One of Michigan Democratic Rep. Gary Peters’ largest campaign donors does not consider nuclear Iran a threat.
Peters has raked in thousands of dollars from the Council for a Livable World, peace activists with a history of controversial positions. The group has contributed more than $13,000 to the three-term congressman’s campaign and features a prominent endorsement of the Democrat on its website.
"Gary Peters wants to see a rapid end to the war in Afghanistan and smarter Pentagon spending," the council says in its endorsement of Peters.
The council has spent nearly $300,000 on the 2014 cycle after contributing more than $500,000 in 2012. All of that money went to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
The council has long supported Peters, endorsing him in his first congressional run in 2008. Peters, a Navy reservist, has lived up to the group’s ideology, especially on defense spending cuts. He voted against a $633 billion defense budget in 2012 that would have also provided hundreds of millions of dollars for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.
The council opposes U.S. and Israeli missile defense, as well as American nuclear capabilities. However, the council does not consider Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons a threat and opposes sanctions designed to deter the regime’s nuclear aspirations. The group’s blog called sanctions championed by Sen. Mark Kirk (D., Ill.) "harmful to diplomacy."
"The proposed legislation is a diplomatic wrecker by ignoring changing Iranian political developments within Iran including strengthening its rear guard hard liners who would seize on the legislation to undo Rouhani's Iranian diplomatic efforts, reflected obtuseness about the realities of what is to be expected in non-proliferation outcomes and ignorance of what works in nuclear proliferation agreements," the group said, praising President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry for opposing tougher sanctions.
Peters’ opponent, former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R.), called on the congressman to distance himself from the group’s agenda, pointing out Iran’s close ties to Hamas.
"Gary Peters should be ashamed of himself: As we speak, Israeli citizens are taking cover from rockets fired by Iranian funded Hamas, meanwhile, Gary Peters is taking thousands from a radical group that opposes sanctions on Iran," Land spokeswoman Heather Swift said. "What exactly did Peters say to this group in order to get their support? Once again, this is Gary Peters saying anything in order to get elected."
The Peters campaign did not return request for comment.
Peters leads Land by about four points, according to Real Clear Politics. A nonpartisan poll commissioned by the New York Times shows Land leading by 1 point in a head-to-head match-up. They are running to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.), a Democrat who won by more than 30 points in 2008.