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(TRENTON) — Assembly members Linda Stender and Gordon M. Johnson and Senator Robert M. Gordon today issued a multimedia package on a Friday news conference in which they discussed New Jersey’s ongoing efforts to divest its employee pension fund investments from corporations doing business in Iran.

The 2007 law, sponsored by Stender (D-Union), requires the state to reapportion all of its financial investment in Iran by January 2011. So far, the state has divested over $480 million, with $11 million left to go.

The multimedia package consists of a video on the news conference, audio of same and a transcript of comments from the Democratic legislators.

The video can be accessed directly via our Web site — — or by clicking here.

The audio file is available upon request.

A transcript of statements from the legislators is appended below:

Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Union):
“I believe that, with the bill that we passed last year and the action that’s been taken to date, that we are putting our money where our mouths are, by taking our money out of investments in Iran.

“When we began our effort, we divested — the State of New Jersey divested ourselves of 14.5 million shares of companies tied to Iran, worth $489.1 million. That’s since March 1 of ’08. We have until January 4 of 2011 to fully divest ourselves and we have a remaining $11 million to take out of those investments.”

Senator Robert M. Gordon (D-Bergen):
“States normally don’t have an opportunity to have an impact on foreign policy. But here is one clear example where, if we cannot change the policy, we can certainly try to influence it by sending a clear message.”

Assemblyman Gordon M. Johnson (D-Bergen):
“As we go forward, we must first realize this is a people problem. It’s about us. It’s about the thing we call ‘freedom.’ And what Iran does not like and wants to terminate and get rid of, not just in Israel, but around the world.”

“We will remain vigilant, to make sure that that is done, so that it will underscore the belief of our people — of our state — that we have to work together, that we have to seek to achieve a peaceful world. And that we will not support nor tolerate the kind of rhetoric or actions of leadership who seeks to annihilate the values that we uphold of freedom and peace and tolerance in the world.”

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