BOZEMAN, MT – Concerned Veterans for America Action® (CVAA) on Wednesday launched a digital ad campaign highlighting Senator Jon Tester’s (D-Mont.) lip service to veterans issues – specifically his apparent ignorance to how the VA was mistreating veterans. The veterans group says Tester, the Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, has been an obstacle to reforming and fixing the VA, despite his claims to the contrary. In addition to the ad campaign, CVAA has activated its grassroots army to connect with voters on the phone and in person throughout the state.
“Senator Tester has downplayed problems at the VA while opposing reforms meant to increase options for veterans and accountability for VA employees,” said Dan Caldwell, CVAA Senior Advisor. “Veterans need voices in Congress who are honest about the challenges facing the VA and the reforms needed to solve them. Tester is not one of those voices.”
The ad revisits a quote from Tester avowing, “I think that the VA is doing a pretty darn good job,” while stories of maltreatment, mismanagement, and general disarray continue to appear in headlines almost daily. It also features a testimonial from Retired Lieutenant Colonel Tim Gardipee, a Montana veteran, and suggests Tester hasn’t delivered like he should have or says he has for veterans.
At the height of the VA wait list scandal in 2014 – where veterans were literally dying waiting for care due to VA misconduct – Jon Tester went on national television and said the VA “is doing a pretty darn good job.”
The VA wait list scandal was not the first sign of trouble at the VA under the Obama Administration. The VA disability claims backlog grew to nearly one million claims in 2013 and veterans were found to have died waiting for care in a Columbia, SC hospital. Additionally, the VA wasted over $1 billion on a failed VA-EHR program.
Tester has misrepresented and falsely attacked reforms meant to increase choice for veterans.
Jon Tester opposes President Trump’s executive orders that make it easier to hold government employees accountable (including those at the VA) and which also ensure that VA employees are focused on doing their jobs instead of spending work hours performing work for public sector unions.