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Reality Check: Ad links Thompson to Iran's efforts to mine uranium

Published On: Oct 30 2012 06:10:09 PM CDT
Updated On: Oct 30 2012 08:28:02 PM CDT
MADISON, Wis. -

Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, fighting back against attacks on her record, is out with a television ad in Wisconsin's U.S. Senate race that ties her Republican opponent Tommy Thompson to Iran's efforts to mine uranium and build a nuclear bomb.

"It's now been revealed Tommy Thompson invested in a company that partnered with Iran to mine for uranium," the announcer says in the ad. "And he invested in another company that's building Iran's nuclear reactor."

WISC-TV found this is true.

Thompson disclosed in a debate earlier this month that he did, in fact, own stock in seven companies that were involved with Iran and uranium mining.

He said they were purchased without his knowledge by his stockbroker. He sold around $40,000 in stock in five companies after the revelations that he owned them and also disclosed he'd sold stock in two other companies with connections to Iran 10 months before.

Thompson said he didn't believe any business ties with Iran were appropriate and said he would rid himself of the dealings immediately.

"And Tommy's D.C. lobbying firm, they worked for a big oil company to weaken sanctions against Iran," the announcer says in the ad.

WISC-TV found this is misleading.

As WISC-TV has reported before, Thompson was a "strategic advisor" and partner in law and lobbying firm Akin-Gump, but he was not a registered lobbyist. Specifically, he worked with the company's health care practice.

Akin-Gump lobbied on behalf of oil company Chevron in 2010, listing Iranian sanctions as a subject issue. But in documents filed by the company, Thompson is not listed as a lobbyist working on the issue.

If you have an idea for a Reality Check, send it to realitycheck@channel3000.com. 

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