The angry tone and tenor of the telephone calls and messages being received at national headquarters make it clear that many of our members are not cognizant of the fact that VFW National By-Laws clearly stipulate that the VFW Commander-in-Chief is not authorized to direct or otherwise attempt to introduce his control over the VFW PAC. Furthermore, no membership dues or donations made to the VFW or VFW Foundation are used for the VFW PAC.
As you know, the recent endorsements by the PAC are the subject of much controversy. Unfortunately, many questions have been raised regarding VFW’s involvement in the endorsement process and the integrity of the organization as a whole. Regrettably, many of our members and supporters are disappointed and have misdirected their anger toward the VFW as having lost its purpose.
Comrades, we cannot sit idly by while a great organization is being disparaged and maligned, even unintentionally. It is vitally important that you take a direct role in alleviating this current flood of criticism by reminding members and supporters that:
-- The VFW PAC was created by the VFW members and not by VFW national leaders. 2/3 of the delegates of the 80th VFW National Convention (1979) voted to establish PAC as a standing committee.
-- VFW By-Laws stipulate that VFW leadership does not direct PAC activities and that the VFW convention is the governing body of the organization. As such, it is only the delegates at the convention that can determine the continuation of the PAC.
-- Encourage VFW members to get involved in their VFW Posts and to exercise and further direct their concerns to convention delegates so that there can be an informed debate on the existence of the PAC.
That is a future process. But, as indicated, we also have an immediate necessity on the recent PAC endorsements. VFW’s values and guiding principles aren’t grounded in a desire to participate in partisan policies in political activities. As veterans of foreign wars, we gave substantially more of ourselves than most to ensure the viability and the integrity of our great democratic process. However, our recent endorsement process unintentionally provided favoritism to the incumbents. It is now evident it was unfairly skewed and actually subverted that process.
As determined in the VFW By-Laws, as the national officers, we have specific responsibilities to take definitive action when events can have a detrimental impact on the organization. It is clear to us that the current situation now demands direct action; therefore, we are requesting the chairman and the directors of the Political Action Committee immediately rescind their endorsement actions.
We also want to stress this request means no endorsement for any Congressional candidate.
Richard L. Eubank
Richard L. DeNoyer
Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief
John E. Hamilton
Junior Vice Commander-in-Chief