VoteVets is a hybrid political action group that operates as both a PAC and a Super PAC by donating money directly to political campaigns, and by raising and spending unlimited amounts of cash for “independent expenditures,” such as ad campaigns that target conservative candidates and issues, while supporting liberal issues and politicians.
The organization operates two groups, the VoteVets PAC and the VoteVets Action Fund. Its stated mission is to “to elect veterans to public office,” but in actuality it only backs liberals. All of the candidates VoteVets supports for federal, state and local offices are Democrats, and all of the issues it supports promote a liberal agenda.
Since it was formed in 2006, VoteVets has spent more than $120 million. Nearly half went for radio and television ads. According to FactCheck.org, VoteVets receives money from the Democrats and Bloomberg: “The PAC’s top three donors in 2018 were the Senate Majority PAC, the House Majority PAC and Bloomberg L.P. The organizations contributed $4.5 million, $2.2 million and $1.5 million, respectively.”
While pretending to advocate on behalf of veterans and veterans’ issues, in reality VoteVets operates in lockstep with other anti-gun groups funded by Bloomberg’s cash. To be clear, VoteVets advocates for more anti-gun laws and restrictions even though most veterans own guns and strongly support the Second Amendment.
While VoteVets does fund lobbying efforts, it is the group’s liberal public-issue campaigns – which are usually not fully disclosed or attributed – that the mainstream media laps up like hungry dogs.
“They have really been punching above their weight this election cycle,” Rachel Maddow, MSNBC’s highest-paid news actor said of VoteVets.
The Washington Post and scores of other newspapers recently published an opinion column, which was actually just the latest VoteVets public-issue campaign.
The headline was damning: “3 retired generals: The military must prepare now for a 2024 insurrection.”
“The signs of potential turmoil in our armed forces are there. On Jan. 6, a disturbing number of veterans and active-duty members of the military took part in the attack on the Capitol. More than 1 in 10 of those charged in the attacks had a service record. A group of 124 retired military officials, under the name “Flag Officers 4 America,” released a letter echoing Donald Trump’s false attacks on the legitimacy of our elections,” the column states.
It called on the Department of Defense to take “more intensive intelligence work at all installations.”
“The goal should be to identify, isolate and remove potential mutineers; guard against efforts by propagandists who use misinformation to subvert the chain of command; and understand how that and other misinformation spreads across the ranks after it is introduced by propagandists,” the generals wrote.
The column followed a similar bit of anti-Trump 2024 fearmongering, which was published by Newsweek, titled: “Millions of Angry, Armed Americans Stand Ready to Seize Power If Trump Loses in 2024.”
In the Washington Post story, VoteVets received only an oblique mention – certainly not full disclosure – in the authors’ byline: “Paul D. Eaton, a retired U.S. Army major general and a senior adviser to VoteVets; Antonio M. Taguba, a retired Army major general, with 34 years of active-duty service, and Steven M. Anderson, a retired brigadier general who served in the U.S. Army for 31 years.”
What the Post and the other media platforms that republished the syndicated column did not tell their readers was that the entire piece was little more than VoteVets’ ongoing political agitprop, and that two of the three generals are thinly veiled political activists, and apparently far more interested in partisan politics than they ever were the welfare of the troops who served under their command.
The newspapers never mentioned that after he retired in 2006, Major General Easton strongly criticized the Bush Administration on multiple media platforms for its handling of the Iraq War. Nor was it disclosed that he served as a special advisor to both Hilary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.
In 2004, Major General Taguba was assigned to investigate allegations of mistreatment at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison. His report, which was extremely critical, was almost immediately leaked to the media. The stories served as an inspiration for the Iraqi insurgency and, ultimately, cost American lives. It is still a rallying cry for our foes throughout the Middle East. After the leak was investigated, Taguba was ordered by the Army’s Vice Chief of Staff to retire. This fact, too, never made it into print.