Did Marilyn Musgrave Assist in Violating Military Regs?

March 5 2006, 6:49 AM
The Friday night GOP dinner in Fort Collins is making the rounds in the blogosphere. The Coloradoan reports:
The clank of silverware echoed above the polite dinner conversation about topics such as fiscal discipline, permanent tax cuts and the war in Iraq when more than 250 Republicans gathered in Fort Collins on Friday night for the Larimer County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner. U.S. Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana, the keynote speaker, provided the audience with a message of hope that the party will keep its promises to bring democracy to Iraq, end big government, reduce spending and return to Republican core values.
The devil is in the details -- the picture (picture removed at photographer's request) that accompanied the article. The caption reads:
Marilyn Musgrave introduces Marine Sergeant Brandon Forsyth on Friday during the Larimer County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.
And therein lies the rub: Military regulations prohibit members of the armed forces in active duty from attending partisan political events in uniform. Examples:
  • A member on active duty may....attend partisan and nonpartisan political meetings, rallies, or conventions as a spectator when not in uniform.
  • A member on active duty shall not...participate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions (unless attending a convention as a spectator when not in uniform).
  • The regulations even provide specific examples of allowed and prohibited conduct:
  • A member on active duty shall not ....Participate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions (except as a spectator when not in uniform), or make public speeches in the course thereof.
  • Marine Sergeant Brandon Forsyth sure looks like he's wearing a military uniform, and he spoke at the partisan event. There could be an explanation, so I'll wait to hear Ms. Musgrave's response before condemning her. I did have a telephone converstation last week with her opponent, Angie Paccione, during which she told me she was an avid reader of political blogs, so don't be surprised if we hear from her first.