Stolen Valor in a Prop 21 Ad

| September 16, 2020

Several news outlets which include the San Diego Tribune and the BusinessWire report that veteran groups are up in arms over a recent ad campaign featuring an actor that they claim is in violation of the Stolen Valor Act.

The ad advocates for Prop 21 and features an actor polishing a Bronze Star.  The issue is that there is no disclosure that he is an actor and not a real veteran.

. . . . .

Opponents of rent control initiative say Prop 21 backers violated Stolen Valor Act in ad

Opponents of a rent control ballot initiative are calling on the state attorney general and two district attorneys to investigate the “Yes on 21″ campaign, saying it’s violating the state’s Stolen Valor Act, meant to prevent people from faking military service.

In a video posted on the Yes on 21 Facebook page on Aug. 30, a man is shown going through military records, polishing a Bronze Star Medal and putting on an Army Service Uniform, while talking about the benefits Proposition 21 would have for veteran housing.

Prop 21 would allow local governments to expand rent control to condos, townhouses, some single-family homes, and residential properties that are more than 15 years old.

It is not unusual or illegal for an actor to portray a member of the military or a veteran. But Jim DeBoo, a consultant with the “No on Prop 21″ campaign, noted that this ad does not disclose that the man in the ad is an actor.

“On the ad itself there is no indication he is not a member of the military or an actor, which is a violation in itself,” DeBoo said during a news conference Tuesday. “You can’t misrepresent yourself in a commercial like that.”

Then, in another article…

Proposition 21 Campaign Ad Blasted by Veterans for Using Actor to Portray War Hero

Proposition 21 is opposed by the state’s leading veterans’ groups.

State law, which Chavez authored, expressly bans “A person who knowingly, with the intent to impersonate, for the purposes of promoting a business, charity, or endeavor, misrepresents himself or herself as a member or veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States, the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia by wearing the uniform or military decoration authorized for use by the members or veterans of those forces.”

The ad was posted on the ‘Yes on 21‘ Facebook page on Aug 30, 2020.

Category: Stolen Valor, Stolen Valor Act

Comments (26)

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  1. ChipNASA says:

    I’d usually say this is much ado about nothing, HOWEVER, this i a political ad (I don’t care for which side) that exactly abuses the implication that veterans are on the side of this initiative.
    This is *exactly* stolen valor

    • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

      I concur!

      • 5th/77th FA says:

        ^THIS^ #Me3 Hey Larsi boi, are you paying attention. We are against this type of add no matter WHICH PARTY does it. This is deliberate Stolen Valor. With today’s technology it is very, very simple to put a disclaimer running along the bottom of the ad stating that the person was a paid actor. That’s all they had to do. And they knew it.

        Stolen Valor of ANY SORT is reprehensible. Even more so for those that know better.

    • FuzeVT says:

      Well put.

    • PARANAH says:

      I Agree!!!

  2. Roh-Dog says:

    If der blacks people and other POC can not be used as props, then the smaller(est?) minority shouldn’t be used likewise.

  3. Charles says:

    I have great difficulty envisioning a situation in which a retired Sergeant Major would have difficulty finding housing, and from the looks of the rack they put on the actor, it would equate to a 25-30 year term of service. So it is bogus in several ways.

    • Roh-Dog says:

      But all peoples, especially stupid Vets (right John Kerry!?!), are victims of the systems!
      Can someone please tie my shoes for me? last time I tied my Spongebob watch to in and stayed like that until the government rescued me

    • Claw says:

      Fast mover SGM. Only three service stripes on the uniform./s

    • Sparks says:

      I agree Charles. That rack looks like Audie Murphy.

      I think a real veteran, with real awards who actually believed in Prop 21 would have been more appropriate. But then, try to find one who does believe in it.

    • Sapper3307 says:

      He got fired from his roach coach job on base.

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    He’s not the very model of a modern Major General.
    He thinks in actor’s wages and how many lines in general.
    His pants are not creased properly, his shoes do not shine brilliantly,
    He wears the same shirt thrice until it’s wrinkled into giggling.
    He only wakes up when a camera points at him and someone says
    “Start now” and then he mumbles, stumbles, blanks out and he starts up again.
    In short, in matters military, nautical and aerial
    He’s not the very model of a modern Major-General.

    (With deepest apologies to G & S.)

  5. Mason says:

    I was going to defend this as a ridiculous complaint until the tail end of the video where the sergeant major talks. That would have been a good time for a “paid actor” disclaimer.

  6. RGR 4-78 says:

    How utterly f&^ked up does your states economy/cost of living have to be that it requires state wide mandated rent controls so the middle class can afford a roof over their heads?

  7. RetiredDevilDoc8404 says:

    I’m fed up with politicians and political ad campaigns using vets and service members as props and paying lip service to how great they think we are, how much they care about us, and all the wonderful things they’re going to do for us every election. The rest of the time a good number of them find us fodder for jokes among their fellow travelers, or a good photo op to show how much they “care”. I used to think if God wanted to give the world an enema he’d insert it in al Anbar province; now I’m thinking it should be anywhere politicians congregate…

  8. IDC SARC says:

    Paid actors:Perfect alternative when real heroes think your policies are shite.

  9. rgr769 says:

    Wow, look at that bling. They even gave him the vaunted Bullwinkle badge.

    • Sparks says:

      Right you are rgr769. A PFC with the usual deployment awards, maybe a CIB, CAB, or Jump Wings just wouldn’t look Hollywood enough.

  10. MarineDad61 says:

    Fresh fish on MP.
    Carol Ann Badoni
    Kenosha, Wisconsin “Peaceful Protester” who NEVER SERVED.
    But that’s NOT what CNN said.
    (Again with CNN??)

  11. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Because price controls won’t cause the inevitable shortage this time if they say it won’t this time.