Seeks State Amendments Blocking Business with State Sponsors of Terrorism
Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Ohio…More to Come
WASHINGTON DC: A new national movement to keep State tax dollars from being invested in, or spent with corporations doing business with State Sponsors of Terrorism, including Iran, announced today that it will seek to amend state constitutions and revise state statutes through the citizen initiative process with terrorism divestiture provisions. Citizens will have the opportunity to vote on the proposed portions in November 2016.
The group – Defund Iran – is spurred by President Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal, which requires the US Government to use “all available authorities” to pressure the 30 states that block Iranian investment to rescind their laws.
Former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, the National Chairwoman for Defund Iran said,
“As State Treasurer I made sure none of our Missouri taxpayer dollars were being invested with any company doing business with Iran. But now President Obama has committed the full force of the Federal government to pressure states to rescind their anti-terrorism laws.”
“Our organization – Defund Iran – will take this fight to the voters and give them an opportunity to vote to put in their state constitutions the principle that tax dollars should never be invested in or spent with corporations doing business with State Sponsors of Terrorism.”
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.”
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.
Said Ohio Treasurer Mandel,
“Our goal is to combat this abuse of federal power by placing on the November ballot in 2016, in as many states as possible, state constitutional amendments codifying and strengthening state Terrorism Divestiture laws and policies. The Iran agreement has committed the United States government to use “all available authorities” to rescind state anti-terrorism divestiture laws. We will use the authority of the ballot box. Let’s put it to a vote.”
Defund Iran announced today Co-Chairs in its first five states –including State Treasurers, Legislative Leaders, Pastors, Business Leaders, and Iraq War Veterans. .
Arizona Co-Chairs: Speaker of the House David Gowan, House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro, Iraq War Veteran Lt. Colonel Wendy Rogers, Business Leader and Terrorism-Free Investment Fund administrator Mark Langerman, Community Church of Joy Pastor Walt Kallested,
Colorado Co-Chairs: Fmr House Minority Leader & Iraq Veteran Mark Waller, State Representative Polly Lawrence,
Florida Co-Chairs: Florida CFO Jeff Atwater, Business Leader and former House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, Pastor of New Wine Ministries Mario Bramnick
Missouri Co-Chairs: Former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, Senate Majority Caucus Leader Eric Schmitt,
Ohio Chair: State Treasurer Josh Mandel
Additional Co-Chairs will be announced in the upcoming days.
Defund Iran will launch efforts in at least 15 states by the end of September and will work to put its anti-terrorism amendment on as many as 25 state ballots at the November general election.
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.”
Concluded Colorado National Co-Chair Waller:
“As an Iraq War Vet, who prosecuted insurgents, I’ve looked into the eyes of evil and have seen the devastation of terrorism. The Defund Iran movement is crucial to ensure our tax dollars are never invested in terrorists. It’s a way we all can do our part to help defund Iran, defend Israel and the United States, and defeat State Sponsors of Terrorism.”
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