The one consistent aspect of Republicans in control of government is their consistent disregard for the rights and needs of veterans. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has been pushing for legislation that benefits the rights of veterans. Her latest effort to ensure cooperation by the Veterans Administration to assist in voter registration efforts at VA facilities has run into roadblocks. Paul Hutter, VA general counsel, told the senator, “VA facilities are not the equivalent of public sidewalks or the courthouse” and warned that voter activities that disrupted VA service or invaded the privacy of veterans would not be supported. Feinstein is sponsor of S 3308 which would require the VA to support and assist efforts to register veterans as voters.
Hutter continues to insist that somehow providing information and assistance to veterans would discourage vets from using VA facilities. The Feinstein bill merely allows nonpartisan groups to provide information to veterans and in no way allows political activities on VA facilities by partisan groups. Apparently, the Bush administration fears allowing veterans greater access to the right to vote.