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So Duckworth (D) lost both her legs when her Blackhawk helicopter was shot down in combat in Iraq. She's running for Congress against a Republican, Pete Roskam, who quite typically never served.

Suddenly, today, out of the blue, the national Veterans of Foreign Wars endorsed Roskam.

Unlike SOP for these sorts of things, the VFW never sent Duckworth a questionnaire. None of the local VFW chapters were contacted.

Democratic congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth gave both legs in sacrifice to her country, but that apparently wasn't enough for the Veterans of Foreign Wars to endorse her.

Instead, the national VFW relied on the word of former Republican state Sen. Ray Soden of DuPage County to back Republican Peter Roskam in the down-to-the-wire 6th Congressional District.

Roskam tried to bill the endorsement as a major boost to his campaign in the final days, but found himself admitting he sat on the endorsement until the end for maximum attention. The VFW representative was unable to give much of a reason for the endorsement or explain how it happened, and Roskam looked stunned at the harsh questioning from reporters.

So if no local chapters were consulted (and they support Duckworth), and if she received no questionnaire, how did it happen?

Roskam said the national endorsement was based on the recommendation by a few 6th District VFW leaders. The only one he named was Soden, a former head of the Illinois VFW who was appointed to fill out former Republican Senate President James "Pate" Philip's term in 2003.

Buttice said Soden sits on the national VFW's political action committee board but had surgery Friday and was unavailable.

Next time, the VFW may want to consult with their local chapters. As is, this endorsement is blowing up big time in Roskam's face. If nothing else, it gives Duckworth yet another chance to hold press conferences surrounded by vets and have her story repeated in newscasts.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Nov 03, 2006 at 03:15 PM PST.

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