Veterans Group Opposes ‘Make America Great Again’ License Plate Legislation


Monday, January 20th 2020, 10:15 pm
By: Clayton Cummins


An Oklahoma veterans group says it opposes legislation that would create “Make American Great Again” and “Keep America Great” specialty license plates in the state.

Senator Nathan Dahm from Broken Arrow filed Senate Bill 1384 last week. Senator Marty Quinn coauthored the legislation.

 

Related Story: Broken Arrow Senator Files Bill To Allow ‘Make America Great Again’ License Plates

If passed, $20 of the $35 annual fee will be split between veterans’ organizations “Folds of Honor” in Owasso and “Warriors For Freedom” in Oklahoma City. Both are organizations President Trump has donated to in the past.

 

In a statement released Sunday, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Oklahoma said it opposes the proposal.

“I'm sure there will be a lot of people in Oklahoma that will buy them,” said Michael Merit, State Senior Vice Commander. “Please don't use the veterans as a tool to sell the plates.”

“By using the president’s slogans in his first campaign and now his reelection campaign, makes it somewhat of an endorsement of all veterans by buying these plates and saying that we all support him, and that might not necessarily be true of all veterans,” said Merit.

Below is the entire statement released by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Oklahoma:

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Oklahoma was recently made aware of an Oklahoma Senate Bill filed by Sen. Dahm and cosponsored by Sen. Quinn to create MAGA (Make America Great Again) and KAG (Keep America Great) Specialty License Plates with proceeds from the sale of the plates “benefitting” veterans. Those proceeds are to be divided between Folds of Honor and Warriors for Freedom Foundation; both great organizations. However, it makes no mention of any other veteran service organizations or their members.

We strongly oppose any such use of veterans to promote a political cause or agenda, especially when only two of the many veterans’ service organizations (VSO) in our state are represented. The senators did not consult with the other VSOs in the creation or monetary compensation resulting in the production of these plates. We believe any time veterans are to be used to promote something in the state, all VSOs should be consulted prior to taking any such action. There are several avenues where these matters can be addressed where we all come together to discuss these very issues, such as the Oklahoma Veterans Council.

We strongly encourage all the VSOs in this state to take the same position on this bill as we have. Veterans, and their families, should not be utilized as leverage to promote a political ideal or agenda no matter what party it represents. Such use shows not only a blatant disrespect for those who have and who continue to serve our great state and our great nation, but also complete disrespect for the established veterans service organizations in our state who do a majority of the representative work of veterans. This cannot and must not be tolerated.

All VSOs in the Great State of Oklahoma should stand united in opposition to this bill.

 

There are 98 other specialty license plate options for Oklahoman drivers.

A first reading for Senate Bill 1384 is scheduled for February 3.