the Arms Race Political Action Committee of Iowa) was founded in
1980 in Des Moines. STAR*PAC is dedicated to political action
against war. Established at the peak of the Cold War, amid a
perilous and costly nuclear weapons race; STAR*PAC continues
advocacy against the arms race and exorbitant military spending,
and tackles many other foreign and military policy issues.
to raise fundamental issues of war and peace, especially in
Congressional elections and the pivotal Iowa Presidential
Caucuses. We help educate and mobilize Iowans on peace issues,
and actively support candidates who are dedicated to peace. In
past elections, STAR*PAC has focused on war and peace issues at
individual and all-candidate forums, submitted and published
candidate responses to questionnaires on peace issues, and
worked to elect the strongest peace candidates. STAR*PAC has
endorsed candidates, sponsored speaking tours featuring
nationally-known foreign policy experts and peace leaders,
organized media campaigns, and mobilized voters.
The small group of Iowans who
assembled in 1980 sought to form a political action arm for the
peace community with some of the characteristics of PACs for
teachers, labor, and other constituencies. From this handful of
dedicated peace political activists, STAR*PAC has grown to
several hundred supporters throughout Iowa.
STAR*PAC undertakes political
action for peace by working for those candidates we endorse. We
have supported many candidates for the U.S. House and Senate, in
the Presidential Caucuses and general election.
In 1984, STAR*PAC helped elect
Iowa Tom Harkin to the U.S. Senate. Harkin said: "STAR*PAC
played one of the most instrumental roles to my being elected to
the U.S. Senate." (See more from Harkin, below.)
In 1988, the last time both
parties had wide-open primaries, STAR*PAC conducted an
all-candidate forum for all the Democratic candidates at
historic Hoyt Sherman Place Theater in Des Moines, broadcast
live statewide on Iowa Public Television and covered by scores
of national and international media organizations.
Over the years, STAR*PAC has
assisted Iowa Congressional candidates, worked to influence and
mobilize public opinion, and raised war and peace issues in
caucus campaigns. In the 2006 Congressional elections in Iowa,
STAR*PAC submitted questionnaires and publicized answers,
examined candidates positions, hosted national speakers on tours
around Iowa, endorsed candidates, ran radio ads and did phone
banking for endorsed candidates.
Comments About STAR*PAC
Tom Harkin (Iowa)
"I don’t think
it’s any exaggeration to say that I would not be in the United
States Senate today had it not been for STAR*PAC. Not just the
money they provided, but the help they provided, the focusing on
those issues that were important and by reaching out through
churches and synagogues and community groups throughout the
state of Iowa. STAR*PAC played one of the most instrumental
roles to me being elected to the U.S. Senate."
Rep. Berkley Bedell (Iowa)
"My hat is off
to the people who have sparked the formation and growth of
STAR*PAC. The organizers of this organization saw the
opportunity to use the political process to move elected
officials towards an end to the arms race and a more peaceful
world; I saw them work as a Congressman and as chairman of a
presidential campaign. They are effective. STAR*PAC gives each
of us an opportunity through our contributions and our efforts
to have some real influence on who will be the political leaders
who make the decisions which will stop or expand the arms race
and head us towards a more peaceful world."
George McGovern (SD)
tremendously important in mobilizing the peace sentiment in Iowa
… that’s an enormous factor in American politics. I think this
is still the underlying cutting issue particularly in a national
campaign. . . There is no question that STAR*PAC has a
significant role to play in the selection of presidential
nominees, it can make a difference in close Senate races, House
races, gubernatorial races. Active committed people do vote,
they do Caucus, they do talk, they do influence, they do
educate, and they play an enormously important role on this
central issue of our time -- the great issue of peace."
William Sloane Coffin, Jr.
done a terrific job in Iowa, terrific job in education, terrific
job in helping Tom Harkin. We need in every Congressional
District a group of people with great empathy, intelligence, and
sufficient dedication . . . . to keep a constant endeavor going
to educate themselves and fellow Americans and to keep their
Congressman’s feet to the fire."
Rep. Bob Edgar (PA), and Common Cause President
role in the ’86 primary race for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania was
especially helpful, particularly in the radio commercials that
were produced. These commercials were helpful in letting people
know that Bob Edgar was strong on arms control and strong on the
peace issues. In the primary we stood against great odds,
without having the party endorsement and being the candidate
standing on the sidelines saying, ‘Hey, you really need to have
a different vision of the future -- the future of the world,’
and in that STAR*PAC played an enormous role."
political mission – plowshares from the war machine.
Box 561 – Des Moines, Iowa 50302
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