As noted here, Becky Greenwald is out of cash and her campaign is stuck in neutral as Election Day approaches. Proof of her broke campaign is the unfinished TV ad that she has placed on YouTube for the liberal blogosphere to use. The ad is 42 seconds long, meaning it was going to be a 60 second spot and it also doesn’t include the video or audio disclaimer by the candidate. They obviously spent a good deal of money on this ad, but don’t have the money to finish it and put it on TV.
The worse part of the ad is the fact that it’s full of lies. First off two of the people in the ad are not from the 4th District. The younger guy is a huge democrat operative who worked for Culver and Clinton and is a lead on some national DNC veterans group. The older men are die hard Dems who wouldn’t vote for Tom Latham anyway.
Tom Latham earned an “A” on the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Association's (IAVA) scorecard on veterans’ issues for the 110th Congress.
Greenwald claims Tom Latham voted against extending military health coverage to National Guard members and their families (No supporting vote information cited by Greenwald)
FACT: This could qualify as one of the most outrageous lies Greenwald claims about Tom Latham. Latham authored legislation that is now the law of the land which provides access to military health benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserve and their families. Because of his leadership on this issue Latham’s accomplishments has been recognized by numerous National Guard, Reserve and military service organizations.
FACT CHECK: Tom Latham introduced H.R. 558 – The National Guard and Reserve Readiness and Retention Act on February 2, 2005. Latham’s legislation provides access to military health benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserve by allowing Guard and Reserve members to purchase military health coverage for their families under the TRICARE (military health care) program on a continuous basis. Previously, TRICARE was provided only while the member was deployed, leaving many families uninsured for most of the member’s time in service. Congressman Latham efforts in the House culminated in the enactment of H.R. 558 as section 706 of H.R. 5122, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY07, signed into law on October 17, 2006. The new benefit became available October 1, 2007.
Latham’s effort was joined in the U.S. Senate by Senators Lindsey Graham, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry.
Latham’s work was lauded by numerous National Guard, Reserve and military organizations including the National Guard Association of the United States who awarded Latham The Charles Dick Medal of Merit.
The citation along with the award proclaimed that Latham “distinguished himself as a strong supporter of the National Guard.” And that he “has worked tirelessly and with great personal sacrifice to support TRICARE for Guard members.” They continued that Latham’s “commitment to Guard members and their families will have a long lasting effect on the future readiness of our military.”
FALSE: Greenwald claims Tom Latham voted against the GI Education Bill citing a vote on May 15, 2008 (Roll #330)
FACT: Not only was Tom Latham an original co-sponsor of the GI Education Bill – he sought a more responsible path for the bill becoming law without raising taxes on the engine that drives Iowa’s economy – our small businesses.
FACT CHECK: Nowhere in Greenwald’s attack on Tom Latham does she mention the fact that Tom Latham was actually an original co-sponsor of the Post 9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Act (also known as the new GI Education Bill), a bi-partisan bill to completely overhaul and nearly double G.I. Bill education benefits for veterans. The bill closely resembles the educational benefits provided to veterans returning from World War II, and increases benefits to address the reality of rising tuition costs and increased deployment of National Guard and Reserve units.
And, Greenwald fails to note that Tom Latham voted for passage of the New G.I. Bill as part of H.R. 2642 (June 19, 2008: Roll #341 and #342) which was the final legislative vehicle used by the U.S. House and Senate to bring the bill to the President’s desk for his signature on June 30, 2008.
The early vote Greenwald cites was a massive bill of which one small part was the GI Education Bill. This version also saddled Iowa’s small businesses with a tax increase. 98% of Iowa employers are small businesses and the last thing we should do is hit our small businesses with additional taxes during tough economic times. As the final version supported by Latham proves – the education benefits for our soldiers and veterans could be expanded and strengthened without weakening the bottom line of the businesses that will employ them after their service to our country has been completed.
FALSE: Greenwald claims Tom Latham was the deciding vote that withheld a one-time $1,500 bonus to certain U.S. service members. (No supporting vote information cited by Greenwald)
FACT: This was one amendment of many offered to a bill over five years and two Congresses ago. The amendment was opposed by U.S. Generals leading the effort in Iraq. Citing the best long-term interests of our service members, Democrat John Murtha and 221 other members of Congress who voted no versus the 213 members who voted for the amendment. And, Latham’s work and vote on a separate measure for a special $1,000 monthly bonus for soldiers far exceeded the benefit offered with this amendment’s one-time $1,500 bonus.
FACT CHECK: While Greenwald fails to cite the actual source of the vote she is attacking Congressman Latham on – the Latham campaign is providing the due diligence on her behalf - a vote on an amendment from five years, and two Congresses, ago (Roll #554 10/17/03.) The amendment was offered by Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan in Fiscal Year 2004, H.R. 3289. The amendment would have reduced Iraq reconstruction funds by $265 million in order to provide a one-time $1,500 bonus for each service member in the region.
Greenwald fails to mention that U.S. Generals on the ground in Iraq were opposed to cutting reconstruction funds stating that it prevented them from achieving the ultimate goal of completing the mission and getting U.S. troops home. Greenwald also fails to mention that the current Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and former Marine, John Murtha (D-PA) was adamantly opposed to the amendment - stating the following in his floor speech about his fellow Democrat’s amendment: “But I do not think, as hard as we work for pay, I do not think an amendment like this helps us. I think we really have a problem. I know we all want to help the troops, but we struggle all the time trying to make sure we balance out the money they make. I just do not think this is the right way to do it.” “I would ask the Members to vote against this amendment.”
The biggest misstatement by Greenwald is that Latham’s vote was the “deciding” vote that caused this amendment to fail. The amendment actually failed by a vote of 213-213 – with an additional 8 members of the House not voting either way on the amendment. That means that there were actually 221 members of the House who cast the deciding vote on this amendment – per the wishes of the generals on the ground in Iraq and former Marine and Democrat Congressman – and present chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee – John Murtha.
She also fails to commend Tom Latham for his votes for permanent increases in special add-on payments for soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan such as Hazard Duty Pay, Family Separation Allowance, and a special $1,000 monthly bonus for soldiers.
FALSE: Greenwald claims Tom Latham voted to cut veterans' healthcare programs by billions of dollars and opposed funding to cleanup VA facilities that were as badly neglected as Walter Reed Hospital. (No supporting vote information cited by Greenwald)
FACT: There is a reason that Greenwald cites no supporting information to accompany this charge – because it doesn’t exist. Tom Latham has supported appropriations legislation that has increased funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical care, including renovation and construction of VA facilities, by 100% since 2001. And, Latham has been a champion of working for and authoring legislation that expands equal access to VA health care for all of America’s veterans.
FACT CHECK: Greenwald is factually challenged at best. Congressman Latham has supported appropriations legislation that has increased funding for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical care, including renovation and construction of VA facilities, by 100% since 2001. He has also authored legislation that gives veterans greater access to their promised health care benefits regardless of where they reside. This legislation, known as the VALOR Act, would give veterans enrolled in the VA health care system the choice of receiving their VA funded care at their local hospital or physician’s office rather than traveling to a VA health facility.
In addition, Congressman Latham has supported:
Increasing travel reimbursement from $0.285 per mile to $0.415 per mile and freezing the deductible for veterans traveling to access VA care (Public Law: 110-329). With rapidly rising gas prices, increased VA travel reimbursement will assist rural veterans until VA-funded care can be brought closer to them.
Hiring at additional 2,000 claims processors to reduce the backlog of VA disability claims (Public Law: 110-329).
Establishing 115 new VA health clinics since the beginning of 2007.
The Veterans’ Mental Health and Other Care Improvements Act of 2008 (Public Law: 110-387), which provides a full continuum of care for substance-use disorders and enables at-risk veterans to obtain care and overcome the stigma that may prevent them from seeking the services they need. The law also establishes a pilot program to allow veterans in certain highly rural areas to obtain care from their local community providers.
Yeah, I had a little help with this one… but the truth needed to be told.