DAV Members’ Political Candidate Support
For members during election year campaigns
DAV encourages you, as an individual, to register to vote, to vote in elections and to actively support the candidates of your choice. However, as a member of DAV, you have the responsibility to ensure your activities as a private citizen do not give the appearance that DAV supports or opposes any political candidate. To do so would violate our congressional charter, national Constitution and Bylaws and the law and regulations governing DAV’s tax exempt status.
Dos and Don’ts
DO get involved in political campaigns, rallies, forums and town hall meetings, as an individual. It’s your right as an American citizen—and a disabled veteran—to support the candidate of your choice.
DON’T support a candidate, or attend political events in support of a candidate, in the name of DAV, nor should you give the appearance that DAV is supporting a particular candidate. Wearing DAV caps and shirts can give the appearance of support by the organization.
DO hold open candidate forums or town hall meetings so the candidates can discuss their positions on issues affecting disabled veterans, their families and survivors.
DON’T forget to invite all candidates to the open forum/ town hall meeting and make reasonable attempts to accommodate their schedules. It is not necessary that all candidates accept the invitation or attend for you to hold the event or that the candidates appear on the same day or at the same time.
DO make candidates aware of the issues facing wounded, injured and ill veterans, their families and survivors, either as an individual or as a member/leader of DAV or its subdivision.
DON’T forget to review DAV’s national resolutions to ensure your position is in line with—and not contrary to or unsupported by—DAV’s adopted resolutions when speaking on behalf of the organization.
DON’T forget that, while DAV provides services to all veterans, our legislative goals focus on the betterment of wartime disabled veterans their families and survivors.
DAV National Policies
- “The corporation [DAV] shall be nonpolitical and nonsectarian, and may not promote the candidacy of an individual seeking public office.” Title 36 U.S.C. § 50306.
- Under the law and regulations governing the Internal Revenue Service (Title 26 U.S.C.), the federal tax-exempt status of certain charitable, nonprofit organizations, including DAV, shall be withheld or removed if they: “Participate or intervene, directly or indirectly in any political campaign on behalf or in opposition to any candidate for public office…Activities which constitute participation or intervention in a political campaign in behalf of or in opposition to a candidate include, but are not limited to, the making of oral or written statements on behalf of or in opposition to such a candidate.
- DAV National Constitution, Article II – Purpose: “…to advance the interests and work for the betterment of all wounded, gassed, injured and disabled veterans….”
- DAV National Bylaws, Article 2, Section 2.1—Nonpartisanship: The Organization shall be non-political and non-sectarian and the name of this Organization or name of any subdivision thereof shall not be used in representing the desires or wishes of its membership in any political, sectarian or labor dispute, except as provided hereinafter…the forgoing shall not prevent this Organization or any subdivision thereof from participating in political issues which have a direct bearing upon the welfare of America’s disabled veterans.”
- DAV National Bylaws, Article 2, Section 2.2,—Legislative Activities, Para. 1: No member shall speak in the name of the DAV taking a position contrary to a standing resolution.
- DAV National Bylaws, Article 2, Section 2.2, Para. 2: Federal legislation cannot be sponsored or endorsed without a resolution.
Check out DAV’s Legislative Program and approved resolutions at: dav.org/learn-more/legislation/resolutions/.