My name is Ralph Parrott. I am a 65 year old retired Navy Supply Corps Captain and retired businessman from Fairfax Station, Virginia. I served in the US Navy from March 1963 until September of 1990, over 27 years.
I make no claim of being a war hero. My service in the Viet Nam war consisted of two Tonkin Gulf deployments in USS Intrepid CVS-11 in 1967 and 1968. As a Supply Corps officer I served in a support role. But unlike our President, Vice President and most of their neoconservative fellow travelers that have gotten us in to the mess we called Iraq, I served.
I started the PAC, Empowering Veterans, during the 2006 Senate campaign in Virginia in support of Jim Webb's candidacy against George Allen. I decided the best way to support Jim Webb was to expose the voting record of George Allen on issues relating to members of the Armed Forces and their families and veterans and their families. As I researched George Allen's record I became shocked at the difference between his lofty rhetoric of "Support the Troops" and the reality of his actual record. As I dug deeper I came to realize that George Allen was not alone in establishing a record of deceit and hypocrisy when it comes to really "Supporting the Troops". Indeed, his sorry record is shared by a large portion of his Republican colleagues.
Learning this, I decided to devote the time from now until the election of 2008 to exposing the "Worst 10" incumbent Senators up for reelection in 2008. As I watched the Republicans tie the US Senate in knots last week in order to avoid a debate about on the wisdom of the President's troop surge in Irag I was struck by the sheer hypocrisy of many members of the "Worst 10" club as they piously implored their colleagues to "Support the Troops". A cursory view of their sorry voting records puts their rhetoric in sharp relief of where they really stand. Namely, there is always money for tax cuts for the wealthy, tax giveaways for the corporations, and no bind contractors for insiders, but when it comes to mental health care soldiers, head trauma research, or support for military families the budget is somehow constrained. The "Worst 10" on issues relating to members of the Armed Forces and their families and veterans and their families are:
Alexander of Tennessee
Chambliss of Georgia
Cochran of Mississippi
Coleman of Minnesota
Cornyn of Texas
Dole of North Carolina
Graham of South Carolina
Roberts of Kansas
Sessions of Alabama
Sunnunu of New Hampshire
Empowering Veterans's strategy for the next election cycle is very simple.
* We will track ("Bird Dog") each target incumbent's voting record on issues relating to members of the Armed Forces their families and veterans and their families.
* We will maintain that record on our website, www.empoweringveterans.org.
* We will recruit volunteers in each targeted state to conduct Letters to the Editor campaigns to keep each incumbent's record of deceit and hypocrisy constantly before his or her constituents.
* We will encourage veterans to run against these incumbents.
* We will raise money to support those veterans that do run against these incumbents.
This posting is Empowering Veterans's opening shot in what I hope is a campaign that will make the members of "The Worst 10" club lives miserable until their defeat in the 2008 election. This posting is an appeal for you to visit our website, www.empoweringveterans.org, to review the voting records of the "Worst 10", and to volunteer to serve as a "Bird Dog" to hold these people accountable for their deceit, hypocrisy, and hollow claims of "Supporting the Troops".
In the coming days I will post each "Worst 10" member's record for the benefit of readers that are constituents of these hypocrites. I hope these postings will spur you to action to help defeat them in 2008.