Crossroads brings VA scandal to Alaska Senate campaign

The ad below by Crossroads GPS, one of the groups founded by GOP strategist Karl Rove, brings the Veterans Affairs mess to the Alaska Senate campaign. The ad, which began airing in Alaska on Wednesday, says that Begich, who sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee, hasn’t done enough to fix the problems with the VA system. The ad was released on the same day as a devastating preliminary report by the Veterans Affairs inspector general which found that vets in Arizona waited on average 115 days, which ran counter to reports that they were getting help sooner.

The inspector general, however, said that it was premature to link allegations that dozens of vets died waiting for care. The probe has expanded from 26 facilities to 42. So far at least, it appears that Alaska’s VA system has been spared from the problems plaguing other systems across the country.

GOP Senate candidate Dan Sullivan called for the firing of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki earlier this month and again on Wednesday.

“The newly-released Inspector General report further confirms that the disgraceful failures at the Veterans Administration are systemic and require accountability and a change in administration,” he said, noting that none of the Democrats who sit on the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs have called for Shinseki’s firing.

In any case, the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) told CNN on Wednesday that the Crossroads ad was “not appropriate,” and that the issue was a bipartisan one that shouldn’t be used in campaigns.

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11 thoughts on “Crossroads brings VA scandal to Alaska Senate campaign

  1. Samuel Abney

    Is there much disparity in the liberal and conservative philosophies for VA? Is this a contentious philosophical issue like abortion, taxes, the welfare state? I think it’s common knowledge that the VA is terrible to one degree or another all over the country and our soldiers returning home have nill opportunities and the ones they have are poorly administrated.

    So what’s the problem? No one on either side of the aisle wants to see veterans uncared for, homeless and suffering. Isn’t this one issue we can move forward with and make great progress on?

    I’m inviting comment even if it’s bitterly partisan. What’s inhibiting forward movement on this issue?

  2. Paul

    I’m a Begich fan or have been for the most part; however, I’m becoming increasingly annoyed with his continuous claims that don’t add up. Mark, its okay to be truthful – – everything doesn’t habve to be a magic show or some disingenuous claims. This article makes me want to know why you aren’t more outraged about the VA than you are. If you’re not going to help fix the problem, give your seat on the Veteran’s Affairs committee to someone that cares about vets. You’re losing me on this one senator. Also, all the candidates have to tome down the negatives.

  3. Bill S

    I use the VA system here in Anchorage and I challenge anyone to find better care in this state. My Team does an outstanding job. They have always been there for me. We have a beautiful new facility, great doctors and specialists, a pharmacy staffed by actual pharmacists and 1st rate technicians. When I would otherwise have to wait too long for a consultation or a procedure, they send me off to a private specialist.

    Any problems that exist in the VA system (and I no doubt there are some) have been there for a while. Obama has opened up the the VA system for millions of vets cut off during the GW Bush years, while at the same time serving the massive influx of Iraq and Afghan vets. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the system is overloaded.

    When I go by to pick up a prescription ($8 for a month’s supply) I’ll occasionally head someone complaining that they had to wait 45 whole minutes to pick up their supermarket-sized paper bag full of prescription drugs.

    We vets have it pretty good. A lot of people believe that’s the way it should be, considering we volunteered to be cannon fodder and lived to tell about it. What disgusts me is the fetishizing of the military by conservatives. This is America, not some 70’s South American dictatorship where soldier worship was the rule.

  4. John Smith

    It seems to me that the “shill” thing to do would be to criticize and mock those who believe the Senator bears at least some of the blame for the serious and deadly issues with the VA. When backed into a corner, a person without a logical and legitimate explanation, tend to go on the attack due to fear; which is what you are doing now.

  5. steaming poop

    Look at the right wing shills commenting on this page, eating spoonful after spoonful of delicious nutritious spin. Coyne, you couldn’t be moderate even if you tried, and you don’t try.

  6. Garand Fellow

    Mark Begich owns this one. He continually claims to be looking out for Alaska veterans but as we know he is in lockstep with President Obama and Senate President Reid. Begich had a choice and he chose to go with the White House and Reid instead of standing up for veterans.

    Begich should come clean on this issue and on ObamaCare. He also should put up a red flag on Obama foreign policy (think about the line in the sand regarding chemical weapons in Syria). No one can support both the Obama White House and Alaska!

  7. Gunner

    I’d like to thank all those who are standing up for Vets.
    We need change at the VA. We need new leadership.

  8. Johnny V.

    Unlike Senator Begich, I have served my country in the Army with pride. Many of my brothers have come home with booth physical and emotional issues. Unfortunately, Begich talks a good game but his talk far exceeds his walk. He’s in a position to do something with his seat on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and does nothing except talk. Five other Democratic US Senators have mustered the courage to tell the President to make a change. Unfortunately, Begich isn’t one of them.

  9. Retired Vet

    Congressman Jeff Miller has also called for the VA Secretay’s resignation. This guy us a disgrace. Why Sen. Begich hasn’t called for his resignation is a disapointment. Thank you Dan Sullivan for stepping up.

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