WHOOPS! Candidate Uses German Uniform in Campaign Flyer Aimed at Vets!
This House representative was trying to appeal to the numerous veterans in her district, but her people goofed big time!
Incumbent Julia Brownley is running for re-election in California's 26th District, which includes Ventura County, and the Ventura Naval Air Station. In an effort to appeal to vets and active duty soldiers, she included a picture of a woman wearing what was supposed to be a Naval uniform in her flyers. The photo was supposed to show she identifies with the men and women serving our country.
But after calls and and emails began to pour in from current and former vets, it was discovered her uniform is actually one worn by the German Air Force. According to Fox News her opponent, GOP candidate Jeff Gorell, seized on this error, and sent out his own literature pointing out the gaffe. The flyer is on the left in picture, with Gorell's information added on the right:
"Although it bears a fleeting resemblance to official attire worn by the U.S. Navy, no branch of the United States military wears a uniform like the one in the mailer. And the insignia on the cap is the symbol of the Bundeswehr Luftwaffe, Germany’s air force.
A look at all of the Bundeswehr’s official uniforms offers no similar outfit in any branch of the Germany military, lending credence to Gorell’s speculation that the picture is “a purchased stock photo of a model in a costume contrived from various emblems to look like an official [U.S.] naval uniform.” (Bold lettering added for emphasis).
Making matters worse, taxpayer funds were used for the flyer. According to campaign finance rules, incumbents may employ a tactic called "franking." It allows certain types of mailers and flyers to be sent to constituents and voters without the legislator paying for them - they're taxpayer funded. While "franking" is used by every legislator in the U.S for public information flyers about issues, policies and updates, they can also be tweaked to serve as campaign tools.
Brownley should know better, say critics. She serves on a number of vet committees in the House, and is the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Health, which just happens to oversee the VA!
According to Fox News, another Democratic Congresswoman, Elizabeth Etsy, spent $189,000 on "franking."