Friday, December 26, 2003

Democrats Fight for Veterans' Votes

For years, veterans were seen as solidly in the Republican camp. But Democrats, especially those in Congress, are fighting hard for veterans' votes in 2004.

On Veterans Day, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) released a report on how many disabled veterans will fail to benefit from a recent GOP-crafted tax reduction. She mentions veterans repeatedly in news conferences, and has assigned a staffer to e-mail veterans about what the Democratic Party is doing to help them.

"Our veterans served for all of us," Pelosi said in a recent statement. "We must be there for all of them."

From health care to disability benefits, the two parties are sparring on issues important to veterans. Some observers say these retired military personnel, often impatient with Bush administration domestic and foreign policies, are listening.

"Democrats for the first time are really courting the military vote," said Joe Barnes, national executive secretary of the Fleet Reserve Association. Issues that have been bipartisan for years, he said, "have moved to become more politicized."

See also Veterans For Dean

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