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Opinion: Vietnam hero Cleland slams Lowden for veterans record



ffhrlogo-300x55-6125718-2956379The backlash continues over embattled GOP Senate candidate Sue Lowden’s veterans death tax proposal. The issue first surfaced a month ago when she began airing a disingenuous TV ad that attempted to paint over her abysmal record for Nevada’s veterans both as a state senator and as a candidate.

Yesterday in Reno, former U.S. Senator Max Cleland, a Vietnam veteran who lost three of his limbs in service to our country, expressed utter disbelief at Lowden’s record for Nevada’s fighting men and women. Of the proposal, Cleland said, “It’s off the wall. I never knew anybody who wanted to tax veterans’ burials, for God’s sakes.”

This is just the latest in a series of ongoing criticism by veterans.

Last month, veterans in Las Vegas and Reno demanded an apology from Lowden for being two faced on their issues: claiming in her television ads to be an ally while having spearheaded a new tax on non-combat veterans’ burials as a legislator, and stridently opposing critical vets funding like the $5 million Sen. Harry Reid secured for the Reno VA hospital as a candidate. 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 Economic Recovery Act, disabled veterans qualified for and received a one-time $250 payment to offset the impacts of the recession. The Economic 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.

And what was Sue Lowden’s response? This may sound familiar.

First, she digs in her heels and doubles down on her widely unpopular proposal: “Upkeep and care cost money on any cemetery, so a nominal fee was assessed.”

Then, she attacks the messenger, taking a cheap shot at a widely recognized war hero who earned a silver star, bronze star and purple heart fighting for his country.

“Despite overwhelming criticism from veterans, Sue Lowden continues to defend her proposed death tax on Nevada’s veterans,” said Reid campaign communications director Kelly Steele. “While Sen. Harry Reid has consistently delivered for Nevada’s veterans, fighting men and women continue to call out Sue Lowden’s disingenuous attempts to paper over her decidedly anti-veteran record.”

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