Skip to comments.Mass. veterans group mobilizes for Kerry (opposed by 'Mass Veterans for Working Senators')
Posted on 08/28/2004 12:04:44 AM PDT by ambrose
Mass. veterans group mobilizes for Kerry
Saturday, August 28, 2004 - By Erik Arvidson
Eagle Statehouse Bureau
BOSTON -- Calling the recent attacks on Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry's military record "despicable," a group of Massachusetts veterans yesterday criticized President Bush for not actively denouncing the Kerry critics.
Members of the Massachusetts Veterans for Kerry/Edwards traveled to the Statehouse to hand-deliver a letter to Gov. Mitt Romney asking him to help repudiate television ads that call into question Kerry's Vietnam War record.
"We're on a mission here to express our concern about what's been happening with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who we regard as the Swift Boat Veterans for Bush," said Doug Clifford, a Vietnam veteran and state coordinator of Massachusetts Veterans for Kerry/Edwards.
Controversy over Kerry's Viet-nam service erupted after a group called the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ran ads in Ohio, Wisconsin and West Virginia saying Kerry's three Purple Hearts and Silver and Bronze stars for valor were undeserved.
The Massachusetts veterans said the ads were demeaning and represented "the worst kind of politics," and that Bush was "feigning ignorance and uninvolvement" while allowing the attacks to continue.
"No veteran should ever attack another veteran's honorable service. It's just plain despicable," said former Navy Cmdr. William "Bud" Taylor of Leominster, who signed the letter. "It's despicable that this president has not denounced these attacks and has shifted the issue from the needs of veterans."
Taylor said that the real debate among veterans should be over the Bush administration's record on veterans affairs, not the circumstances of Kerry's service.
"The issues for veterans should definitely be housing, vocational rights, benefits. That's what Sen. Kerry has on his Web site. That's what he's committed to, and the current administration has spent three years cutting veterans benefits," said Taylor, a Purple Heart winner who served in the Navy for 20 years. "Those veterans coming back from the current war are not having their needs met by this administration."
The letter signed by the nine veterans asks Romney to deliver another Aug. 24 letter written by former Democratic Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia to Bush. Cleland, a decorated war veteran who has defended Kerry's record, tried to hand-deliver a letter to Bush at his Texas ranch this week but was refused.
"When the record of one veteran is attacked, vilified and belittled in such a despicable manner, the service and sacrifice of each of us is undermined," the letter stated. It asked Romney to "demand that the president denounce the ads or refuse to join him on the campaign stump."
Taylor's group was met at the Statehouse by another group of veterans who called themselves the Massachusetts Veterans for Working Senators. The group held signs saying "MIA in the Senate," "No Show Kerry," and "Atten-dance 13 percent." The two groups had a testy exchange as the veterans for Kerry walked up to the governor's office to deliver their letter.
Darrell Crate, chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party, said the Veterans for Working Senators had drafted their own letter, which they wanted delivered to the Kerry campaign.
"We have no reason to question your service in the jungles of Vietnam. But we have many questions about your service in the jungles of Washington, D.C.," the letter stated. "To use a military term, you have been absent without leave from the halls of Congress. Even worse, you have continued to accept your full salary for what amounts to a no-show job."
Kerry's campaign has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission alleging that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are illegally coordinating their ads with the Bush campaign.
Bush has said he would support a lawsuit that would block groups like the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth as well as independent Democratic groups from running political advertising.
Rain Forest, not jungle!
These are probably the sorts of veterans who think benefits are the main purpose of veterans' groups.
Tell it to John Kerry, guys. He's had no problem attacking Bush's service in the Guard! And he's trashed all Guard veterans in the process.
The seconds are still ticking on this whole "John Kerry actively denuncing Michael Moore" thing...
I hope someone is checking if these are really vets or are they just pretending to be vets like in 71.
Just one question....How many of them were there at the state house? maybe ywelve or so?
They are more of the non-vets posing as veterans for Kerry. Communist will do anything to steal an election. What I think is funny, all the vets I served with are behind President Bush. As I recall, the military has always prospered under a Republican with much better pay raises and troop strengths/VA benefits. Those kerry vets are the one's who were failures and hop-heads looking for an easy way out/hand-out. Kerry's whole campaign is based on ad-homonymn, deception, class-warfare, paid for flunkies, homeless brigades, malcontents, welfare cheats,the mentally impaired, losers inc, impeached judges, ex-cons, and privileged liberals who are a legend in their own minute warped minds. "Keep America Free" Vote Bush/Cheney 2004.
"has shifted the issue from the needs of veterans"
The issue was not "the needs of veterans". I cannot recall EITHER Kerry or Bush making the needs of veterans a major plank in either of their campaigns. I cannot recall that Kerry ever attacked Bush about it, or that Bush ever claimed great credit respectingit.
The Swift Boat controversy has nothing to do with veterans benefits, and has not shifted the public's attention away from veteran's benefits, because there was no such public attention to shift.
This statement reflects a rather narrow, self-absorbed view of what the Swift Boat controversey is all about.
Veterans for Working Senators
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.