(From Sen. Brad Lager's campaign for lieutenant governor)
On the same day Senator Brad Lager launched a campaign ad reminding Missouri voters that Peter Kinder has misused taxpayer dollars for personal gain, Peter Kinder used Twitter, which he’s famously known to do, and asked people if they, “Know a Vet to nominate for MY Veterans Service Award?” The use of “my” award is important when you consider the following:
Over the past few months, Kinder has been traveling around the state with his official office staff handing out senior service awards at a record pace. Since he created the award in 2008, he has awarded one in 2008, zero in 2009, zero in 2010, seven in 2011 and now 34 in just six months in 2012.
Col. Dick Hobbs, retired Marine and former Marine Corps Commander at Ft. Leonard Wood and Co-Chairman of Veterans for Brad Lager said, “As a Commander of Marines and a leader who has served our nation overseas during times of war, I find Peter Kinder’s actions to miss the mark. Apparently he does not understand that this award is not “his” but is every Missouri veteran’s. Peter Kinder needs to understand that men and women in uniform do not fight for politicians. They serve to protect our families, friends and neighbors, as well as our freedoms granted to us under the Constitution. To ensure that the recipient of this award is honored as they should be, I ask that Peter Kinder turn this award over to the jurisdiction of the Missouri Association of Veterans Organizations so that deserving Veterans can be properly recognized for their achievements, not as political pawns.”
Col. Jack Jackson, former combat pilot for the United States Marine Corps and Co-Chairman of Veterans for Brad Lager said, “Not only have I served in uniform but I have served in the Missouri House of Representatives as Chairman of the Veterans Committee. When we needed Kinder’s help on key issues like veteran cemeteries, he was nowhere to be seen and now he wants to pass out awards. If you want to honor veterans start with the most junior active duty and their families and work your way up. A 486% increase in the number of awards over the previous year has made a mockery of these awards. Peter Kinder needs to provide Missourians with time sheets and travel costs for himself, his office staff and he needs to reimburse Missourians for all costs associated with these awards, which are clearly nothing more than political shenanigans. Kinder’s record of misusing taxpayer dollars and abusing the Lt. Governor’s office for political gain is unbecoming of someone who once had the slogan ‘Every Dollar Counts.’”