Escalation: VFW directors demand VFW PAC rescind endorsements

posted at 9:25 am on October 13, 2010 by Guy Benson

The nasty VFW/VFW PAC political endorsement spat is boiling over into open political warfare between the two groups.  When Ed posted on this story yesterday, VFW leaders were already expressing dismay over their political action committee’s “seriously flawed” candidate endorsement methodology–going so far as to raise the prospect of scrapping the PAC altogether.  This posture evidently didn’t stem the hailstorm of criticism from rank-and-file VFW members, prompting leadership to release another statement, this time insisting that VFW PAC rescind its recent controversial string of endorsements:

The angry tone and tenor of the telephone calls and messages being received at national headquarters make it clear that many of our members are not cognizant of the fact that VFW National By-Laws clearly stipulate that the VFW Commander-in-Chief is not authorized to direct or otherwise attempt to introduce his control over the VFW PAC. Furthermore, no membership dues or donations made to the VFW or VFW Foundation are used for the VFW PAC.

As you know, the recent endorsements by the PAC are the subject of much controversy. Unfortunately, many questions have been raised regarding VFW’s involvement in the endorsement process and the integrity of the organization as a whole. Regrettably, many of our members and supporters are disappointed and have misdirected their anger toward the VFW as having lost its purpose.

Comrades, we cannot sit idly by while a great organization is being disparaged and maligned, even unintentionally…

As determined in the VFW By-Laws, as the national officers, we have specific responsibilities to take definitive action when events can have a detrimental impact on the organization. It is clear to us that the current situation now demands direct action; therefore, we are requesting the chairman and the directors of the Political Action Committee immediately rescind their endorsement actions.

…VFW’s values and guiding principles aren’t grounded in a desire to participate in partisan policies in political activities. As veterans of foreign wars, we gave substantially more of ourselves than most to ensure the viability and the integrity of our great democratic process. However, our recent endorsement process unintentionally provided favoritism to the incumbents. It is now evident it was unfairly skewed and actually subverted that process.

What’s almost certainly raising many veterans’ ire is the spectacle of Senator M’am gleefully touting her handy new VFW PAC endorsement on the campaign trail.  Team Carly, meanwhile, is circulating a memo (drawing heavily from this debate fact-check) chronicling the myriad reasons why VFW members might take offense to their PAC’s blessing of Babs.  A taste:

In 2007, Boxer Was One Of Only 14 Senators To Vote Against Supplemental Funding For The Wars In Iraq And Afghanistan. (H.R. 2206, CQ Vote #181: Passed 80-14: R 42-3; D 37-10; I 1-1, 5/24/07, Boxer Voted Nay and Feinstein Voted Yea)

In 2007, Then-Sen. Joe Biden Attacked Democrats For Opposing Funding For The Troops, Noting That “There’s No Political Point Worth Anybody’s Life Out There.” BIDEN: “So what did some of my colleagues say about why they voted against the money? They said they voted against the money to make a political point.There’s no political point worth my son’s life. There’s no political point worth anybody’s life out there.” (Sen. Joe Biden, Remarks At The Iowa State Fair, Des Moines, IA, 8/15/07)

In 2003, Boxer Was One Of Just 12 Senators To Oppose The $87 Billion Supplemental Appropriation For The Reconstruction Of Iraq And Afghanistan; The Bill Included Funding For Body Armor And Communications Equipment For The Troops. (S. 1689, CQ Vote #400: Passed 87-12: R 50-0; D 37-11; I 0-1, 10/17/03, Boxer Voted Nay and Feinstein Voted Yea; “Highlights Of Iraq, Afghanistan Measures,” The Associated Press, 10/17/03)

“During A Committee Hearing In June, Boxer Upbraided A Brigadier General For Calling Her ‘Ma’am’ Rather Than ‘Senator.’” (Lisa Lerer and Manu Raju, “Dems Raise Concerns About Boxer,” Politico, 7/23/09)

Boxer Was One Of Only 25 Senators Who Voted Against Condemning A MoveOn.Org Ad Against General David Petraeus; Feinstein Voted To Condemn The Ad. (HR 1585, CQ Vote #344: Passed 72-25: R 49-0; D 22-24; I 1-1, 9/20/07, Boxer Voted Nay and Feinstein Voted Yea)

I suspect the hapless VFW PACers who initially thought it’d be fine and dandy to dole out endorsements to politicians like Boxer and Alan Grayson (!) are learning a valuable lesson: American veterans don’t like being jerked around, and they’re not shy about defending their honor.  Just ask Dick Blumenthal.


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What were those at the PAC thinking?

toenail on October 13, 2010 at 5:31 AM

Commies run the VFW, who knew.

tarpon on October 13, 2010 at 9:29 AM

When a church endorses Satan, it’s not really a church.

Akzed on October 13, 2010 at 9:29 AM

What were those at the PAC thinking?

toenail on October 13, 2010 at 5:31 AM

We’re Democrats. We’ve got their dues money. Let’s spend it on our candidate so we can get this gravy train greased a little and in place permanantly…

But that’s just a rough translation.

It’s not just this one either. Look at AARP, the Teacher’s Unions, etc. They all take dues money and they all give it to the Dem candidates that support the unions over the “little people.”

UnderstandingisPower on October 13, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Just say no Ma’am November 2.

seven on October 13, 2010 at 9:31 AM

If the PAC is allowed to exist in its present form, the VFW will cease to exist as a relevant organization. To support liberals who are as anti-American as Boxer is totally unacceptable. The elitest attacks against our country must be addressed. This is minor step in getting this done.

volsense on October 13, 2010 at 9:31 AM

I can’t believe their endorsements either. They endorsed Allen West’s opponent.

sandee on October 13, 2010 at 9:31 AM

What were those at the PAC thinking?
toenail on October 13, 2010 at 5:31 AM

.
They’re Boomers (for the most part) thinking is not something most of them do. Emote yes, think Hmmmm.

LincolntheHun on October 13, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Comrades, we cannot sit idly by while a great organization is being disparaged and maligned, even unintentionally…

As an old Cold Warrior, you can accuse me of being too sensitive, but “Comrades?” LOL!

NavyMustang on October 13, 2010 at 9:31 AM

…no membership dues or donations made to the VFW or VFW Foundation are used for the VFW PAC.

Then who the hell is funding these idiots, the Keebler Elves?!!!!!

pilamaye on October 13, 2010 at 9:32 AM

These clowns endorsed Democrat Scott Murphy in NY-20 over Chris Gibson, a 20+ year retired Army Colonel. That should have been one of the big red flags. Failing to endorse Allen West is another.

Red Cloud on October 13, 2010 at 9:33 AM

What were those at the PAC receiving?

Dusty on October 13, 2010 at 9:33 AM

American veterans don’t like being jerked around, and they’re not shy about defending their honor. Just ask Dick Blumenthal.

you can say that again.

ted c on October 13, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Just say no Ma’am November 2.

seven on October 13, 2010 at 9:31 AM

that’s perfect!

ted c on October 13, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Power corrupts. Always.

SlimyBill on October 13, 2010 at 9:35 AM

The complete lack of discretion or vetting in the VFW-PAC endorsements may in the long run actually hurt Boxer and the other most outrageous selections. Had VFW-PAC not endorsed anyone in those races or endorsed their GOP opponents, people would just assume that’s the natural status quo — a veteran’s group backing the more conservative candidate(s). Instead, it allows VFW-PAC opponents not only to decry the endorsements but to also highlight the Democrats’ statements and votes over the years against the interest of veterans. If I were Fiorina, West and Webster, I’d want the endorsements and the controversy that’s followed to remain in the news as long as possible.

jon1979 on October 13, 2010 at 9:36 AM

ot: via drudge, dear leader finally realizes there is no such thing as ‘shovel ready’ projects…..d’oh

cmsinaz on October 13, 2010 at 9:36 AM

The angry tone and tenor of the telephone calls and messages being received at national headquarters

If the phone calls are misdirected, please give us the phone numbers for the VFW PAC Chairman and Directors.

olesparkie on October 13, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Comrades, we cannot sit idly by while a great organization is being disparaged and maligned, even unintentionally…

As an old Cold Warrior, you can accuse me of being too sensitive, but “Comrades?” LOL!

NavyMustang on October 13, 2010 at 9:31 AM

.
Yea I know, every month when I get the newsletter that first line always makes me cringe. But it’s from way back when before the Soviets corrupted it.

LincolntheHun on October 13, 2010 at 9:38 AM

This is exactly why all Veterans organizations should stay the heck out of politics.

Johnnyreb on October 13, 2010 at 9:38 AM

[Red Cloud on October 13, 2010 at 9:33 AM]

Well, even if you could accept that they didn’t put a priority on military service, their endorsement of Alan Grayson is a humongous red flag. If PAC directors don’t come out and admit their selection process is called Auto-pilot, it brings the character of the directors into question.

Dusty on October 13, 2010 at 9:39 AM

I can’t imagine the firestorm this let loose. The comments they received probably made protests made by conservatives to the RNC look quite mild by comparison.

INC on October 13, 2010 at 9:40 AM

ot: via drudge, dear leader finally realizes there is no such thing as ‘shovel ready’ projects…..d’oh

cmsinaz on October 13, 2010 at 9:36 AM

I saw that. If that doesn’t expose him as a complete BS artist and incompetent, then I don’t know what will. Wasn’t one of the biggest selling points of Porkulus the so-called shovel ready projects?

Doughboy on October 13, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Here’s another Marine they probably don’t want to endorse.

http://www.byebyebarney.org/

Sean Bileat … Giving new meaning to taking the hill!

One good thing is the true stripes of the fat cats that run these organizations are being revealed. The NRSC, the RNC, the VFW PAC, SEIU… all wanting candidates WE DON’T!

UnderstandingisPower on October 13, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Someone needs to educate me. If no VFW dues or donations go to the VFW PAC where do they get the money? And what exactly is the affiliation between the VFW and the PAC? If there isn’t any then just make them change their name.

Capitalist Infidel on October 13, 2010 at 9:41 AM

WHO is in the PAC, and what is their political affiliation?

In other words, who the hell is “they”?

GarandFan on October 13, 2010 at 9:42 AM

If the phone calls are misdirected, please give us the phone numbers for the VFW PAC Chairman and Directors.

[olesparkie on October 13, 2010 at 9:37 AM]

Board of Directors

Contact Numbers

Dusty on October 13, 2010 at 9:43 AM

ot: via drudge, dear leader finally realizes there is no such thing as ‘shovel ready’ projects…..d’oh

cmsinaz on October 13, 2010 at 9:36 AM

sure there is….it’s a 2,300 page bill called obamacare. I hear that that much paper will decompose in about ~150 yrs +/-….

bury.it.

ted c on October 13, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Doughboy, yepper….rush should be all over this today

cmsinaz on October 13, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Contact them:

Contact the
VFW Political Action Committee
VFW-PAC
VFW Washington Office
200 Maryland Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Tel. (202) 544-5868
Fax (202) 544-8495

exsanguine on October 13, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Ted c, heh :)

cmsinaz on October 13, 2010 at 9:44 AM

What were those at the PAC thinking?

toenail on October 13, 2010 at 5:31 AM

Good question. If you asked me to real quick name a Senator and House member who the VFW or VFW PAC would never ever ever endorse, I’d have said Boxer and Grayson.

Then I would have thought “I didn’t think the VFW got involved in endorsements”.

forest on October 13, 2010 at 9:47 AM

I sent my own insignificant correspondence to the VFW asking what the he1l happened, so at least I can say I joined the wave of indignation.

The only problem I have is that my VFW doesn’t water down their beer as much as my American Legion hall, so I’m definitely sacrificing until this is all cleared up.

Bishop on October 13, 2010 at 9:47 AM

This almost worked out even better than if they endorced Carly in the first place. Babs gets the endorsement, and instead of being able to use it, it spurred the ACTUAL veterans to loudly and publicly decry how crappy a choice that was (and she is) where as before they wouldn’t really have had any motive to speak so loudly against her.

Boxer: Isn’t this endorsement wonderful for me?
Every veteran ever: No ma’am.

DrAllecon on October 13, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Someone needs to educate me. If no VFW dues or donations go to the VFW PAC where do they get the money? And what exactly is the affiliation between the VFW and the PAC? If there isn’t any then just make them change their name.

[Capitalist Infidel on October 13, 2010 at 9:41 AM]

Fundraising

By-Laws (pdf)

Dusty on October 13, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Nice post,
But I don’t regret burning my card…

And, who is Guy Benson?

RocketmanBob on October 13, 2010 at 9:50 AM

For crying out loud. The VFW’s attempt to fix this fiasco is falling a little short. Who writes this stuff for these people?

The angry tone and tenor of the telephone calls and messages being received at national headquarters make it clear that many of our members are not cognizant of the fact aware that VFW National By-Laws clearly stipulate that the VFW Commander-in-Chief is not authorized to direct or otherwise attempt to introduce his control over the VFW PAC.

FIFT.

And worse.

Comrades, we cannot sit idly by while a great organization is being disparaged and maligned, even unintentionally… (emphasis added)

Is this the Russian VFW? Who knew?

BuckeyeSam on October 13, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Just say no Ma’am November 2.

seven on October 13, 2010 at 9:31 AM
that’s perfect!

ted c on October 13, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Big Ditto!

The complete lack of discretion or vetting in the VFW-PAC endorsements may in the long run actually hurt Boxer and the other most outrageous selections. Had VFW-PAC not endorsed anyone in those races or endorsed their GOP opponents, people would just assume that’s the natural status quo — a veteran’s group backing the more conservative candidate(s). Instead, it allows VFW-PAC opponents not only to decry the endorsements but to also highlight the Democrats’ statements and votes over the years against the interest of veterans. If I were Fiorina, West and Webster, I’d want the endorsements and the controversy that’s followed to remain in the news as long as possible.

jon1979 on October 13, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Jon’s right on here. If anything, think how many California Vets will go to the polls and vote against Boxer to prove this PAC is dead wrong. Maybe along this line of thinking we can get Newt Gingrich to endorse her for her fiscal spending policies.

Rovin on October 13, 2010 at 9:52 AM

This is the Banzai charge of the progressives.

Look folks, this is a result of abject desperation on the part of the progressive scum of this country. The wave of reform against the progressive agenda is so powerful, the stealth progressive activists believe they have no other choice than to expose themselves by coming out from under the baseboards in an attempt stem this tide of anti-progressiveness. They would prefer to stay in the shadows with the rest of the cockroaches, but they can see their recent gains are in serious jeopardy of being rolled back. They are looking at a slaughter in NO!vember and are simply trying to limit the damage in the hopes that the republicans will screw up AGAIN. Then they can come back in 2 years with at least some of their power intact in government and continue to dismantle the constitution and the founding principles of America.

csdeven on October 13, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Fundraising

By-Laws (pdf)

Dusty on October 13, 2010 at 9:50 AM

So, they lied when they said no donations from the VFW went to the PAC since the very first sentence said it does.

Capitalist Infidel on October 13, 2010 at 9:54 AM

I hope Babs has on her life jacket because her “Swift” boat is about to be sunk!

inspectorudy on October 13, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Comrades, we cannot sit idly by while a great organization is being disparaged and maligned, even unintentionally… (emphasis added)
Is this the Russian VFW? Who knew?

BuckeyeSam on October 13, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Uh, that is the standard greeting for members in the VFW. The rituals are all like that. Comrade Post Commander, Comrade Chaplain, etc.

Johnnyreb on October 13, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Just say no Ma’am November 2.

seven on October 13, 2010 at 9:31 AM

No Ma’am!

fossten on October 13, 2010 at 9:57 AM

What were those at the PAC thinking?

toenail on October 13, 2010 at 5:31 AM

O’Sullivan’s First Law:

Originally: “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.”

George Will variant: “Any institution that is not libertarian and classically liberal will, over time, become collectivist and statist.”

Scrutineer on October 13, 2010 at 9:57 AM

The sham endorsement is now successfully poisoned.

Well played, fellow vets.

James on October 13, 2010 at 10:02 AM

I am waiting with bated breath to hear Boxer’s and Grayson’s endorsements withdrawn. Most of all Boxer’s.

disa on October 13, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Remind you of AARP?????????

katablog.com on October 13, 2010 at 10:04 AM

So, they lied when they said no donations from the VFW went to the PAC since the very first sentence said it does.

[Capitalist Infidel on October 13, 2010 at 9:54 AM]

I take that as just sloppy writing, CI. This is from their About page:

“The VFW-PAC is established to promote and facilitate the accumulation and distribution of voluntary contributions from employees and members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and its subordinate units, (Posts, Districts, County Councils, Departments, Ladies Auxiliary and Military Order of the Cooties) for the support of various candidates for election to federal office in the United States.”

BTW, what, or who is a Cootie?

Dusty on October 13, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Johnnyreb on October 13, 2010 at 9:55 AM

I stand corrected. Still puzzling. Some words have powerful connotations.

Back to the subject at hand, how does this PAC make its endorsements? Do they merely rubber-stamp recommendations from state department heads? I see a link to a map of state department heads–for the PAC not the VFW.

Regarding the Grayson endorsement and the endorsement for West’s opponent, here’s the Florida department head.

Dept. of Florida
Herbert F. Gay
(352)622-5126
statehq@flvfw.org

For the Boxer endorsement, here’s the California department head.

Dept. of California
William C. Manes
(916)449-8850
rowoldt@vfwca.org

BuckeyeSam on October 13, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Any chance we could fax a copy of that letter to the NRA.

Maybe they could change a couple of names around and use it too.

Otherwise one of these weekends I will be using my NRA card of 35 years and their renewal request for sighting in my muzzleloaders in anticipation of deer seaon and of not renewing my membership!

Aim Small, Hit Small!

dhunter on October 13, 2010 at 10:07 AM

All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.

[Scrutineer on October 13, 2010 at 9:57 AM]

Like becoming infested with bedbugs. Or roaches.

Dusty on October 13, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Capitalist Infidel on October 13, 2010 at 9:54 AM

What’s the “Military Order of the Cooties?” Never heard of that one before.

disa on October 13, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Hubby had the monthly board meeting at the VFW last night. He brought this up and was very surprised to find out many members didn’t know anything about this mess. The commander said he would get right on this with the head guys here in TX. If this isn’t resolved, hubby said he would resign and demand his life member money back.
L

letget on October 13, 2010 at 10:12 AM

So, they lied when they said no donations from the VFW went to the PAC since the very first sentence said it does.

Capitalist Infidel on October 13, 2010 at 9:54 AM

No they didn’t. They said no donation or membership dues to the VFW went to the PAC. The PAC can only receive donations from members directly. Most organizations have separate PACs to avoid any conflict with federal laws govening political contributions. But the PAC has to be a separate entity.

That said, the VFW has the right to withdraw its name and tell its members not to support this PAC, which is what they’re threatening to do. I would love to see a donors’ list though.

Deanna on October 13, 2010 at 10:14 AM

You know, I think this thing is going to backfire on Babs big time. I few key ads describing the ire of rank-and-file VFW members would be most disturbing to Sen. Ma’am.

Mutnodjmet on October 13, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Capitalist Infidel on October 13, 2010 at 9:54 AM

What’s the “Military Order of the Cooties?” Never heard of that one before.

disa on October 13, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Huh? My comment said no such thing. what in the world are you talking about?

Capitalist Infidel on October 13, 2010 at 10:18 AM

BuckeyeSam on October 13, 2010 at 10:07 AM

You might find this interesting. I posted it yesterday.
From the Florida State Commander of the VFW:

On behalf of the Department of Florida, I am writing to object to the manner in which the Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Committee made its endorsements for the United States Congress. This year’s process is both arbitrary and capricious and devoid of Department input. Consequently, I am asking each member of the Department of Florida to disregard the list of endorsements as published in this month’s VFW Magazine and vote their own conscience since we had no input into this year’s endorsement process.

Apparently, the Committee has abandoned the previous years’ process of “advise and consent” whereby it provided a list of proposed endorsees to the Departments for comment, concurrence, additions and deletions. The Department of Florida certainly understands that the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the VFW-PAC are necessarily separate entities, however, the PAC exists because of the support it derives from all Departments, Districts, Posts, Comrades and Sisters. Consequently, the Departments acting on behalf of its Districts, Posts and members should have an opportunity to voice its opinion on which Floridian candidates should or should not receive the endorsement of the VFW-PAC.

You can read it all here:
http://waronterrornews.typepad.com/home/2010/10/combat-vets-it-is-time-to-take-back-your-vfw.html

Deanna on October 13, 2010 at 10:20 AM

No they didn’t. They said no donation or membership dues to the VFW went to the PAC. The PAC can only receive donations from members directly. Most organizations have separate PACs to avoid any conflict with federal laws govening political contributions. But the PAC has to be a separate entity.

That said, the VFW has the right to withdraw its name and tell its members not to support this PAC, which is what they’re threatening to do. I would love to see a donors’ list though.

Deanna on October 13, 2010 at 10:14 AM

So, the members are making separate donations to the PAC? WoooBoy, I bet most are surprised to see how their donations are being used.

Capitalist Infidel on October 13, 2010 at 10:21 AM

If we could only wake up those NOW members. The Democrats are as bad for them as they are for veterans and the rest of us.

tgillian on October 13, 2010 at 10:21 AM

A BIG part of the problem is that most of those board members are from way too liberal states. Maybe they should think about getting a few more intelligent people on there.

Sporty1946 on October 13, 2010 at 10:21 AM

“Regrettably, many of our members and supporters are disappointed and have misdirected their anger toward the VFW as having lost its purpose.”—–Missing the point entirely. These members aren’t stupid and they aren’t “misdirecting” their anger. They know darn well that the PAC is separate from the main organization. But the VFW loaned its name to the PAC. If the VFW can’t control its political arm and protect its good name then that is a serious case of malfeasance on the part of the VFW leadership. The membership have every right to be enraged about this fiasco.

WarEagle01 on October 13, 2010 at 10:22 AM

VFW PAC needs to be defunded and imploded, immediately. Donors to VFW PAc should be demanding their $$ back

james23 on October 13, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Is anyone else as unimpressed as I am by the VFW’s attempt to weasel out of this VFW-PAC mess? I resent the tone of their statement in which they are basically blaming the members for being ignorant.

This is from the VFW-PAC’s own web page:

According to Federal Law, the Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot legally endorse candidates. To overcome the legal challenges of influencing on Capitol Hill, the organization established a Political Action Committee— a separate, nonpartisan organization charged with the single task of working in Congress to support candidates who share our views about key veterans’ military and defense issues

The VFW may want people to believe that the PAC is independent, but it was established by the VFW with the express purpose of represent VFW’s views about veterans’ issues. In addition, per their by-laws, the PAC board members are appointed by the CiC of the VFW.

The PAC is separate in the same sense that a university’s private foundation is separate… which is to say, not very. The PAC was established by the VFW for the sole purpose of representing the VFW’s point of view. The Board Members are all VFW members who were appointed by the head of the VFW.

I think the VFW should disband the PAC.

Y-not on October 13, 2010 at 10:29 AM

OH WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT
NO, WE AIN’T GONNA TAKE IT
OH WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE

WE’VE GOT THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE AND
THERE AIN’T NO WAY WE’LL LOSE IT
THIS IS OUR LIFE, THIS IS OUR SONG
WE’LL FIGHT THE POWERS THAT BE JUST
DON’T PICK OUR DESTINY ‘CAUSE
YOU DON’T KNOW US, YOU DON’T BELONG

OH WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT
NO, WE AIN’T GONNA TAKE IT
OH WE’RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE

OH YOU’RE SO CONDESCENDING
YOUR GALL IS NEVER ENDING
WE DON’T WANT NOTHIN’, NOT A THING FROM YOU
YOUR LIFE IS TRITE AND JADED
BORING AND CONFISCATED
IF THAT’S YOUR BEST, YOUR BEST WON’T DO

EliTheBean on October 13, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Commies run the VFW – PAC, who knew.

tarpon on October 13, 2010 at 9:29 AM

FTFY.

Jaibones on October 13, 2010 at 10:32 AM

If the VFW can’t control its political arm and protect its good name then that is a serious case of malfeasance on the part of the VFW leadership. The membership have every right to be enraged about this fiasco.

[WarEagle01 on October 13, 2010 at 10:22 AM]

I think that’s the problem. The VFW can’t have — for lack of the right word — material control over it or it causes legal status problems for the VFW.

I’d linked the by-laws but haven’t read it beyond the third or fourth paragraph where it states VFW can only (create) or dissolve it. Reading Deanna’s [on October 13, 2010 at 10:20 AM] comment noting the lack or input, or advise and consent, from individual state posts might be an issue from both perspectives, too. On the one hand, they ought to get some concurrence from locals, but on the other it might bring their legal status into question, unless those posts also have an independent PAC.

Dusty on October 13, 2010 at 10:33 AM

That said, the VFW has the right to withdraw its name and tell its members not to support this PAC, which is what they’re threatening to do. I would love to see a donors’ list though.

Deanna on October 13, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Soros? Or one of his myriad PAC organizations?

Who is John Galt on October 13, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Deanna on October 13, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Thank you. So I gather that the National Committee struck out on its own. I see RI, NM, NJ (2), MI, TX, CA, GA, MA, MO, and DC. There’s an office manager (DC) pictured, but it’s not entirely clear whether she’s on the board too.

BuckeyeSam on October 13, 2010 at 10:37 AM

I think these PACS like the VFW and NRA need to rethink the idea of endorsements period. The NRA has the same policy, endorse incumbents even if the challenger is pro-veteran or pro-gun. They claim the incumbent has a record to base this on, but there have been times when the challenger also has a record in state or local government that could be used.
Personally I think they should just rate each candidate and list why, which the NRA already does, and let the members/voters decide. These endorsements smack of the attitude that their members are too stupid to decide for themselves.

Deanna on October 13, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Dusty on October 13, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Re the advise and consent issue. In a university foundation, they have representatives from the university participate in the board meetings ex officio to ensure that there is good communication so that the foundation is serving its mission.

Since the sole purpose of the VFW-PAC is to support candidates who represent the VFW’s views, then by definition they have to communicate with the VFW in some way about what their views are. It’s arm’s length, but there’s no “wall” separating the two orgs.

I always had a better impression of the American Legion which actually does positive things (like Boys’ State, a program that teaches students how government works) and stays out of politics except to occasionally speak out when there is something relevant (such as their statements about the administration profiling veterans). If I were a veteran, I’d join the Legion.

To tell you the truth, I have no idea what the VFW does except provide a social network for veterans. So at the very least, they have a major long-standing PR problem.

Y-not on October 13, 2010 at 10:40 AM

The PAC is separate in the same sense that a university’s private foundation is separate… which is to say, not very.

[Y-not on October 13, 2010 at 10:29 AM]

Well, it depends on whether those involved intend to follow the rule and spirit of the law, or not. I’m not saying you’re wrong here, just that there are people who see the rules as things to follow or to run around.

Dusty on October 13, 2010 at 10:41 AM

[Y-not on October 13, 2010 at 10:40 AM]

Thanks for that perspective.

Dusty on October 13, 2010 at 10:43 AM

just that there are people who see the rules as things to follow or to run around.

Dusty on October 13, 2010 at 10:41 AM

That’s true. In the university foundation’s case it’s much simpler to have a real separation in one sense: the university exists to teach and do research. The foundation is not equipped to even try to do what a university does. Their job is to raise (and manage) funds. And, legally the university can also raise funds, it’s just that the money raised by the foundation is much more flexible, especially if it’s a state university.

I think it’s a harder line to toe for the members/leaders of the VFW to not get involved in political advocacy and for the VFW-PAC to not be just effectively a department of the VFW.

But in terms of intent to get around rules, I was actually taken aback by how clumsily worded the VFW-PAC’s lead sentences in its mission statement are:

According to Federal Law, the Veterans of Foreign Wars cannot legally endorse candidates. To overcome the legal challenges of influencing on Capitol Hill, the organization established a Political Action Committee

Basically, they explicitly say this is a legal work-around. I’m sure there’s a better way to phrase it.

Y-not on October 13, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Simple solution: pull the plug on membership in any organization whose endorsements you don’t agree with. After the NRA / Disclose Act fiasco, I called them and sent the formal letter required to relinquish my membership.

Money talks, BS walks. Getting them where it hurts is the only answer.

PD Quig on October 13, 2010 at 11:01 AM

***

I always had a better impression of the American Legion which actually does positive things (like Boys’ State, a program that teaches students how government works) and stays out of politics except to occasionally speak out when there is something relevant (such as their statements about the administration profiling veterans). If I were a veteran, I’d join the Legion.

To tell you the truth, I have no idea what the VFW does except provide a social network for veterans. So at the very least, they have a major long-standing PR problem.

Y-not on October 13, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Amen on Boys’ State (some states have Girls’ State too). My dad went to the CA Boys’ State too many years ago. In high school, I came home one spring evening after baseball and told my dad I got nominated for some nonsense called Boys’ State (in OH). Needless to say, I attended, and it was fantastic. A great week in my life.

As for the VFW, until I was in college, I thought all wedding receptions were held at VFW Halls because I never attended a wedding reception anywhere else. To this day, if I visit a favorite aunt and uncle in Illinois on a Friday, we’re going to the Fish Fry on Friday night!

BuckeyeSam on October 13, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Why should they have one,
If they can’t control their PAC?
Askin’ for trouble…

Haiku Guy on October 13, 2010 at 11:11 AM

My question is….

Who is Guy Benson and why is this post not in green from the Green Room? Did someone get promoted?

Vanceone on October 13, 2010 at 12:01 PM

NO FORGIVENESS and NO MERCY to traitors. The PAC should be de-funded and it should be made abundantly clear through legal action and public statements that they are no longer associated with the VFW and it’s rank and file, nor are they financially supported by the VFW. They should form their own PAC, or even incorporate into the Tea Party Movement.

Virus-X on October 13, 2010 at 12:20 PM

Just say no Ma’am November 2.

seven on October 13, 2010 at 9:31 AM

..kicking in a few shekels and volunteering to phone bank or walk precincts for Carly would be nice too.

We’re up against an 8-to-1 cash disadvantage ot here but we can do it with your help!

Lazy? Indifferent? Play that you tube of her upbraiding the general a few times and you will understand why you don’t want this festering puss-bag sitting in the Senate for another six years.

The War Planner on October 13, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Please read this on Real Clear Politics,then ask the VFW pac to cease.

The Atlantic Home
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The Last Patrol
In September 2009, the second platoon of Charlie Company arrived in Afghanistan with 42 men. Ten months later, nearly half had been killed or wounded, mostly in the Arghandab Valley—a key to controlling southern Afghanistan. Now these 82nd Airborne troops were getting ready to leave the Arghandab behind. They had one more dangerous job to do: a joint mission with the untried artillery unit that would replace them patrolling the fields, orchards, and villages they called the Devil’s Playground.
By Brian Mockenhaupt

Col.John Wm. Reed on October 13, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Some interesting tidbits from the PAC by-laws…

Article II – PURPOSE: The VFW-PAC is established to promote and facilitate the accumulation and distribution of voluntary contributions from employees and members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and its subordinate units…. The VFW-PAC is dedicated to the support of candidates who have taken responsible positions on issues involving national defense and legislation pertaining to our nation’s veterans.

ARTICLE IV – DURATION: The VFW-PAC shall have perpetual existence, but may be dissolved by the National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

ARTICLE V – OFFICERS: 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…

ARTICLE IX – CONTRIBUTIONS: Contributions to the committee shall be wholly voluntary and no direct or indirect pressure or coercion shall be exerted on any person to induce or compel a contribution. The committee recommends a $10.00 voluntary contribution from each member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars or members of its subordinate units; …

ARTICLE X – DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS: 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 assistance available to the candidate.

ARTICLE XI -DISSOLUTION: In the case of dissolution, the Treasurer shall return all undistributed funds to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. All documents necessary for dissolution may be executed by the committee Director and Treasurer to the Federal Election Commission.

The VFW Commander-in-Chief is being disingenuous. It is very clear that there are linkages between the VFW and VFW-PAC.

The VFW-PAC has demonstrated negligence in performing its duties in representing the views of the VFW membership in selecting which candidates to endorse/fund, as required per their charter. The VFW-PAC should be notified by the VFW that if they do not rescind those endorsements, they will be immediately dissolved at the next Convention. This should be stated publicly which will have the dual purpose of immediately shaming the director and board members, and nullifying their endorsements.

Then, the VFW Command-in-Chief should step down since he is responsible for appointing the people that enabled this fiasco.

dominigan on October 13, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Now there’s a TV add in Denver for Betsy Markey (D) that’s endorsed/paid for by VFW PAC. Where do they get this money?

Dario on October 13, 2010 at 12:42 PM

Spread the word that this is much more widespread than is being reported. Read what Scott Swett discovered and published at the American Thinker:

Barbara Boxer, Code Pink’s favorite Senator
http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/10/barbara_boxer_code_pinks_favor_1.html

opaobie on October 13, 2010 at 12:52 PM

” If I were a veteran, I’d join the Legion.

To tell you the truth, I have no idea what the VFW does except provide a social network for veterans. So at the very least, they have a major long-standing PR problem.

Y-not on October 13, 2010 at 10:40 AM”
Most of us are members of both the VFW and The American Legion. As for the social network, what’s wrong with that?

Also, the VFW (and the Legion) are extremely helpful for vets who interface with the Veteran’s Administration from Medical, to benefits, to help with families with the passing of their veteran loved ones. They help push our needs and help bring about changes and implement new processes to help vets with respect to the US Government and the Veteran’s Administration.

The VFW AND the Legion are extremely beneficial and I’m glad to be a part of them both.

So, please, don’t malign the VFW or it’s members (or American Legion and it’s members) because of what the VFW-PAC has done. We are not just a social-network.

zeff on October 13, 2010 at 12:55 PM

The VFW-PAC should be notified by the VFW that if they do not rescind those endorsements, they will be immediately dissolved at the next Convention. This should be stated publicly which will have the dual purpose of immediately shaming the director and board members, and nullifying their endorsements.

Then, the VFW Command-in-Chief should step down since he is responsible for appointing the people that enabled this fiasco.

Agreed

zeff on October 13, 2010 at 12:59 PM

The VFW also sponsors the “Voice of Democracy” contest every year. Each high school state winner of an oration on “The Meaning of Democracy” is sent to Washington D.C. for a week and treated to VFW dinners and tours of the capital. Scholarships are given for the top five winners.

I was a winner and the VFW scholarship money paid my way through college. I am so hurt by this VFW endorsement scandal that I could just cry. How dare they? How dare they?

bonnie_ on October 13, 2010 at 1:01 PM

American veterans don’t like being jerked around, and they’re not shy about defending their honor.

Damn right!

Yakko77 on October 13, 2010 at 1:25 PM

So how much is Boxer’s VFW PAC endorsement worth now, with the VFW itself denouncing it?

tom on October 13, 2010 at 1:35 PM

So, please, don’t malign the VFW or it’s members (or American Legion and it’s members) because of what the VFW-PAC has done. We are not just a social-network.
zeff on October 13, 2010 at 12:55 PM

I apologize if that came off as maligning the VFW. My point was merely that I honestly have no idea what the VFW does, in contrast to the Legion with whose activities I am more familiar.
I do respect what the Legion does through the Boys’ State program because it shows that they are more broadly concerned with educating young people in how our democracy works, in addition to the services they provide veterans. Perhaps the VFW does the same thing. I don’t know.
I also admire the Legion for standing up for what is right, particularly in regards to some of the bone-headed moves by this administration. Again, if the VFW is showing similar leadership, they need a better PR engine.
Finally, given how diverse the political views are of our veterans (as evidenced by monitoring the social networking sites of veterans groups), I think it is perhaps best for the VFW to dissolve its PAC and model itself after the Legion when it comes to politics.
If there is anyone who is involved at the organizational level at the VFW reading this thread, it might benefit them to learn that this pro-military daughter and daughter-in-law of veterans from Korea and WWII is not aware of the good the VFW does, in contrast to being quite familiar with the good work the Legion does. Perhaps the VFW would not have to resort to calling its members ill-informed if they had a better communications strategy. Until then, I reserve the right to hold one organization in higher esteem than the other.

Y-not on October 13, 2010 at 2:21 PM

VFW- Large Bar Room, Large party room, Large Game Room, very insular, not very community oriented.Members sit around drinking and telling WWII and Korea war stories.

AMERICAN LEGION-Usually has a bar and a game room, HOSTS PATRIOTIC PARADES, YOUTH ORGANIZATIONS, STRONGLY SUPPORTS THE COMMUNITY. Members (mostly Vietnam now) don’t want to talk about war stories, rather get involved in the community.

I belongED to both, NOW belong to the AMERICAN LEGION ONLY.

codekeyguy on October 13, 2010 at 4:26 PM

All any of you have to do is go to http://www.vfw.org and click on Programs. You’ll get a drop down box listing some of the programs including the Voice of Democracy, Patriots Pen, Patriotic Art and Boy Scouts. Then you can move the mouse to the right and click on Veterans Services. As a member of the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW, I can tell you that we donate millions every year to cancer research, we also support local scholarships, the VFW National Home for Children, Hospital and much more. Please stop denigrating the VFW and its members. We work hard in our communities.

DallasE on October 13, 2010 at 6:42 PM

Look at AARP, the Teacher’s Unions, etc. They all take dues money and they all give it to the Dem candidates that support the unions over the “little people.”

And the AMA’s support of Obamacare, which is not supported by most doctors. (And most doctors are not members of the AMA.)

YehuditTX on October 13, 2010 at 11:02 PM