<\body> Stories in America: Vets Win Elections

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Vets Win Elections

From VoteVets.org:
For the first time since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, the voice of those who fought in the most recent wars will have an official voice in Congress. At the same time, the activities of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have led to the defeat of at least seven incumbents who voted against the troops. VoteVets.org PAC played a critical role in all of these races.

Joe Sestak, who served in Afghanistan, and Patrick Murphy who served in Iraq, were elected to Congress, from the 7th and 8th districts of Pennsylvania, respectively. Both were endorsed by VoteVets.org. The organization gave each $7100, the maximum amount allowed by law, introduced them to high-level donors, worked to turn out the vote in their districts, and engaged in free media campaigns to benefit their candidacies.

"This is a momentous day. The next time Iraq is debated in Congress, those who have fought America's most recent wars will be able to speak," said Jon Soltz, co-founder of VoteVets.org. "Their unique perspective will be a powerful force in shaping how Congress views the war, and engages in oversight of the administration. One cannot understand how important this will be, as we move ahead in the war on terror."

Additionally, ads run by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans led to the defeats of a number of Senators and Representatives, who voted against troops and veterans.

VoteVets.org targeted Sens. Rick Santorum, Jim Talent, George Allen and Conrad Burns for their votes against body armor for the troops, with a hard-hitting advertisement that gained notoriety on a national level. None of them will return in the new Congress.

Additionally, VoteVets.org targeted three Representatives for their vote against funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs - John Sweeney, Melissa Hart, and Gil Gutknecht. None of those Members will be returning.

"America's 21st Century Patriots are an emerging force in America. We're not going to sit idly by and allow politicians to vote against us and get away with it," said Soltz. "We defeated four senators and three representatives because they dared vote against us. Let the new Congress be on notice - vote against us and we will ensure your constituents vote against you."


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