Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Kay Bailey caves in to BAR and the vets

See? It works.

"The people, united, can never be defeated":

After U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Ann Radnofsky's nearly two years of advocacy for a VA hospital south of San Antonio, Kay Bailey Hutchison asked the Veterans Administration yesterday to consider turning a former regional hospital into a VA hospital for South Texas veterans.

In her June 27, 2005 press release Radnofsky formally called for a veterans' hospital south of San Antonio as soon as Hutchison entered the race, and she repeated that call in over 300 campaign stops, rallies, meetings and press conferences throughout Texas, as well as in media advisories and position papers including her most recent press release on February 2, 2006.

Succumbing to Radnofsky's advocacy, the activities of local veterans, South Texas legislators, and a resurgent Democratic Party, and feeling the pressure of declining support among Hispanics (56%, Nov. 2005 to 46% in Jan.2006) in the most recent Zogby Battleground States poll, Hutchison moved to limit the damage by finally moving ahead with a much-needed hospital.

"Hutchison, as Veterans Affairs Subcommittee chairwoman on the appropriations committee, has failed to fill the gap in projected VA budget shortfalls and has deserted our veterans," says Radnofsky. "Her resistance to a hospital south of San Antonio until forced by my campaign, and her repeated votes against increased veterans’ funding, demonstrate that our veterans need a real advocate in Washington, not a rubber stamp for the administration."

According to Radnofsky, "Sen. Hutchison, after following my lead on a VA hospital for South Texas veterans, now needs to follow my recommendations on guaranteed funding for the VA, protection of veterans and service personnel from unscrupulous lending practices and discrimination in bankruptcy proceedings, insurance reform, and federal research authorization for pharmacy and medical schools in South Texas and El Paso."

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