With Republicans no longer able to block President Barack Obama’s proposed nuclear agreement with Iran, buckle up: The next battle will be over actually paying for the implementation of the agreement.
In that vein, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel Tuesday said he’s joined a national organization that will work to put measures on the ballot in Ohio and other states aimed at keeping state tax dollars from being invested in or spent with corporations doing business with Iran.
The group, Defund Iran, hopes to amend state constitutions and revise state statutes with terrorism divestiture provisions. If Mandel gets his way, Ohioans will be able to vote on such a proposal in November 2016.
The group said that the Obama-Iran nuclear deal includes a paragraph that 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.”
That paragraph, they say, would effectively nullify state laws that keep state tax money from going to businesses that work with Iran and other state sponsors of terrorism.
Mandel joins former Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman and former Colorado House Minority Leader Mark Waller as co-chairs of the organization. Both Mandel and Waller are veterans of the Iraq War.
“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,” Mandel said. “We will use the authority of the ballot box. Let’s put it to a vote.”
Mandel’s efforts mirror what will likely be a congressional funding battle over paying for the implementation of the treaty.
Defund Iran hopes to get initiatives on the ballot in Ohio, Missouri, Colorado and other states.