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.