PRESS RELEASE from Stop the Arms Race Political Action Committee

 Iowa Peace Group Endorses New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson

Des Moines, Iowa-- The Central Committee of STAR*PAC (Stop the Arms Race Political Action Committee of Iowa) has endorsed New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson in his campaign for President.

STAR*PAC committee members voted to endorse Richardson for many reasons, particularly for his promises regarding the war in Iraq.

"Governor Richardson has consistently promised to get all the troops out of Iraq within one year and probably as soon as six months. He promises he will leave no residual troops behind," said Harold Wells, Iowa's STAR*PAC Chair. "And his message is the same wherever he speaks -- to a military audience in Georgetown, a New Hampshire town meeting, in a rural Iowa community or at STAR*PAC's candidate forum with the Governor in August. Three generals -- General Volney Warner, General William Odom and Lt. General Robert Gard -- support Richardson's plans to get the troops out of Iraq,"

Wells added, "In the September 27 New Hampshire debate, the other major Democratic contenders refused to promise to bring all American troops home from Iraq before January 2013, which would be the end of their first term." ( -10/4/07).

"Richardson also earned support for his in-depth understanding of the root causes of terrorism, "said Chuck Day, long-time STAR*PAC leader and National Chair. He also noted that in response to STAR*PAC's questionnaire concerning major war and peace issues, Richardson wrote, "There is no one root of terrorism. However, poverty is the basis of much violence, and the United States needs to lead the global fight against it. When we do, we build good-will, a powerful antidote to anti-Americanism and Jihadism. Through example and diplomacy, the U.S. can encourage all rich countries to honor their U.N. Millennium goal commitments."

"On July 11th Richardson called for a Marshall Plan in which developed nations, public organizations and private companies would coordinate a sustained, focused and intensive effort to wipe out the developing world's most pressing problems. This type of plan will do much to reduce terrorism," Day said.

Richardson also said in a reply to the STAR*PAC questionnaire: "Most importantly, the U.S . should promote a multilateral Marshall Plan for the Middle East and North Africa. For a small fraction of the cost of the Iraq war, which has created so many enemies for the United States, the United States could make many friends. A crucial effort in fighting terrorism must be support for public education in the Muslim world."

"For many of us, the most important thing is that Richardson is highly qualified, with a depth of experience not easily matched," Day concluded. "He served as U.N. Ambassador, as a two-term Governor, and as Energy Secretary. He was nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize and he served 15 years as a U.S. Congressman. Bill Richardson will be able to move immediately to address the Iraq war and the terrorist threat without on-the-job-training."

STAR*PAC was founded in 1980 by Iowans who felt it was crucial to have a statewide organization dedicated to political action against the weapons race and resurgent militarism.

STAR*PAC invited all candidates of both parties to participate in candidate forums and to submit replies to candidate questionnaires. Gov. Richardson, Sen. Obama, Sen. Dodd and Sen. Edwards participated in individual candidate forums or meetings hosted by STAR*PAC, and STAR*PAC received candidate questionnaires from Richardson, Obama, Edwards, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich.