Spend Less and Reduce Nuclear Arsenal says O'Malley

Kevin Rutledge on January 13, 2016
Following Martin O'Malley's answers at the "Putting Families First" Presidential Forum in Des Moines, I asked him the one trillion dollar question on new nuclear weapons. He told me, “I’d like to see us reduce our nuclear arsenal... spend less money on the nuclear deterrence."

AFSC’s Governing Under the Influence project was a co-sponsor of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement’s “Real People Ready for Real Solutions” Issues Summit on Saturday morning, January 9, 2016. Grassroots organizers across the Midwest came to discuss economic, environmental, and racial justice issues. Our large, green GUI banners welcomed attendees in the lobby, and we handed out a number of questions for candidates, too.

In the afternoon, Iowa CCI’s Action Fund hosted Governor Martin O’Malley and Senator Bernie Sanders to answer tough questions posed by grassroots leaders during the “Putting People First” Presidential Forum with a crowd of over 700 people.

O’Malley’s biggest applause came after shouting “We need to end for-profit immigrant detention centers!” When Sanders took the stage to answer questions, I approached O’Malley after he finished media interviews in a stairwell to ask if he opposed the $1 trillion nuclear weapons plan.

“Hey Kevin, thanks for coming today,” O’Malley said as he looked at my nametag and shook  hands, then asked what AFSC stood for.

“American Friends Service Committee,” I said.

“Gotcha, I kind of knew that,” he replied. “At first I was looking at it like it was AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Union).”

“Not quite,” I said. “But I was just wondering if you would oppose plans to spend $1 trillion on the nuclear weapons plan that would enrich military contractors and set off a new global arms race?”

“I’d like to see us reduce our nuclear arsenal,” O’Malley said. “I’d like to see us spend less money on the nuclear deterrence, and we need to cover cyber and greater investments in human intelligence on the ground and troubled regions around the world. That’s kind of my overall approach. And I’ve been endorsed by STAR*PAC (Stop The Arms Race Political Action Committee).”

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Kevin Rutledge

Kevin Rutledge AFSC Governing Under the Influence Presidential Campaign Project

Kevin Rutledge is the Grassroots Education Coordinator with AFSC’s Presidential Campaign Project in Iowa.  Kevin has deep family roots in Quaker activism for peace and social justice.  A graduate from Iowa State University in Sociology and Criminal Justice, his previous work includes: United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) organizer, Public Citizen online organizer to overturn Citizens United, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, and a youth residential treatment facility.  Kevin hopes to one day return to Brazil and live by the beach.

“What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill .