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With local congressman Bob Filner resigning his seat in order to seek office as San Diego’s next mayor, political pundits and veterans groups have begun pondering who will get the nod to replace him as the ranking Democrat on the Veterans' Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives.

“When it’s all said and done, who’s going to be the one who’s going to literally follow through on the niceties that are said on Memorial Day and Veterans Day?” asked Tim Tetz, the legislative director of the American Legion, in Roll Call. The group, as well as other lobbying interests for veterans, largely credit Filner’s aggressive defense of veterans for helping secure the significant funding increases to the VA over the past several years — VA spending rose from $61.8 billion in fiscal 2004 to $109.6 billion in fiscal 2010.

“Right now we’re defending the advancements that we made the last two, three, five sessions of Congress,” added Tetz.

Committee chairman Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican, has privately drawn ire for his extension of the conservative belief in smaller government to include lower spending for veterans. Publicly, however, veterans’ lobbyists are loathe to speak negatively about the man who leads the committee in charge of defining federal policy affecting their groups’ members.

Next in line to assume Filner’s position is Corrine Brown, representing the heavily military-influenced district of Jacksonville, Florida. But she might not want to give up her ranking membership on the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials in order to pursue the Veterans' Affairs opening.

Same with Silvestre Reyes, next behind her and also involved with a prized subcommittee he’d have to leave in order to pursue Filner’s seat.

Also in the running is Mike Michaud of Maine, already the ranking Democrat on the VA Subcommittee on Health. “He’s dedicated to the committee, and has been an active member on it since he was first sworn in, making veterans’ issues a top priority throughout his time in the House,” said his spokesman Ed Gilman in a statement, indicating Michaud would “be interested in the position.”

None of these candidates, however, seem to inspire the excitement among veterans groups as Filner, often given to fiery and impassioned tirades that won him support from those initially skeptical of his having never served himself.

“That was the unique thing about Mr. Filner,” said Tetz, again speaking to Roll Call. “He wasn’t a veteran, he was someone who went from literally throwing rocks at veterans to being one of their big advocates.

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Comments

laplayaheritage Jan. 3, 2012 @ 8:33 a.m.

Mayoral Candidate, former Deputy Mayor of San Diego, our Congressman Bob Filner has already been an Advocate for Veterans and their quest for social and economic justice after serving in wars. Congressman Filner is leading the charge for Veterans by asking the State of California to repay the full $228 million in misappropriated Federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), and accelerate the Repayment Schedule from CCDC/Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Successor Agency to San Diego Regional Continuum of Care Council (RCCC) to solve our Veterans Homeless problem, and direct funds for Affordable Housing.

http://www.kusi.com/video?clipId=6594781&autostart=true

The KUSI Interview on the death of Redevelopment was great and distinguishes San Diego Mayoral candidate Democratic Congressman Filner from 3 top Republicans DeMaio/Fletcher/Dumanis.

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Fred Williams Jan. 3, 2012 @ 9:02 a.m.

Agreed. I'm a veteran, and though I don't personally like Filner much (arrogant fake-smiling jerk) his support for those of us who served is noteworthy.

Additionally, his position on redevelopment is spot on.

So, in spite of my dislike of the man, he's earning my support for Mayor with his firm positions on the issues.

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InOmbra Jan. 3, 2012 @ 11:32 a.m.

Good thinking, Fred. The way someone looks, or the way he/she smiles or laughs or moves, or whether you'd want to "have a beer" with him/her, is not the way to decide how to cast a vote.

GW Bush, Ron Paul, Gentleman Jerry Sanders, etc.,...if I recall, haven't they all been presented as likable? As is Nathan Fletcher.

Well. So. What. Their ideologies are not likable.

Filner is a very good peoples' advocate, no matter how he physically presents himself. I wish more voters let logic triumph over emotion, as you have.

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Visduh Jan. 3, 2012 @ 9:01 p.m.

We veterans have too few friends in high places. Oh, there is talk about how the Wall resulted in "healing" in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and all that jazz. Too few of the pols who claim to care about the veterans actually vote for the benefits that would make a difference. Filner seems to have actually walked his talk and while I, like you, don't like him, can only hope we can get an advocate such as he has been.

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Ponzi Jan. 3, 2012 @ 9:31 a.m.

I didn’t know Dumanis was still running for mayor. You never hear anything good about her in the media.

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JimS Jan. 3, 2012 @ 9:49 a.m.

One of the few voices, with much more common sense and critical thought, left in congress and he backs up that voice for veterans with real action even while getting little backing, especially us veterans, from across the isle who now once again control the house side!!

No Revenues = No Sacrifice = No Support = DeJa-Vu all over again!. Now a decade and counting added to the previous decades of under funding the VA, while the peoples reps Still try and lay blame on the Agency, after rubber stamping wars and costs of and those represented cheer on these wars!

While the wealthy and other investors garner their booty, still, from both and many have the chutz·pa to call themselves more patriotic{?} then others wrapped in those false flags, using false slogans and various cheap symbols of!

USN '67-'71 All Shore GMG3 Vietnam In Country '70-'71 and not forgetting the joy and laughter with the 'purple heart bandages' nor the rest of the verbal and symbolic symbols spitting on us!!

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