Last year I filed with the FEC to run for California's 45th Congressional District, and I recently turned in all the required signatures to the Orange County Office of the Registrar for inclusion on the June 2014 primary ballot. Like other non-incumbent candidates, I was limited to three self-descriptive words below my name on the ballot, all while incumbents and elected officials could use a larger amount of space to puff up their credentials. Yet another law that handicaps non-incumbents and entrenches the current governing elite.
Nevertheless, within these constraints, I chose the three words "USMC Combat Veteran," which describe my life and personal history best. However, the California Secretary of State handbook disallowed me from using those words and I was forced to pick three other words to describe me.
I am saddened, as I am sure other proud veterans would be, that I was prohibited to use the word "Veteran" to describe myself to voters. It's a shame to forbid patriotic veterans to describe themselves as such. Those who served our country with honor and distinction and whom want to run for public office should be allowed to represent themselves honestly and without artificial limitations.
Colonel Greg Raths USMC (RET)