Dennis KucinichFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation,
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio's 10th district Incumbent
Assumed office January 3, 1997 Preceded by Martin Hoke Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 23rd district In office January 3, 1995 – January 2, 1997 Preceded
by Anthony Sinagra Succeeded by Patrick Sweeney 53rd Mayor of Cleveland In office
January 26, 1978 – November 6, 1979 Preceded by Ralph J. Perk Succeeded by George
Voinovich Personal details Born Dennis John Kucinich (1946-10-08) October 8,
1946 (age 66) Cleveland, Ohio Nationality American Political party Democratic
Party Spouse(s) Helen Kucinich (divorced) Sandra Lee McCarthy (1977–1986, divorced)
Elizabeth Kucinich (2005–present) Children Jackie Kucinich Residence Cleveland
Alma mater Cleveland State University Case Western Reserve University Religion
Roman Catholic Website Official website
Dennis John Kucinich (pron.: /kuːˈsɪnɪtʃ/; born October 8, 1946) is the U.S.
Representative for Ohio's 10th congressional district, serving since 1997. He
was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United
States in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections.
The district includes most of western Cleveland as well as suburbs such as
Parma and Lakewood. He is a member of the House Committee on Education and the
From 1977 to 1979, Kucinich served as the 53rd mayor of Cleveland, Ohio,
a tumultuous term in which he survived a recall election and was successful
in a battle against selling the municipal electric utility before being defeated
for reelection by George Voinovich.
Through his various governmental positions and campaigns, Kucinich has attracted
attention for consistently delivering "the strongest liberal" perspective.
This perspective has been shown by his actions, such as bringing articles of
impeachment against President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney,
and being the only Democratic candidate in the 2008 election to have voted against
invading Iraq, although eventual nominee Barack Obama had also opposed the
Iraq War at the time it was started, even though he had not been in Congress
at the time.
Because of redistricting following the 2010 state elections, Ohio's 9th congressional
district absorbed part of Cuyahoga County, abolishing Kucinich's district and
pitting him against 9th district incumbent Marcy Kaptur in the 2012 Democratic
primary, which he lost.
Kucinich was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 8, 1946, as the eldest of
the seven children of Frank and Virginia Kucinich. His father, a truck driver,
was of Croat ancestry; his Irish American mother was a homemaker. Growing
up, his family moved 21 times and Dennis was often charged with the responsibility
of finding apartments they could afford.
He attended Cleveland State University from 1967 to 1970. In 1973, he
graduated from Case Western Reserve University with both a Bachelor and a Master
of Arts degree in speech and communication. Kucinich was baptized a Roman
Catholic. Kucinich married Sandra Lee McCarthy in 1977; they had a daughter
named Jackie in 1981 and divorced in 1986. He married his third wife, Elizabeth
Harper, a British citizen, on August 21, 2005. The two met while Harper was
working as an assistant for the Chicago-based American Monetary Institute, which
brought her to Kucinich's House of Representatives office for a meeting.
Dennis was raised with four brothers, Larry, Frank, Gary and Perry; and two
sisters, Theresa and Beth Ann. On December 19, 2007, Perry Kucinich, the youngest
brother, was found dead in his apartment. On November 11, 2008,
his youngest sister, Beth Ann Kucinich, also died.
Kucinich's political career began early. After running unsuccessfully in
1967, Kucinich was elected to the Cleveland City Council in 1969 at the age
of twenty-three. In 1972, Kucinich ran for a seat in the United States House
of Representatives, losing narrowly to incumbent Republican William E. Minshall,
Jr. After Minshall's retirement in 1974 Kucinich sought the seat again, this
time failing to get the Democratic nomination, which instead went to Ronald
Kucinich ran as an Independent candidate in the general election, placing
third with about 30% of the vote. In 1975, Kucinich became clerk of the municipal
court in Cleveland and served in that position for two years.
Mayoral administration of Dennis Kucinich
Kucinich was elected Mayor of Cleveland in 1977 and served in that position
until 1979. At thirty-one years of age, he was the youngest mayor of a major
city in the United States, earning him the nickname "the boy mayor of Cleveland".
Kucinich's tenure as mayor is often regarded as one of the most tumultuous in
Cleveland's history. After Kucinich refused to sell Muni Light, Cleveland's
publicly owned electric utility, the Cleveland mafia put out a hit on Kucinich.
A hit man from Maryland planned to shoot him in the head during the Columbus
Day Parade, but the plot fell apart when Kucinich was hospitalized and missed
the event. When the city fell into default shortly thereafter, the mafia leaders
called off the contract killer.
Specifically, it was the Cleveland Trust Company
that suddenly required all of the city's debts be paid in full,
which forced the city into default, after news of Kucinich's refusal to sell
the city utility. For years, these debts were routinely rolled over, pending
future payment, until Kucinich's announcement was made public. In 1998 the Cleveland
City Council honored him for having had the "courage and foresight" to stand
up to the banks, which saved the city an estimated $195 million between 1985
After losing his re-election bid for Mayor to George Voinovich in 1979, Kucinich
initially kept a low profile in Cleveland politics. He criticized a tax referendum
proposed by Voinovich in 1980, which voters eventually approved. He also struggled
to find employment and moved to Los Angeles, California, where he stayed with
a friend, actress Shirley MacLaine.
During the next three years, Kucinich worked as a radio talk-show host, lecturer,
and consultant. It was a difficult period for Kucinich financially. Without
a steady paycheck, Kucinich fell behind in his mortgage payments, nearly lost
his house in Cleveland, and ended up borrowing money from friends, including
MacLaine, to keep it.
On his 1982 income tax return, Kucinich reported an income of $38. When discussing
this period, Kucinich stated, "When I was growing up in Cleveland, my early
experience conditioned me to hang in there and not to quit... It's one thing
to experience that as a child, but when you have to as an adult, it has a way
to remind you how difficult things can be. You understand what people go through."
In 1982, Kucinich moved back to Cleveland and ran for Secretary of State;
however, he lost the Democratic primary to Sherrod Brown. In 1983, Kucinich
won a special election to fill the seat of a Cleveland city councilman who had
died. His brother, Gary Kucinich, was also a councilman at the time.
In 1985, there was some speculation that Kucinich might run for mayor again.
Instead, his brother Gary ran against (and lost to) the incumbent Voinovich.
Kucinich, meanwhile, gave up his council position to run for Governor of Ohio
as an independent against Richard Celeste, but later withdrew from the race.
After this, Kucinich, in his own words "on a quest for meaning," lived quietly
in New Mexico until 1994, when he won a seat in the Ohio State Senate.
House of Representatives In 1996, Kucinich was elected to the U.S. House
of Representatives, representing the 10th district of Ohio. He defeated two-term
Republican incumbent Martin Hoke by three percentage points. However, he has
never faced another contest nearly that close, and has since been re-elected
Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Oversight
and Government Reform Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight
and Government Spending (Ranking Member)  Domestic policy voting record
Kucinich helped introduce and is one of 93 cosponsors (as of Feb. 22, 2010)
in the House of Representatives of the United States National Health Care Act
or HR 676 proposed by Rep. John Conyers in 2003, which provides for a universal
single-payer public health-insurance plan.
In 2008, Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment in the House of Representatives
against President George W. Bush for the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Although his voting record is not always in line with that of the Democratic
Party, on March 17, 2010, after being courted by President Barack Obama, his
wife and others, he reluctantly agreed to vote with his colleagues for the Healthcare
Bill without a public option component.
Kucinich voted against the USA PATRIOT Act, against the Military Commissions
Act of 2006, and was one of six who voted against the Violent Radicalization
and Homegrown Terrorism Act. He also voted for authorizing and directing the
Committee on the Judiciary to investigate whether sufficient grounds existed
for the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
Kucinich criticized the flag-burning amendment and voted against the impeachment
of President Bill Clinton. His congressional voting record has leaned strongly
toward a pro-life stance, although he noted that he has never supported a constitutional
amendment prohibiting abortion altogether. In 2003, however, he began describing
himself as pro-choice and said he had shifted away from his earlier position
on the issue.
Press releases have indicated that he is pro-choice and supports ending the
abstinence-only policy of sex education and increasing the use of contraception
to make abortion "less necessary" over time. His voting record since 2003 has
reflected mixed ratings from abortion rights groups.
He has criticized Diebold Election Systems (now Premier Election Solutions)
for promoting voting machines that fail to leave a traceable paper trail. He
was one of the thirty-one who voted in the House to not count the electoral
votes from Ohio in the United States presidential election, 2004.
Foreign policy record
Kucinich has criticized the foreign policy of President Bush, including the
2003 invasion of Iraq and what he perceives as growing American hostility towards
Iran. He has always voted against funding it. In 2005, he voted against the
Iran Freedom and Support Act, calling it a "stepping stone to war". He also
signed a letter of solidarity with Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in 2004.
He advocates the abolition of all nuclear weapons, calling on the United
States to be the leader in multilateral disarmament. Kucinich has also strongly
opposed space-based weapons and has sponsored legislation, HR 2977, banning
the deployment and use of space-based weapons.
Kucinich advocates US withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA) because, in his view, it causes the loss of more American jobs than
it creates, and does not provide adequate protections for worker rights and
safety and environmental safeguards. He is against the Central American Free
Trade Agreement (CAFTA) for the same reason.
Kucinich is also in favor of increased dialog with Iran in order to avoid
a militaristic confrontation at all costs. He expressed such sentiments at an
American Iranian Council conference in New Brunswick, New Jersey which included
Chuck Hagel, Javad Zarif, Nicholas Kristof, and Anders Liden to discuss Iranian-American
relations, and potential ways to increase dialog in order to avoid conflict.
He believes the US should move aggressively to reduce emissions that cause
climate change because of global warming and should ratify the Kyoto Protocol,
a major international agreement signed by over 160 countries to reduce the amount
of greenhouse gases emitted by each signatory.
Kucinich and Ron Paul are the only two congressional representatives who
voted against the Rothman-Kirk Resolution, which calls on the United
Nations to charge Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the genocide
convention of the United Nations Charter based on statements that he has made.
Kucinich defended his vote by saying that Ahmadinejad's statements could be
translated to mean that he wants a regime change in Israel, not death to its
people and supporters, and that the resolution is an attempt to beat "the war
drum to build support for a US attack on Iran." In October 2009, Kucinich
and Ron Paul were the only two congressional representatives to vote against
H.Res.175 condemning the government of Iran for “state-sponsored persecution
of its Bahá’í minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants
on Human Rights.”
On January 9, 2009, Kucinich was one of the dissenters in a 390-5 vote with
22 abstentions for a resolution recognizing Israel's "right to defend itself
[against Hamas rocket attacks]" and reaffirming the U.S.'s support for Israel.
The other 4 "no" votes were Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, Maxine Waters of California,
Nick Rahall of West Virginia, and Ron Paul of Texas.
Kucinich is the only congressional representative to vote against the
symbolic "9/11 Commemoration" resolution. In a press statement he defended
his vote by saying that the bill did not make reference to "the lies that took
us into Iraq, the lies that keep us there, the lies that are being used to set
the stage for war against Iran and the lies that have undermined our basic civil
liberties here at home."
In a visit to the rest of the Middle East in September 2007, Kucinich said
he did not visit Iraq because "I feel the United States is engaging in an illegal
occupation." Kucinich was criticized for his visit to Syria and praise of
the President Bashar al-Assad on Syria's national TV. He praised Syria for
taking in Iraqi refugees. "What most people are not aware of is that Syria has
taken in more than 1.5 million Iraqi refugees," Kucinich said. "The Syrian government
has actually shown a lot of compassion in keeping its doors open, and being
a host for so many refugees."
Despite Kucinich's committed opposition to the war in Iraq, in the days after
the September 11, 2001 attacks he did vote to authorize President Bush broad
war making powers, the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists.
The Authorization was used by the Bush Administration in its justification for
suspension of habeas corpus in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and its wiretapping
of American citizens under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Kucinich
voted along with 419 of his House colleagues in favor of this resolution, while
only one Congresswoman opposed, Representative Barbara Lee.
In March 2010, the House rejected a Kucinich resolution regarding the War
in Afghanistan by a vote of 356–65. The resolution would have required the
Obama administration to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by the
end of the year. Kucinich reportedly based the resolution on the War
Powers Resolution of 1973.
In March 2011, Kucinich criticized the Obama administration's decision to
participate in the UN intervention in Libya without Congressional authorization.
He also called it an "indisputable fact" that President Obama's decision is
an impeachable offense since he believes the U.S. Constitution "does not provide
for the president to wage war any times he pleases," although he has not yet
introduced a resolution to impeach Obama. In response, Libyan officials
invited Kucinich to visit that country on a "peace mission", but he declined,
stating that he "could not negotiate on behalf of the administration."
 2004 Presidential campaign Kucinich speaks out against the occupation
of Iraq at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.Kucinich was criticized during
his 2004 campaign for changing his stance on the issue of abortion. His
explanation was "I've always worked to make abortions less necessary, through
sex education and birth control. But the direction that Congress has taken,
increasingly, is to make it impossible for women to be able to have an abortion
if they need to protect their health. So when I saw the direction taken, it
finally came to the point where I understood that women will not be truly free
unless they have the right to choose."
Ralph Nader praised Kucinich as "a genuine progressive",
and most Greens were friendly to Kucinich's campaign, some going so far as to
indicate that they would not have run against him had he won the Democratic
nomination. However, Kucinich was unable to carry any states in the 2004 Democratic
Primaries, and John Kerry eventually won the Democratic nomination at the Democratic
 Press coverageOn December 10, 2003, the American Broadcasting Company
(ABC) announced the removal of its correspondents from the campaigns of Kucinich,
Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton.
The announcement came one day after a Democratic presidential debate hosted
by ABC News' Ted Koppel, in which Koppel asked whether the candidacies of Kucinich,
Moseley Braun and Sharpton were merely "vanity campaigns", and Koppel and Kucinich
exchanged uncomfortable dialog.
Kucinich, previously critical of the limited coverage given his campaign,
characterized ABC's decision as an example of media companies' power to shape
campaigns by choosing which candidates to cover and questioned its timing, coming
immediately after the debate.
ABC News, while stating its commitment to give coverage to a wide range of
candidates, argued that focusing more of its "finite resources" on those candidates
most likely to win would best serve the public debate.
 Polls and primariesIn the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination
race, national polls consistently showed Kucinich's support in single digits,
but rising, especially as Howard Dean lost some support among peace activists
for refusing to commit to cutting the Pentagon budget. Though he was not viewed
as a viable contender by most, there were differing polls on Kucinich's popularity.
He placed second in MoveOn.org's primary, behind Dean. He also placed first
in other polls, particularly Internet-based ones. This led many activists to
believe that his showing in the primaries might be better than what Gallup polls
had been saying. However, in the non-binding Washington, D.C. primary, Kucinich
finished fourth (last out of candidates listed on the ballot), with only 8%
of the vote. Support for Kucinich was most prevalent in the caucuses around
In the Iowa caucuses, he finished fifth, receiving about 1% of the state
delegates from Iowa; far below the 15% threshold for receiving national delegates.
He performed similarly in the New Hampshire primary, placing sixth among the
seven candidates with 1% of the vote. In the Mini-Tuesday primaries, he finished
near the bottom in most states, with his best performance in New Mexico where
he received less than 6% of the vote, and still no delegates. Kucinich's best
showing in any Democratic contest was in the February 24 Hawaii caucus, in which
he won 31% of caucus participants, coming in second place to Senator John Kerry
of Massachusetts and winning Maui County, the only county won by Kucinich in
either of his presidential campaigns. He also saw a double-digit showing in
Maine on February 8, where he got 16% percent in that state's caucus.
On Super Tuesday, March 2, Kucinich gained another strong showing with the
Minnesota caucus, where 17% of the ballots went to him. In his home state of
Ohio, he gained 9% in the primary.
Kucinich campaigned heavily in Oregon, spending 30 days there during the
two months leading up to the state's May 18 primary. He continued his campaign
because "the future direction of the Democratic Party has not yet been determined"
and chose to focus on Oregon "because of its progressive tradition and its pioneering
spirit." He won 16% of the vote.
Even after Kerry won enough delegates to secure the nomination, Kucinich
continued to campaign until just before the convention, citing an effort to
help shape the agenda of the Democratic Party. He was the last candidate to
end his campaign. He endorsed Kerry on July 22, four days before the start of
the Democratic National Convention.
 2008 Presidential campaignMain article: Dennis Kucinich presidential
Kucinich speaking on the campaign trail, January 2007.On December 11, 2006
in a speech delivered at Cleveland City Hall, Kucinich announced he would seek
the nomination of the Democratic Party for President in 2008. His platform
for 2008 included:
Creating a single-payer not-for-profit system of universal health care that
provides full coverage for all Americans by passage of the United States National
Health Care Act. The immediate, phased withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq;
replacing them with an international security force. Guaranteed quality education
for all; including free pre-kindergarten and college for all who want it. Immediate
withdrawal from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA). Immediate repeal of the USA PATRIOT Act. Fostering a world
of international cooperation. Abolishing the death penalty. Environmental renewal
and clean energy. Creating a moratorium on Genetically Modified Organism (GMO).
Implementation of H.R. 676, which integrates traditional medicine with complementary
and alternative medicine (CAM). Ban offshore drilling. Halt all Biochemical
Aerial Spraying of Pesticides and other toxins. Preventing the privatization
of social security. Providing full social security benefits at age 65. Creating
a cabinet-level "Department of Peace" Ratifying the ABM Treaty and the Kyoto
Protocol. Introducing reforms to bring about instant-runoff voting. Protecting
a woman's "right to choose" while decreasing the number of abortions performed
in the U.S. Lowering the voting age to 16 Ending the War on Drugs. Legalizing
same-sex marriage. Strongly promoting workers' rights. Ending the H-1B and L-1
visa Programs Restoring rural communities and family farms. Strengthening gun
control. Legalizing medicinal marijuana and decriminalizing non-medical possession.
Kucinich described his stance on the issues as mainstream.
Kucinich told his supporters in Iowa that if he did not appear on the second
ballot in any caucus that they should back Barack Obama:
"I hope Iowans will caucus for me as their first choice ... because of my
singular positions on the war, on health care and trade," Kucinich said. "But
in those caucus locations where my support doesn't reach the necessary threshold,
I strongly encourage all of my supporters to make Barack Obama their second
At a debate of Democratic presidential candidates in Philadelphia on October
30, 2007, NBC's Tim Russert cited a passage from a book by Shirley MacLaine
in which the author writes that Kucinich had seen a UFO from her home in Washington
State. Russert asked if MacLaine's assertion was true. Kucinich confirmed and
emphasized that he merely meant he had seen an unidentified flying object, just
as former US president Jimmy Carter has. Russert then cited a statistic
that 14% of Americans say they have witnessed a UFO.
On November 16, 2007, Larry Flynt hosted a fundraiser for Kucinich at the
Los Angeles-based Hustler-LFP headquarters, attended by Kucinich and his wife,
which has drawn criticism from Flynt's detractors. Attendees included such notables
as Edward Norton, Woody Harrelson, Sean Penn, Robin Wright Penn, Melissa Etheridge,
Tammy Etheridge, Stephen Stills, Kristen Stills, Frances Fisher, and Esai Morales.
Campaign representatives declined to comment.
In December 2007, author Gore Vidal endorsed Kucinich for president.
Kucinich's 2008 presidential campaign was advised by a steering committee
including Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) Founder Steve Cobble, long-time
Kucinich press secretary Andy Junewicz, former RFK, McCarthy, Humphrey, McGovern
and Carter political consultant Michael Carmichael, former Carter Fundraiser
Marcus Brandon, Ani DiFranco Tour Manager Susan Alzner, West Point Graduate
and former Army Captain Mike Klein, former Communications Director of Democrats
Abroad Sharon Manitta and New Jersey-based political consultant Vin Gopal. The
campaign was seen as a platform to push progressive issues into the Democratic
Party, including a not-for-profit health care system, same-sex marriage, increasing
the minimum wage, opposing capital punishment, and impeachment.
On Monday, January 7, 2008 actor Viggo Mortensen endorsed Kucinich's presidential
campaign in New Hampshire. On Thursday, January 10, 2008, Kucinich asked
for a New Hampshire recount based on discrepancies between the machine-counted
ballots and the hand-counted ballots. He stated that he wanted to make sure
"100% of the voters had 100% of their votes counted."
On Tuesday, January 15, 2008, Kucinich was "disinvited" from a Democratic
presidential debate on MSNBC. A ruling that the debate could not go ahead without
Kucinich was overturned on appeal. Kucinich later responded to the questions
posed in the MSNBC debate in a show hosted by Democracy Now!
Kucinich dropped his bid for the Democratic nomination on Thursday, January
24, 2008, and did not endorse any other candidate. He later endorsed Barack
Obama after he had won the nomination. On Friday, January 25, 2008, he made
a formal announcement of the end of his campaign for president and his focus
on reelection to Congress.
On August 27, 2008, he delivered a widely publicized speech at the Democratic
Until 2012, Kucinich had always been reelected to Congress by sound margins
in his strongly Democratic-leaning districts, and had up until this election
far won primary challenges against him for the Democratic nomination convincingly.
2006 -- Kucinich defeated another Democratic primary challenger by a wide
margin and defeated Republican Mike Dovilla in the general election with 66%
of the vote.
2008 District 10 His opponents included Cleveland City Councilman
Joe Cimperman and North Olmsted Mayor Thomas O'Grady. In February 2008 Kucinich
raised around $50,000 compared to Cimperman's $228,000, but through a YouTube
money raising campaign he managed to raise $700,000, surpassing Cimperman's
Cimperman, who was endorsed by the Mayor of Cleveland and The Plain Dealer,
criticized Kucinich for focusing too much on campaigning for president and not
on the district. Kucinich accused Cimperman of representing corporate and real
estate interests. Cimperman described Kucinich as an absentee congressman who
failed to pass any major legislative initiatives in his 12-year House career.
In an interview, Cimperman said he was tired of Kucinich and Cleveland being
joke fodder for late-night talk-show hosts, saying "It's time for him to go
home." An ad paid for by Cimperman's campaign stated that Kucinich has missed
over 300 votes, but by checking the ad's source, the actual number was 139.
However, Kucinich is well known for his constituency service.
A report suggested that representatives of Nancy Pelosi and American Israel
Public Affairs Committee would "guarantee" Kucinich's re-election if he dropped
his bid to impeach Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, though Kucinich denies the
meeting happened. It was also suggested that Kucinich's calls for universal
health care and an immediate withdrawal from Iraq made him a thorn in the side
of the Democrats' congressional leadership, as well as his refusal to pledge
to support the eventual presidential nominee, which he later reconsidered.
Kucinich took part in a debate with the other primary challengers. Barbara
Ferris criticized him for not bringing as much money back to the district as
other area legislators and authoring just one bill that passed during his 12
years in Congress. Kucinich responded "It was a Republican Congress and there
weren't many Democrats passing meaningful legislation during a Republican Congress."
Kucinich won the primary, receiving 68,156 votes out of 135,589 cast to beat
Cimperman 52% to 33%.
Kucinich defeated former State Representative Jim Trakas in the November
4, 2008 general election with 153,357 votes, 56.8% of those cast.
2010 Kucinich defeated Republican nominee Peter J. Corrigan and Libertarian
nominee Jeff Goggins in the November 2, 2010 general election with 101,343 votes,
53.1% of those cast.
2012 Redistricting threw Kucinich into the same district as another
Democratic incumbent, Marcy Kaptur. The two competed in the Democratic primary
on March 6, 2012, but Kucinich lost after an increasingly bitter campaign. Kucinich
had been endorsed by another House member, Barney Frank of Massachusetts.
Kucinich was mentioned frequently as a possible 2012 candidate for congress
in the state of Washington, and even openly admitted exploring the idea, but
ultimately decided against running and decided to retire from congress when
his term ends in January 2013.
Political positions of Dennis Kucinich Based on his voting record in Congress,
the American Conservative Union (ACU) gave Kucinich a conservative rating of
9.73%, and for 2008, the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)
gave him a liberal rating of 95%.
In the aftermath of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, Kucinich
has called for the Federal Reserve System to be put under control of U.S. Treasury.
Additionally, banks shall no longer be allowed to create money, putting an end
to fractional-reserve banking. He cites Stephen Zarlenga as the initiator
of that proposal.
Plan for Iraq
On January 8, 2007 Kucinich unveiled his comprehensive exit plan to bring
the troops home and stabilize Iraq. His plan includes the following steps:
1.Announce that the US will end the occupation, close the military bases,
and withdraw. 2.Announce that existing funds will be used to bring the troops
and the necessary equipment home. 3.Order a simultaneous return of all US contractors
to the US and turn over the contracting work to the Iraqi government. 4.Convene
a regional conference for developing a security and stabilization force for
Iraq. 5.Prepare an international security peacekeeping force to replace US troops,
who then return home. 6.Develop and fund a process of national reconciliation.
7.Restart programs for reconstruction and creating jobs for the Iraqi people.
8.Provide reparations for the damage that has been done to the lives of Iraqis.
9.Assure the political sovereignty of Iraq and ensure that their oil is not
stolen. 10.Repair the Iraqi economy. 11.Guarantee economic sovereignty for Iraq.
12.Commence an international truth and reconciliation process, which establishes
a policy of truth and reconciliation between the people of the US and Iraq.
 Space Preservation Act of 2001Kucinich introduced the first Space Preservation
Act, on October 2, 2001, with no cosponsors. The bill was designed to "preserve
the cooperative, peaceful uses of space for the benefit of all humankind."
The bill was referred to the House Science, the House Armed Services, and
the House International Relations committees. The bill died in committee (April
9, 2002) because of an unfavorable executive comment received from the Department
Impeachment proceedings against Dick Cheney
US House Resolution 333 On April 17, 2007, Kucinich sent a letter to his
Democratic colleagues saying that he planned to file impeachment proceedings
against Dick Cheney, then Vice President of the United States. Kucinich
planned to introduce the impeachment articles on April 24, 2007, but in light
of Cheney's visit to his doctor for an inspection of a blood clot, Kucinich
decided to postpone the scheduled press conference "until the vice president's
condition is clarified."
Kucinich held a press conference on the evening of April 24, 2007, revealing
House Resolution 333 and the three articles of impeachment against Cheney. He
charges Cheney with manipulating the evidence of Iraq's weapons program, deceiving
the nation about Iraq's connection to al-Qaeda, and threatening aggression against
Iran in violation of the United Nations charter. Kucinich opened his press conference
by quoting from the Declaration of Independence, and stated: "I believe the
Vice President's conduct of office has been destructive to the founding purposes
of our nation. Today, I have introduced House Resolution 333, Articles of Impeachment
Relating to Vice President Richard B. Cheney. I do so in defense of the rights
of the American people to have a government that is honest and peaceful."
During the first Democratic Presidential debate at South Carolina State University,
none of the other candidates' hands went up when the moderator, Brian Williams,
asked if they would support Kucinich's plan to impeach Cheney. In response,
Kucinich retrieved a pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution from his coat
and expressed the importance of protecting and defending constitutional principles.
This is a pocket copy of the Constitution which I carry with me, because
I took an oath to defend the Constitution. We've spent a lot of time talking
about Iraq here tonight and America's role in the world. This country was taken
into war based on lies. This country was taken into war based on lies about
weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda's role with respect to Iraq, which
there wasn't one at the time we went in. I want to state that Mr. Cheney must
be held accountable. He is already ginning up a cause for war against Iran.
Now, we have to stand for this Constitution, we have to protect and defend this
Constitution. And this vice president has violated this Constitution. So I think
that while my friends on the stage may not be ready to take this stand, the
American people should know that there's at least one person running for president
who wants to reconnect America with its goodness, with its greatness, with its
highest principles, which currently are not being reflected by those who are
in the White House. —Dennis Kucinich, New York Times, April 27, 2007
By January 29, 2008, 24 other Congressional representatives became cosponsors.
Six of these were members of the House Judiciary Committee: Tammy Baldwin, Keith
Ellison, Hank Johnson, Maxine Waters, Steve Cohen and Sheila Jackson-Lee. In
addition, Congressman Robert Wexler, supported by Representatives Luis Gutierrez
and Tammy Baldwin, began openly calling for impeachment hearings to begin.
Cheney impeachment articles introduced
On November 6, 2007, Kucinich used special parliamentary procedure and moved
for a vote on impeaching the Vice President. House Majority Leader Steny
Hoyer and House Speaker Pelosi opposed the measure and stood by previous comments
that, "impeachment is not on our agenda," and they initially moved to table
the bill. When that attempt failed, Mr. Hoyer quickly moved to refer the bill
to the House Judiciary Committee. That motion succeeded.
Opposition to H1B/L1 visa programs
Kucinich has been a vocal opponent of the H1B and L1 visa programs. In an
article on his campaign website, he states:
The expanded use of H-1B and L-1 visas has had a negative effect on the workplace
of Information Technology workers in America. It has caused a reduction in wages.
It has forced workers to accept deteriorating working conditions and allowed
U.S. companies to concentrate work in technical and geographic areas that American
workers consider undesirable. It has also reduced the number of IT jobs held
by Americans.  Plan to ban handgunsIn the aftermath of the Virginia Tech
massacre in Blacksburg, Virginia, Kucinich proposed a plan that he says would
address violence in America. Kucinich is currently drafting legislation that
includes a ban on the purchase, sale, transfer, or possession of handguns by
The congressman has pushed for gun control, even as a city councilman. He
kept a pistol in his house for a period in 1978 (under the recommendation of
the police) when he was the target of a Mafia plot. He no longer keeps the pistol.
 Support for reinstating the Fairness DoctrineKucinich is also involved
in efforts to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, requiring radio stations to
give liberal and conservative points of view equal time, which he and other
critics of talk radio argue is not presently the case. Fellow Democrat Maurice
Hichney, Vermont's independent Senator Bernie Sanders, and others have joined
him in this effort. Conservatives have criticized these plans, alleging
that what they believe to be a liberal-dominated Hollywood, academia, new media,
and mainstream media would not be subject to these regulations.
 Animal welfare and rightsKucinich addresses the issue of factory farming
in his policy encouraging independent, family-owned, and organic farming. This
would help lead to "the meat that we consume coming from happy and healthy free-range
animals," Kucinich states on his campaign website.
Kucinich is one of the few vegans in Congress. He became vegan in 1995.
He has maintained a diet for many years that excludes animal products in accordance
with his conviction that "all life on our Earth [is] sacred."
 Free Market Drug ActKucinich believes that the prices for patented
drugs are unreasonably high, and that patent monopolies have created a restricted,
unfree drug market. "Simply put, if drug manufacturers were operating in a free
market like most other businesses in the US, drug prices would be significantly
lower." On September 29, 2004, he introduced H.R. 5155, the Free Market Drug
Act; a system where the National Institutes of Health would fund research, thus
disconnecting the manufacturing of drugs from research and increasing competition
among private manufacturers.
 Energy policyAs mayor of Cleveland in the 1970s, Kucinich favored
the city's existing Municipal Light System and opposed construction of the Davis-Besse
Nuclear Power Plant and Perry Nuclear Power Plant on Lake Erie. Kucinich opposed
a planned regional radioactive waste dump, and has long advocated renewable
energy and efficient energy use.
In 2010 Kucinich stated that new nuclear reactors are not cost-effective,
and that they are a slow way of meeting electricity needs as it takes five or
six years for new reactors to come on line. He also said that new nuclear reactors
are a risky way to meet electricity needs.
 Attempts to impeach George W. BushMain article: Movement to impeach
George W. Bush On June 10, 2008, Kucinich introduced 35 articles of impeachment
against President George W. Bush on the floor of the House of Representatives.
On June 11, the resolution was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
Calling it "a sworn duty" of Congress to act, co-sponsor Robert Wexler stated:
"President Bush deliberately created a massive propaganda campaign to sell the
war in Iraq to the American people and the charges detailed in this impeachment
resolution indicate an unprecedented abuse of executive power."
On July 10, 2008, Kucinich introduced an additional article of impeachment
accusing Bush of misleading Congress into war.
On July 14, 2008 Kucinich introduced a new resolution of impeachment against
George W. Bush, charging him with manufacturing evidence to sway public opinion
in favor of the war in Iraq. This resolution was also sent to the judiciary
Democratic leaders Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi opposed the impeachment efforts.[citation
needed] None of them ever progressed to a full House vote.
 Youth rightsIn a Democratic debate during the 2008 Presidential Election,
Kucinich and Mike Gravel were the only two candidates who favored lowering the
legal drinking age to 18 as it is in the vast majority of the world. Kucinich
further said that the voting age should be lowered to 16.
 Military intervention in LibyaKucinich objected to the 2011 military
intervention in Libya missile strikes and questioned whether they weren't impeachable
offenses. Kucinich also questioned why Democratic leaders didn’t object when
President Barack Obama told them of his plan for US participation in enforcing
the Libyan no-fly zone. He said Obama's action in Libya was "a grave decision
that cannot be made by the president alone", and stated that failing to first
seek approval of Congress was in violation of the Constitution.
On August 31, Al Jazeera reported that a document had been found in the headquarters
of the Libyan intelligence agency which according to the author appears to be
a summary of a conversation between Kucinich and an intermediary for Saif al-Islam
Gaddafi in which the congressman asked for information about the anti-Gaddafi
National Transitional Council (NTC), possible links of it to al-Qaeda and corruption
evidences, to lobby US lawmakers to put an end to NATO airstrikes and suspend
their support for the NTC. It also listed information necessary to defend
Saif al-Islam against International Criminal Court war crimes charges.
Kucinich defended himself in a message to The Atlantic Wire, saying that the
document in question is simply a summary of Kucinich's public positions on the
Libyan campaign by a Libyan bureaucrat who never consulted with Kucinich himself.
"Al Jazeera found a document written by a Libyan bureaucrat to other Libyan
bureaucrats. All it proves is that the Libyans were reading the Washington Post...
Any implication I was doing anything other than trying to bring an end to an
unauthorised war is fiction."
 Electoral historyMain article: Electoral history of Dennis Kucinich
 RecognitionIn 2003, Kucinich was the recipient of the Gandhi Peace Award,
an annual award bestowed by the Religious Society of Friends-affiliated organization
Promoting Enduring Peace.
After Kucinich lost to Marcy Kaptur in the 2012 Democratic primary, Rep.
Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said of Kucinich, "At the end of the day, we’re really
going to miss Dennis. Dennis is a transformative leader. He stood up and spoke
eloquently, passionately about Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran. He was a consistent
voice for peace... He almost didn’t vote for the health care bill because it
wasn’t good enough."
 See also2008 Democratic Party presidential primaries 2008 Democratic
presidential candidates United States presidential election, 2008 List of United
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Today. Americans for Democratic Action. http://www.adaction.org/media/votingrecords/2008.pdf.
Retrieved 2009-03-26. 103.^ Dennis Kucinich States His Intention To Put The
Federal Reserve Under Government Control on YouTube retrieved 2010-05-24}} 104.^
"Dennis Kucinich Explains Our Current Economic Situation". Video.google.com.
2009-01-26. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2864340017700873183. Retrieved
2010-05-24. 105.^ "Dennis Kucinich's 12 Point Plan to End the Iraq War". Kucinich
for President Volunteer Organizing Site - DK2008.us. Archived from the original
on January 6, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080106130210/http://dk2008.us/endthewar.
Retrieved August 26, 2011. 106.^ "Library of Congress (Thomas)". Thomas.loc.gov.
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:HR02977:@@@X. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
107.^ Ann Akers, Mary (April 17, 2007). "Articles of Impeachment To Be Filed
On Cheney". The Washington Post. http://blog.washingtonpost.com/sleuth/2007/04/articles_of_impeachment_to_be.html.
Retrieved 2007-04-30. 108.^ "Cheney returns to work after leg check-up". Reuters.
April 24, 2007. http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN2439727520070424.
Retrieved 2007-04-30. 109.^ "Kucinich Introduces Impeachment Articles Against
Cheney". The Washington Post. April 24, 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/24/AR2007042401542.html.
Retrieved 2007-11-07. 110.^ Johnson, Alex (April 26, 2007). "Democrats seek
to seize initiative on Iraq". MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18326264. Retrieved
2007-05-01. 111.^ "The Democrats' First 2008 Presidential Debate". The New York
Times. April 27, 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/27/us/politics/27debate_transcript.html?pagewanted=18&_r=1.
112.^ Library of Congress, H.RES.333, Summary as of: 04/24/2007 — Introduced,
THOMAS 113.^ a b "Brady Supports Kucinich Move to Impeach Cheney". The Philadelphia
Bulletin. November 7, 2007. http://www.thebulletin.us/site/news.cfm?newsid=18997962&BRD=2737&PAG=461&dept_id=576361&rfi=6.
114.^ "Dennis on outsourcing American jobs". Dennis Kucinich on H-1B and L-1
115.^ "Kucinich Offers Comprehensive Plan to Address Violence in America" (Press
release). Dennis J. Kucinich. 2007-04-18. http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=62819.
116.^ Eaton, Sabrina (2007-04-27). "Kucinich packed heat after 1978 Mafia death
plot". The Plain Dealer Politics Blog. http://blog.cleveland.com/openers/2007/04/kucinich_packed_heat_after_197.html.
117.^ Fred Lucas (January 17, 2007). "Democrats' New 'Fairness' Push May Silence
Conservative Radio Hosts, Critics Say". CBS News. Archived from the original
on March 29, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080329083302/http://www.cnsnews.com/news/viewstory.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200701/NAT20070117a.html.
Retrieved August 26, 2011. 118.^ "John Berlau: Is the Fairness Doctrine on its
Way Back?, October 31, 2006". Humanevents.com. 2006-09-15. http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=17793.
Retrieved 2010-05-24. 119.^ Hunter, Derek (2007-05-17). "'Fairness Doctrine'
Anything but Fair". The Politico. http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=960F8E19-3048-5C12-0091F4C92C213AF7.
120.^ Will, George F. (2007-05-07). "Fraudulent 'Fairness'". Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/id/35081.
121.^ a b Animal Welfare, Kucinich for President 2008, Inc. Retrieved April
18, 2011. 122.^ "Hardball" 21 July 2012 interview with Chris Matthews 123.^
Jennifer Duck, Kucinich Brings Home the Bacon, Vegan-Style, ABC News. May 4,
2007. 124.^ , Kucinich for patent free drugs. 125.^ "New Hampshire's Nuclear
Primary". Thenation.com. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080121/wasserman. Retrieved
2010-05-24. 126.^ Dennis Kucinich. Dennis Kucinich: New Nuclear Reactors would
be too Risky U.S. News, July 19, 2010. 127.^ "Rep. Kucinich introduces Bush
impeachment resolution". AP/MSNBC. 2008-06-10. Archived from the original on
June 13, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080613035124/http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25068638/.
Retrieved 2008-06-10. 128.^ "Rep. Kucinich introduces Bush impeachment resolution".
Associated Press. Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080610174554/http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iE21FOVAfMfEbAE5LDwiYm8fGh4QD916SHJ01.
Retrieved August 26, 2011. 129.^ video[dead link] 130.^ "sun-sentinel.com, U.S.
Rep. Wexler calling for impeachment of President Bush". Sun-sentinel.com. Archived
from the original on July 9, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080709090748/http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/broward/sfl-flb3bdigest06113sbjun11,0,5100560.story.
Retrieved 2010-05-24. 131.^ "OpEdNews". OpEdNews. http://www.opednews.com/articles/What-Dennis-Has-Done-by-David-Swanson-080710-738.html.
Retrieved 2010-05-24. 132.^ rtsp://video1.c-span.org/15days/e071008_kucinich.rm
133.^ "Draft Version of New Article of Impeachment". AfterDowningStreet.org.
http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/34684. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 134.^ Parker,
Jennifer (2007-10-09). "Group Stirs Debate on Legal Drinking Age". ABC News.
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3708133. Retrieved 2010-01-18. "Of course,
they should be able to drink at age 18, and they should be able to vote at age
16" 135.^ Liberal Democrats in uproar over Libya action; Politico; March 19,
2011 136.^ Dennis Kucinich: Obama's Libya Attack An Impeachable Offense; Talking
Points Memo; March 21, 2011 137.^ a b c Elshayyal, Jamal (August 31, 2011).
Secret files: US officials aided Gaddafi. Al Jazeera. Accessed August 31, 2011
138.^ Uri Friedman (August 31, 2011). Al Jazeera Says Kucinich Worked With Qaddafis,
Kucinich Denies The Atlantic Wire 139.^ Jonathan Allen and Alex Isenstadt (March
7, 2012). "Dennis Kucinich loss is end of an era". Politico. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0312/73757_Page2.html.
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Persondata Name Kucinich, Dennis John Alternative names Kučinić, Dennis (Croatian)
Short description Ohio politician Date of birth October 8, 1946 Place of birth
Cleveland, Ohio Date of death living Place of death
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Dennis Kucinich is a very scrappy little (5'7") guy with a tough background.
As a kid, his parents moved constantly, cramming 7 kids into 2 bedroom apartments
or even, at times, a car parked outside the steel mill where his dad worked.
He was elected as the nation's youngest mayor (of Cleveland) in 1977, and was
known mostly for scrapping with established politicians, banks and just about
everybody else. After he fired his police chief -- live, on the 6 O'Clock news
-- he was so unpopular that he wore a bulletproof vest when he threw out the
first pitch at an Indian's baseball game, and had police sharpshooters lined
up all along the roof of the building.
After he was unceremoniously booted from office in his 1979 reelection fight,
though, he drifted toward California and New Mexico, living for a while in his
"dear friend" Shirley MacLaine's house, and began what he calls ""a journey
into the poetry of my own life." Now, he has made quite a journey from scrappy
poor kid to quixotic New Age lefty presidential candidate.
"Dennis Kucinich has spent his life fighting for the little guy -- and that
little guy is Dennis." -- David Martin, the Cleveland Scene
"The energy of the stars becomes us. We become the energy of the stars. Stardust
and spirit unite and we begin: one with the universe, whole and holy. From one
source, endless creative energy, bursting forth, kinetic, elemental; we, the
earth, air, water and fire-source of nearly fifteen billion years of cosmic
spiraling." -- Kucinich, in
the "Journal of Concious Evolution"
"As a bachelor, I get a chance to fantasize about my first lady. And you
know maybe Fox will want to sponsor it as a national contest or something. But
in any event I would want definitely want someone who would not just be there
by my side, but be a working partner because I think we're in a day in age when
partnerships are imperative to making anything happening in the world. And I
certainly want a dynamic, out-spoken woman who was fearless in her desire for
peace in the world and for universal single-payer health care and a full employment
economy. If you are out there call me." -- Kucinich, Nov. 5, 2003
"After I lost the [mayoral] election in Cleveland in 1979, I moved to California
for a while. I actually remember walking in the area around L.A. known as MacArthur
Park, and I was thinking of that song and thinking of the lyrics where they
talk about 'Someone left the cake out in the rain. It took so long to make it.'
And it goes on, raising the question of whether I'll ever have that recipe again."
"There's no one in America who believes in Dennis Kucinich more than Dennis
Kucinich. We used to say back here in Ohio, you've got to drive a stake through
the guy's heart to get him out of it." -- Tim Hagan, former Cuyahoga County
"My journey has spanned political, social, economic and even spiritual gulfs.
And because of that journey, I really have a sense of the potential for oneness
which exists in this nation and in the world community. I see how it all fits
together . . ." -- Kucinich, in Beverly Hills
New Age Mystic
Kucinich likes to portray himself as a progressive, but for him that takes
a turn not seen in mainstream politics since Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown ran for
president. While his website tries to paint him as a down to earth midwesterner
with a page titled "Polka, Bowling and Kielbasa", Kucinich is certainly the
only admitted Vegan in the race (that is, a vegetarian who won't consume any
animal products at all, including milk and honey.) The only kielbasa he'll be
eating is made of tofurkey.
The blue collar kid from Cleveland now supports creating a Department of
Peace. "I have a holistic view of the world," he explains. "I see the world
as interconnected and interdependent and that leaves no room for war." He is
also friends with Shirley MacLaine, who is the godmother of his daughter and
attended his third wedding in 2005.
Other policy positions of his get a bit "out there" as well. In 2001, he
introduced a bill to ban space-based and other exotic weapons, including "radiation,
electromagnetic, psychotronic, sonic, laser, or other energies . . . for the
purpose of information war, mood management, or mind control of such populations."
Included in the ban were "chemtrails," supposed airplane emissions that change
the weather or cause rashes in schoolkids, if you listen to the Art Bell radio
show anyway. Chemtrails were removed in a revised draft of the bill. "I'm not
into that," Kucinich told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Really? Kucinich was the
legislation's sole author.
As snide as I'd like to be, I can't improve on Kucinich's own mysticism,
so here's some more from the article in
New Connexion magazine:
"In our soul's Magnificent, we become conscious of the cosmos within us. We
hear the music of peace, we hear the music of cooperation, we hear music of
love. In our soul's forgetting, we become unconscious of our cosmic birthright,
blighted with disharmony, disunity, torn asunder from the stars in a disaster
UFOs Put Ideas In His Head
Dennis' close friend Shirley Maclaine has an interesting story about him
in her book, "Sage-ing While Age-ing." (Yeah, I know.) Shirley says he had a
close encounter with a UFO at her house in Washington state that he found very
"The smell of roses drew him out to my balcony where, when he looked up,
he saw a gigantic triangular craft, silent, and observing him. It hovered, soundless,
for 10 minutes or so, and sped away with a speed he couldn't comprehend. He
said he felt a connection in his heart and heard directions in his mind."
I can't make that one any weirder or funnier, either.
Led Cleveland Into Bankruptcy
Critics are quick to charge that Kucinich "led Cleveland into bankruptcy"
as a young (31) mayor, called "Dennis the Menace" by the press, and his administration
was certainly messy. One book recently named him as the 7th worst mayor of American
history, not for any reasons of corruption or scandal, but due to his "abrasive,
intemperate, and chaotic administration." He survived a recall vote after only
ten months in office by 231 votes (out of 120,000) and was voted out after one
term by Republican George Voinovich, even through Democrats outnumbered Republicans
8 to 1. When he threw out the first pitch at a Cleveland Indians game, he wore
a bullet-proof vest and had sharpshooters positioned on the stadium roof.
In many ways though history has vindicated Kucinich, at least on the bankruptcy.
The city was already headed toward bankruptcy when Kucinich took office, and
financial advisers were telling him to sell the city-owned electric company
to stave it off. He refused this power play and the banks called in the city's
loans, triggering bankruptcy. But the utility remains public, and, according
to a study by Cleveland magazine, the utility's low rates saved customers about
$195 million over the past 10 years. In fact, he got back into Congress in 2002
campaigning on the success of his effort to keep that utility.
Looking For Love
Like so many New Age devotees desperately searching for universal love, Kucinich
lacked a steady love partner during the 2004 elections. The twice-divorced dad,
however, not only admitted it but went public with his search for a love connection
during a 2004 debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, announcing his criteria for
a first lady: "a dynamic, out-spoken woman who was fearless in her desire for
peace in the world and for universal single-payer health care."
To help out, the PoliticsNH website started a personals area for Kucinich
women wannabees. One of the first was Gina Marie (33) from New Jersey, who noted
that "Madonna and Jennifer Lopez are probably two of the most recognizable,
powerful women in our country yet they are not helping all Americans gain access
to affordable healthcare." It's hard to argue with that logic.
Well, something must have worked, because in 2005, Dennis married his third
wife, Elizabeth Harper of London England. She's an attractive, 6 foot tall woman
31 years younger than him. If he's elected, she will be the first First Lady
with a tongue piercing. They met when she visited his congressional office;
he proposed on the second date, and they married 30 days later.
While most politicians change their positions from time to time -- in fact,
all good ones do, because they are learning and open to change -- Kucinich has
made a dizzying switch on abortion with no apparent principle to back it up
(other than, "I want to win some Democratic primaries.")
As a Congressman, he amassed one of the most anti-abortion voting records
in Congress, one especially unusual for a Democrat. Fair enough, Kucinich was
raised Catholic. He voted to criminalize partial birth abortions, to deny American
servicewoman the right even to pay for their own abortions overseas, to prevent
Washington, D.C. from funding abortions for poor women with nonfederal dollars,
against research on RU-486, even against health coverage of basic contraception
for federal employees. In 1996 he told Planned Parenthood that he did not support
the substance of Roe v. Wade. He received a a 95 percent position rating from
the National Right to Life Committee, versus 10 percent from Planned Parenthood
and 0 percent from NARAL.
Now that he wants to run as a progressive Democrat though, he is waffling
all over that stance. He told The Nation magazine that "I believe life begins
at conception and that it doesn't end at birth." (Huh?) He said he was not in
favor of either a Human Life Amendment that would constitutionally protect "life"
from the moment of conception, nor the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and presented
his votes as votes not against abortion per se but against federal funding of
the procedure. That's not consistent with his votes on the servicewomen and
Washington DC issues mentioned above, however. And while told The Nation he
was not in favor of "criminalizing" abortion, he voted for a partial-birth-abortion
ban that included fines and up to two years in jail for doctors who performed
them, except to save the woman's life.
When pressed, Kucinich said "I haven't been a leader on this. These are issues
I would not have chosen to bring up." Well, he has been at least a devoted follower
of the anti-abortion position, until it became politically inconvenient. And
if he's not a leader, why should anyone elect him as president?
"Shirley MacLaine claims Kucinich had UFO encounter", by Mark Naymik, Cleveland
Plain Dealer (newspaper), October 23, 2007
"Meet Democrat Dennis Kucinich's Wife: She's a New Age, Tongue-Pierced Brit",
the London Sunday Times, May 20, 2007
"Ohio's comeback kid", by Sandy Nelson, Campaigns & Election,; Sep97, Vol.
18 Issue 8, p51
"Regressive Progressive?", Katha Politt, the Nation, 5/27/2002, Vol. 274
Issue 20, p10
"Spirit and Stardust", by U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, New Connexion Magazine,
Hollow Man, BY DAVID W. MARTIN The Cleveland Scene (newspaper), March 19,
"Democratic candidate draws support from peace activists, New Age gurus",
by MALIA RULON, (Associated Press), San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, May
"The American Mayor," by Melvin Holli
"Field Notes: Dennis Kucinich", ABC-News Online, Nov. 6, 2003
"Who Wants To Be a First Lady?", PoliticsNH.Com, November 5, 2003
"Dennis Kucinich: The combative mystic". by Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune,
November 7, 2003
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