AIPAC-Linked Group Launches $5 Million Ad Campaign Against Nuke Deal

Targets Democrats

John Kerry
July 17, 2015

A non-profit political organization linked to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) will spend nearly $5 million dollars running advertisements in at least 32 different cities opposing a recently inked nuclear accord with Iran, according to sources tracking the media buy.

The recently incorporated 501(c)(4) non-profit organization, Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, is being run by a political operative tied to AIPAC and has received support from the pro-Israel lobbying outfit.

After months of public silence about the deal, AIPAC took a public stand Wednesday against the nuclear accord, which will provide Iran with billions of dollars in sanctions relief and lift embargoes on the importation of arms and construction of ballistic missiles.

AIPAC’s newfound effort is a sign that the pro-Israel community is willing to go to bat to defeat the Obama administration’s signature foreign policy achievement. AIPAC and its backers remained silent about the deal for months in order to give the White House time to finish a final deal.

However, AIPAC is now unhappy with the result.

"This proposed agreement fails to halt Iran’s nuclear quest," AIPAC said in a statement. "Instead, it would facilitate rather than prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and would further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror."

The group will now work to publicly galvanize opposition to the deal via a $4,898,111 ad buy undertaken by the Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, according to sources familiar with the ad buy who detailed it to the Washington Free Beacon.

The ads will target at least 18 states, according to the Sunlight Foundation, which obtained the group’s FEC filings.

The new organization is being run by Patrick Dorton, a Washington-based political operative who has long done public relations work on behalf of AIPAC.

"This is an organization established with the financial support of AIPAC and other orgs and individuals to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability," Dorton told the Free Beacon. "Our audience is bipartisan—we want both Democrats and Republicans to oppose the deal."

Sources outlined the full extent of the ad buy, which will target 32 major media markets across the country, including Philadelphia, New York City, Las Vegas, and Boston.

The full media buy and financial breakdown includes:

Baltimore: $167,600

Boston: $263,850

Charleston-Huntington: $56,275

Chicago: $114,675

Dallas: $251,625

Denver: $158,200

Detroit: $222,700

Fresno: $16,965

Hartford: $128,055

Honolulu: $44,605

Houston: $234,750

Indianapolis: $110,735

Laredo: $28,904

Las Vegas: $132,770

Los Angeles: $415,350

Miami: $179,050

New York City: $474,700

Omaha: $66,045

Panama City: $23,960

Philadelphia: $151,400

Phoenix: $181,840

Pittsburgh: $91,500

Portland: $98,818

Providence: $60,105

Richmond: $41,319

San Antonio: $100,575

San Diego: $142,525

Seattle: $202,975

Tallahassee: $26,800

Tampa: $168,240

Washington, DC: $444,900

West Palm Beach: $96,300

It appears AIPAC may be targeting Democratic lawmakers who hold the key to forming a veto-proof majority should the deal be voted down in Congress.

The buy appears to target mostly cities and states with Democratic members who may be swayed to vote against the nuke deal.

The White House has already vowed to veto any congressional rejection of the deal, though it remains unclear if it can wrangle enough Democrats to uphold such a veto.

"Democrats should be especially concerned, because this deal increases the chances of war, will spur a nuclear arms race, and rewards an Iran with a horrific human rights record," Dorton told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

When asked to comment on the ad campaign, an AIPAC official declined to comment "right now."