JStreetPAC Launches 2010 Campaign; Endorses 41 Candidates

January 21st, 2010

WASHINGTON – JStreetPAC, the country’s first and only pro-Israel, pro-peace political action committee, announced its first Congressional endorsements of the 2010 cycle, backing 41 candidates – matching in its first wave of endorsements the number it backed in the whole 2008 cycle. These endorsements kick off a new election cycle for JStreetPAC, which distributed more money to candidates than any other pro-Israel federal political action committee in the 2008 cycle, according to FEC reports. Today’s endorsements are only the first of many the PAC plans to make in 2010, as it looks to expand its political and financial impact. In total, JStreetPAC plans a 50% increase over last cycle in both endorsements and disbursements. In 2008, JStreetPAC disbursed $578,186 to 41 candidates. Thirty-three of the PAC’s endorsees went on to win their elections. In 2009, the PAC also helped tip the scales in now-Congressmen Bill Owens and Scott Murphy’s hotly contested special elections and came to the aid of Reps. Donna Edwards and Steve Cohen with significant internet fundraisers. “By providing tangible support for members of Congress and candidates who stand up for a pro-Israel, pro-peace American foreign policy, we’ve begun to open up the much-needed political space for an honest conversation on how we best serve the interests of Israel and the United States,” said JStreetPAC Executive Director Jeremy Ben-Ami. “These candidates understand that the United States must play an active role in bringing about a two-state solution and a comprehensive, regional peace,” said Ben-Ami, “not only for the sake of Israel and Palestinians - but also for our own national interests.” The first group of JStreetPAC 2010 endorsees features candidates from 24 states and represents the breadth and depth of the PAC’s support. Among those endorsed today are four committee chairmen, three subcommittee chairmen, four members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, five members of the House Appropriations Committee, and leading members of the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses. The endorsees also include eight Jewish candidates and one of two Muslim members of Congress. A complete list of endorsees, as well as reactions from a number of featured candidates, follows below the jump. “JStreetPAC’s successes and the considerable growth we are anticipating in our second election cycle demonstrate the momentum being built behind pro-Israel candidates committed to diplomacy and to security through peace,” said Ben-Ami. “This year, the PAC’s work will continue to make it clear that the single most pro-Israel thing we can do is actively work to achieve peace between Israel and her neighbors.” Targeted endorsed candidates will be featured in email appeals to J Street’s 140,000 supporters. JStreetPAC launched in April 2008 as the first and only federal political action committee established to explicitly promote meaningful American leadership to end the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflicts peacefully and diplomatically. The PAC provides political and financial support to candidates for federal office from Americans who believe an active American role in the Middle East will best advance U.S. interests in the region and promote real peace and security for Israel and its neighbors. The PAC is legally unconnected to J Street, a 501(c)(4) lobby and advocacy organization, and the J Street Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization for education and outreach. For more information, visit www.jstreet.org. JStreetPAC 2010 CONGRESSIONAL ENDORSEES:

  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
  • Rep. Charles Boustany (LA-07)
  • Rep. Michael Capuano (MA-08)
  • Rep. Lois Capps (CA-23)
  • Rep. Russ Carnahan (MO-03)
  • Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09)
  • Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
  • Rep. Susan Davis (CA-53)
  • Rep. William Delahunt (MA-10)
  • Rep. Donna Edwards (MD-04)
  • Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-05)
  • Sen. Russ Feingold (WI)
  • Rep. Bob Filner (CA-51)
  • Rep. Barney Frank (MA-04)
  • Rep. Charles Gonzalez (TX-20)
  • Rep. Deborah Halvorson (IL-11)
  • Rep. Jim Himes (CT-04)
  • Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY-22)
  • Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12)
  • Rep. Jay Inslee (WA-01)
  • Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15)
  • Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04)
  • Rep. Ron Kind (WI-03)
  • Rep. Dan Maffei (NY-25)
  • Rep. Betsy Markey (CO-04)
  • Rep. Eric Massa (NY-29)
  • Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-04)
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (MA-03)
  • Rep. George Miller (CA-07)
  • Rep. Scott Murphy (NY-20)
  • Rep. Bill Owens (NY-23)
  • Rep. Tom Perriello (VA-05)
  • Doug Pike (PA-06)
  • Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01)
  • Rep. Jared Polis (CO-02)
  • Steve Pougnet (CA-45)
  • Rep. David Price (NC-04)
  • Rep. Charles Rangel (NY-15)
  • Rep. Janice Schakowsky (IL-09)
  • Rep. Peter Welch (VT-At Large)
  • Rep. John Yarmuth (KY-03)
FROM THE CANDIDATES ON THEIR ENDORSEMENT Representative Charles Boustany (R-LA-07) “The coming years will prove pivotal to achieving a sustainable peace in the Middle East, and I look forward to working with the leaders and members of J Street to help the process continue. Developing strategic and responsible policies to promote peace in the region must be our common goal. I appreciate the support of J Street to accomplish this goal." Representative Russ Carnahan (D-MO-03) “Israel is our strongest democratic ally in the Middle East, and among one of our closest around the globe. With a renewed emphasis on international engagement, I am hopeful the peace process can move forward and a lasting peace in the Middle East will be established. People of the region have been unable to live in peace for entirely too long.” Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) “I am honored to once again have the support of JStreetPAC in my 2010 reelection. J Street has grown in stature and influence in a very short span of time and reaches diverse segments of American society united in their hopes of a peaceful Middle East and a strong Israel.” Representative Barney Frank (D-MA-04) “JStreetPAC plays an important role in maintaining a strong level of support in the United States for a solution that will bring peace to the Middle East in a manner that is fully consistent with Israel’s security needs, and the right of the Israeli people to live as a democratic, Jewish state. JStreetPAC’s outreach to important segments of the American community to mobilize support for this approach is an important asset, and I am proud to work with them and to be endorsed by them.” Representative Charles Gonzalez (D-TX-20) “Thank you to all J Street supporters for this endorsement. I firmly believe that a negotiated two-state solution is achievable without jeopardizing Israel's safety and security.” Representative Hank Johnson (D-GA-04) “I thank J Street for its support and look forward to a close and fruitful partnership. My commitments to the peace process, Israel's security, and the Jewish community in my district are unwavering.” Representative Betsy Markey (D-CO-04) “I visited Israel this past August and came back with a clear understanding that peace and security go very much hand in hand. I strongly support J Street’s call for active American engagement in the two-state process and am honored to accept their endorsement.” Representative George Miller (D-CA-07) “I greatly appreciate J Street's support for me, but more importantly I appreciate what J Street is doing to open the debate in Congress and throughout the United States on critical policy issues facing the United States and Israel. America's partnership with Israel and our mutual quest for a lasting peace in the Middle East is strengthened by the excellent work of J Street.” Representative Bill Owens (D-NY-23) “I am proud to accept the endorsement of JStreetPAC. The work that J Street did on my behalf was vital to ensuring my victory in 2009, and with their continued support I know our campaign will be successful again this November. I look forward to working with J Street to achieve an even stronger US-Israel relationship and to bring peace to the region.” Representative Jared Polis (D-CO-02) “As a member of Congress and a Jewish-American committed to Israel’s future, I commend J Street for its efforts to move the peace process forward and encourage dialogue within the pro-Israel community. They are filling an important void and doing vital work, and I couldn’t be prouder to accept JStreetPAC’s endorsement.” Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09) “I am proud to have JStreetPAC’s endorsement and to work together to further the long-term security interests of Israel. I believe that the United States can and must play a positive role in winning a peace agreement that provides long-lasting stability through a two-state solution, an end to terrorism and violence, and a foundation upon which to build economic prosperity in the region.”