By Mike Hellgren

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The battle over a nuclear deal with Iran is turning into one of the most expensive Congress has ever seen. Big money is pouring into pressure votes, and a key target is Maryland Senator Ben Cardin.

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren with the push to gain influence.

Senator Cardin holds a lot of clout about foreign affairs. He has not said which way he will vote on this, but those against the deal see him as a key player who could swing their way.

The push for influence in the Iran nuclear deal is on. Maryland will see an influx of ads aimed at pressuring the congressional delegation. Special interest groups are spending more than $40 million nationwide and here at home.

“Trying to shape Maryland public opinion to influence Senator Cardin’s vote on the Foreign Relations Committee,” said Matthew Crenson, professor emeritus of political science at Johns Hopkins University.

One of the newest campaigns against the Iran pact comes from a veterans group.

“We’re going to get veterans to their events,” said Michael Pregent.

WJZ went to Washington to meet Michael Pregent, the man behind that message.

“This ad basically says, ‘We need to be heard. We know this enemy better than the negotiators. We want to give Democrats an argument to vote against this,'” he said.

Senator Cardin says he’s spending a large chunk of every day being lobbied by both sides on the issue.

Cardin must decide whether to go against the Obama administration–the president has said the deal’s failure could lead to war–or against powerful groups, like the Baltimore Jewish Council, who believe the deal is a threat to America’s security.

Some analysts expect anti-deal groups to outspend their opponents 4 to 1. They have no plans to let up.

“We’re going to remember who voted for this and who voted against it,” said Pregent.

Congress has until September 17 to vote. Senator Mikulski has not said which way she will vote on the matter.

The president has promised to veto any resolutions against the Iran deal, so supporters are looking to sway enough senators to break his veto.

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