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McLemore Publicly Admits to One Billion Dollar Mistake

By Staff Writer: Rick Townsend  

May 3, 2006

Last week, on April 26th, a public meeting was held in the Cannon building, room 340, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The public hearing was arranged and organized by Gene Simes and a number of veterans rights advocates. Simes is the chairman of Operation Firing For Effect, a grassroots movement dedicated to improving the treatment and services provided for our former and current military personnel and their families.

A panel of three, (3) government representatives; VA Deputy Assistant Secretary, William McLemore, Communications Director for the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, Jeffrey Phillips, and Democratic Staff Aide for Congressman Lane Evens, Len Sistek, met with over 70 veterans and supporters to field questions about a wide variety of veteran related issues. “We provided the opportunity for concerned Americans to address these government representatives face to face. In the very short time period we were allotted, the panel heard from 28 individual speakers,” Sime said in a recent interview.

According to Simes, there were many valid complaints and note worthy statements made during the two hour meeting, but one statement in particular stood out from all the rest.

[Name Omitted] addressed the panel concerning the one billion dollar mistake made in last year’s VA budget. [Name Omitted] inquired to William McLemore if he was personally responsible for last year’s astronomical mistake. McLemore said, “Absolutely”. Many of the veterans in attendance later commented that McLemore’s attitude was arrogant and pompous when answering [Name Omitted]’s questions. “Up until now, the media has not directly linked a name to the outrageous costly mistake made last year. They merely reported the VA made a billion dollar mistake,” [Name Omitted] said.

Gene Simes said if he was the head of a bank, and something like this happened, he would fire the employee immediately and launch a full investigation of that individual’s finances. “If a person makes billion dollar mistakes, they must have irregularities in their personal accounts as well. I would like to know if any funds have been mistakenly transferred to the wrong accounts. I would also want to know if this was the only “mistake” made by this individual. The magnitude of this blunder simply cannot be ignored,” Simes stated.  

The meeting was recorded via cell phone over Stardust Radio; however the quality is very poor. Jeff Showalter, owner and operator of the popular radio network said; The group was mysteriously forbidden from plugging into the sound system that is normally utilized by the media and guests. “We were very lucky to get anything out of that building,” Showalter said. “Last year, after our December 6th meeting with the same officials, we were assured by Jeffery Philips we could broadcast the April 26th meeting in real time over the internet. But, the closer the meeting date came, the more restrictions were placed on us. We were reduced to using a cell phone to hear what was being said and that single fact reduced the quality of our efforts dramatically,” Showalter added.

The April 26th meeting in the Cannon building was a part of a two day event produced by Gene Simes and the team from Operation Firing For Effect. On Tuesday the 25th, some 1000 veterans and supporters gathered to listen to over 50 speakers on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

To listen to both days audio, use these links.

CLICK HERE >>04/25/06 show   (Rally)

CLICK HERE >>04/26/06 show (Open discussion with DC officials at the Capitol)

To view video of the DC rally, visit: WWW.VetMarch2006.NET

Plans are already being made by the Operation Firing For Effect team to revisit DC before the November elections. For more information, visit: WWW.VetMarch2006.NET


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