PHOENIX: An effort in Arizona to keep state tax dollars from being invested in, or spent with corporations doing business with State Sponsors of Terrorism, including Iran, was launched today that will seek to amend the state constitution requiring terrorism divestiture.
Called “Defund Iran” (www.DefundIran.com) the effort is in response to provisions in the Obama-‐Iran Nuclear agreement that requires the Federal Government to use “all available authorities” to pressure states to rescind anti‐terrorism divestiture laws or practices.
Said Arizona House Speaker David Gowan,
“President Obama’s pending deal with Iran includes a direct assault on state’s rights. In the very text of the agreement, this administration clearly states its intention to force states into abandoning their anti-‐ terrorism policies.”
The specific fine print of the Obama-Iran Nuclear Deal in Paragraph 25 says,
“If a law at the state or local level in the United States is preventing the implementation of the sanctions lifting…the United States will take appropriate steps, taking into account all available authorities, with a view to achieving such implementation.”
Arizona is one of five states – Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri and Ohio – that are announcing this week the “Defund Iran” efforts to put anti-‐terrorism divestiture language in state constitutions through a vote on the November 2016 General election ballot. More states are expected to follow Arizona’s lead.
House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro said,
“We will not allow the Federal government to force our states to choose terrorists over taxpayers. And we urge other states to join us. We will give Arizona voters the opportunity to not only fully restore Arizona’s divestiture laws, but to enshrine the law in our state constitution.”
A national survey conducted August 12‐17 by McLaughlin & Associates shows tremendous support for the ballot measure. Said pollster John E. McLaughlin,
“There is strong bi‐partisan support for this ballot measure as 4 out of 5 Republicans (81%); 3 out of 5 Democrats (60%) and 7 out of 10 Independents (70%) all said they would support such a ballot measure.”
An Arizona- specific IVR poll conducted August 6th, showed even stronger support with 77.5% of all voters indicating that they would vote in favor of the ballot measure, including 64.4% of Democrats, 80.6% of Independents and 85.4% of Republicans. Evangelical voters polled highest in the survey among voters with a religious affiliation, with 82.1% indicating support for the ballot measure.
Congressman Trent Franks said,
“I applaud and fully support Arizona’s leadership in this national effort. The Iran deal is just another glaring example of the Obama administration taking actions that are clearly against the national security interests of the United States. The states can and will make an impact. In spite of the failed leadership coming out of Washington, citizens in Arizona and all across America intend to stand up and do our part to defund Iran, defend our values, and defeat terrorism.”
Defund Iran will launch efforts in at least 15 states by the end of September and will work to put its anti‐terrorism amendment onto as many as 25 state ballots at the November 2016 General election. The National Chairwoman is Sarah Steelman, former Missouri State Treasurer, who first enacted a policy of terrorism divestiture for her state in 2006. Joining Steelman in the effort as Honorary National Chairs of Defund Iran are Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and former Colorado House Minority Leader Mark Waller. Both Mandel and Waller are veterans of the Iraq War.
In Arizona, the effort will be co‐chaired by House Speaker David Gowan, House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro, Air Force (ret) Lt Col Wendy Rogers, Scottsdale businessman Mark Langerman and Pastor Walt Kallestad of Community Church of Joy.
CONTACT: Sydney Hay, 928‐310‐4343