AIPAC Creates Group to Lobby Against the Iran Deal
The New York Times
July 17, 2015
The pro-Israel group Aipac has formed a tax-exempt lobbying group
to oppose the nuclear deal reached this week with Iran.
Aipac, an acronym for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,
has been a vocal critic of President Obama’s policies toward Israel and his
negotiations with Iran. The new group, Citizens
for a Nuclear Free Iran, was formed with the sole mission of educating the
public “about the dangers of the proposed Iran deal,” said Patrick Dorton, a
“This will be a sizable and significant national campaign on the
flaws in the Iran deal,” Mr. Dorton said.
A person who had been briefed on the plan said the group planned to
spend upward of $20 million on the effort. Another person familiar with the
campaign said advertising was planned in 30 to 40 states. Both spoke on the
condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal details of the
The new group is starting up as Mr. Obama and the White House are
mounting a major push to sell the accord on Capitol Hill, where members of
Congress will have 60 days to review it and hold an up-or-down vote once it is
submitted. Most Republicans have declared their opposition and some Democrats
have voiced skepticism, raising the possibility that Congress could vote to
reject the deal and that Mr. Obama might not have enough votes to sustain a veto
of a disapproval resolution.
While Mr. Dorton said the lobbying effort would target members of
both parties, Democrats would be a focal point.
“Democrats should be especially concerned, because the deal
increases the chances of war, will spur a nuclear arms race and rewards an Iran
with a horrific human rights record,” Mr. Dorton said.
The group’s advisory committee includes several former Democratic
members of Congress, including former Senators Evan Bayh of Indiana, Mark Begich
of Alaska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut,
and former Representative Shelley Berkley of Nevada, according to its website.
It is also tapping several prominent Democratic operatives, including the pollster Mark S. Mellman, the media consultant Mark Putnam, and the digital firm Trilogy Interactive, said a person familiar with the campaign, who would detail its key players only on the condition of anonymity.