A blog reader is unhappy with the amount of Tim Griffin political advertising and social media that feature him in his military reserve uniform. A retired reserve officer himself, this correspondent thinks regulation prohibits the 2nd District Republican candidate from use of the uniform for political purposes. See his note on the jump.
I don't have a clue about the application of rules mentioned. I'm sure donning uniform to film a TV commercial for political office wouldn't be allowed. But might a campaign pass along pictures that happen to reflect past military service? Many candidates do that (see, this year, also 3rd District Republican Steve Womack.) The current U.S. representative from the 2nd District, Vic Snyder, featured photos from his Vietnam service in his advertising. (Update: A link provided by a Griffin supporter clearly indicates candidates may use photos indicating service, though it's a bit more technical than that and disclaimers are sometimes required.)
Thoughts? My own are that military service is legitmate part of a resume. I'd just say that some use it more effectively — and modestly — than others.
Of greater interest to me is the unseem army of influence behind a candidate. A happy Republican commented on last night's open line about Griffin's enormous money advantage. No doubt. When the oil companies and other carbon emitters, the union bashers, the financial interests and the rest of the corporatists are in your camp, a thin checkbook balance is not a problem.
Head on over to opensecrets.org and riffle through some of the finance data on the 2nd district so you'll know now who'll own this seat next year. Big-dollar financiers, oil and gas companies and health care interests joining with Griffin in opposition to universal health care lead the Republican candidate's list. (If it weren't for those evil labor unions and all those working stiffs' dues, Democratic opponent Joyce Elliott would have no money at all.)
If you really have some time, go to fec.gov and do a search through the individual contributors.
LETTER FROM READER
Maj. Tim Griffin, US Army Reserve, has campaigned for his election to the US Congress since early Spring with heavy campaign ads on all of the TV stations in central Arkansas prior to the primary elections. He is also in his website, www.TimGriffinforCongress, with his photographs in the ads touting his Iraq veteran’s status. He is a 13-year Army Reservist and his ads start out with old photographs of his grandfather going to World War I and ending with Tim Griffin wearing his battledress uniform in the campaign ad. The problem is he is violating Army Regulations.
He may be a veteran of the war in Iraq, although he has not said for how long. He is also a JAG (Army Lawyer) Major in the US Army Reserve, and should know better than to wear his US Army uniform and show his rank in his political ads. He is in violation of AR 670-1, Para 1-10 j. (1). You can look at his website to see what I am describing. The ad is available on his website as well as on his Facebook page under Media.
The US Army should punish him for this clear, blatant violation of Army Regulation 670-1. He should be required to remove the ads immediately that show him in uniform, be punished for the violation, and apologize to the people of the State of Arkansas for intentionally wearing his uniform in his "political or commercial interests, or when engaged in off-duty civilian employment" endeavors.
These are excerpts from the Army Regulation, AR 670-1, paragraph 1-10 j. (1) that states " Wearing Army uniforms is prohibited in the following situations: (1) In connection with the furtherance of any political or commercial interest, or when engaged in off duty civilian employment."
You may also view photographs in three different places in Tim Griffin's website at: www.timgriffinforcongress.com.
Please let me know if you need if I can help see that he is punished for doing things he knows he shouldn't do. If he is flagrantly violating rules now, what on earth will he do if he goes to Washington, D.C.? He is not an honorable officer.
Where is his integrity?
Editor's note: The writer asks for anonymity for fear of business reprisal.