WASHINGTON, DC- Following the disturbing revelations reported in today’s Bloomberg article “Koch Brothers Flout Law With Secret Iran Sales”-and the fact that the company’s political action committee gave $50,000 to Texas Governor Rick Perry and donated to Representative Michele Bachmann in the past as well-the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) today called upon all Republican presidential candidates as well as the GOP national party committees to return any past Koch Brothers donations immediately, and directly address exactly where they stand on trading with Iran.
“It’s shocking, dangerous and hypocritical in the extreme for the Republican Party and national GOP figures to be courting the Koch Brothers and their money while those funds were obtained in part by ‘thwarting a U.S. trade ban’ on Iran, to use Bloomberg’s words,” said NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris. “U.S. companies have been forbidden from selling to Iran since 1995, and for good reason; President Bill Clinton at the time declared Iran a threat to America’s national security, and it has remained so since. It’s astonishing to learn that Koch has been going to such great lengths to sidestep this ban until as recently as 2007; even as Iran’s leader denied the Holocaust and pledged to erase Israel from the Middle East, Republicans competed to get closer and closer to the Koch Brothers, to obtain their ill-gotten donations wherever possible. Now that we know the truth, Republicans must set the record straight.
“Assuming they don’t approve of sidestepping U.S. laws barring trade with Iran, the GOP presidential candidates who have received Koch Brothers donations, candidates who are seeking their support, and the RNC and the Republican Party Committees must do two things immediately. First, they must return any KochPAC funds previously received. Second, they must state clearly where they stand on circumventing U.S. laws banning trade with Iran, as Koch Industries clearly has -and they must speak out vociferously condemning Koch’s profoundly damaging activities. To do any less is to admit that seeking campaign support is more important to these Republicans than isolating Iran’s dangerous regime.”
The full report from Bloomberg can be viewed here.