Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bloomberg Strikes Out With Veterans Endorsements




ACWV does not endorse candidates but we will point out Bloombergs record in NYC is as poor as one could possibly imagine.
Also we will point out a veterans group source in NYC has warned us about the Bloomberg campaign trying to blunt this article by reaching out for any kind of veterans endorsement including a dubious or some would say "FAKE" veterans group that City Council Speaker Quinn used for her slush fund scandal.



http://www.nydailynews.com/news/election_2009/2009/09/27/2009-09-27_veterans_awol_from_mayor_bloombergs_list_of_endorsements.html

Veterans groups AWOL from Mayor Bloomberg's list of endorsements

Adam Lisberg

Sunday, September 27th 2009, 4:00 AM

Mayor Bloomberg appears to have a veteran problem.

As of last week, his campaign counted more than 400 endorsements - but just one of them was from a veterans group. And that group doesn't even exist.

The "Panamanian and Ethnic American Veterans Political Action Committee," which has its own page on Bloomberg's Web site, has never filed any paperwork, made any donations or endorsed a candidate - besides Bloomberg.

Rev. Guillermo Martino, a Panamanian-American Vietnam veteran who heads the Tabernacle of God's Glory in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, said the 125-member group wants to build a community center for its fellow Panamanian immigrants.

"At the beginning, we weren't doing anything politically," Martino said last week. "This year, they came over and asked us to give them our support."

He said a Bloomberg campaign worker told them the mayor could help them get a building for their center - but did not offer any specifics, or offer it as a quid pro quo.

"There were promises that we felt in our heart," Martino said. "He's going to help us to obtain the building. We believe it, and we will stand on that."

So does he think Bloomberg has helped veterans?

"I have not seen it, no. I'm looking forward that he will start," Martino said. "We are looking forward to him learning from whatever mistakes he made in the past."

Funny thing is, some veterans active in real organizations say the same thing - that Bloomberg hasn't reached out to soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, hasn't done enough to help homeless or addicted vets, and hasn't gone out of his way to help veterans get jobs and housing.

"We haven't had much in the way of proactive help from the mayor," said Edward Daniels, who chairs a group called the Incarcerated Veterans Consortium.

He was invited to a "Veterans for Bloomberg" meeting at the campaign's headquarters earlier this month, but after hearing a presentation about Bloomberg's record, he said he walked out unimpressed.

Critics say the Mayor's Office of Veterans Affairs, which Bloomberg elevated to a commissioner-level department two years ago, rarely starts new initiatives and tends to piggyback on the work of other groups.

And Bloomberg has been to only one servicemember's funeral in more than three years.
Some veterans back him: Stephen Kaufman, an Air Force vet who attended the "Veterans for Bloomberg" meeting, said he lent his support after hearing his plans for more outreach and counseling in a third term.

"He's very subtle, but he's getting it done," said another attendee, Joe Graham, president of the Manhattan branch of the Vietnam Veterans of America. "I think he's terrific for vets."

As Bloomberg campaigns for a third term, he is actively soliciting votes with groups like "Asians for Bloomberg" and "Women for Bloomberg" and "Urban Young Professionals for Bloomberg." But you can scour his Web site and never find mention of an organized "Veterans for Bloomberg" - just a phantom group of Panamanians.

alisberg@nydailynews.com