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Senator Cornyn's office smears veterans for daring to ask him to support education benefits for troops

By VoteVets.org  |  Press Release
PUBLISHED: May 21, 2008

WASHINGTON - Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan today expressed disappointment that Senator John Cornyn would belittle them and their service, because they asked him to vote in favor of a bi-partisan GI Bill for the 21st Century.  That bill, offered by Senators Jim Webb and Chuck Hagel, would update the Montgomery GI Bill to keep education benefits for troops current with the cost of education.

In today's edition of Roll Call, Cornyn's spokesman responded to an ad launched by VoteVets.org calling on Cornyn to vote for a new GI Bill by saying, "The anti-war crowd is determined to use our men and women in uniform for their political advantage, even if our national security is jeopardized in the process."

In response, Brandon Friedman, an Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran from Dallas, and Vice Chair of VoteVets.org said, "Senator Cornyn's response to veterans is ignorant, insulting, and beneath his office.  The GI Bill has nothing to do with the decision to go to war, or the course in Iraq, nor would it jeopardize security.  The GI Bill was a sacred promise enacted by President Roosevelt, and all we are asking for is that America not default on that promise."

Friedman added, "Further, to accuse veterans of using ourselves as a political football is pernicious and absurd. Apparently, veterans do not have the right to ask Senator Cornyn to do the right thing, or else we'll be smeared.  At least we now know what Senator Cornyn thinks of those of us who served this nation in combat."

The VoteVets.org ad, currently running in San Antonio and Waco can be viewed here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8cz3iAC3qo.  The full Roll Call article is attached below.

VoteVets.org is a pro-military organization committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world, with force when necessary. It represents the Voice of America's 21 Century Patriots - those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. It primarily focuses on nonpartisan education and advocacy on behalf of troops, veterans and their families.

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Texas: Veterans Group Runs TV Spot Hitting Cornyn

May 20, 2008, 7:46 p.m.

VoteVets.org, a group representing veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that supports Democratic candidates, is up with a new television ad that raps Sen. John Cornyn (R) for failing to support the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act (S. 22/ H.R. 5740).

VoteVets.org has placed a 36-hour buy on broadcast and cable television in the San Antonio and Waco media markets, which encompass Fort Hood and Fort Sam Houston, respectively. The buy was worth 184 gross ratings points in San Antonio and 110 GRP in Waco, although VoteVets.org declined to reveal how much it was spending on the ad's limited run.

State Rep. Rick Noriega (D), who has been endorsed by VoteVets.org and is challenging Cornyn in November, used the ad to criticize the Republican incumbent in a news release his campaign sent out on Tuesday.

"As a member of the Texas National Guard and an American, I am proud to give our troops the tools they need on the battlefield, but I know they will also need new tools when they return home. That's why I support the bipartisan Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Act that would give our brave men and women the kind of GI Bill education benefit they deserve," Noriega said in a statement.

The Cornyn campaign dismissed the charges of VoteVets.org as unfounded and accused Noriega of playing gutter politics.

"The anti-war crowd is determined to use our men and women in uniform for their political advantage, even if our national security is jeopardized in the process," Cornyn campaign spokesman Kevin McLaughlin said. "The fact that Noriega would associate himself with a group that attacks John McCain [R-Ariz.], an American Hero by any standard, will not go unnoticed by Texans."

- David M. Drucker

Webby Award Official HonoreePaid for VoteVets Political Action Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. VoteVets Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization which primarily focuses on nonpartisan education and advocacy on behalf veterans and their families. VoteVets Political Action Committee is a federal political committee which primarily helps elect Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran candidates and educates about veterans and military issues aimed at influencing the outcome of the next election.

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VoteVets Political Action and Vote Vets Action Fund are separate organizations.