VA honcho comes to town 

U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, is coming to visit Little Rock to do his own evaluation of the plan to move a day center for vets to 10th and Main, the Democrat-Gazette reported on Tuesday.

In that U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin has joined Mayor Mark Stodola's opposition to this move, it's worth noting that Miller is a Republican. In other words, he isn't likely to come down here to make Griffin look bad.

Miller bills himself as a fighter for "less taxes, less government and more personal freedom." His on-line bios don't indicate he's a veteran, by the way. But he serves an area of Florida (the panhandle) that has a heavy military constituency.

He's been a harsh critic of VA officials, such as when he went after the VA Med Center in Miami, questioning leadership there and in the VA "at all levels and in all parts of the country."

Whatever happens in Little Rock, don't necessarily expect Miller, a former real estate broker and deputy sheriff, to make perfect sense. Just this week, he issued a statement that suggested the Obama administration's decision to provide free birth control coverage for women somehow conflicted with services to homeless veterans.

Miller has generally been supportive of veterans' spending, however, including for two additional clinics in his own district. But, still — a Republican from Florida (home of Tim Griffin's alleged vote caging activities directed at service members) with a record of criticizing VA officials nationwide? Don't expect him to be carrying bouquets.



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