KRAUSEFORIOWA EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE
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KRAUSE ASKS VETERANS AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER RESIGNATION,
SAYS COMMISSIONER TRASHED VETERANS CHARITY FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES
Likely Democratic Candidate for Governor Bob Krause today accused Commissioner Dan Gannon, of the Iowa Veterans Affairs Commission, of insider trashing of a veterans charity that he is affiliated with in order to damage his candidacy for governor. Krause then called on Gannon to resign because of the damage he has caused in placing loyalty to the Branstad Administration over the welfare of veterans.
Krause, is part-time President of the Veterans National Recovery Center (VNRC), a Des Moines-based veterans' charity. Tracy Daugherty, a volunteer from the group and unaffiliated with the exploratory campaign, had attempted to get on the April 3rd Commission agenda to discuss the national rollout of the PTSD and TBI Awareness Flag at the Iowa State Capitol on April 18.
"In a private, but revealed conversation to the Commission, Mr. Gannon boldly stated to the Commission that I was an individual not to be trusted, that because of this the VNRC as a deceitful charity and stated that the board members of the nonprofit are profiteering," says Krause.
"First off, what is a Branstad operative doing stating that earning income is bad?? Unfortunately, we have not earned much money, as I will describe. But even if we did, it takes money to run any organization. If he wants to pick on an IRS approved 501 (c)(3) charity for earning income, let him pick on the Girl Scouts for selling Girl Scout Cookies! His flagrant insider destruction of the only not for profit charity in Iowa that prioritizes veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, conveys to the veterans of Iowa that this commissioner has his priorities wrong. If he sought to damage PTSD and TBI veterans to stop my candidacy, for the good of Iowa, he needs to quit now," stated Krause.
The insider trashing came about when Mr. Gannon sent a "reply-all" email to the Veterans Commission and the executive staff of the Commission. The email included a volunteer for the VNRC who had sent an earlier email to the Commission Chair requesting an opportunity to speak at the next meeting.
In Gannon's email to the Commission dated March 26, 2013, he stated in part (exact words, with typographical errors shown), "I think for this meeting,,the agenda looks pretty full,,,if you know what I mean!!!! We need to keep in mind, and I know they will say that they are a not-for-profit corporation, to help veterans with PTS & TBI, (I think 501(c)(3) ???), but they are a private run corporation, and I think, out for profit, especially for their Directors & Officers. I am not speaking for everyone, but most people that I know, feel the same way. We don't need another treatment or rehab. facility for PTS & TBI,,,,just use effectively what we have. They are having a meeting (gathering in the Rotunda), as some of us know, on April 18th. I know they will discuss their "flag", and the offer of selling them to the public, for whatever reason,,,I don't know, othe r than to promote themselves, and raise money. They initially were pushing through a flier, that was sent out by e-mail, of trying to get approval of "their flag", flying below the "American Flag", by I think the legislature. They claim that is not what they were saying, but I feel differently. We already have a flag that flies below the American flag,,,,,the POW/MIA flag,,,and I think they would have a war on their hands, if they tried to replace it, with theirs. Personally,,,I don't trust them, especially their leader, Bob Krause. ENOUGH SAID."
Krause continued, "The many fabrications and misstatements in Gannon's email statement make it hard to know where to begin. The only possible motive for Mr Gannon is politics, and Gannon almost used it well - to set me up as a "loser" because I am affiliated with a "crooked" charity. I can hear the gasps now over the 15 second sound bites that Branstad campaign operatives may be planning."
"Normally I try to keep my work at the charity separate from politics, but today, Mr. Gannon has made that impossible to do. As President of VNRC, as a matter of policy I make the books available to anyone that asks.. A few tidbits: Neither me, my wife, nor any director has received any payment or salary, other than partial repayment of out-of-pocket expenses. Fees paid have been at arms-length for services rendered - for web site development, proposal printing, some office and presentation equipment, and some travel for proposal presentation and development. If it appears to some that the VNRC makes money that is because my wife Vicky, many volunteers, and I spend countless weekends, evenings, and early morning hours making the organization work at a much higher level than one would think with our very small budget. If I as President and were making so much money as Gannon alleges, why would I take no salary and donate over $3,000 to the VNRC last year alone? Why would my wife Vicky spend the last two years working nearly full time for the charity for free?" Krause added.
Krause went on to say, "VNRC volunteers work tirelessly because we have seen PTSD and understand its consequences. I saw my first PTSD case as a young company commander when a former Vietnam tunnel rat crawled under a truck to change the oil and froze in place for 8 hours while hallucinating. That stuck with me and I followed friends with PTSD throughout my 28-year military career. Others have similar experiences."
"Our small board of directors is composed of three combat veterans with PTSD, a combat medic veteran, a child of a of veteran with PTSD who survived the WW II Dresden bombing, a non-veteran that believes in the cause, and me. With a budget of approximately $10,000 per year, VNRC has managed to create an ongoing and functional jobs website for jobless veterans that draws 420 unique visitors per month who view about 12 job opportunities each. Advertising on the site is currently free. Anyone can see it at www.putvetstowork.com .
In explaining his work at the VNRC, likely candidate Krause said, "We have also attempted on three occasions to acquire a campus location for holistic PTSD and TBI recovery and have also initiated the PTSD and TBI Public Awareness Flag Project. More on the Flag Project can be seen at www.vnrc.us. The flag project was developed specifically to address the lack of understanding about PTSD and TBI. As examples, veterans are disproportionately represented in prisons, primarily because of coping behaviors such as alcohol and drugs that are used more to suppress incredible PTSD-driven insomnia than for the joy of getting high. PTSD veterans can have a tougher time returning to college because they have to re-learn how to learn because of shortened attention spans that often go with the condition. Spouses have a hard time dealing with PTSD-driven paranoia and leave relationships. Divorce rates skyrocket. Even the military is candid about having to learn how to manage the number of veterans with the affliction. One of our speakers for the April 18th awareness event actually lost a security clearance after informing the military about having PTSD."
"Mr. Gannon can say he distrusts me and can criticize me as he likes. But why else would this small charity be treated differently from any other charity or veterans organization that seeks an audience before the Commission. As a likely governor candidate, I am fair game and I accept that. But if Gannon states that the sole charity in Iowa founded on the premise of helping PTSD and TBI veterans exists as a profiteering scheme to make the board members rich, he is using his position to slant the playing field against some veterans that seriously need help ."
"For these reasons, I today call for his resignation. Dan Gannon cannot represent both the Governor's aspirations for re-election and this category of veterans that really need help," stated Krause.
"On a last point of correction," noted Krause, "Mr. Gannon states that VNRC is promoting the PTSD & TBI flag to supersede the POW-MIA Flag. That statement is untrue. Here is the language from the draft resolution that can be found on www.vnrc.us. 'That the Official Flag of PTSD and TBI Remembrance, created by the Veterans National Recovery Center, shall be flown on flagpoles of this jurisdiction, whenever the Flag of the United States if America is flown in accordance with the Flag Code of the United States, USC Title 36 Chapter 10, as per order of precedence. In no case shall it be placed above the POW-MIA Flag.'
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