Gorell Statement Re: Congresswoman's Inappropriate Use of Foreign or Fake US Military Personnel

CAMARILLO, CA - Statement by Jeff Gorell, candidate for California's 26th Congressional District, regarding use of foreign or fake military officer photographs in Congresswoman Julia Brownley's taxpayer-funded government mailers:

"It's been brought to my attention by concerned local veterans in the 26th Congressional District that Congresswoman Julia Brownley recently sent district voters a mass-mailing funded at taxpayer expense designed to imply that Brownley has the support of local military veterans."

"Sadly, the overtly political franking mailer proudly portrays an image - next to Brownley's photo - of an officer in uniform that is NOT a military uniform of any branch of the armed forces of the United States. The emblem in this photo appears to be that of the German Luftwaffe, a German military branch from the mid-1930's." (See below)

"The photograph is likely a purchased stock photo of a model in a costume contrived from various emblems to look like an official naval uniform. However it is clearly not an American Navy Uniform, or that of any U.S. military branch."

"This gaff is disrespectful to those who have worn the uniform of the United States."

"The misrepresentation and use of an image depicting a foreign or fake military service member is indicative of a fundamental lack of understanding of veterans and the military by Brownley, her staff, and her political advisors."

"This failure is common pattern and practice by Congresswoman Brownley. In 2013, she sent out an electronic mail piece stating that her father was a 'Marine in the U.S. Navy' which is not an accurate description of the service relationships. It's again symbolic of Julia's lack of understanding of the military." (See below)

"With the threat of imminent base closures and continued military actions developing around the globe, it is important that Ventura County residents are represented by someone who understands military service and veterans."

"This mail piece was sent at taxpayer expense, adding to the $308,196 Julia has spent on House mail as of March 31, 2014."

"Julia should apologize for using a photo of a foreign or fake military officer. She should also apologize for using taxpayer funds to send out such wasteful, useless mailers."

"America needs more real military veterans in service to our nation in Congress. I intend to be one of those after November."

Jeff Gorell, a California State Legislator, is candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in the 26th Congressional District. A Navy Commander in the Reserve and third-generation Navy war veteran, Gorell most recently served in Afghanistan as an intelligence officer in support of Marine Corps forces in Helmand Province.