FACT Calls for Investigation of New York Congressional Candidate Mike Derrick
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
FACT has asked the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to immediately investigate retired Army Colonel William “Mike” Derrick, a Democratic candidate in New York’s 21st Congressional District, for repeatedly and improperly using his military service in campaign materials.
According to FACT’s complaint, when it comes to military veterans using their service to promote their political campaigns, “the rule is clear: retired military members may campaign for political office, but cannot use their military service in any manner that would indicate the Department of Defense approves or endorses their candidacy or political positions.”
The Department of Defense Directive 1344.10 plainly states that retired military members can reference their service in campaign materials, but it must be accompanied by a disclaimer. For example, if a candidate references his or her rank, they “must clearly indicate their retired or reserve status.” Additionally, if a candidate uses a photograph of themselves in military uniform it “must be accompanied by a prominent and clearly displayed disclaimer that neither the military information nor photographs imply endorsement by the Department of Defense or their particular Military Department.”
“Mike Derrick has knowingly and repeatedly violated the Defense Department Directive by issuing campaign materials that violate Defense Department rules,” said Matthew Whitaker, Executive Director of FACT. “What’s even more troubling is that when questioned about his violations, Derrick’s campaign reportedly claimed the rules did not apply to him. Unless the Defense Department enforces these rules, candidates will continue to violate them.”
A full copy of FACT's complaint against Mr. Derrick is available here.