McCaskill's War Veteran Campaign Ad… A Fraud?
The McCaskill campaign claims that it took Iraqi War veteran Josh Lansdale six months to get a doctor’s appointment once he came home from Iraq.
But, when he was asked to prove this…
The McCaskill Campaign decided to yank the ad after they were questioned about it’s validity! How pathetic!
Here is the investigation as reported at KMBC TV out of Kansas City, Missouri:
There may be a problem with one of the most effective television ads being run by Democrat for U.S. Senate candidate Claire McCaskill. Her campaign can’t prove it is true, KMBC’s Micheal Mahoney reported.
The commercial is called “Josh.” It is named after Kansas Citian Josh Lansdale, a medic who served and was wounded in Iraq.
“I returned from Iraq with a busted ankle and post-traumatic stress. It was six months before I could see a doctor,” Lansdale said in the McCaskill ad.
Officials with the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Kansas City said Iraqi vets like Lansdale are priority veterans.
“We see them within 30 days of their entry into our system,” said Jane Alley of the VA Medical Center.
Alley is a nurse and one of two people at the medical center who oversees new patients. Mahoney said it should be easy to check Lansdale’s claims if he would produce his appointment schedule.
Mahoney reported that he went to one of the addresses for Lansdale, and for more than a week, Mahoney and the McCaskill campaign tried to contact Lansdale. Mahoney said he even asked Lansdale’s mother to have him call KMBC.
In one brief telephone conversation, Lansdale praised the VA’s mental health program, but he complained about how his ankle problem was treated. Mahoney said that indicates some sort of contact, but if, when and for how long cannot be determined.
McCaskill is getting feedback from Pro-Talent veterans:
Reps. Jack Jackson, R-Wildwood, and Jim Avery, R-Crestwood — gathered in front of the Soldiers Memorial Tuesday afternoon to blast the ad, McCaskill and Lansdale.
“I think that commercial is simply not true,” said Colonel Jackson. “I believe that Claire McCaskill did not verify her facts.”
Avery called on McCaskill to “pull that ‘Josh’ commercial off her Web site.”
Talent’s campaign sent out a release that “Calls On McCaskill to Provide Documentation for ‘Problematic’ Ad.”
“Claire McCaskill approved the ad, she spent at least about a quarter of a million dollars airing it around the state and now she can’t prove the ad is true,” said Talent senior advisor Lloyd Smith. “McCaskill can settle this right now by providing the media with the veteran’s appointment schedule as verified by the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Kansas City. If she doesn’t, Missourians are entitled to believe the ad is a fraud and that McCaskill is not telling the truth.”
On September 22, 2006, the Veterans of Foreign War endorsed Jim Talent.
Update: Just got off the phone with Glenna Greer, the Public Affair’s Officer with the Veteran’s Administration in Kansas City. This is what I was told:
Veterans who have seen combat, including all of the men and women from Iraq, have a two year window period for medical and mental health coverage by the Veteran’s administration. After the 2 years is up they will not just be dropped.
The Veteran’s Hospital in KC does treat some active duty guard and reserves but not active duty military.
Although the Veterans Administration did hire an employee in Kansas City to actively go out and publicize the benefits in the area, the administration does not routinely go out and seek veterans. The veterans are expected to contact the veteran’s centers. The veteran’s administration and the DOD are working to streamline this process.
Once the contact is made, the policy is to see the veteran within 30 days. There are few exceptions. If a veteran needs care before their appointment, there are emergency care and urgent care benefits offered to veterans.
The veteran is assigned a provider on the initial contact. The provider is a doctor or a nurse practitioner. Mental health is available if a veteran needs this service.
The Kansas City facility recently added staff in their mental health unit for veterans returing from active duty.
Finally, several veterans have called to thank them for the services they provide especially since the McCaskill ad started airing.
Update Friday: Talked with Colonel Jack Jackson this evening and was told, although this is not verified at this point, that the Kansas City Hospital has no record of appointments for a Josh Lansdale.
RedState has more on Claire.