For immediate release:
August 23, 2006
Texas Democratic Veterans was formed June 14, 2002 at the Texas Democratic Convention held in El Paso, Texas. We allow veteran and non-veteran members-the only requirement that we have is that all our members support and honor our veterans and military personnel and keep the issues important to them before the Democratic Party of the State of Texas and the Democratic National Committee. We Texas Democratic Veterans are proud of the legacy of leadership of the Texas Democratic Party over the past 130 years.
We see in Barbara Ann Radnofsky someone who, like us, believes that the service of those who have gone before us is something to emulate and respect. She is the daughter of a WWII veteran and the granddaughter of a WWI veteran. Her grandfather was injured in his navy service and proudly served as commander of his American Legion post.
When her father was in prisoner of war camp in Germany and the Nazis visited the camp and told all the Jews to step forward, to a man every prisoner stepped forward. Barbara Ann has repeatedly said during her more than 480 campaign trips across Texas that she is here because of the service, risk-taking, and sacrifice of our veterans, and that they deserve the treatment they were promised.
Barbara Ann's own words: "My parents raised me to believe that we are here on this earth due to the service and sacrifice of others."
Barbara Ann's opponent demonstrates that talk is cheap among too many of our elected officials. Barbara Ann Radnofsky's opponent promised,"I've always said that I would serve no more than two full terms. This may be my last term, or I could run for one more--But no more after that. I firmly believe in term limitations and plan to adhere to that." This was November of 1994, twelve years ago. She signed a contract with America reaffirming her position but broke that contract and pledge when she announced she would run for a third term.
On January 17, 2003, the Bush Administration stopped enrolling new Priority 8 veterans for Veterans Administration medical care, and the president's budget continues this restrictive policy. This has prevented one million veterans, who make as little as $26,902 a year, from enrolling in VA health care. For over three years Barbara Ann's opponent has remained silent.
The veterans of South Texas for too long have been denied the care they deserve. Barbara Ann stood with them and continues to stand with them demanding a new, fully funded, and operational VA hospital in South Texas. For over twelve years her opponent ignored this issue, and after two terms in office Texas is facing closing of veteran's facilities.
Knight-Ridder reported on December 30, 2005 that according to the VA's own data, people who call the agency's regional offices for help and advice are more likely to receive completely wrong answers than completely right ones. It currently takes about $1.4 billion additional funds each year just to maintain current VA services and the federal pay rise.
According to the Veteran's of Foreign Wars and other veteran's organizations, the Bush Administration's 2006 VA medical care budget request is woefully inadequate by about $2.4 billion. Raw data from the Veterans Benefits Administration suggest more than 11,000 of the 696,841 veterans who served in the Persian Gulf have died from various injuries and illnesses. More than 256,000 have filed claims against the government for veteran's compensation or medical care. Though the federal agency cautions that the data are raw and not reflective of mortality rates. "It's significant because it's...more than the casualty rates post-Vietnam."
Barbara Ann has advocated for service members and exposed the ineffective leadership and anti-service bias of her opponent. Veteran's issues in Texas are long-term, critical, and they deserve careful foresight and advocacy in Washington. It is with great pleasure that the Texas Democratic Vetereans Executive Committee endorses a true voice for veterans in Texas, Barbara Ann Radnofsky for the United States Senate.
Texas Democratic Veterans Contact:
(press release provided by the candidate through email to RGV Politics)