Under the Radar

Sound Off: Scott Walker Joins the Stolen Valor Fight



Governor (and newly announced candidate for the Republican presidential nomination) Scott Walker signed a bill last week that makes falsely claiming military service or honors in pursuit of financial gain or some other tangible benefit a crime in the state of Wisconsin.

The federal government originally enacted a Stolen Valor law in 2005, but that version was struck down because it didn't specify that the faker had to make false claims in pursuit of tangible gain. President Obama signed a revised version two years that punishes offenders with a fine and up to a year in jail.

Offenders in Wisconsin can be sentenced up to 9 months in jail and fined up to $10,000. The crime is a misdemeanor unless committed in conjunction with another crime, at which point it becomes a felony.

Several other states (including Massachusetts and New Jersey) have enacted laws that their legislatures believe make it easier to prosecute folks who commit this crime. Wisconsin is the latest state to join the parade.

Here's the question: Should states get involved in policing stolen valor? Isn't the military the one federal agency that even the most ardent states rights advocate agrees with? Should the federal government handle this crime? Or do we need backup? Sound off!


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