2018 ELECTION MOST PIVOTAL IN DECADES
CONTROL OF CONGRESS IS IN THE BALANCE
34 Senate and 435 House Seats Up for Grabs
Stakes Especially High for 21 Million Veterans
Put Vets First! PAC (PVF) has vetted federal candidates since 2012. Thought to be the most pivotal non-Presidential election in decades, PVF has already highlighted its support for over 80 candidates determined to be Champions for American Veterans during the 2018 election cycle (www.putvetsfirst.org).
After exhaustive research and outreach to candidates, PVF is proud to spotlight another list of All-Star candidates that will serve the interests of 21,800,000 veterans and their 75 million extended family members by conducting effective oversight of the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs, while bringing needed reform to its fiscal management and delivery of benefits.
Put Vets First! PAC weighs in on four Senate races in the toss up states of North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Florida and Montana.
Cong. Kevin Cramer, Republican for U.S. Senate in North Dakota
Congressman Kevin Cramer is the at-large and third-term Congressman in North Dakota. When given the opportunity, he readily affirmed a Veterans’ Bill of Rights, publicly declaring he has made veterans a top priority by working to ensure that veterans wait no longer than 125 days for the VA to process veteran disability claims and that the VA properly negotiates on procurement matters, collecting on all possible insurance fees claims.
The Government Accountability Office and the VA Investigator General have long stated that the lack of reform of procurement services and insurance fees has caused the VA to squander billions of tax dollars. Congressman Kramer has taken a stand to fight for those reforms that will save billions of dollars and help provide far more services to veterans without any increase in cost.
While his opponent Senator Heidi Heitkamp has taken strong stands for veterans, regrettably when given the opportunity several times, she declined to affirm a Veterans’ Bill of Rights.
Congressman Kramer has been an outstanding supporter of the VA Mission Action, enacted into law in June, which allows the expansion of private care for veterans as an alternative to the full VA system.
Maintaining a powerful military force has also been a major priority of the Congressman, as well as ensuring that veterans returning home are accorded world-class care and assistance.
The voters of North Dakota and the veterans of America will be well served when Congressman Kramer is elected to the U. S. Senate. Some Members and candidates do “lip service,” but he is the “real deal” for American Veterans.
Senator Bob Casey Democrat in Pennsylvania
Put simply, Bob Casey shows up for American Veterans. Senator Casey is known to fight on behalf of veterans, not so he receives votes but because he believes we have a duty to care for our veterans.
Winning his second term with 54% of the vote in the Keystone State, polls show him having a far tougher race in 2018.
He is outspoken in his commitment to fixing the VA backlog on disability claims, improving veterans’ mental health care, and helping veterans buy homes that meet their needs.
Senator Casey has long worked to create sustaining jobs for families, to ensure they remain safe on the streets, and to promote honesty and accountability in government, especially at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs where it is sorely needed.
His Republican opponent, Congressman Lou Barletta, has represented the 11th District that stretches from Harrisburg to Scranton. In his fourth term, he won with a strong 64% in 2016.
The Congressman’s campaign website briefly mentions veterans but does not provide any real policies or solutions that will affect their daily lives. His dog is campaigning with the Congressman and fares better than veterans on the site, and even has its own blog.
Congressman Barletta has been “dogging it” on veterans’ issues. Senator Casey has a platform that strongly supports veterans, and he actively backs it up.
Gov. Rick Scott, Republican for the Senate in Florida
Florida is thought to be hosting one of the tightest Senate races in the country, featuring three-term Senator Bill Nelson who won with 55% of the vote in 2012 facing off against two-term Governor Rick Scott who eked out his win with 48% of the vote.
President Trump carried the state by a narrow 1% in 2016.
Governor Scott’s father served during World War II. The Governor served in the U. S. Navy aboard the USS Glover where he served as a radar technician, with active duty status starting in 1971 for 29 months.
Senator Nelson elected to serve in the U. S. Army Reserve, which he did in 1965 to 1968 and then on active duty from 1968 to 1970. He rose to be a Captain.
Calling the best candidate for veterans is as close as calling the race itself. Florida, and the veterans of the nation, would be well served by the election of either. However, Senator Nelson’s Office rebuffed and ignored this organization’s attempts to communicate with them about the Veterans’ Bill of Rights, with one staffer reported as being uncivil.
Senator Nelson’s campaign website highlights six major issues, including the environment, seniors, consumers, and health care. The graphics for the platform issues are most impressive. However, veterans’ issues, if they are there, are hard to find.
Governor Scott on the other hand devotes a full page to veterans’ issues, including his support for tax cuts for the deployed and enhanced career opportunities. He relates that he has awarded 14,500 veterans with the Governor’s Service Medal. He further states his stalwart commitment to “not leave veterans behind” when he goes to Washington.
While veterans would be well served by either candidate, the nod from PVF goes to Governor Scott. He “talks the talk” and “walks the walk” for veterans.
Senator Jon Tester Democrat Montana
Senator Tester squeaked through a second term win by 49% in 2012. In a state that President Trump carried by 20% in 2016, surprisingly, Tester is thought to be leading State Auditor Matt Rosendale by 4% according to a recent Clear Water poll.
The Senator’s first order of business after taking office was a listening tour with Montana’s veterans. To this day, he continues to listen to veterans and turn what he hears into action.
Mr. Rosendale does not listen so well. Montana Veterans slammed him for reportedly calling Senator Tester’s accomplishments “the little stuff.” PVF considers the work Senator Tester has done to improve veterans’ access to healthcare and education assistance quite impressive and no small feat.
Senator Tester has taken his role seriously as Ranking Member on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. He introduced the VA Mission Act and the VA Accountability Act and opposed the appointment of Dr. Rodney Jackson as Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. On the other hand, the Missoula Current reported that Mr. Rosendale voted against funding for a veterans home in the state.
Senator Tester is a Champion among Champions for our American Veterans. He undoubtedly deserves to serve another term in the U. S. Senate.
PVF encourages voters who care about our Veterans to stand with these candidates and help get them into office so they can continue the fight on behalf of our American heroes.
Since 2010, Put Vets First! PAC has worked to make veterans a top national priority by supporting the election of Champions for Veterans, raising their positive profile nationwide through its effective generation of earned media.