No more nukes! You don't hear that campaign slogan in South Dakota much. But maybe Rick Weiland is adding that line to his list. David Montgomery reports that the anti-nuke Council for a Livable World is endorsing Weiland in South Dakota's U.S. Senate race. In their announcement, they nod toward their own South Dakota history:
This endorsement is a “homecoming” for the Council. The first candidate Council for a Livable World endorsed following its founding in 1962 was Senator George McGovern (D-SD.) Since it began operations, it has helped elect 131 arms control advocates to the U.S. Senate and 226 to the House of Representatives. The Council has also endorsed Senator James Abourezk’s Senate campaign and Senators Tim Johnson and Tom Daschle’s Senate and Congressional campaigns.
“The Council is excited to be backing a great candidate in the state our mission began fifty years ago,” said Ira Lechner, chairman of the Council for a Livable World’s Board of Directors. “Rick is truly a man-of-the-people looking to fix the broken nature of Washington-as-usual politics. We are proud to give him the Council’s support and look forward to his victory next November” [Council for a Livable World, press release, 2013.09.17].
South Dakota's nuclear missiles are gone, and Ellsworth AFB appears to be packing only conventional heat. The Council's endorsement thus doesn't affect any daily bread-and-butter issues for Weiland's constituents... unless there's some synergy to be had with Black Hills residents fighting the Powertech uranium mining plan (oppose the mine, keep uranium off the market, keep China and other countries from building more nuclear weapons... hmm...).
But the CLW advocates on issues well beyond nuclear weapons. They support reducing military spending on low-/no-return projects like missile defense in favor of a more expansive, "robust" array of security projects that include law enforcement, intelligence, immigration policy, border security, foreign assistance, economic development, and diplomacy. CLW digs diplomacy even with Iran and North Korea. They responded with deep concern (as did Weiland) to President Obama's threat to bomb Syria; they'd likely see Republican candidate Annette Bosworth's call for a larger U.S. war with Syria on behalf of Israel for what it is: crazy.
Weiland joins a roster of all-Democratic CLW endorsees including New Jersey's next Senator Cory Booker, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, and the smartest Senator in the Midwest, Al Franken. As Mr. Montgomery notes, CLW spends some serious money on elections, so Team Weiland should be glad of the help.
Related: The latest Global Nuclear Weapons Inventory released by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says that our friend Israel has 80 nuclear weapons: 50 for missiles, 30 for planes. They have enough uranium and plutonium to build 115 to 190 more. Debate question for Weiland (with responses welcome from Nelson, Rounds, and the comment section): given your support from the Council for a Livable World, would you advocate that Israel reduce or eliminate its stockpile of nuclear weapons?
By the way, Israel's is the smallest operational nuclear stockpile confirmed the BAS confirms. India and Pakistan each have built over a hundred nukes to throw at each other. China has 250 nuclear weapons. Only France, the U.K., Russia, and the U.S. have nuclear weapons in active deployment.