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OPINION: Sue Lowden is wrong for Nevada veterans; Republican candidate tried to tax dead veterans

By ThisIsReno

SUBMITTED BY FRIENDS FOR HARRY REID

Sue Lowden has a new ad on television touting her support of veterans, but what’s missing are the facts about her record as state senator. The ad is premised on her time volunteering to entertain US troops 40 years ago, a period in her life the Review-Journal described as “the 18-year-old who toured the world and went to Vietnam with Bob Hope and the USO.”

And while Lowden’s time “dancing in a line of girls wearing go-go boots and miniskirts” is certainly nothing to be disparaged – indeed, her USO service is admirable – it belies a record in the Nevada Legislature that was decidedly anti-veteran. Moreover, Lowden has repeatedly and unequivocally opposed the stimulus bill that provided essential aid to Nevada’s veterans.

In the legislature, Lowden personally championed a special burial tax for Nevada veterans. Under Lowden’s bill, if you served your country in uniform but not during a time of active conflict, you’d have to pay a special tax to be buried in a veterans’ cemetery. And just a few days after that bill failed, Lowden was the only Senator to vote against an alternative proposal to fund veterans’ cemeteries using specialty license plates.

Lowden has also strenuously opposed support for Nevada’s veterans by denouncing the aid contained in the stimulus bill. Under the Recovery Act, disabled veterans qualified for and received a one-time $300 payment to offset the impacts of the recession.  The Recovery Act also contained $1.4 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs – more than $5 million of which was directed to the Reno VA Hospital.

“Sue Lowden’s attempt to paper over her dismal record on veterans issues continues a disturbing pattern of dishonesty that gets worse with each passing day,” said Kelly Steele, communications director for Friends for Harry Reid. “Sen. Reid has been recognized as a champion for the needs of Nevada’s veterans and it’s unfortunate that someone with as poor a record as Lowden’s has chosen to make this a campaign issue.”

SUE LOWDEN’S ACTUAL RECORD ON VETERAN’S ISSUES

LOWDEN CHAMPIONED LEGISLATION TO TAX VETERANS BURIED IN VETERANS CEMETERIES UNLESS THEY SERVED ACTIVE DUTY DURING WARTIME

Ø      Lowden Sponsored Legislation To Charge A Fee For Veterans’ Burials. In 1995, Sue Lowden sponsored Senate Bill 162, which would have charged a burial fee at veterans’ cemeteries for veterans who were not on active duty during times of conflict. [NV Senate Human Resources and Facilities Committee minutes, 6/12/1995]

Ø      Lowden Was The Only Vote Against Special License Plate Program To Help Fund Veterans’ Cemeteries. In 1995, Sue Lowden was the only Senator to vote against Assembly Bill 258, which would require the DMV to offer special license plates to help fund veterans’ cemeteries. [Assembly Bill 258 floor vote, 6/28/1995]

LOWDEN STRONGLY OPPOSED STIMULUS BILL THAT PROVIDED KEY AID TO VETS

Ø      Opposed One-Time $300 Payment For Disabled Veterans Under The Recovery Act. According to the Democratic Policy Committee, under the Recovery Act, “Seniors, disabled veterans, other disabled workers, and SSI recipients would receive a one-time payment of $300.” [Democratic Policy Committee, 2/11/09]

Ø      Opposed $1.4 Billion in Recovery Act Funding For Veterans Affairs, Including More Than $5 Million For Reno Veterans Hospital. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, “In putting Americans back to work through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the Department of Veterans Affairs has been allocated $1.4 billion. That money is set to target programs across the country which are of most interest to Veterans.” More Than $5 million of that funding is headed to the Reno Veterans Administration Hospital to fund importat improvements that increase patient safety and improve the quality of care for Northern Nevada veterans. [Department of Veterans Affairs Website; Reid Release, 2/22/10; Reid Release, 3/20/09]