Hamilton Mayor Kelly Yaede is now picking a fight with the State Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, who is among a growing list of veterans calling her out for attacking her Democratic opponent’s military service.
Yaede accused Barbara Kim-Hagemann, the first woman to head the state VFW, of trivializing victims of sexual assault. Kim-Hagemann spent eight years in the U.S. Army, including deployments to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.
The Republican mayor has been attacking her opponent, Council President Jeff Martin, for defending an Air Force colonel on sexual assault charges while serving as a JAG officer.
“Although stating the VFW has remained ‘non-partisan’, Barbara Kim-Hagemann made a politically-charge attack that is inaccurate and ignores startlingly statistics,” Yaede said, accusing the VFW Commander of ignoring an increase of sexual assaults in the military.
Several JAG officers, including a retired Air Force General who served as Judge Advocate General, have come to Martin’s defense, explaining that military lawyers have no say over who they can represent.
Ileana Schirmer, a Republican councilman, today bashed Yaede for the “ultimate display of desperation of her failing mayoral campaign.”
“I guess there are always new lows the Yaede campaign can reach and here we have another one. It is despicable and disgusting that she would attack Councilman Martin’s service to our country,” said Schirmer. “Councilman Martin was not receiving significant payments — he was serving in our military, doing the job he was assigned to do.”
One of Yaede’s running mates, Vinnie Capodanno, who identified himself as a “Gold Star nephew,” accused Martin of hiding behind his uniform to defend a rapist.
“We need a Mayor who represents our Hamilton values an stands up for them when it counts,” Capodanno said. “We don’t need a Mayor who just follows orders.”