Iraq Veterans for Congress
|Focus||War in Iraq
Global War on Terrorism
The candidates served during combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom, which they state forged them leaders who are "fearless, tested and ready to lead." A main objective of the organization is to counter what they feel is the "often misleading and biased reporting" on Iraq.
A prominent member of the organization was Duncan Duane Hunter, the son of Congressman and former presidential candidate Duncan Hunter of California. Roughly a quarter of the 110th United States Congress has military service on its resume, down from nearly 50 percent in 1991. According to a recent study by Duke University, veterans are under-represented in Congress compared to the population as a whole for the first time in U.S. history. The organization is closely allied to the Veterans for Freedom organization, which was founded by one of its members.
History and political positions
Iraq Veterans for Congress was founded by Marine corporal Kieran Lalor. The organizations pledged to restore "leadership and honor" in Washington, D.C., and perceives itself as a counterweight to "the alliance of the Democratic leadership with the antiwar Left, abetted by a compliant news media." The organization positioned itself in stark contrast to anti-war veterans groups such as Veterans for a Secure America, and The Veterans' Alliance for Security and Democracy. The organization's platform included victory in Iraq, staying on the offensive in the war on terror, and taking care of all veterans.
The organization supported the claims of President George W. Bush that the administration's goal in the invasion was to bring democracy to countries in the Middle East and to oppose "islamofascism". While the organization typically avoids discussing the justifications leading up to the war, it pointed to what it viewed as American successes in Iraq. Candidates strongly favored the Iraq War troop surge of 2007, and disparaged opponents as defeatists who are inexperienced or unrealistic. The group insisted that by fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq, the United States is made more secure. Its members expressed the view that having American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan offers strategic advantages in a potential conflict with Iran. Massachusetts candidate Nathan Bech served in both wars.
The organization has had spots on Fox News, Newsweek and major metropolitan papers, and members were invited to the National Republican Campaign Committees annual Washington, D.C. dinner in March 2008. The organization endorsed veteran John McCain for President of the United States, and urged Republicans to unite behind him as nominee. They hoped his presidential bid can help candidates for Congress achieve victory on his coattails.
The organization drew attention to the attacks by MoveOn.org on Gen. David Petraeus, calling the group devoted to "defeat in Iraq" after MoveOn ran an ad full of factual inaccuracies in The New York Times referring to him as "General Betray Us", which was widely criticized by the media and both Republicans and Democrats.
List of candidates
The array of candidates put forward by the group includes soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marine officers and enlisted personnel who served in the war in Iraq. While most ran against incumbent Democrats or running in a primary for an open seat, a few ran against Republican incumbents in primaries. All of the candidates pledged to run as a "united front" in support of each other, and the group will provide fund raising and volunteers to its candidates.
- Brian J. Rooney, Michigan's 7th congressional district
- Nathan Bech, Massachusetts's 1st congressional district
- David Bellavia, New York's 26th congressional district
- Will Breazeale, North Carolina's 7th congressional district
- Mike Coffman, Colorado's 6th congressional district
- Wayne E. Harmon, Indiana's 7th congressional district
- Duncan D. Hunter, California's 52nd congressional district
- Kieran Lalor, New York's 19th congressional district
- Tom Manion, Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district
- Vince Micco, New Jersey's 9th congressional district
- Bentley Rayburn, Colorado's 5th congressional district
- Tom Roughneen, New Jersey's 7th congressional district
- William Russell, Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district
- Matt Salisbury, Idaho's 1st congressional district
- Duane Sand, North Dakota's At-large congressional district
- Steve Stivers, Ohio's 15th congressional district
- Charlie Summers, Maine's 1st congressional district
- Allen West, Florida's 22nd congressional district
- Lee Zeldin, New York's 1st congressional district
- "'Wall Street Journal' and 'Reuters Television' Cover Iraq Vets for Congress in DC". Fox Business. April 11, 2008.
- "Iraq Vets for Congress Denounces George Soros' Attacks". Press Release. Iraq Veterans for Congress Archived 2008-01-05 at the Wayback Machine.. January 23, 2007.
- "Members of Iraq Veterans for Congress". Associated Press. February 26, 2008.
- James, Alexa. "Returning vets form a political surge". Times-Herald Record. March 20, 2008.
- Andersen, Ericka. "Vets for Freedom Revitalizes Support for Victory". Human Events. April 9, 2008.
- "Iraq Vets for Congress". Retrieved April 14, 2008.
- Lalor, Kieran. "Iraq Vets for Congress". American Thinker. March 17, 2008.
- Smyth, Julie Carr. "Veterans scramble for campaign cash, anti-war group's backing". Associated Press. March 18, 2008.
- Smyth, Julie Carr. "Pro-war vets running for Congress team up". Associated Press. February 27, 2008.
- Shannon Bream (2008-03-14). "IVC, Lalor, and Breazeale on FOX News". Fox News Watch. Fox News.
- Botti, David. "Interview: An Iraq Vet Runs for Congress". Newsweek. March 5, 2008.
- "Lalor and Iraq Veterans for Congress Recognized at National GOP Dinner". Press Release. Iraq Veterans for Congress Archived 2008-01-05 at the Wayback Machine.. March 13, 2007.
- Millman, Joel and Farnam, T.W. "Republican Iraq Vets Seek 17 House Seats". The Wall Street Journal. April 8, 2008.
- Lalor, Kieran. "General Petraeus' Congressman". American Thinker. September 15, 2007.
- "General Betray Us? - Fact Checker Archived 2011-05-23 at the Wayback Machine.". Washington Post. September 2007.
- "GOP calls on top Senate Dem to condemn anti-Petraeus ad". CNN. September 10, 2007.
- Seminara, Jim. Those bolded have been elected to Congress."Troop Surge in Congress?". Human Events. April 16, 2008.