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The Charge of the Muny Light Brigade

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Posted on Dec 14, 2006
Dennis Kucinich
From Kucinich.us

Then-Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich in 1978, when he was under siege by Cleveland’s business community, its media and many local private interest groups—all of which were pushing him to sell the city’s publicly owned municipal power plant.  His principled refusal to do so kept him out of public office for the next 20 years. He now serves as a U.S. congressman from Ohio.

By Joshua Scheer

(Page 2)

TRUTHDIG: When the chips fell, they fell pretty hard. You were forced out of public life for nearly 20 years. In hindsight, do you stand by your decision to do this?

KUCINICH: Every public official or aspiring public official who would read this interview should remember that when you take a public trust, the most important thing is to defend the public interest. There’s always some kind of a deal out there where someone is out there to convince you that if you just go along with this particular matter, it’ll be good for your career; it’ll show people that you know how to come to reason. Deals like Muny Light are out there every day for politicians who want to get in with certain interest groups, who want to advance their career. This isn’t condemnation of people who do it, but that’s just so much of what politics is about: People decide, “Well, I’m going to do something I really don’t like, but I’ll stay in office and I’ll be able to help people some other time.” There are millions of little bargains that take place like that every day. It’s just that I saw something else: I saw that this had immediate economic relevance for the people of Cleveland, and also for everyone who was ever in public life who felt like they needed to take a stand and were looking for the courage to do it.

Because any one of us can inform all of us that it’s OK, that life is going to go on, that you can stand up for what you believe in, that you don’t have to sell out, that you don’t have to sell your soul, that you don’t have to let someone else determine the circumstances under which you are in public service.

So this was a wonderful opportunity for me, having been the youngest mayor of the city of Cleveland, who had this chance to stand up for the public interest—at a critical moment, when everything was on the line, and all the odds were stacked against me ... I stood up for the people.

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And years later they knew I was right. Years later they put me back in the state Senate, and they followed up by putting me in Congress, and I win elections in Cleveland now by huge majorities. And I’m grateful for that. But I knew in 1978 when I refused to sell that electric system, I knew the bank was going to follow up on its threat to put the city of Cleveland in default. I also knew I’d lose the next election—which I did. But there are, believe it or not, some things more important than holding public office. And what’s important is that when it comes your turn to make the decision, you stand up, you don’t relent, and you—in the words of “Prometheus Unbound” by Shelley—you defy power which seems omnipotent. And that is what it means to be joyous and free. If you are going to want to be a torchbearer for the freedom of the people, you have to be free yourself.

TRUTHDIG: There’s a lot of debate over the regulation and deregulation of energy companies. But this was not really a deregulation-regulation debate, right? You were trying to prevent a monopoly.

KUCINICH: Right. This was an issue of: Do the people have the right to own their own utility? The question is: Is there such a thing as the public domain? Is it appropriate for governments to operate water systems, sewer systems, parks, libraries, public services? The man who founded Muny Light 100 years ago, Mayor Tom Johnson, said something to this effect: I believe in the public ownership of all municipal service utilities, because if you do not own them, they will in time own you. They will rule your politics, corrupt your institutions, and finally destroy your liberties.

The issue of public ownership has huge implications today for the people of the United States:

It relates to whether or not we can have a public retirement system like Social Security, which has been under attack in a privatization scheme.

It relates to whether or not we can have a public health system through a universal single-payer system instead of this system we have today, in which 100 million people are either uninsured or under-insured, because the system is held by private interests.

It relates to the question of whether public education is going to be adequately funded.

It relates to the theft of natural resources—of oil companies using their power to get leases and mining companies using their power to grab public lands, or everyone looking at public resources as something to be looted.

This same destructive impulse is evident in the policies of the International Monetary Fund—the so-called structural adjustment policies, which force communities to give up publicly owned assets in order to gain access to capital, and then the people end up paying exorbitant amounts of money for services which used to be provided directly to the people.

This question of public control was at the center of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s farewell speech, where he said to beware of the military/industrial complex. Today we see the privatization of war reflected in mercenaries and contractors in Iraq, who will make of the war in Iraq a perpetuating industry.

It relates to this destructive ethic of privatization, which is being visited on the people of Iraq right now, with the attempt by interest groups to push changes in national law which pave the way for the privatization of the oil industry.

These are the kinds of questions that are central to issues of democratic governance. These are questions that are central to the very idea of a polity which exists for the public interest, as opposed to the private interest. So go all the way back to Dec. 15, 1978, and my decision had implications far into the future. And I can see the same kinds of schemes that are out there today that try to steal or defraud the public of what is really a heritage of the people. And for my part, what I learned in Cleveland in 1978 is that it is possible to stand up; and you may pay a price, but what is the most important thing in life is the triumph of principle; and nothing, no high office, no monuments, no false praise from media working against the public interest, is a substitute for being at peace and one with integrity.

TRUTHDIG: Thanks for shedding light on this; because when you read encapsulations of your public career, you usually only read that you ended your mayorship in controversy.

KUCINICH: When people look at the issue of default and they connect it with my name, they should also connect with my name a “Not for Sale” sign. They should connect with my name the essence of public power.



*Truthdig interviewer Joshua Scheer worked as an entry-level staffer on Kucinich’s state Senate campaign and was later a summer associate in his congressional office. In this weekly interview series, Rep. Kucinich gives his take on the goings-on in Congress in the wake of the Democrats’ victory and addresses other matters.


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By Greg Cieslik, July 31, 2007 at 10:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lawrence,

If you look at JUST the time period Dennis was in office as mayor of Cleveland, you may assume that he was a poor mayor. However, had he not had the foresight, Cleveland citizens would be out millions of dollars - and would still be paying to this day. Time vindicated Dennis.

And as far as your slanderous comment that Dennis is inept because of a lack of passage of bills - well, couldn’t that comment just as well show the need for a paradigm change in congress? That is exactly what Dennis is fighting for - an effort to move Washington away from politicos and those in bed with corporations. How can one man combat a house full of politicos? As a congressman, he can’t. As president, he will - and that’s why he as my vote.

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By Lawrence J. McDonald, May 22, 2007 at 8:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ruth,
you need to vote for kucinich. i’m not interested in continuing this conversation. if kucinich’s actual political history, including his disastrous single term as mayor of cleveland and his zero accomplishments in the House of Representatives (not a single bill that he authored ever became law) isn’t enough to convince you of your hero’s ineptitude, then nothing will. good luck.

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By Ruth, May 18, 2007 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lawrence, we have provided you with facts and links.  Yet, you still continue to provide your false statements about Dennis and to attack those of us who are on top of the facts. 

What is your purpose in being here?  It is not to persuade the informed Kucinich supporters of your position. One thing you will discover about Kucinich supporters is that we are backing him because facts matter to us.  While other candidates say one thing and do another, Dennis always keeps his promises and always backs the will of the people.

The facts discredit your accusations about Dennis.  Are you hoping uninformed people will wander here from elsewhere and fall for your ridiculous accusations about Dennis?

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By Lawrence J. McDonald, April 27, 2007 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

hi linda,
if you can provide this forun with some factual evidence that I have “meared”, or otherwise spread falsehoods about Rep.Dennis Kucinich(D-OH), his political history or his legislative record, you should do so. Otherwise, others might get the impression that you’re just an idealogue; that your idealism of your candidate prevents you from accepting the provable evidence associated with the life and political history of the six-term congressman. My congressman.

If you don’t know your history, you’re doomed to repeat it.

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By Linda, April 26, 2007 at 6:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well Lawerence

You sound like the people that one can sell the Brooklyn Bridge to you for several million dollars and you will buy it. Try to wake up and smell the real coffee!!!

Just because Kucinich refuses to be in the corporate pocket… you have no right to try to smear him. He is the most honest man in government yet.

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By Ruth, April 8, 2007 at 12:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lawrence, we know the neo-con corporations don’t like Dennis because he refuses to sell out the people for the corporations.  That’s part of what makes him so honorable.

It was the people and local leaders of Cleveland who declared Dennis a national hero for saving the people of Cleveland hundreds of millions of dollars.  He can be mayor of my city anytime.  I like the idea of having a mayor who will save me money.

One of a long list of articles that mentions that”...local leaders said he had saved city residents hundreds of millions of dollars in bills by refusing to sell the utility,” was published in the New York Times, http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE7DD113FF937A25753C1A9659C8B63

We know that the neo-con corporations are financing the three candidates you like.  Perhaps you are working for one of the neo-con corporations that have looted the American economy.  That might be why you don’t want Dennis to save the American people trillions of dollars.  He is the only candidate who will save us money instead of helping the looters.

As an American taxpayer, I want a President like Dennis, who will save the American people those trillions of dollars.  I’m also looking forward to seeing the looters pay up.

Dennis is the most honorable leader who has ever walked the halls of Congress.  Stop spreading lies about this great man.

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By Lawrence J. McDonald, April 7, 2007 at 10:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The 1999 book “The American Mayor” by Melvin G. Holli, ranked Kucinich the 7th worst mayor in the nation’s long history. Here’s an exerpt:

“Only thirty-one years old when elected, Cleveland’s “boy mayor” had failings that were not the sins of venality or graft for personal gain, but rather matters of style, temperament, and bad judgment in office. Kucinich earned seventh place the hard way: by his abrasive, intemperate, and chaotic administration. He barely survived a recall vote just ten months in office, then disappeared for five weeks, reportedly recuperating from an ulcer. When he got back into the political fray, his demagogic rhetoric and slash-and-burn political style got him into serious trouble when he stubbornly refused to compromise and led Cleveland into financial default in late 1978 - the first major city to default since the Great Depression. That led also to Kucinich’s defeat and exit from executive office. Out of office, he dabbled in a Hollywoodesque spirit world and once believed that he had met Shirley MacLaine in a previous life, seemingly confirming his critics’ charges that he was a “nutcake.” After that, he experienced downward mobility, losing races for several other offices and finally ending up with a council seat; but more recently, he climbed back up to a seat in Congress. Bad judgment, demagoguery, and default also spelled political failure in the eyes of twenty-five of our experts, who ranked Dennis, whom the press called “Dennis the Menace”, as seventh-worst”.

This survey spanned mayors in the United States between 1820 and 1993. Notching the “7th Worst” slot was a serious accomplishment.

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By Alex, April 6, 2007 at 12:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lawrence, your fabrication about Kucinich comes across as delusional.  Dennis is always ready to speak with the public and answer any questions the public has.  This is what sets him apart from Edwards, Richardson and Obama, three politicians who have to hide their positions from the public.  Dennis is very Presidential.

Edwards voted one way and now pretends he supports the opposite of his own record.  That’s not Presidential.  That’s dishonest or wishy-washy.  Edwards’s pet project now is getting us into a war with Iran.  That’s even stupider than his co-authorship of the war.  Edwards 37% support for the environment means he won’t get the vote of most Californians and young Americans.

Richardson has spoken publicly in support of war with Iraq and Iran and in favor of the Patriot Act.  Now he wants everyone to shut up so no one will know where he stands.  That’s not Presidential either.

Obama got where he is by using the dirtiest of tricks to knock out his opponent.  Check how he won this other elections.  The guy even deserts his friends when they become homeless.  His 20 votes for war make him pro-war, not anti-war. That’s not Presidential.  I don’t want to say what that is. 

I’m voting my first vote for Kucinich and that makes me proud.

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By Ruth, April 6, 2007 at 11:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry Lawrence, your information about Dennis comes across as completely bogus.  I do not believe you know Dennis at all.  That is how off base your information is.  I believe one of the three candidates you mentioned sent you here to present a false picture of Dennis.  Those of us, who know Dennis, know that your claims about him couldn’t be further from the truth.

First, Dennis regularly presents himself to public scrutiny.  He speaks in Cleveland and all across America to crowds of people and eagerly answers any question asked.  He provides complete and honest answers to all questions as he doesn’t have anything to hide.  This can be frightening to the other candidates, who have to speak in generalities.

I do not believe Edwards, Richardson or Obama are qualified to be President.  Edwards and Richardson were fooled by Bush and eagerly backed the war and the Patriot Act, though Richardson just did so with his rhetoric.

Edwards is so wishy-washy, no one can figure out from one day to the next what his position on any particular issue will be.  His positions changes as his audience changes.  I recall seeing Edwards in one of his more honest days when he was booed by the members of the California Democratic Party for standing up and saying that security was more important than freedom or peace.  He was admittedly a co-sponsor of the war and also pushed through the Patriot Act.  For the damage done by both, Edwards should be ashamed.

Obama voted 20 times in support of the war and then lied by pretending to be an antiwar candidate.  He is to the right of Hillary Clinton in his voting record.

Today, someone sent me a link to a site about how Obama uses dirty, underhanded tactics to go after his opponents.  It is at: http://politicallyingliars.blogspot.com

I must say that I am not surprised to see people here spreading false information about Dennis.  Dennis’s supporters will not believe the false information because they know that Dennis is the most open, honest, trustworthy candidate in the history of this country.

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By Ruth, April 6, 2007 at 2:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry Lawrence, your information about Dennis comes across as completely bogus.  I do not believe you know Dennis at all.  That is how off base your information is.  I believe one of the three candidates you mentioned sent you here to present a false picture of Dennis.  Those of us, who know Dennis, know that your claims about him couldn’t be further from the truth.

First, Dennis regularly presents himself to public scrutiny.  He speaks in Cleveland and all across America to crowds of people and eagerly answers any question asked.  He provides complete and honest answers to all questions as he doesn’t have anything to hide.  This can be frightening to the other candidates, who have to speak in generalities.

I do not believe Edwards, Richardson or Obama are qualified to be President.  Edwards and Richardson were fooled by Bush and eagerly backed the war and the Patriot Act, though Richardson just did so with his rhetoric.

Edwards is so wishy-washy, no one can figure out from one day to the next what his position on any particular issue will be.  His positions changes as his audience changes.  I recall seeing Edwards in one of his more honest days when he was booed by the members of the California Democratic Party for standing up and saying that security was more important than freedom or peace.  He was admittedly a co-sponsor of the war and also pushed through the Patriot Act.  For the damage done by both, Edwards should be ashamed.

Obama voted 20 times in support of the war and then lied by pretending to be an antiwar candidate.  He is to the right of Hillary Clinton in his voting record.

Today, someone sent me a link to a site about how Obama uses dirty, underhanded tactics to go after his opponents.  It is at: http://politicallyingliars.blogspot.com

I must say that I am not surprised to see people here spreading false information about Dennis.  Dennis’s supporters will not believe the false information because they know that Dennis is the most open, honest, trustworthy candidate they will ever find.

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By Lawrence J. McDonald, April 5, 2007 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ruth,
I’ve never made a “misportrayal” of Dennis Kucinich. If there’s anyone whose “misportrayed” Dennis J. Kucinich over the years, it’s Kucinich himself. My interest in other Democratic candidates has nothing to do with Kucinich either. It’s my opinion that Edwards, Richardson, and Obama are quality people who, I believe, would be fine presidents. I don’t believe Dennis Kucinich is anywhere near as qualified or competent as those three gentlemen.

Dennis is not the “honest” politician that his small band of supporters have convinced themselves he is. Don’t forget, Ruth, I’ve known Kucinich for 45 years. We’re exactly the same age (60) so I have an edge on you and his other fans.

His recent ranting about the other Dem candidates cancelling out on the FoxNews-sponsored presidential candidate debate/forum caused a stir here (Cleveland). Kucinich was quoted as saying: “it’s an insult to the voters, and the height of cynicism, for candidates to refuse to take the public stage and subject themselves to public scrutiny.” Interesting comment from Kucinich given the FACT that your hero has REFUSED to debate every single challenger to his House seat in every single election campaign since he took office in January, 1997. That’s a FACT, Ruth. Trust me, Dennis Kucinich is not the shining knight that you’ve, obviouslt, convinced yourself that he is.

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By ae, April 5, 2007 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I like that one, Ruth!

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By Ruth, April 5, 2007 at 2:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lawrence, how does your misportrayal of Kucinich help Obama or Edwards or Richardson?  I’ve seen at least one of those candidates use some pretty dirty tricks in his past elections.  Were you part of that?

One of the reason I like Dennis is that he encourages his supporers to be honest.  I am really getting tired of dirty politics from the other candidates.  The only reason I still care at all about politics is that I believe an honest candidate like Dennis can be elected President.

It’s nice to see that Dennis has the support of so many Natashas.  I personally know at least two other Natashas who are backing Dennis.  At first, I thought you might be a Natasha I know, but I asked her and she said it was a different Natasha. It is great to see more and more individuals backing Dennis for President.  I think he is really going to win this time.

I like that idea about promoting Dennis in the signature of emails.

How about this?  “Why settle for less when you can have the best, Kucinich for President, 2008.”

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By Lawrence J. McDonald, April 2, 2007 at 9:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ruth,
I haven’t settled on one Democratic candidate yet but Bill Richardson, Barack Obama, and John Edwards are three who I like so far.

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By Natasha, April 1, 2007 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here’s a tip about getting the word out (as well as sending articles like this to your mailing lists):  Use your SIGNATURE on your email to advertise him instead of your info (or both).  Writea catchy phrase and provide at least one good link.  You won’t even be thinking about it and the clerk at the electric company will get the message. 

Right now, though, my sig is for something more important.  Here is my sig: 
************
WE PREVENTED THE OCTOBER SURPRISE,

Now Talk! Write! Blog! Call! Spread the News to PREVENT OPERATION BITE:

OPERATION BITE:  US Military Plans Airstrike On Iran on April 6, 2007, 4AM till 4PM.

DO SOMETHING!!!

****************
I’m sure Dennis would be pleased to help out with that as well.  BTW if they don’t do it then, next scheduled date is April 16-17 so we have to really get the news out.

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By Ruth, March 28, 2007 at 12:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lawrence, which of his Democratic opponents are you backing?  From your post, it is clear you are with a different candidate.  Which one?

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By Lawrence McDonald, March 27, 2007 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No, Ruth, I’m not a Republican. Been a Democrat all my life. I’ve known Dennis Kucinich longer than the majority of his supporters have been alive. My information is correct.

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By Ruth, March 27, 2007 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lawrence, since your information about Kucinich is incorrect, it seems to me that you have an ax to grind.  Who are you supporting for President? What is your real agenda here?

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By Lawrence J. McDonald, March 27, 2007 at 5:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ruth,
Firsty, I never said that I supported Dovilla or any of the other challengers to Kucinich over the years. My point is that Kucinich has NEVER debated Any of the men and women who challenged him in primary and general elections since he was elected to Congress. He’s been criticized throughout his tenure by the Cleveland Plain Dealer for avoiding public debates with his challengers.

Kucinich’s national supporters are always citing his unusual honesty and integrity when defending or promoting his candidacy for president. If Kucinich is going to condemn his fellow candidates for “insulting” the voters by refusing to participate in a public debate forum, than the congressman must answer why he, apparently, feels he hasn’t “insulted” the voters of Ohio’s 10th congressional district by NEVER debating ANY of of his opponents during his 10-year congressional career.

He’s being a hypocrite; pure and simple. Unless, of course, there are different standards for Dennis J. Kucinich than there are for everyone else. Is that your assessment?

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By Bob Caffrey, March 27, 2007 at 12:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dennis talked the talk and walked the walk back in the late 70’s. When he did not sell out to special interest groups over Muny Lite (power to the people). Why has he sold out to a special interest group the Democratic National Commitee on the issue of abortion. If he was truly a man of integrity he would have told them all to go pound salt let him be a viable candidate for President as one opposed to this murderous plot against the voiceless. Smoke and mirrors he is no different than the rest. “What is Truth”. I pray that you haven’t forgotten where you really came from….

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By Ruth, March 25, 2007 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mike Dovilla ran an inflammatory campaign aimed at terrorizing the people of Cleveland into voting for him out of fear.  The fact that you would back that kind of person makes me question your credibility, Lawrence.

Dennis ran a quality campaign based on truth and peace.

Dovilla was not interested in an honest debate.  Dovilla was just interested in flashing pictures of Osama Bin Laden around. 

Any claims by Dovilla lack any credibility.  Dennis made a great many appearances before his constituents.  Dennis is always open to honest debate.

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By Roger Ault, March 24, 2007 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rather than another new department, a Peace Department - why not rename the current Defense Department (formerly the War Department) as the ‘Peace Department’?  Afterall isn’t that the purpose of American sponsored war - to make Peace!

This would really get the nation’s attention!

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By Lawrence J. McDonald, March 24, 2007 at 7:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kucinich’s has refused to debate his last three congressional opponents for various “reasons”: He wouldn’t meet with Ed Herman (R) because, he said, the City Club of Cleveland, located in downtown Cleveland, was outside his district and his “policy” was not to debate opponents outside his district. Apparently, his “policy” did not include appearances for his then-failed presidential campaign because one week prior the City Club forum, he gave a speech to supporters in Bellefontaine, Washington, some 2000 miles from his district.
He snubbed Barbara Ferris at another scheduled City Club debate; telling her, the City Club, and the voters that, due to a “scheduling conflict”, he was unable to meet Ms. Ferris. He had scheduled a veterans summit in his Lakewood office and could not participate. Ferris was so infuriated that she stormed Kucinich’s “summit”, accompanied by a local TV crew, and challenged Him to a debate right there. Of course, he refused.
Mike Dovilla (R)was stood up twice by Kucinich: the first time, again, at a City Club forum and the next week, he failed to show at a League of Womens Voters (LWV)conference, scheduled at Cuyahoga Community College. Again, “scheduling conflicts” were his stated reasons for insulting the gathered voters.
You can support and Dennis Kucinich if you feel compelled to do so but, I assure you, Kucinich’s track record, when it comes to debating congressional challengers, is abysmal.
He stood up Mike Dovilla(R)

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By ae, March 23, 2007 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lawrence,
  Do you recall if Dennis ever stated his reason for not debating those candidates?  He debated in the 2004 Democratic primary race.
  Also, do you, Lawrence, think Dennis Kucinich is the best candidate available who is running for the Democratic Presidential nomination?
  For what do you think people attempted to ridicule Dennis?  As I see it, those who have attempted to ridicule him, have succeeded only in making their selves ridiculous.

  Lawrence, I am curious if you are pro war or pro peace, as a way of life.

Thank you.

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By Ruth, March 23, 2007 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s nice to see that his Republican opponents are still running their campaign of disinformation. 

I happen to know that Dennis has frequently had appearances in his district as I have received notice of those events but was unable to attend because of the distance.

I saw the nonsense that Dovilla was circulating about Dennis.  Dovilla used falsehoods and lies to spread his message.  The people in Dennis’s district knew the truth.  That is why Dennis received a landslide, as usual, in his Congressional election.

I think it is time for the campaign of lies against Dennis to end.  Dennis is the most open member of Congress.  He is always open to questions and completely honest in his dealing with his constituents and with everyone.  That is why America loves Kucinich.

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By Lawrence J. McDonald, March 23, 2007 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear “Ruth” and “AE”

Kucinich has refused to debate every challenger to his congressional seat since he was first elected to congress in 1996.

The last three opponents who he refused to debate have been Ed Herman (R), Barbara Ferris (I), and Mike Dovilla (R). Kucinich has been criticized locally for years for “hiding” from his opponents in editorials by The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest newspaper but to no avail. In fact, he hasn’t made a personal appearance in his district in four (4) years. He may be the darling of progressives in some quarters but he’s become a target of dericion and jokes within his district, for years. He’s become extremely unpopular and some prominent local Dems are planning on challenging him for his seat. His days are definetely numbered here.

Lawrence McDonald
Fairview Park, OH

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By Ruth, March 23, 2007 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dennis Kucinich is happy to debate and let the public know where he stands on the issues at all opportunities.  The other Presidential candidates are running from debates because they know they lack Kucinich’s debating skills.

Dennis has an advantage over all other candidates.  He is open and honest and always wants the public to know all of the truth.  If you see the other candidates, you notice they speak in generalities because they don’t dare tell the truth about their pro-war positions.

I am very proud that I will be voting for Kucinich for President next year.

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By ae, March 22, 2007 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lawrence,
  I am curious who has challenged Dennis to a debate during a Congressional campaign.

  Also, do you think Dennis Kucinich is the best candidate available who is running for the Democratic nomination?

Thank you.

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By Lawrence McDonald, March 22, 2007 at 3:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dennis Kucinich is upset at the cancellation of a FoxNewsChannel-sponsored presidential candidate debate scheduled for this August (“Kucinich says debate skippers are scaredy cats”, P.D. 03/12/07). Apparently, some prominent Nevada Democrats and several presidential candidates have forced the cancellation of an August presidential candidate debate, sponsored by Fox News because, they feel that, the conservative cable news channel is biased. Kucinich says that “it’s an insult to the voters, and the height of cynicism, for candidates to refuse to take the public stage and subject themselves to public scrutiny.”

High-minded rhetoric from a guy who has refused to debate any challenger since he was elected to Congress. The last congressional debate in which Kucinich participated was in 1996 when Rep.Martin Hoke, the then-incumbent , agreed to debate him, the challenger, at the prestigious City Club of Cleveland. Apparently, the congressman has had no trouble insulting the voters in all the years he’s been the incumbent.   

Kucinich now asserts that “The public deserves honest, open, and fair public debate”. Only time will tell if the self-righteous politician lives up to his new standards and agrees to publicly debate any and all future political opponents when so challenged. Unfortunately, given his past record, the chances of that happening are slim and none; and slim has left the building.


Lawrence J. McDonald
20201 Lorain Rd. #910
Fairview Park, OH 44126
440-356-2358

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By Lawrence J. McDonald, March 15, 2007 at 7:55 am Link to this comment
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The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Kucinich’s bill comes due

Monday, March 12, 2007

Three years after the fact, the Federal Election Commission has made official what almost everyone except Dennis Kucinich knew about his 2004 presidential campaign: It went on way too long.

The FEC has billed Kucinich for $137,358 in taxpayer-generated campaign funds that its auditors say he misspent. Because Kucinich got so few primary votes, the FEC says he could use matching funds after March 4, 2004, only to shut down his campaign. Instead, Kucinich kept right on running - if you choose to call it that - until just before the Democratic convention in late July.

Kucinich’s campaign treasurer, Columbus lawyer Donald Mc- Tigue, concedes that his man kept going after he was ineligible for new federal dollars, but that the frugal Clevelander was simply spending money he had already received. He says Kucinich was determined to keep his anti-war message alive. No doubt he was. But on whose dime?

© 2007 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission

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By ae, February 12, 2007 at 2:52 am Link to this comment
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Dennis Kucinich is an eloquent idealistic Congressman.

After hearing him speak in our community, I voted for him in the 2004 Democratic primary.

Dennis has shown throughout his service as Mayor of Cleveland and as a United States Congressman, how a good representative stands up for people, regardless of corrupt political and big money opposition to a strong ethical stand.

We need somebody in the White House who is an honest person, backed by honest people.

We need someone who has always stood up for the rights of all Americans, and who is prepared to speak truth when facing a troublesome, potentially dangerous situation.

Our economy must be based on peaceful, sustainable, and free markets, not on forced sales of weapons of mass destruction.

The war criminals occupying the Oval Office profit monetarily from sales and construction of war supplies, and also by theft of resources from murdered citizens of our home, planet Earth.

This is not something we can afford to be apathetic about, or treat as a joke. 
Insidiously evil monetary profits have been destroying our economy, our ecosystem, the lives of ourselves and fellow citizens.

Young people have, in many cases enrolled in the military via a coercive recruitment, then treated as U.S. Government Property, literally.

If Kucinich cared about opinion polls as so called, “career politicians”, do, he would not have consistently voted against the Iraq war. He would not have a history of speaking his ideals.

He has the distinction of having the majority of public opinion slowly come around TO HIS VIEWPOINT. Not the other way. This is because he has been an ethically upstanding American Patriot all along.

Anyone with any sense that is aware of this Honorable Congressman from Ohio will stand by him in his race for the highest public office in the United States.

If it had not been for a media black-out, Congressman Kucinich would likely have had the 2004 Democratic nomination.  Until reporters were literally ordered not to cover, on the highly suspect premise of “unelectability” he was tied with Howard Dean as the front-runner.

When occasionally characterized as comical rather than eloquent, I ask, “Is someone on the payroll of a “Rethuglican” think tank, or is their sense of what is funny simply broken?”

If you want to know what Congressman Dennis Kucinich stands for besides ending illegal wars, please use a moment of your time to visit http://kucinich.us/issues

Dennis Kucinich explains simply and eloquently, his stand on issues.

His Top Ten Key Issues

1. Universal Health Care for all Americans
2. International Cooperation: US out of Iraq, United Nations in. (If Democratic Iraqi citizens desire U.N. peacekeepers present once Executive orders bring our soldiers home peacefully.)
3. Jobs for all who want them + U.S. Withdrawal from NAFTA and WTO
4. Repeal of the so called, “Patriot Act”
5. Guaranteed Quality Education, Pre-K Through College
6. Full Social Security Benefits at Age 65
7. Right-to-Choose, Privacy, and Civil Rights
8. Balance Between Workers and Corporations
9. Environmental Renewal and Clean Energy
10. Restored Rural Communities and Family Farms

See his page to find out where he stands on any issue.

I firmly believe his plans and ideals are exactly what this United States needs!

To see his announcement of candidacy, where he explains why he is running, go to http://kucinich.us/node/728

Wishing you all the best: that we all work together realizing a dream of a world that we all enjoy life upon.

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By Lawrence J. McDonald, February 1, 2007 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment
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In 1999, Melvin G. Holli wrote: “The American Mayor: The Best and the Worst Big-City Leaders”, the definitive analysis and ranking of the best and worst big-city American mayors since 1820. An outgrowth of “The Biographical Dictionary of American Mayors, 1820-1980, Mr. Holli’s compilation is widely recognized by scholars and academics as the best single source for comparing big-city American mayoral administrations throughout our nation’s history. Needing just a single term in office, Dennis J. Kucinich managed to be recognized as the “seventh-worst” big-city mayor in the entire history of the United States of America.

Here’s an excerpt of what Professor Holli said of Kucinich;
“Next, and seventh, is Cleveland’s Dennis Kucinich (1977-1979). Only thirty-one years old when elected, Cleveland’s “boy” mayor had failings that were not the sins of venality or graft for personal gain, but matters of style, temperment, and bad judgement in office. Kucinich earned seventh worse the hard way; by his abrasive, intemperate, and confrontational populist political style, which led to a disorderly and chaotic administration. He barely survived a recall vote just ten months into office, then just disappeared for five weeks, reportedly recovering from an ulcer. When he got back into the political fray, his demagogic rhetoric and slash-and-burn political style got him into serious trouble when he stubbornly refused to compromise and led Cleveland into financial default in late 1978 - the first major city to default since the Great Depression. That led also to Kucinich’s defeat and exit from executive office. Out of office, he dabbled in a Hollywoodesqe spirit world and once believed he had met actress Shirley MacLaine in a previous life, seemingly confirming his critics’ charges that he was a ‘nut-cake’. After that, he experienced downward mobility, losing races for several offices and finally ending up with a council seat; but more recently, he climbed back to a seat in Congress. Bad judgement, demagogery, and default also spelled ‘failure’ in the eyes of twenty-five of our experts, who ranked Dennis, whom the press called ‘the Menace’, as seventh-worst mayor in the history of the United States.”

This appraisal was not written by a vengeful political opponent; a hostile bank or corporate tycoon; or a conservative newspaper editor just out to smear or destroy Kucinich’s reputation. Not hardly. It’s author is a fair-minded, objective, highly-respected academic whose sole purpose was to research and write (along with 69 contributors) a scholarly comparative analysis of the administrative abilities of big-city American mayors. Furthermore, it was published by the highly-respected Penn State University Press.

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By jane, February 1, 2007 at 4:12 am Link to this comment
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Even if what you say about Dennis is true, Dennis has talked about the spiritual awakening he experienced in the interim of many years when he had problems surviving due to inability to get a job as no one would hire him.

He certainly is against this war and has been from the start and backed it up with not voting for funding of it.

I have attended at least 15 speeches and Dennis treats everyone with respect.  I saw him once speak at a very poor, graffiti ridden black area of Cincinnati at a homeless shelter center and speak with black Americans, the time he took with each of their questions (running far over the time for his next speaking engagement) and the deep concern and look of concern for an older black woman worried she’s lose her home were extremely apparent.  He went right up to each and looked with interest into their eyes and with intense focus on what they said.  Regardless of how you perceive he felt back then, he certainly cares for minorities now.

Most people do grow in maturity and wisdom with age…few of us are the same people we were in our youth.  I am proud to be a Kucinich supporter.

I, too, was in Washington for the protest.  Dennis’ speech can be found by going to youtube and typing Dennis Kucinich January 27, 2007 in the search.

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By CJ, January 29, 2007 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment
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Dear Dennis,

I personally contributed hard-earned funds to your last campaign. Not because you fully represent my politics, but because you were (and remain) the best alternative. I then watched, at some point in 1984 (whoops) 2004, Chris Matthews do a Hardass number on you. It was typical Matthews-ugly.

Therefore, as one not from Cleveland, I offer some advice: Come over (please) as less of a pie-in-the-sky, idealistic liberal, lest the media sharks cut you to pieces, as Matthews did that evening. (Recall what media did to Dean, who wimped out instead of fighting back.) You seem a little wild-eyed and harebrained in media appearances. I, and most readers at this site, know of your good intentions, but America at large thinks you’re a liberal loon—interesting but not to be taken seriously. Simply running losing campaigns does no one any good. Seriously, Dennis, you’re not going to win beauty/personality contests. Edwards is all over ya on those counts, while Hillary is all over ya on other counts. You’ve nothing to lose in becoming seriously aggressive, taking on pretenders in no uncertain terms. Call ‘em out on their votes to go to war, Hillary on her dismal attempt way back when to devise a plan to provide healthcare to ALL Americans. Bring up the long-forgotten meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, when she met with insurance company execs. Insist on time to spell out how you plan to get passed single-payer healthcare, how you plan to get past the insurance lobby. Don’t be Mr. Nice when appearing on Hardball or anywhere else; give Matthews as good as he doles out. Media lightweights like Matthews are taken seriously in this culture. Don’t THANK Chris—ever! As though you’re in his debt for having allowed you to appear. You’re the candidate, not him! In short, don’t come over as a pansy-ass as you did in 04. We know you aren’t, but America thinks you are, since you come over as one in media. It takes a lot to get Americans’ attention. Since you have nothing to lose, get NASTY, man! Deal a few body blows to Dem opponents. C’mon! And make an appeal to those who used to be the Democrats base: labor, women and minorities, instead of to Birkenstock/Hollywood liberals, who though they can provide lots of money can never deliver enough votes. You could win the election if you would but appeal to those who rarely vote, to those Americans who are leading lives of quiet desperation. Your real opponent is Edwards, who is doing fairly well in appealing to lower-class Americans, and who, let’s face it, looks great and is a hellacious stump-speaker.

And for cryin’ out loud, take a serious position vis-à-vis Israel, long as you’re running, long as you’re laying claim to being a man interested in social justice, and long as you keep emailing me asking for contributions. Otherwise, speaking as a guy spit out by corporate America, funds are precious and I got none to give a campaign again on the verge of losing.

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By Tommy Higginbotham, January 29, 2007 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment
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Re: 1/29/07 L. J. Mcdonald.
Well now, this is most interesting…and only one day after I asked ‘...what do we really know?’.
Now I, and hopefully others, must really dig a lot further. Not that I am disparaging the man in question; rather, let’s do it before we ‘all get fooled again.’
I just re-read a lot of the comments here again before hitting ‘submit’.
Sigh. So many sheep, such little time left to get our country back. Comparing this man to our countries greatest without knowing anything but the above interview and/or that he stood up to controlling forces. I do admire that…and his record in DC, also.
Truth is always recorded as what is believed by the populace at the time it happened.
I am a vietnam vet; so what? I cling by my fingernails to the belief that my country is ‘the land of the free’.:
The massacre of the American People [Indians] was wrong. Now they don’t even know their own languages.
The enslavement of Africans was wrong. It took almost a hundred years for them to vote down here.
We hung the proud ones that would dare to even look us in the eye.
Vietnam was wrong. Macnamara even admitted that! Iraq was/is a lie. And my brothers, black and white and red still die for something that country does not believe in.
We justifibly went in to Afghanistan…only to turn at the moment we spied Ben L. [figure that out Hon. Mr. Kucinich, it’s really very easy…if one knows what’s really going one…clue:it’s not oil]
Persia is a beautiful country with beautiful people. We will soon justify the destruction of them, too. Watch out China [N.Korea hasn’t to worry yet…we are working on China to get that done].
And Syria; and then Lebonan; the supplier of the tinber for King Soloman’s palace.
What do you people want anyway? The destruction of everyone because you believe yourself superior?
Well, I may be jumping ship soon, and all my many many friends with me. I want answers Now…not during the primaries or somewhere after the ‘party selection’.
What a joke we all are.
Thomas J. must be drinking very heavily at this point. I know some of his brown children are!

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By Lawrence J. McDonald, January 29, 2007 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
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Two of the more celebrated speakers at last Saturday’s anti-Iraq war rall in Washington were Jane Fonda and Dennis Kucinich. Ms. Fonda remarked that it was the first antiwar rally that she had participated in in 34 years. From 1969 to 1973, Fonda was one of the highest profile activista against Richard Nixon and the Vietnam war. She was also an advocate for native-american rights as well as a supporter of Huey Newton and the Black Panthers.

Dennis Kucinich’s activities 34 years ago were drastically different: In the early 70’s,  Kucinich was candidate a Cleveland city council seat who resorted to some pretty racist tactics against his opponents. Kucinch handed out campaign literature featuring a photo of Black City Council President George Forbes leering at one of Kucinch’s white female opponents with the title “What’s Going on Here?” As the Cleveland Plain Dealer describes, “It showed a lascivious-looking picture of Forbes gazing at a picture of Mary Rose Oakar, who is white”. According to accounts in the Plain Dealer, it said Oakar was a pawn of Forbes and elements “east of the river,” a reference to Blacks and the racial dividing line of the Cuyahoga River.” In fact, Kucinich regularly attacked white politicians who supported Blacks in office as “puppets.” In 1974, Kucinich criticized political rival Ron Mott for voting in favor of instituting Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a legal holiday.

This may be a shock to Kucinich’s current supporters but, sadly, it’s very true. It should also be noted that Kucinich, although a very public official, never publicly expressed any dissatisfaction or anger about the Vietnam war in those days. The war was not on his radar screen then. He obtained a medical deferment for a heart condition and was classified 4-F. Funny, that heart condition never seemed to affect his ability to run for office TWENTY-FOUR different times.

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By Thomas Higginbotham, January 29, 2007 at 2:41 am Link to this comment
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I am stilling following this thread and wonder if Dennis does the same. I still need to follow up on some of the other strings listed to read & watch & digest before deciding.
My question:
Is Mr. Kucinich our man for the job? Some here say yes; some say no. And how can we ever truly know, anyway; [we have all been let down so many times before]? Does he [do you] understand the underlying cause/aims of the real power [s] that are destroying this country for their personal greed and do you feel you can actually buck that all-powerful group of ten that own almost everything? [Yes,it can be done…but most of the ones who’ve tried are not with us now!].
My long, two-part, [and very true] comment of earlier was written for the reason of pointing out that most of those who are our ‘leaders’ do not ever get the opportunity to talk to the real people that truly drive the spirit of change…and yes, some of them are also very wrongheaded but only feel that something, anything[!], must be done, not only here…but everywhere!
Can you lay down a program of true reform that the mass of sheep will follow? I am just so tired of lip service but do understand that you stood up to a local, yet major, machine.
I do hope that at least a few will respond to my question [s]...and perchance Mr. Kucinich himself will too.
{Things are coming to a head…EVERYWHERE!.}
If you do read this please tell an old friend ‘hi’. That would be the Hon. Roger Wicker, Rep., state of Ms.
I will be waiting and will soon post again.
Thank you,
Thomas Higginbotham
‘Those who are not part of the Solution are part of the Problem.’[-Eldridge Cleaver, 1935]

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By Lefty, January 28, 2007 at 9:19 am Link to this comment
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Re: Comment #49412 by colbert2422 on 1/24 at 9:16 am

“Dennis is collateral damage in the BIG war between Rome and Jerusalem for control of the US.

“We picked up Rome’s war in Vietnam from the French, who had done Rome’s fighting there since the 1800s.

“We are now in Iraq fighting Jerusalem’s war, and soon will go to Iran, even if we have to shoot at our own ships to get an excuse.

“Some of the slugging is visible, as when Jerusalem uses the courts and the media to go after Rome’s Priests.

“In a pathetic attempt to retaliate, Fitzgerald (Rome) goes after Scooter (Jerusalem).

“Mahoney (Rome) escalates the Rome body count strategy, bringing in huge numbers of grunts from central America and Mexico, and builds a palace in Los Angeles. The new reconquista gets a big boost.

“Rome scored some points when Jerusalem used Wild Bill Donovan (Rome) to set up what is now the CIA. Many skirmishes between Rome and Jerusalem took place in the CIA, and are still going on, all through the intelligence community.

“Pelosi is a big win for Rome. Hoyer is Jerusalem’s major piece of the action. Murtha and Kucinich and Jarman are collateral damage.

“At least this is how it looks from the bleachers.”

William

EARTH TO WILLIAM: THAT TIN-FOIL BEANY IS ROTTING YOUR HEAD!

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By colbert2422, January 24, 2007 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
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Dennis is collateral damage in the BIG war between Rome and Jerusalem for control of the US.

We picked up Rome’s war in Vietnam from the French, who had done Rome’s fighting there since the 1800s.

We are now in Iraq fighting Jerusalem’s war, and soon will go to Iran, even if we have to shoot at our own ships to get an excuse.

Some of the slugging is visible, as when Jerusalem uses the courts and the media to go after Rome’s Priests.

In a pathetic attempt to retaliate, Fitzgerald (Rome) goes after Scooter (Jerusalem).

Mahoney (Rome) escalates the Rome body count strategy, bringing in huge numbers of grunts from central America and Mexico, and builds a palace in Los Angeles. The new reconquista gets a big boost.

Rome scored some points when Jerusalem used Wild Bill Donovan (Rome) to set up what is now the CIA. Many skirmishes between Rome and Jerusalem took place in the CIA, and are still going on, all through the intelligence community.

Pelosi is a big win for Rome. Hoyer is Jerusalem’s major piece of the action. Murtha and Kucinich and Jarman are collateral damage.

At least this is how it looks from the bleachers.

William

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By Lawrence J. McDonald, January 23, 2007 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
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Recently, Plain Dealer correspondent Sabrina Heaton reported that Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH-10) had been named chairman of the new House Government Reform and Oversight subcommittee on domestic policy (“Kucinich to chair domestic rreform panel”, 01/18/07). This new subcommittee will, apparently, investigate domestic issues like electric utilities, nuclear power plants, water safety, health care, media concentration, and government treatment of American Indians. After ten long years in the minority, Kucinich would finally chair a House subcommittee but, at the same time, the failed 2004 antiwar presidential candidate had to be devastated with the decision. 

Ever since the November elections, Kucinich and his supporters have (properly) assumed that he would be named chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats, and International Relations; a powerful subcommittee slated to investigate Bush administration officials and their roles in the disastrous Iraq war. As the ranking Democratic member, Kucinich was the likely successor to outgoing chairman Rep. Chris Shay (R-CT) and. was, apparently, anxious to begin. In a recent interview with Truthdig.com’s Joshua Scheer, the antiwar presidential candidate was already planning to hold hearings to get answers to “the questions about those who led us into war based on lies.” Without question, Kucinich was salivating at the prospect of grilling Bush administration officials about the war that he has condemned for years. And why not? Televised hearings on C-SPAN would be a major boon to his 2008 (fake) presidential campaign. His presidential stock would soar. Unfortunately (for him), House Speaker Nancy Pelossi (D-CA), doesn’t share his dream. 

So why was Kucinich passed over for the National Security (et al) subcommittee chairmanship? Was it because he had so publicly criticized party leaders for not cutting off future funding for the war? Or maybe because he disrespected the Dem’s 2004 presidential candidate, Senator John Kerrey, by continuing his own (fake) campaign for months after the senator clinched the party’s nomination? Or was it simply because Pelosi (et al) didn’t think Kucinich had the “chops” for such an important chairmanship? (Congress.com rates Kucinich #391 out of 435 Houses members, in terms of influence). Whatever the reason, Kucinich will be questioning utility and health care executives in front of a handful of observors, instead of grilling administration officials and top generals in front of C-SPAN’s national (and worldwide) viewers.

Poor Dennis. He’s become the Rodney Dangerfield of national politics.

Lawrence J. McDonald
Fairview Park, OH.

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By Tommy Burns Higginbotham, January 15, 2007 at 4:35 am Link to this comment
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....part 2….
for a month i waited every day for prayers to end in the taliban embassy so i could climb to the roof & microwave their insipide speeches live to the world. they could no more figure out how to tie their shoes…much less hi-jack 4 planes & ‘take out’ america. Wake the hell up America, your children need you more than ever now!
i flew over the stark mountains of afghanistan & into the refugee city of Kabul..to party for a month with UN workers [& locals & others] who hadn’t a clue how to spend 5 billion dollars; but first i had to spend a month in ‘viper city’ & swap stories with special forces & the tenth mountain army division of new york & the 101 & the 81st, & catch camel spiders to par off against the scorpions…for entertainment. and then learned we
were gonna get those damn terrorists…in baghdad!
holy f—king shee-ite! [so how does ben laden keep his blood filtered & the machine turned on?..LOL]
so then i flew to palistine to do a ‘death watch’ for the late great leader of their party & got to meet leiberman…and watched as the unmarked mazda drove by a few ‘daze’later with the israel soldiers…who stopped in the mystical square of ramallah…& got out & shot down 3 teenagers. well, only one died…the other 2 were taken to hospital trauma center..where the soldiers burst in & took them out & then calmly drove away.
the papers & the networks of freedom reported the next day that 3 more ‘terrorists of Hamas’ had been elimanated. [they were listed as terrorists because they had been caught outside their compound one nite…past their imposed 12 o’clock ‘curfew’, by the by. how wonderful our freedom protected them!
i left that beautiful ancient city finally, a feeling of emptiness for the human race in my heart, & headed for jordan…so i might forge the paperwork needed to get into kuwait with…so the equipment could then be mounted..& taken into baghdad…so you people could see live what freedom & democracy can really do!
once again i refused to go into that bomb torn country where our religions began [alas babylon! the city of Abraham, El & Ishtar. ancient city of light.]. although i did make forrays to the barbed wire ditches of the border [camp new york]
to uplink the…boxing matches for the army. in consession, i must say; most of those young guys had never personnally witnessed the earlier mess both sides made from the border crossing to the city in 92..or the firefight at midnight at the kuwait airport. or the day of ‘black monday’ when the U.S. embassy was ‘accidently’ blown up across the street as the skies suddenly darkened beyond a ‘black hell’ & rained oil & weird sh-t down at noon upon us as some officer went running and yelling ‘gas, gas, gas!’...& i found that someone had stolen my gas mask from my honda civic.
at camp NY, looking across that immense spanse of barren desert, i thought; ‘they soon will…and many here will soon die [back home, mothers & fathers will cry] & many will simply live out the rest of their rapidly aging lives in VA hospitals, having their bags changed every few hours…as their younger brothers go off to boot camp…to train themselves to ‘preserve our freedoms’ once more.
somebody do something and do it damn soon!

signed; Thomas Higginbotham, former Senior Field Engineer, CNN [and vietnam era vet & the proud son of a Marine from a brigade who raised a flag on Iwa Jima, semper fi, dad…wherever you are]

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By Tommy Burns Higginbotham, January 15, 2007 at 4:29 am Link to this comment
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where do i begin?  caveat emptor; this is NOT a list of corrections, it is merely one man’s story:
i was in england after just leaving pakistan when i heard about this ‘patriot act’ being voted for. i was telling a fellow american worker that it would cancel our constitution if voted for. and then he informed me that it had ALREADY passed!
the country I once fought for is now almost non-existant.
now, four years after returning from fourteen years in the mid-east & many other places I can no longer talk to many ‘fellow’americans who find my ideas…NON-american [oh mine god!].
they have been brain-washed so badly that they shout me down and ask me to refrain from my ‘radical’ ideas because i tell them this is not the ‘land of the free’ anymore.
they tell me that i don’t know anything of what is going on…even tho’i have been in almost every single minor and major conflict in the known world. but I don’t know what the hell is going on?

i worked for the upper etchelon for vietnam & saw my brothers being zipped up to be shipped home.
i was in moscow when it fell & saw old people being told they must ‘change’ for us & democracy.
i saw the tanks burning in kuwait in 92; the 10,000 lb. USAF bomb sticking nose first into the ground outside the border contol building as the mine sweepers cleared our path. smelled the dead bodies as we drove around the once proud city that the english separated from iraq in the forties.
i drove thru the bosnia alps from croatia to split thru seravo to tusla, dodging the mine fields & weeping at the sights of beautiful villages with nobody home; their roofs caved in from the ‘cleansing fires’ as my driver explained the meanings…& how he awoke one morning to go to his college but…a machine gun had taken out the back of his apartment & he became a freedom fighter for the next four years of his young life.
i listened to the drones of military bombers over- head in macedonia as i prepared to cross into kosovo & sat and drank with their freedom fighters as they cleaned their weapons & listened to Cher.
i crossed the great rift of ethiopia [one week after that revolt] to witness 60,000 starving refuges streaming across the barron border from somalia during the revolts of the warlords.
several months later…i paid ten thousand dollars
to a somolian warlord to not kill me as i unloaded my gear in mogadishu. a month later i celebrated new years morning watching from a roof as the US hellfire missles rained overhead into a warlord’s convoy just outside the city.
i sat enthralled one afternoon during a sniper attack and listened to the young U.S. officer tell me the story of the building that snipper was in & how
certain ‘people’ had given him orders not to blow the place up just after his party had found a huge cache of weapons in it. weapons that ‘mysteriously’ dissappeared the next week!
one year later i sat with the us army & marines special forces as a battle raged just over the hill & the wonderful irish chaplain played his guitar and sang in a heavenly tenor voice of the tales of ireland & war. & then we hopped onto an amphibious assault vehicle and were soon safe in the belly of the USS Bella Wood & off to Mombosa.
......end of part 1….

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By gary296, January 15, 2007 at 3:53 am Link to this comment
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The biggest issue for you Dennis to overcome is the corporate media!  There’s no doubt you are the educated people’s choice!  I stated before you need to be on left wing radio at least to help your campaign.  Even they aren’t giving you much of a chance. They say he’s a good or nice guy but can’t win. Prove them wrong!  I wish I had your courage.  Winterfire6 comment 44092 said it best of all comments before this.  I believe in you and truly hope you can win!  As I said in other comments, keep speaking the truth and eventually the DNC will either join you or endorse someone like you. Al Gore would win again, have him make you vice president if nothing else!  It’s a start!  And from there you could be president!

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By Bill Blackolive, January 13, 2007 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment
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Dennis, none of the Democrats address US military bases around the world, to begin. The crime of US history is 9/11. If you do not address this you will be forgotten. Start reading, get 9/11 AND AAMERICAN EMPIRE:INTELLECTUALS SPEAK OUT No skyscraper falls from fire ever in history.  Only controll by human demolition experts can fell one into its foundation.  You are a nice person but sleeping. Think about getting real.

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By Randall Ball, January 13, 2007 at 1:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How to get Dennis Kucinich elected?  Answer: Guerrilla Marketing!  Follow my story here.  I currently drive a taxicab part-time to pay my expenses so I can stay politically free to speak my truth to anyone, anytime, anywhere; as well as in control of my own hours - so I can serve my various causes (including the Kucinich campaign) on MY own time schedule.  In some ways cabbies are one of the last of the “rogue”, politically free, corporate rule – free, independent vocations.  If people don’t want to hear what I have to say, they can get out of my cab - right where we are, right here, right now!  No one gets to infringe on my “free speech” in MY cab.  I actually don’t abuse this power - I am just demonstrating what’s possible here.  Cab drivers interact with hundreds of people a week - most being among the most disaffected, disenchanted, and disenfranchised people in our society, while others are some of the highest level movers and shakers of society - on their way to and from the airport/hotels – corporate CEO’s, managers, consultants, lawyers, etc.  I particularly like having controversial, “no holes barred” conversations with this later group in MY cab where, like I said, they are “in my office” - I am not in theirs.  I know that many of these conversations actually end up making a difference with both of these constituencies - and they are highly informative for me as well.  Consider the Kucinich campaign focusing on creating cab drivers nationally as a political action group - armed with targeted information and campaign support materials.  Also include instructions on how to help these passengers organize the hundreds and thousands of similarly fed up people in those housing “projects” where they and often the drivers themselves live.  We may even be able to arm the inside of these driver’s cabs with stickers and signs; give the driver’s Kucinich campaign shirts and caps, and buy ads for the signs on top of the cabs, etc.  Besides, I understand that in many cities these cab drivers themselves are commonly from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Africa, etc. and may be inherently very enthusiastic about Dennis’ political stands.  MY OWN EXPERIENCE WITH THIS LATER GROUP OF TAXI PASSENGERS IS THAT THESE POOR PEOPLE – BOTH BLACK & WHITE - ARE VERY, VERY FED UP WITH GEORGE BUSH!  It will scare the political “powers that be” to death when Dennis starts winning the primaries - and the polls don’t even show it coming - these people in the “projects” are rarely “polled”.  Let focus on arming the “underbelly” of society with information and campaign materials and create a word of mouth “wild-fire” of support.  Consider how the book “The Celestine Prophesy” originally became a N.Y. Times Best Seller - through quiet, under the radar, word of mouth marketing - one enthusiastic reader at a time passing it on to their friends.  Let’s use this and other innovative guerrilla marketing ideas and other “secret” under the radar “scheme’s” (such as utilizing MLM networks) to create Dennis Kucinich as the “Leading Democratic Candidate”.  Let’s WIN THIS ELECTION THIS TIME and “TAKE BACK AMERICA from George Bush and the Corporate Moneyed Death Machines of Big Oil, Big Food & Big Agriculture, and both the Medical and Military Industrial Complexes!  By Randall T. Ball, former corporate medical product sales manager and marketing strategist.

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By Carl, January 3, 2007 at 12:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I lived in Cleveland when this happened.  Kucinich’s advisors were known as Kiddie City Hall, due to their young ages.  What has been kept from view is the fact that Muny Light did at the time furnish 20% of Cleveland’s power, but purchased 80% of that from CEI.  This means that Muny Light was only producing 4% of the city’s power.  And Mr. Kucinich deemed that acceptable.  He also stood up to an iron ore facility that located in Lorain county and produced many new jobs at the time.  After having lived through this debacle of a mayorship, I can tell people that he is NOT the sort we need.

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By colbert2422, January 2, 2007 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everything that would really make the average person better off could be folded into one positicsl economic project. As a start, GDP is a rough measure of income to everybody. The total wealth owned by persons is also an available number. Think in your own mind about linking the present and future wealth and income of legislators to the present and future wealth and income of the average person.

Use the same type of incentive systems used by the best-run corporations. The rich use them because they work.

There are projects that can greatly increase our income and wealth. They are well known, and recipes have been published in the peer-reviewed professional literature.

*** Our military spending alone, if just three percent of it had been invested in stocks since my grandfather was 30 years old, would have bought for the American public all the stock that is listed on all the stock exchanges in the world.

*** A permanent increase of one tenth of one percent in our economic growth rate would be worth two years’ gross income to every person in the United States.

*** A permanent decrease in average interest rates of the same one tenth of one percent would also be worth two years’ gross income to every person in the U.S.

*** A study has shown the just smoothing our economy would have 20 times the effect of the changes noted above.

This should give you an idea of the potential to do better, but it is only a tiny fraction of what is known to be possible.

If you would like to see more of the possibilities and the supporting material and authorities, this can be dug out from my web sites:

colbert2422.com and era2000.net

william

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By Peter RV, January 2, 2007 at 11:05 am Link to this comment
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I will be completely enthusiastic about Kucinich only if he runs as an independent. Democratic and Republican parties are totally bankrupted morally and I have no intention of voting for any of them, ever again.
Since is almost certain that Kucinich won’t get
nomination of Democrats to run for presidency, it becomes crucial to learn what will be his subsequent intention. Will he play a loyal Democrat and try to field his supporters into voting the party, as Howard Dean shamefully did in ‘04? This is an important question which all of us should be asking ourself about Dennis Kucinich. We don’t want another Trojan Horse to destroy the anti-war movement.

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By John Loewenstein, December 31, 2006 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment
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Finally, someone in public office and running for President who stands up for the people. Us, you and me. THIS is the sort of person, one of the precious few politicians, who will not play the russian roulette corporacracy game. A politician with heart. A real leader is one whom people can look up to. Dennis : you be the one all of us can genuinely respect. GO FOR IT !!!!! Give it everything you’ve got. SEE yourself, FEEL yourself as having already accomplished the goal of your campaign. John Loewenstein, Clarkdale, Arizona

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By mac in manhattan, December 31, 2006 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment
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wot war?
excluding those fighting the war and their circles of friends and relatives and finally, those profiting (politically or financially) there seems to be no war.
yes, we see it on the news but too, we see movies that involve us for the ninety minutes of play time before we forget them.
and so, we go right on buying s u v’s and guzzling gas while the cowboy in the white house ignores the message of the recent election.
excuse me, wot war?

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By russell m perry, December 31, 2006 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Kucinich you talk my language, you have my support.

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By Hondo, December 30, 2006 at 10:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I like Kucinich too. After all, he pushed Cleveland into economic default. What a great man! Maybe as president, he could push the whole country into economic default!

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By Deborah S Fruehling, December 29, 2006 at 8:36 pm Link to this comment
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To Robert R Scattergood,
Not one man can solve all the partie’s problems. It takes many men/women like Kucinich to stand together for our rights. I like him!!

So there!!

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By Deb, December 29, 2006 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment
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Hi Pilgrim,

Glad to see you are still alive. Hope all is going well.

Always and forever….

Robert R Scattergood

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By winterfire6, December 28, 2006 at 6:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Until we can, somehow, manage to get private money out of elecroral policics and out-law lobbying as it is practiced today, we will never have high elected officials who are not owned by somebody who does not have the peoples’ interest at heart.

I read somewhere that it would take six bucks per tax payer to have publically funded elections.

That is where we must begin, if we ever hope to have ethical, integral government again; local, state and federal.

It is also the only way we can ever have a third party, or more, which we desperately need. The never-ending duality of the two party system is a hellish mess of deception, fear, greed and power grabs, in which the people lose every damn time.

As long as our public servants are bought, packaged and sold to the voters by the “Corporate Whores of Babylon” and their so-called news media (propaganda-machines), there is no hope for government of, by and for the people.

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By jane h, December 28, 2006 at 4:24 am Link to this comment
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Dennis,

Thank you so much for running again.  It is due to you I am a strong activist today.  I started my first work as an activist on your campaign after reading 600 pages of articles about you and hearing you speak 15 times as I followed you a few days on the campaign trail in Ohio and Pennsylvania.  My first effort ever I reached over 2500 people in the few weeks I began campaigning on your behalf before Super Tuesday.

Dennis is a man of great integrity, vision, moral courage, intelligence, common sense, compassion, and insight.  If elected and allowed to make his vision a reality, the lives of hundreds of millions of people here and around the world will be improved.  He is truly a little man of big stature and in these articles there were comparisons to Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Abe Lincoln, Bobby Kennedy, and Roosevelt.  I urge all to work hard to get Dennis’ name and positions on the issues known to as many people as possible and to be the media in creative ways as he may continue to get less than 1% media coverage by the corporate owned meia.

Though he had integrity and courage and insight in the days mentioned in the article, in the years since, he has grown in wisdom, compassion, and principle to be the giant he is today…a man of true character and gifts galore.  If Kucinich ever takes the reigns and is able to do his work, American will be happy again and government less corrupt and more run of, for, and by the people.

Thank you, Dennis, for being all that you are and for your service to your fellow man and your country. I am proud to be a Dennis Kucinich supporter and many activists in my community were brought in to political actism by first campaigning for Kucinich…so his work is continuing in the many progressive issues we are all involved in.

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By roy chadwick, December 26, 2006 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i was trying to think of something profound to say about dennis kucinich. everything fancy and voluminous i think of seems to simply boil down to the fact that he is the only honest politician i am aware of.

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By mac in manhattan, December 23, 2006 at 10:36 am Link to this comment
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hi Dennis,
i’m still wearing my Kucinich tee shirts from 2004.  not continuously, of course.

“. . .so many miles before we sleep.”
but three starters:
irregular regular constitutional conventions that some of the forefathers thought would strengthen our nation.
congress gets put on the same health plan as the rest of us or, the other way round.
part of the curriculum at the military schools will be the reading of General Smedley Butler’s writings, esp. “war is a racket”.  the top brass ought to be required to read Butler’s epiphany when he realized he’d been used (through the military acceptance of any order) as a yes man and strong arm man for some of the big corporations.
thanx for your time,
mac

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By two more things, December 22, 2006 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

23) Abolish the Electoral College.

24) Reform the campaign process. Make the whole thing gov’t sponsored, limit its duration, and limit the airtime on tv for each candidate.

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By L M Elison, December 22, 2006 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I support Kucinich for president.  That said, I suggest you change the introductory photo on this site.  One of Kucinich’s biggest problems is to be taken seriously on the national stage.  A primary political photo as well as a first time web site photo should depict thoughtful maturity not youthful passion.

The accompanying story and interview is great.

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By I can't stop!, December 22, 2006 at 10:14 am Link to this comment
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Here’s more:

21) Addressing the parasitic infiltration of the CDC, FDA, Agriculture Dept, EPA, etc. All these gov’t agencies that are supposed to regulate our public lands, our air, our water, our health, our food supply are all CORRUPT and littered with personnel who really work for the industries the agencies are supposted to regulate.

E.g., the CDC is run by and for drug companies. Big Pharma would just as soon scare us all into getting flu shots (laced with mercury) because it makes them money. Never mind the birth defects and neurodevelopmental disorders caused to our children, the pain and expense of forever treatment for things like autism. Fuck them. the bastards. I wish I believed in Hell. They would get a special level of their own.

22) Reinvest in publich HIGHER education. The gutting of education in the past few decades has resulted in our lack of preparedness economically and also our inability to collectively think critically and challenge the status quo. No accident, I’m sure.

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By Kellina, December 22, 2006 at 9:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Okay, here’s my list:

0) Restore the Bill of Rights. Every last one. Rescind the Patriot Act. Rescind the Military Commissions Act. Rescind all the other acts that allow for spying on American citizens, etc., etc. Reestablish Freedom of the Press (revamp FCC, etc., and disallow media monopoly and corporate ownership of the media). Include special protections for electronic media freedome of speech.

1) End the Iraq War. Now. Period. And initiate inquiry into why the war was started, prosecute those responsible for lying to get us into war, and for wartime atrocities.

2) Reinstate recognition of the Geneva conventions.

3) Conduct a genuine investigation of the events of 9/11.

4) Abolish the Federal Reserve. The Constitution allows us to print our own goddamned money! If the gov’t prints it, we will still have to deal with inflation, but we won’t have to pay interest on the money!

5) End lobbying as we know it.

6) End Corporate welfare.

7) End lobbying by other countries meddling in our domestic and foreign policy (e.g., Britain and Israel).

8) Make reparations for the wounded and dead on all sides of the Iraq war. Rebuild Iraq.

9) Rescind those tax breaks for the wealthy.

10) Do away with income tax altogether—just tax consumption on luxury items. (This believe it or not will be enough, combined with us no longer having to pay the Federal Reserve interest on any new National Debt.)

11) Enact real campaign-finance reform.

12) End NAFTA.

13) Make corporations pay their fair share of taxes: no more registering as a company in the Caymans but really operating in N.J., for example.


14) Get rid of the CIA.

15) No more half-trillion dollar budgets (with no accounting, resulting in a typical 25% loss each year) for the Defense Dept.

16) Get rid of the line-item veto. Get rid of pork-barrel spending.

17) Go back to simple, paper ballots for voting (no butterfly ballets). Use the astonishing technology of pencils to mark an “X” next to the desired candidate’s name.

18) Publish the budget online, so that everyone can view how our money is spent.

19) High quality education (which includes funding our high standards) with support for educators.

20) Help for families: a) Family leave to support either parent (at 80% of salary just prior to family leave) for one year to care for a new child (born or adopted), like the Scandinavian model; b) universal healthcare, which means that people can work part-time jobs with no fear of draconian economic repercussions; drug coverage and coverage for non-drug mental health interventions (that are just as useful as drugs); longer vacations (like in Europe)!

I could go on. But what are other people’s desiderata? What are Dennis’s? (I accidentally posted this stuff on the other Kucinich thread but meant it to go here.) I am not listing anything in order, necessarily, and I’m sure I left a lot out. In fact, I know almost nothing about how to run a gov’t and I’m really talking out of my ass. But I want a real conversation started about what it would take to turn things around. Not just from the damage done by presidents in the last two or three decades, but from the damage going all the way back to Wilson’s presidency.

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By Kellina, December 22, 2006 at 8:23 am Link to this comment
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Instead of merely genuflecting to this (admittedly honorable) man, can we start a conversation about what exactly must be done to turn this country around? It is in the end not enough to elect a person of principle unless s/he has a sound plan to bring about change.

There are deep changes that we need to talk about to change this oligarchy back into a democracy. Getting everyone healthcare is not enough, I’m afraid. Starting a “Peace” Dept without deeper changes is fatuous. How about getting our gov’t to start printing its own money, and firing the “Federal” Reserve?

Any other ideas out there?

Of course, to get elected, one has to pretend to kiss up to the powers that be. For that reason, Dennis hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell. UNLESS there is a REAL grassroots write-in campaign. For the sake of this country, I hope that that happens.

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By Natasha, December 20, 2006 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Dennis Kucinich has a perfect human rights voting record.  In every area that touches human rights, his Congressional voting record is flawless.” http://patrickhenrythinktank.org/2006cmoy.html

Dennis Kucinich was just named Congressman of the Year for the third year in a row by the Patrick Henry Democratic Club of America.  The club took two months, starting in late September, to nominate and vote on this year’s annual awards.  The membership is nationwide and the club made sure all of its members across the country had a chance to nominate people of their choice and to vote on the awards.  It is no surprise that Kucinich won.  He has done more for peace, more to restore American jobs, more to help the cause of freedom and voter rights than anyone else in government. 

The members of the Patrick Henry Democratic Club of America also voted to endorse Dennis J. Kucinich for President. http://patrickhenrythinktank.org

Kucinich always acts with integrity and has acquired the support of youth rights activists.  In fact, many youth rights activists who will be turning 18 by the next election are saying that, if Dennis’s name is not on the general election ballot, they will write it in for their first vote for President.  Youth activists are not willing to settle for the kinds of choices that the major parties have given the voters in recent years.

Last week, the Orange County Chapter of the National Youth Rights Association also endorsed Kucinich for President.  He is the only candidate for President with the integrity to have taken a public stance in support of lowering the voting age.  400 Americans have died in Iraq without a chance to vote for President and none of the other Presidential candidates cares enough about the lives of American servicemen and servicewomen to show the kind of integrity Kucinich has shown.  The NYRA national organization is a non-profit organization and is not allowed to endorse.  However, local chapters are free to endorse.  The members of the National Board all have a high opinion of Kucinich.  In formation on the Orange County Chapter of the NYRA and on the NYRA can be found at http://orangecounty.youthrights.org and http://youthrights.org

America needs Dennis J. Kucinich as its President.  He is the only one who can restore honor and integrity to the Government of the United States.  Isn’t it time we picked a good guy for President?

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By Chabuka, December 20, 2006 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
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Standing up to mega corporations, corporations who want to own and control government (its called fascism, in case you want to look up the defination) is exactly what the Republicans and the DLC (Republican lites, like Hillary and Bill Clinton, remember NAFTA?) DO NOT WANT!! It is up to us “the people” to change to direction of this country, away from corporatism (fascism) and back to FDR’s America..make a terrible noise, raise the roof, stand and be counted!

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By Noel Philpot, December 20, 2006 at 9:27 am Link to this comment
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Dennis is the Real thing.He is the Love and caring that America and the whole World needs I know because he is my friend. If all politicians were like him America would declare peace on Earth,and goodwill to all men and women. Imagine a World where everyone is housed,fed and contributing to the good of the whole.A World where nonone is in fear.A World of truth consciousness and Bliss.A World of sparkling rivers seas and lakes.Paradise is a change of Heart not mind.Dennis and those like him should be given air time.Peace comes from within the human heart and he is all Heart.

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By chris, December 20, 2006 at 1:32 am Link to this comment
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In 2004 I voted for Dennis by writing him in. I’ll probably do the same thing in 2008 in case the dumb dems push him aside and put someone else in the running.

I don’t care if people say I’m wasting a vote, there comes a time when you simply have to take a stand - it’s the only way to subvert the control of the mainstream media when they ignore Dennis and his platform.

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By TAO Walker, December 19, 2006 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment
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It looks like ‘truthdig’ has signed-on to be Kucinich campaign central.  Nothing wrong with that, especially given the family ties.  And from the great majority of ‘comments’ so far for this and several other recent interviews with the congressman it is obviously going over well with those who log-on. 
This old Indian continues to wonder, though, whether “peace” and “single-payer health-care” aren’t just appeals to people’s long-time love affair with comfort here, and their growing preference for the apparatus of security over the always chancy conditions of liberty.  Americans are already smothering in creature-comforts that’ve not only weakened them in many ways, it is fear of losing these ‘things’ that keeps nearly everyone here from taking-on the corporate national security state which first hijacked and has now replaced the constitutional republic.  It is one hell of a bind, f’r sure.
When Rep. Kucinich starts reminding Americans that they are not only fully complicit in the crimes done in their name and wrapped in their flag, but also in designing, engineering, and building the ‘machinery’ of their own captivity, then he’ll start living-up to the promise implicit in his so-far somewhat feverish rhetoric.      Meantime, mere medical attention is not the same thing as health care, and any peace worth having will come at the price of Americans giving-up their drug-induced pursuit of material ease and safety in favor of a concerted and sustained effort to make right the things they’ve visited upon others in their self-righteous rampages here on Turtle Island and all around the world.
When Americans and those who would “lead” them recognize and acknowledge that the mess they’re in is the natural consequence of their habits, beliefs, practices, and attitudes, rather than some inexplicable misfortune somehow come-about in-spite of those national conceits, maybe the rest of us will have good cause for hoping that Americans might finally be growing up.

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By Troy in Hagerstown Maryland, December 19, 2006 at 2:08 am Link to this comment
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No one would choose the platform Dennis is running on who was not already a statesman in his heart of hearts, someone unafraid to stick his neck out and just do the right thing for once. Will I “waste” my vote on him again? Absolutely!

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By Helen Crowe, December 18, 2006 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Through the years I have voted for democrats, but
many times they weren’t democratic enough for me,
but I had no choice.  In 2004, in typical fashion,
I voted for who I thought might win, even though
he wasn’t my real choice.  Well, never again.  Now
I’ll vote for Dennis, because second best isn’t good enough for our country again, and the only one who will be a candidate with all the credentials I want will be Dennis, and this time I’ll vote for him regardless what his chances are,
and if everyone does that, he’ll surely win.

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By AJ in Houston, December 18, 2006 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment
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Dennis,
I really wish that you could run as an Independent.  At least that way you could run on the ‘08 ticket since Hillary is going to buy her way in.  Either way, I’m going to vote for him if I have to write it in.  I’ve voted Republican and Democrat and I’m sick of them both. 

The media?  During his last campaign, I found myself seeing red and screaming at the TV because he was BLACKED OUT of the media…even during the live convention on PBS!!!  Instead of running his floor speech live (like everyone else that spoke), they turned away to a dopey interview with another collaborator (DEAN…aughghgh!). 

I must give a small amount of props to the Houston Chronicle however.  When they listed the ‘04 candidates for the first time, Kucinich was one of only three serious choices (you know the other two).  I’m not sure how the writer of that story got his name through now that I think about it.  When “they” realized that he might be a contender, he disappeared from the mainstream map.  You literally had to go underground just to follow him further (underground=internet). 

I wonder how he feels about 911?  Would he call for an independent investigation?  The military industrial congressional cabal would soak their shorts should a REAL 911 investigation take root.  Might make him a bigger target than JFK.  Don’t ride in any convertible limos Dennis!!!

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By Roger Ault, December 18, 2006 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
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Dennis:

Is it your intent to add a ‘Peace Department’ to the present departments?  People may object to adding yet another department and may say ‘well isn’t that what the State Department does’.

What do you think of proposing that the former ‘War Department’ which is now the ‘Defense Department’ (which didn’t keep us from invading Vietnam and Iraq) - be renamed and dedicated as the ‘Peace Department’?  Could this be a bold campaign position for you?

Would this make it a bit harder for future Presidents to invade other countries with ‘shock and awe’ and support those who see the department’s goal and skills as one of bringing sustainable ‘Peace’?

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By Jim F, December 17, 2006 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment
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I lived in Cleveland in 1978-79 as a student and well remember news of the city’s default troubles. I also remember, in the 1980’s, hearing people start to assert the Reagan era mantra that our country was based on free enterprise and capitalism, and so we couldn’t put the public interest in the way of prosperity. That is wrong and it’s a kind of stealing. I wish that the details of actions of the present day Robber Barons (Enrons, pharmaceuticals, diminishers of Social Security as a safety net, etc.) were more publicized in the media, and by leadership of our country. That is, that the background of economic political decisions come to light at least more often than not. This is where the progressives and the constitutional conservatives are in agreement, and I’d like to see our country stand up for the public trust.
Bravo to Dennis, I’ll vote for him any chance I get.

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By Lefty, December 17, 2006 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment
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Lets be clear!  Jimmy Carter was a man of the people, had integrity, was unconnected to corrupting forces and could also “stand up in the light of day.”  Unfortunately, these characteristics are not enough to be a good, effective President.  However, Jimmy Carter didn’t have any influence in the Democratic party, in part because he was unconnected, and had no political coalition building skills. 

I don’t know much about Dennis Kusinich. How will he lead a Democratic party that, because of his disconnect with corrupting forces (read the fascist/corporate culture in control of American government at every level), he is so much at odds with?

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By Frances in L.A., December 17, 2006 at 3:58 pm Link to this comment
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Dennis jumps in in December 06 . . . in order to propel the debate closer and closer to the Ideal all good Americans hold:  Peace.

A Department of Peace could not back down from a Palestinian-Israeli Peace Process.

A Department of Peace could not shirk America’s duty to its Veterans.

A Department of Peace would never allow Guardsmen to fire over the heads of flood refugees trying to escape disaster.

Long live Dennis!

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By Gale Wilwerding, December 17, 2006 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What we all need to think about is how is it possible to get Dennis elected! I worked hard for him last time around, going door to door to talk to mostly skeptical people who told me that I was pursuing a lost cause. To tell you the truth, this is how I actually felt; I knew that he had no chance the way things were going! but there is always that tinge of hope that things will turn around. I knew that integrity does not win elections; for proof just look at who wins our presidential elections! Perhaps Dennis needs to develope a deeply felt passion that is expressed in his oratory. He needs to work on his oratory. I have a suggestion: he should spend time examining the more noxious elements of the current governance until he is as disgusted and angry as I am. Look at the pictures of Iraqi dead, of tortured victims, of impoverished Americans and american victims, of the melting ice caps, of the devastated sea and terrestial wild life. And mostly Dennis needs to become intrusive in all of this business until his face and voice is known by all; he must be very intrusive or he will not win; he will only invite the renewed belittling invective of the ubiquiteous right-wing pundits. Dennis, try a new approach this time! Does anyone else have any ideas for Dennis??

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By yours truly, December 17, 2006 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment
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We turn the 2008 election into a plebiscite on TROOPS OUT NOW, and today Dennis Kucinich is our one candidate.  But as we gain gain momentum, we can expect other candidates to join our cause; a sure sign that we’re gonna win and congratulations in advance..

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By christine in california, December 16, 2006 at 10:26 pm Link to this comment
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I campaigned for Kucinich for president in 2004, and that was the first time I had done that for any politician - because it was the first time anyone stood out as having great insight, integrity, and a willingness to challenge big money interests in order to do the right thing.

In fact, I was so motivated by his platform, I even went door to door informing people about his stand on the issues. The many I talked with who were hearing about him for the first time, were quite interested in what he was saying.

He was the only one running worth voting for in 2004, and I will vote for him again. He’s intelligent and has the integrity and guts that’s needed right now to get our country back on the right track.

He provided more in depth information on his platform than any other candidate in 2004, including an extensive written plan to show how universal health care for all can be affordable, with a clear roadmap how to get there.

I’m very happy to hear he’s running again.

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By Marc Gregory, December 16, 2006 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment
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Dennis Kucinich’s is an example of precisely the kind of leadership desperately needed in this country, and of the kind of leadership now sorely lacking. Anyone who has lived even a little bit will know what kind of courage, character and integrity it took for a 32-year old man to stand up to some of the most powerful, persuasive influences around him, and to be entirely alone in his stand for principle and good order.
In whatever capacity he ends up serving, Dennis Kucinich is truly a man for the present, and for the future. This country has great need for such a man in public service.

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By Scott A. Weir, December 16, 2006 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment
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It’s nice to see that some people still stand up for absence of principle, Greed Over People, and monitor web sites such as this to cast doubt upon those who embrace principles such as integrity, and the COMMON good (as opposed to the good of the individaul and the devil take the hindmost, otherwise known inaccurately as the “free market”).

A Ph.D in economics

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By Mary Maskell, December 16, 2006 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment
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I find Dennis Kusinich to be an intelligent, honest, trustworthy man of principle.  I feel he would be an excellent leader for our country.  He would keep his commitments, be strong and vital, and ensure that our country would reverse the downward trend it is now experiencing.

I would be delighted to vote for him, and will work to ensure that he is elected.

Sincerely,

Mary Maskell

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By paul schrade, December 16, 2006 at 6:20 pm Link to this comment
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Dennis has to be the model for decency and respect for the public interest and for economic and social progress for us all. His early struggle and votes against the Bush war now reflect the latest attitudes of most Americans who were lied to by Bush and the most of the media. The reference to Ike’s warning of the military-industrial complex is as important as it always has been in war-time. It is not a “complex” but a cabal. That is why most wars get started and continue because war pays. The price is lives and limbs of Americans. Thank you, Dennis for your Peace Crusade.

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By Brian Matson, December 16, 2006 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment
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An enlightening story.  I hope this gets read by many.  You certainly won’t see such a story in the mainstream media.  Too bad the newly empowered Democrats don’t see the potential leader they have in Rep. Kucinich.  Thanks, Dennis.

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By doug, December 16, 2006 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment
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I love what Dennis stands for.  I will support him and donate to his campaign.  however, we have a lot of work ahead of us especially against a media that overtly thrashed and marginalized him last time around.  I’ll never forget the day Dennis broke the top 3 in a primary and that day the networks put up their top 3 template with a blank image where Dennis was supposed to be… And of course the ABC debate.  Truly unreal.

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By Eugene Brandon, December 16, 2006 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
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I lived on the Westside of Cleveland when Dennis was Mayor,  I remember visiting counsel chanmbers when he was a on the counsel and remember his feisty retorts to the “good ole boys.” It was refreshing. Now I live in Port Hadlock and Dennis bumper stickers are everywhere here due to an active Peace Movement and Anti Nuke Group. Gooooo Dennis.

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By a, December 16, 2006 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment
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Is there a video?  Because I am not reading all that crap, too lazy.

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By Barbara Back, December 16, 2006 at 1:48 pm Link to this comment
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Kucinich is the man for the people.  I have followed his progress for five years and wanted him to be president now.  I have been very encouraged that such a principled person wants to serve the people, to serve the cause of peace for all people.  We must do whatever is necessary to elect him as our president in 2008.  We cannot survive the rule of corporations.  Kucinich is the leader who will stand up to the corporate forces as he did in Cleveland, Ohio when he saved the electric company for the people.  The time for our nation to improve its course is now.  We cannot let the nation and the world down.  We need successful leaders, not the pitiful ones we have now.  I pray peace.

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By Carrie Holubik, December 16, 2006 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment
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When recently asked to provide one word to describe politics to a group of Move On volunteers, I chose to go with an idealistic term instead of some of the more negative examples proffered up by others.  That one word?.......INTEGRITY…
  Dennis Kucinich is the poster-boy for integrity.  Let’s hope that the rest of the country wakes up to that fact, and we the people will determine him the next president of the United States of America.

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By Cooksey-Talbott, December 16, 2006 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment
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I have know this for quite some time and it is one of the primary reasons why I have been a staunch supporter of Dennis Kucinich.

I believe he is one of the few politicians in our government who can stand up in the light of day.

Most all of the rest of them are tainted by their own personal greed and weakness of character…

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By Lefty, December 16, 2006 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment
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The more I read about this guy, the more I like him. He understands the role of socialism in a civilized democracy, and the importance for balance between socialism and capitalism.  And, well . . . he ain’t part of the CULTURE OF CORRUPTION! Good man all around!

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By vatim99, December 16, 2006 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
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I voted for Kucinich for mayor. I voted for him as congressman. I voted for him in the presidential primary in 2004 and will do so again! He is a man of integrity and honor. I support his efforts now to get our troops out of Iraq as the Democratic party now in power seems to want to continue the war. We can all learn a lesson from Kucinich of what it means to have strong moral character and the guts to speak truth to power!!

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By steve weiss, December 16, 2006 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment
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We need you in 2008!

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By Donna Lee Steele, December 16, 2006 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Truthdig obviously has the same sense of principled values as Dennis Kucinich.  This sense of integrity - even in the face of overwhelming odds against you - is EXACTLY WHAT AMERICA NEEDS!  Mainstream media in this country SHAMEFULLY distorts, selects and misrepresents the ‘truth’ in complicity with an ever increasing dishonest government owned by corporate interests.  I don’t watch American media anymore.  I’ve switched to the BBC to know what’s really going on in this country.  After reading this story, however, I will now proudly also turn to Truthdig for truthful reporting of the FACTS of American news events.
Thanks so much for your courage to report the news FACTS, and not cave to the spin deceptions routinely reported by our mainstream US media.

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By Bernie Meyer, December 16, 2006 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
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Thanks for this look at the truth and the issues.  Tom Johnson and Dennis had the basic insight that the grassroots and democracy depend upon the voice of every individual.  Further, that the gifts of nature, most basic the gift of nature’s energy, is everyone’s heritage.  Not for profit, but for life.  It’s time to return to this fundamental way of life.

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By David Wald, December 16, 2006 at 11:41 am Link to this comment
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This story demonstrates what is missing from the US political scene: someone who is willing to sacrifice himself/herself for the good of the society.  This is a rare (almost unknown) instance of genuine character that is needed if our civilization is to continue. Kucinich for President!

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By John B. Flores, December 16, 2006 at 11:41 am Link to this comment
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I already knew Kucinich was a man of character…it is my hope the media and more members of Congress support his new presidential bid. Dennis Kucinich was the first and true anti-war candidate and our country now faces many of the realities he first predicated.

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By Patrick Sullivan, December 16, 2006 at 11:12 am Link to this comment
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Rep. Kucinich is the only candidate for President who is talking about the need to get rid of nuclear weapons.

We still have a chance to survive if we can shut down the nuclear war machine.

Kucinich is the only significant candidate that is running for President.

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By Heather Annastasia Siladi, December 16, 2006 at 10:47 am Link to this comment
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They say that Kucinich is un-electable. For the most part, I believe them.

I watched a TLC special years ago that followed a scientific study which proved that the best liars are the best leaders. People want to be lied to. They want to be told that you can make everything better, and that you will require nothing from them.

It would take a truly courageous population to elect a leader as courageous as Kucinich. It would take a population that is willing to lay down its complacencies and fight for what is right and good.

But such a population only seems to emerge when its very survival is threatened; when complacency is no longer an option. As of right now, complacency is still an option for the America people, though the Bush administration may change that by election day.

So the question, I believe, is whether Kucinich can inspire the American people to be courageous; to take a meaningful stand against business and politics as usual. I hope he can. The pictures with this interview are inspiring. In 1978, the year I was born, he looks like little more than a teenager, and yet he has the kind of courage few will possess in their lifetime.

I hope Kucinich can inspire the American people to take courage over complacency, because there is simply no one else to do it.

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By Lee Eisenberg, December 16, 2006 at 10:45 am Link to this comment
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In mid-2003, when the full list of Democratic presidential nominees came out, I read Dennis Kucinich’s position and immediately knew that he was the right guy.  The story that I just read here creates even more incentive to support him.  As long as he’s in the running during this presidential run, I’m with him.

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By Ruth Hull-Richter, December 16, 2006 at 10:22 am Link to this comment
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The Patrick Henry Democratic Club of America has been tracking the voting records of members of Congress for the last two years.  During that time Dennis Kucinich is the only member of Congress with a perfect voting record.  He is the one person who can always be counted on to vote his conscience.

Other members of Congress with excellent voting records include Jim McDermott, Pete Stark, Lynn Woolsey, Maxine Waters, Cynthia McKinney and Barbara Lee.

We have seen the leaders of the Democratic Party vote the way their big donors tell them to vote.  Nancy Pelosi, for instance, will do whatever AIPAC tells her to do. The problem with AIPAC is that it is run by advocates of the pro-war party of Israel, a party a great many pacifistic Israelis oppose - just as American pacifists oppose the Bush Administration.  This year, in effect, Pelosi has voted four times for war with Iran.  She votes for every bill to fund war contractors that comes her way.  Dennis Kucinich is leading the fight against war with Iran.  Dennis is also leading the fight to end the war in Iraq and he is opposing the funding that is keeping the war going.

Another example is the power of the nuclear lobby.  Last year and the year before, the vast majority of members of Congress voted for a bill that funds Yucca Mountain, a dangerous project that threatens California’s food and water supply.  Yet, Dennis Kucinich, half way across the country, voted against these nuclear bills.  Pelosi voted for them and against the interests of the people of her own state.

Most members of Congress have sold out on the free trade issue.  They get money from corporations to allow those corporations to fire American workers and hire underpaid foreign workers (often children) who work in inhumane conditions.  Dennis Kucinich always stands up to and opposes these free trade bills.

In summary, Dennis continues to be the one leader we can always trust.  America is lucky to have him in Congress and will be lucky to have him as the next President of the United States.

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