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Home --> Politics --> Military --> Gold Star Mothers

Gold Star Mothers

Claim:   New York Senator Hillary Clinton refused to meet with a contingent of Gold Star mothers.

Status:   False.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2001]

Bet this never hits the TV news!

Gold Star Mothers is an organization made up of women whose sons were killed in military combat during service in the United States Armed Forces. Recently a delegation of New York State Gold Star Mothers made a trip to Washington, DC to discuss various concerns with their elected representatives. According to NewsMax.com there was only one politician in DC who refused to meet with these ladies. Can you guess which politician that might be?

Was it New York Senator Charles Schumer? Nope, he met with them. Try again. Do you know anyone serving in the Senate who has never showed anything but contempt for our military? Do you happen to know the name of any politician in Washington whose husband once wrote of his loathing of the military?

Now you're getting warm! None other than the Queen herself - the Hildebeast, Hillary Clinton. She refused repeated requests to meet with the Gold Star Mothers.

Now - please don't tell me you're surprised. This woman wants to be president of the United States - and there is a huge percentage of the voters who are anxious to help her achieve that.

Origins:   This item began as a 26 May 2000 "Hillary Snubs Gold Star Mothers" article on NewsMax.com. According to NewsMax:
New York chapter president Shirley Jones and member Mary Wheeler, both of upstate New York . . . had been in Washington visiting Senate offices. The only office that refused to meet with the Gold Star Mothers was none other than Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. She and her staff simply refused to meet with them.
e-mail quoted above took the invective to an ever higher level, maintaining that Hillary Clinton was not just the only senator who wouldn't give the Gold Star mothers the time of day, but the "only politician in DC who refused to meet with these ladies" (obviously a gross exaggeration, since two women couldn't possibly have visited every politician in Washington, and just calling upon every senator would have required them to visit one hundred separate offices).

The incident referred to in the NewsMax.com article took place on 27 February 2001, when the two women (New York chapter president Shirley Jones and member Mary Wheeler) dropped by Ms. Clinton's congressional office to discuss a proposed bill to provide annuities to the parents of servicemen killed in action. However, they stopped by without an appointment, on a day when the senator was not in her office, as confirmed by the response inquiries about this piece drew from the American Gold Star Mothers organization:
The American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., deeply regret the misunderstanding about Senator Hillary Clinton. The two mothers who visited Washington did not have an appointment with the Senator and she was not in her office on that day.

We would appreciate it if the e-mails and negative comments about Senator Clinton would cease.

Georgianna Carter-Krell
National President
Miffed at their perception that none of the staffers at Sen. Clinton's office was interested in helping them or hearing them out, and that their follow-up letter to Senator Clinton drew no response, the two Gold Star mothers made the comments that formed the basis of the NewsMax.com article. As the Albany Times Union later reported, though, their complaint was primarily prompted by their reaction to a receptionist in Sen. Clinton's congressional office:
"It got blown out of proportion, in a way," Gold Star Mother Shirley Jones said of a flurry of nationwide carping about New York's junior senator after Jones made a few offhand remarks about her organization's reception at U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton's Capitol Hill office in February. Jones . . . said she and another mother were disappointed when they stopped by Clinton's office to lobby for legislation to provide annuities for Gold Star parents and weren't even given a few moments with a staff member. She said Clinton's receptionist seemed oblivious to Gold Star Mothers, the Vietnam War and the losses American families suffered because of it.

Clinton's office is apologetic about the slight, saying the senator's temporary basement office was understaffed during her first months in office and the staff has since reached out to communicate with Jones about the legislation.
The American Gold Star Mothers organization also responded with a stronger refutation of the rumor:
At the time this allegation was made Senator Clinton was not even in her office. These allegations were not initiated by the Gold Star Mothers that Senator Clinton would not see them. This is a fabricated report picked up by an individual using the Gold Star Mothers as an instrument to discredit Senator Clinton.

Four Gold Star Mothers and a Vietnam veteran made an appointment with Senator Clinton at a later date and were very well received. Photographs were made with Senator Clinton and she presented each one with a signed proclamation paying tribute to the American Gold Star Mothers.

We regret any embarrassment this may have caused Senator Clinton and her staff and would like to move beyond this issue and continue the positive volunteer work which we willingly and graciously provide for the veterans and their families and support of other Gold Star Mothers.

American Gold Star Mothers are a strong group of women who have sacrificed sons or daughters in conflicts to preserve the freedom that we enjoy. We do not need mischievous gossip and unfounded lies to promote our organization. Please help stop it now.
An expanded version of the "Hilary snubs Gold Star mothers" screed appeared on the Internet months after the original. In it, another anti-Clinton diatribe that debuted in cyberspace in November 2000 was teamed with the Gold Star incident of May 2001. The expanded e-mail concluded with:
Think about this one !!! This one is REALLY amazing!

Don't forget, our girl, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as a New York Senator, now comes under this fancy Congressional Retirement and Staffing Plan. It's common knowledge that, in order for her to establish NYS residency, they purchased a million+ dollar house in upscale Chappaqua, NY.

Makes sense.

Now, they are entitled to Secret Service protection for life. Still makes sense. Here is where it becomes interesting.

The mortgage payments hover at about $10,000 per month. BUT, an extra residency had to be built within the acreage in order to house the Secret Service agents. The Clinton's now charge the Secret Service $10,000 monthly rent for the use of said Secret Service residence and that rent is just about equal to their mortgage payment, meaning that we, the tax payers, are paying the Clinton's mortgage, their transportation, their safety and security, their 12 man staff, and it's all perfectly legal.

How many people can YOU send this to?
As explained on our Landlord of Misrule page, this rumor is also hogwash. While it is a standard arrangement that the Secret Service provide payment to homeowners for space used by the agency in such situations, the amount provided is based on a government formula, not a charge set by the homeowner. (In the Clintons' case, this amount is $1,100.) Unlike other previous First Families, the Clintons have not accepted any money from the Secret Service, making this rumor not only baseless but particularly mean-spirited in that it chides the Clintons for something that they're not doing while directing no criticism at those who are.

Last updated:   16 March 2005

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  Sources Sources:
    Limbacher, Carl.   "Hillary Snubs Gold Star Mothers."
    NewsMax.com.   26 May 2001.

    [Albany] Times Union.   "Clinton Smooths Out Gold Star Flap."
    3 August 2001.