U.S. Rep.Â Tammy BaldwinÂ – who was against Iranian sanctions before she was for them – has receivedÂ nearly $60,000Â for her Senate bid from a group that says the American policy of imposing sanctions and trying to “publicly threaten and insult Iran” does little more than strengthen the country’s hard-liners.
TheÂ Council for a Livable World, which opposes nuclear weapons, argues that Iran poses no current threat to the United States.
Baldwin has had the support of the left-of-center group since her first congressional race in 1998.
“Unfortunately, United States policy has been to publicly threaten and insult Iran while taking provocative actions such as adopting a policy of regime change, attempting to increase unilateral sanctions, deploying additional military assets in the region, and arresting Iranian representatives in Iraq,” says the council’s research arm, theCenter for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.
“Iran does not pose an imminent threat to the U.S. and is unlikely to do so for years, perhaps as long as a decade according to American intelligence estimates.”
The council advocates resolving the nuclear dispute with Iran through diplomacy. Baldwin is one of 18 Senate candidates – 16 Democrats and two independents -Â backedÂ by the group.
A spokesman for Baldwin’s Republican opponent, former GovÂ . Tommy Thompson, said her strong ties to the council are further evidence that she puts “her ties with left-wing groups ahead of the interests of our country.”
“Her views on national security are too extreme for Wisconsin, and they are too extreme for the soldiers who are fighting to keep our nation safe,” saidÂ Lisa Boothe, communications director for Thompson.
Some national Senate candidates have come under criticism for accepting money from the council, which was founded in 1962. The group is also backing two Democratic congressional candidates from Wisconsin:Â Pat KreitlowÂ andÂ Rob Zerban.
Not surprisingly, Baldwin’s staff dismissed any suggestion that she is weak on foreign policy.
“The fact is Tammy Baldwin has a consistently strong record over the last 14 years of taking the fight to terrorists, keeping America safe from terrorist attacks, supporting Israel and voting for tough sanctions against Iran, including a number of times over the last two years,” said spokesmanÂ John KrausÂ in an email.
Earlier this week,Â PolitiFact WisconsinconcludedÂ that the Madison Democrat had flip-flopped on the issue of Iranian sanctions.
From 2006 to 2011, Baldwin voted against the four biggest efforts to toughen sanctions against the Middle Eastern country. In one case, she was one of only eight representatives to oppose the measure, joining such lawmakers as Ohio DemocratÂ Dennis KucinichÂ and Texas RepublicanÂ Ron Paul.
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