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Sen. Max Cleland and Pinellas Veteran Praise Alex Sink’s Commitment to Veterans, Highlight How Lobbyist Jolly Will Make Military Families Pay More

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CLEARWATER, FL — Today, former U.S. Senator and wounded Vietnam veteran Max Cleland joined Pinellas veteran Bill Walker to highlight Alex Sink’s strong commitment to take the voices of Pinellas veterans to Washington, and why military families cannot trust special interest Lobbyist David Jolly.  

“As the wife and daughter of Marines, Alex Sink will go to Congress with a built in part of her soul completely dedicated to veterans, military families, and the men and women that serve in the military today,” said Former Senator Max Cleland on the call. “Alex has never spent a day of her life without a close family member that’s a member of the United States military. I urge the voters of Florida’s 13th Congressional District to send Alex Sink to Congress because she understands the American military and the service and sacrifice that military families and veterans are making as we speak.” 

“I’m supporting Alex because I am confident that she will take the interests of Pinellas veterans, their families, and active service members to Washington to fight for us,” said Vietnam veteran and Pinellas resident Bill Walker. “For veterans and military families, the choice is clear in this election. Lobbyist Jolly praised a plan that would make military retirees like me pay up to 500% more for our healthcare program called TRICARE, and that is unacceptable. Even worse, lobbyist Jolly recently proposed that the United States should attack Syria —  an extreme position that would commit more American lives to yet another costly and uncertain incursion in the Middle East. It is clear that Pinellas veterans and military families simply cannot trust a special interest lobbyist like David Jolly to look out for us.” 

 

BACKGROUND

Jolly Praised Plan to Increase Veterans’ Health Costs by as Much as 500 Percent as “Honest Leadership.” The Tampa Bay Times reported: “In another instance of blurred lines, Jolly blogged for Free Enterprise Nation to keep readers abreast on plans to make military veterans pay more for health care — a politically dicey issue — and referenced ‘FEN conversations with appropriations committee staff,’ suggesting he played an active role […]In the blog post he wrote that then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has ‘continued to demonstrate honest leadership in addressing the unsustainable formulas that dictate the department’s health care program.” Jolly’s wrote that Gates’ proposed plan for TRICARE could increase military retirees’ contributions to TRICARE by as much as 500 percent. [Tampa Bay Times,1/31/14]

Jolly Said America Should Attack Syria. “This wasn’t just a Republican candidate trying to portray Sink as an out-of-touch liberal. This was a candidate taking a hard right at almost every fork in the road…How to handle Syria? Attack it.” [Tampa Bay Times, 2/3/14; Tampa Bay Times/AARP/Bay News 9 candidate debate, 2/03/14]

There are Over 76,000 Veterans in Florida’s 13th Congressional District. According to the Census’ American Community Survey, there are approximately 76,825 veterans in Florida’s 13th Congressional District. [American Community Survey 5 Year Estimates, accessed 2/11/14]

Over 20,000 in Florida’s 13th Congressional District Rely on TRICARE. According to the Census’ American Community Survey, there are approximately 20,805 people in Florida’s 13th Congressional District with TRICARE/military health coverage. [American Community Survey 5 Year Estimates, accessed 2/11/14]