Michele Bachmann likes to talk about how she helped to protect the Disabled Veterans Rest Camp on Big Marine Lake.

She wants people to believe she supports our troops and veterans. But what about other Bachmann votes affecting veterans and our armed forces?

Bachmann was one of only six Minnesota Senators to vote against allowing volunteer firemen returning from military service to count that service toward their pensions.1 If Bachmann had had her way, American soldiers and firefighters would have suffered a financial penalty for choosing to serve their country.

Last year Bachmann authored a bill that added a check-off box to state income tax forms, supposedly to fund bonuses for veterans of the global war on terrorism. But her bill didn't devote any state funds at all to pay bonuses to veterans. All it amounted to was a request that taxpayers volunteer to pay veterans bonuses—but only if they felt like it. 2

Of course, taxpayers were already free to donate to veteran's causes. But this bill would have enabled politicians like Bachmann to take credit for cash donated by taxpayers. The bill didn't provide a dime of real money towards paying veterans' bonuses.

Bachmann proposed an amendment to state constitution to borrow money and use it to pay bonuses to veterans of global war on terror. Bachmann and the bill's other sponsors had originally included Vietnam vets and Persian Gulf War vets in the bonus plan, but then crossed them out. 3

In the end it didn't matter because Bachmann dropped the idea of voting real money to pay veterans bonuses.

One of Michele Bachmann's core issues is fighting "eminent domain"—the state's constitutional right to take property if it pays an owner just compensation. 4 It's even mentioned on Bachmann's website in connection with her stand against closing the veteran's camp at Big Marine Lake. 5

In light of Bachmann's votes against veterans in the Senate, it looks as though her decision to fight the closing of a veteran's camp was motivated by her hatred of "eminent domain"--not out of any real concern for veterans.

Getting your picture taken with a group of veterans at veterans’ camp makes it look as if Bachmann's interested in veterans’ issues. But Bachmann's record in the legislature indicates that she doesn't care about honoring and protecting the rights of the people who defend our country.

1 State of MN Senate, July 13, 2005. Omnibus Pensions Bill-Special Session-Third Reading, HF44.  

2 S.F. No. 92, as introduced - 84th Legislative Session (2005-2006)

3 http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H0565.0&sessionfiltered=ls84

4 http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/eminent+domain

5 http://www.michelebachmann.com/article.asp?ARTICLEID=78

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