The November General Election ballot will consist of a full slate of candidates, from the presidency to statewide offices to other state and local races. Ballot measures will consist of five constitutional amendments and one proposition, ranging in topic from Voter ID to a tax increase on tobacco products. The ballot measures represent efforts of the General Assembly—through the referendum process and the initiative petition process—to put measures before voters. A number of individuals from across the state have collected signatures to enable this to happen. The upcoming races and issues make it extremely important for all Missourians, not only to get out and vote, but to educate themselves about the issues on which they will be voting.
This week I want to focus on the race for State Treasurer and one candidate’s position on defunding Iran. Missouri State Senator Eric Schmitt, the Republican nominee for State Treasurer, just recently announced his Defund Iran Plan. Senator Schmitt mentions it will “keep Missouri taxpayer dollars away from the state-sponsor of terror.” Missourians were shocked and angered when they learned that President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran included a provision allowing the federal government to take action against states that prevent investing of their tax dollars with companies who do business with countries that sponsor terrorism—like Iran.
In his presentation, Senator Schmitt said, “Missouri tax dollars should never go to any venture which has made ‘Death to America’ their national anthem.” He went on to say, “If I am given the great honor of being elected your next Treasurer, I will use all the power of the office to ensure your tax dollars are not invested with companies connected with state-sponsors of terror, like Iran.” Furthermore, if elected, Senator Schmitt stated he plans to push legislation in order to even further curtail state taxpayer-dollar-funded terrorism.
In 2006, former Missouri State Treasurer, Sarah Steelman (R) put policies in place to protect our state’s public employees’retirement system and keep taxpayer dollars from being invested with companies that do business with Iran or other pro-terrorism states. Because of President Obama’s dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, these policies are now at risk. Other State Treasurers, like Ohio’s Josh Mandell, have also been supportive of the efforts to keep their state’s dollars from being invested with any company doing business with Iran or other countries who push and support terrorism. Mandell went on to say, ”Our success in Ohio motivated states across the country to follow suit and divest their public pension funds from Iran. As a Marine veteran with two tours in Iraq, I understand how critical it is to cut off the funding sources for terrorism.”
Over a year has passed since President Obama’s “crowning diplomatic achievement” toward his presidential legacy took effect. However, the fight against the Iran Nuclear Deal is still very much alive, and there is a possibility it could be overturned when a new president takes office in January.
Iran has been a “sworn enemy” of the United States, dating back to 1979 and the Carter Presidency when a group of Iranian university students supporting the Iranian Revolution seized the U.S. Embassy and held 52 diplomats and other Americans hostage for 444 days. The situation resulted in the strengthening of Ayatollah Khomeini’s support in Iran and U.S. economic sanctions against Iran. The new Iran Nuclear Deal, that included lifting the U.S. economic sanctions, was opposed by 58 senators. The remaining 42 blocked a congressional resolution seeking to reject the whole plan. The main opponents to the plan want a stronger deal, rather than none at all. They are seeking an improved relationship in terms of verification and transparency of potential Iranian nuclear weapons.
Candidate Trump calls the Iran Nuclear Deal “terrible and disastrous,” while Mrs. Clinton declares as Secretary of State that she had no part in making the deal, thus is politically constrained from taking a position on the plan. Critics are hoping that whomever the new president is, he or she will insist on tougher terms and a better deal. The Iranian regime is considered by most political followers to be the greatest threat to the United States, to our ally Israel, and to the Iranian people themselves. Most believe the West is, and has been, too easy on the extremist Islamic Nation. If Iran truly wants access to the United States’ financial system, then it should end its financing of terror groups like Hezbollah and others
Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the deal for the Obama Administration, declared that it isn’t a “perfect deal.”He went on to say that nobody has claimed Iran has ceased to engage in much of the same conduct as before the deal. Iran considers the United States to be the “Great Satan,” as they seek to develop the nuclear capability to attack Israel and possibly the U.S. as well.
In Missouri, this is why it is important to elect individuals who will support American values and interests against a terrorist state like Iran.