The Four Pillars of the American Legion should guide us in all we do as an organization, including voting. Nonpartisan does not mean nonparticipation. Voting based on American Legion values is truly American. Participate, but do it smartly.
Just to remind you that there are definite “no, no’s” during any particular voting season.
When inviting candidates to speak at Post/County/District meetings, you MUST give equal opportunity to ALL parties. If you’ve invited all parties to speak and one chooses to, while another declines…..you’ve met your responsibility.
If you attend political rallies you must never wear American Legion garb. To do so, you are implying that the organization is backing your preferred candidate. This is totally disrespectful to those Legionnaires who may be backing the opposing candidate.
In addition, remember that failing to invite all candidates to a Legion election forum or wearing American Legion garb to a political rally or event could be construed as violations of Article II, Section 2 of The American Legion National Constitution, our Congressional Charter and IRS restrictions regarding 501 c (19) Non-profit organizations.
As an organization, The American Legion can have individual candidates present their political positions to us so that we may personally determine which candidate best suits our needs. But as an organization, we cannot endorse one candidate or party over another.
That being said, DON’T FORGET TO VOTE.
Robert L. Shappell
The American Legion, Department of Wisconsin