I've been in the political arena for quite a few years now. I've had a lot of opponents, and therefore a lot of negative TV ads run against me. It sort of goes with the territory. I've developed a fairly thick skin, and not too much surprises me anymore.
But Steve Driehaus has sunk to a new low. It was bad enough when his first two TV ads played so loose with the facts as to be almost laughable. His vote for the failed Stimulus bill makes him a tax-cutter? Come on! And arguing that he has saved and created so many jobs, when unemployment has skyrocketed during his time in Congress? Give me a break!
But his latest below-the-belt attack about a veteran's medal is too much. First of all, the ad is untrue. And second, anyone who knows anything about my time in Congress, knows that my office made it a top priority to serve those who wore the uniform of our country. My staff and I assisted many many veterans in obtaining benefits, treatment, and care that they were entitled to. (Dealing with the VA and other government bureaucracies can be daunting.) And we worked tirelessly to cut through the government red tape to obtain long overdue medals earned by our men and women who served in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War and other conflicts around the world. I went to the homes of dozens and dozens, probably hundreds of these heroes to deliver their medals personally.
Neither my staff nor I deserve any special recognition or praise for doing this. It was our job. The veterans afterall had earned these medals -- not us. We never sought praise for our actions, nor deserved any. But neither did we deserve Mr. Driehaus's scorn.
He has done a great disservice to our community by running his despicable ad. He is exploiting our veterans for his own political gain. He should be ashamed.