membership. I will talk to every veteran that I know and encourage them to look at these endorsements and do likewise. I promised the VFW that I would do this too.
Please mail to: VFW 406 W 34th St Kansas City, MO 64111
You may contact our PAC office at the following number 202-544-5868
"My Endorsement" for VFW is for them to lose every member they have.
Remember how VFW supported Vietnam Vets back in the 1960's? --- Yeah, you are right they didn't.
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