Ralston: 'Defund Iran' could shake up 2016 ballot
The political fallout from the Iran deal is coming to Nevada.
Not because it will be front and center in the U.S. Senate race as Rep. Joe Heck opposed it and former Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto supported it. And not because it will be a focal point in races for Congress, especially Rep. Cresent Hardy’s seat and perhaps for Heck’s seat, too.
But because Nevada is about to become one of a number of states where forces opposed to the deal are going to try to install on the November ’16 ballot a question about whether Carson City should be barred from investing funds in places that sponsor terrorism – i.e. Iran.
Sources confirm that the Nevada effort, complete with a committee and co-chairs, will be announced within a few weeks and will be partly funded by that guy with the Las Vegas Boulevard South address who has a passing interest in Mideast affairs. Yes, Sheldon Adelson, one of the more prominent GOP donors in the country and a passionate foe of the Obama Administration deal that became a fait accompli last week, will be involved, as will operatives who have ties to his Las Vegas Sands operation.
Nevada will have plenty of initiatives on the ballot next year – background checks and recreational pot as well as three Sharron Angle-sponsored questions on voter ID, Obamacare and Common Core and possible tax repeal referenda (although the incompetence of the backers may prevent them from reaching conclusion). And, if past is prologue, more to come.
But this Defund Iran movement, announced last week in five other states, will soon come to Adelson’s home turf, where he is sure to spend enough money to get it qualified for the ballot. And it could have a substantial impact on races up and down the ticket. (The Sands folks did not want to comment just yet.)
Such moves have occurred in the past in some states, including Florida and Missouri, where then-Treasurer Sarah Steelman pushed for the ban on investment. She now is the national chairwoman of the Defund Iran movement.