Dennis Kucinich

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Dennis Kucinich
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Dennis John Kucinich was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 10th district of Ohio. Kucinich was defeated by fellow Democratic incumbent Marcy Kaptur in the 2012 Primary for the 9th congressional district of Ohio.[1]

Early life/education

Kucinich was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 8, 1946. He is the eldest of 7 children of Frank and Virginia Kucinich. He and his family lived in twenty-one places by the time Kucinich was 17 years old. Kucinich graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Speech Communications from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio in 1974.

Kucinich has held many jobs outside of politics including being a hospital orderly, newspaper copy boy, teacher, consultant, television analyst and author[2].

Cleveland politics

Dennis Kucinich was elected to the Cleveland, Ohio City Council at age 23 and was elected mayor in 1977 at the age of 31. At the time, he was the youngest person ever elected to lead a major American city[3].

Congressional record

Since being elected to Congress in 1996, Kucinich has been a:

...tireless advocate for worker rights, civil rights and human rights.

In Congress, Kucinich has authored and co-sponsored legislation to create a national health care system, preserve Social Security, lower the costs of prescription drugs, provide economic development through infrastructure improvements, abolish the death penalty, provide universal prekindergarten to all 3, 4, and 5 year olds, create a Department of Peace, regulate genetically engineered foods, repeal the USA PATRIOT Act, and provide tax relief to working class families.

Kucinich has been honored by Public Citizen, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters.

Kucinich has twice been an official United States delegate to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (1998, 2004) and attend the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In his district, Kucinich has been recognized by the Greater Cleveland AFL-CIO as a

...tireless advocate for the social and economic interests of his community.

Kucinich is a current member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States (IATSE), an AFL-CIO affiliated union[4].

Congressional Progressive Caucus

In 1998 Dennis Kucinich Democrat was listed as a vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[5]

On November 19 2008 the Congressional Progressive Caucus announced its elected leadership in for the 111th Congress:[6]

Co-Chairs are Congressman Raul Grijalva (AZ) and Lynn Woolsey (CA)

Whip Diane Watson

Vice-Chair Liaison to Black Caucus Sheila Jackson-Lee

Vice-Chair Liaison to Women's Caucus Hilda Solis

Vice-Chair Liaison to Asian Pacific American Caucus Mazie Hirono

Vice-Chair Liaison to LGBT Equality Caucus, Dennis Kucinich

As of November 16, 2009, Kucinich was listed as a Vice Chair[7]of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Progressive Caucus SOTU Address

On Thursday, January 27 2000, from 3:30pm to 5:00pm in 2253 of RHOB, the Congressional Progressive Caucus held its 3rd Annual Congressional Progressive Caucus' State of the Union Address. This event was also sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies' Progressive Challenge coalition whose Fairness Agenda for America is endorsed by 200 public interest groups nationally.

Caucus Chair Rep. Peter DeFazio(D-OR) stated "The Progressive Caucus Alternative State of the Union will provide a much needed reality check to politicians who would rather ignore the priorities of Americans left out of the economic boom -- priorities like access to quality health care and education, repairing crumbling schools, addressing the growing gap between the rich and poor, and creating a sustainable global economy that works for everyone, not just the corporate architects."

Anticipated speakers included: Peter DeFazio (D-OR), House Minority Whip David Bonior (D-MI), Earl Hilliard (D-AL);Dennis Kucinich (D-OH); Cynthia McKinney (D-GA);. Major Owens (D-NY)Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Tammy Baldwin (D-WI);. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY);Barbara Lee (D-CA); Jerrold Nadler (D-NY); and Lynn Woolsey(D-CA). John Cavanagh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies also made some remarks regarding public interest groups support of a progressive agenda.[8]

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, Chaired by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), consists of over a quarter of the House Democrats, one Independent and Senator Paul Wellstone. The Caucus will be releasing position papers on Health Care and Income Inequality, with reports on the Alternative Federal Budget, Social Security, Minimum Wage, Education and the Global Economy.

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Dennis Kucinich in his successful House of Representatives run as candidate for Ohio.[9]

Department of Peace

Speaking to a crowd of 200 peace activists March 11, in Oakland California, Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) took the occasion to condemn the Bush administration’s plans to target seven nations with nuclear weapons.

“To think that the nuclear option is on the table as a viable strategy is terrifying,” said Lee. “We must keep peace out there as an option.”

Kucinich declared, “We have a crisis in the country – a crisis in the the lack of belief in the power of peace. The Bush plan,” he said, “challenges America morally. It raises the question of what America stands for.” Both statements were warmly applauded by the audience gathered to hear about a proposed Cabinet-level Peace Office initiated by Lee and Kucinich.

They were joined in their stand by Communist Party USA affiliated activist Jackie Cabasso, spokesperson for the Peoples Non-Violent Response Coalition, organizer of the event, who said, “The U.S. position needs to be condemned today, immediately! We need a Department of Peace, but we need some interim measures in the meantime.” The PNVRC was formed in the wake of the events of Sept. 11 to promote non-violence as the answer to terrorism.

The bill (HR-2459) that would set up the Department of Peace was introduced in Congress on July 11, 2001 by Kucinich; at that point there were 61 co-sponsors, including Lee.

The bill would order the federal government to set up a $3 billion a year agency with a Secretary of Peace who would be a member of the President’s Cabinet, and seven assistant secretaries. The mission of the Department would include: hold peace as an organizing principle; endeavor to promote justice and democratic principles to expand human rights; develop policies that promote national and international conflict prevention, non-violent intervention, mediation, peaceful resolution of conflict, and structured mediation of conflict.

A national “Peace Day” would be declared as an occasion to urge all citizens to create peace.

The forum was moderated by leftist Oakland City Councilmember Nancy Nadel. Oakland teacher Jessica Wright, also spoke of the need to involve young people in peace work.[10]

Health Care Access resolution

John Conyers promoted House Concurrent Resolution 99 (H. Con Res. 99) Directing Congress to enact legislation by October 2004 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 4, 2001.

Sponsors:John Conyers (for himself), Jan Schakowsky, John Tierney, Barbara Lee, Donna Christensen, David Bonior, Dennis Kucinich, Earl Hilliard, Maurice Hinchey, Jerry Nadler, Donald Payne Chaka Fattah, Peter DeFazio, John Lewis Tammy Baldwin, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Cynthia McKinney, Jim Langevin, George Miller Alcee Hastings, Patsy Mink, John Olver , Bennie Thompson, Pete Stark, Julia Carson, and Mike Capuano submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce;[11]

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that the Congress shall enact legislation by October 2004 to guarantee that every person in the United States, regardless of income, age, or employment or health status, has access to health care..

HR 3000

On September 3, 2003 Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced H.R. 3000, the United States Universal Health Service Act, which would provide health coverage for all Americans. H.R. 3000 would establish a United States Health Service (USHS), which would eliminate profit issues from health care because it would be owned and controlled by the public and administered primarily at the local level.[12]

According to the Communist Party USA's People's World, initial supporters of HR 3000 were Julia Carson, (D-Ind.), Donna Christensen (D-Va.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Major Owens (D-N.Y.), Donald Payne (D-N.J.), and Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).

The World went on to say;[13]

We will not win the United States Health Service without a massive, prolonged struggle by working people against the corporate defenders of the current for-profit health care industry.

A.N.S.W.E.R.

Kucinich-sm.jpg

Links to Communist Party

Cleveland connections

Dennis Kucinich has reportedly been close to the Communist Party USA since his days in Cleveland Ohio council politics in the 1960s[14].

Take Kucinich first. As mayor of Cleveland in the late 1960s, he represented one of the most “left” elements in the Democratic Party during the heyday of the radical protest movement. He was closely allied with the Stalinists of the CPUSA, who still had significant influence in the working class of Cleveland, particularly in such unions as the UE and UAW. With the collapse of the protest movement and the shift to the right in American bourgeois politics, Kucinich was driven out of political life for two decades, before returning to office as a state legislator and ultimately winning a congressional seat.

Ohio State Senate victory

In 1994 Kucinich won a seat in the Ohio State Senate, with strong labor backing, especially from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 30, who canvassed door to door, in two Cleveland neighborhoods.[15]

Commenting on the victory in the People's World of December 3 1994, Ohio state Communist Party USA chair Rick Nagin wrote;

Kucinich not only motivated people to vote - he motivated an army of 1000 volunteers, drawn in considerable measure from labor and grassroots organizations...The Kucinich election shows the tremendous potential for working class and labor candidates. It shows that big business, even with their vast resources can be decisively beaten..."

Communist controversy

During Kucinich's 1996 Congressional run, there was considerable controversy over his ties to Communist Party USA member Rick Nagin.

Writing in the Communist Party USA paper People's Weekly World Ohio Communist Party chairman, Rick Nagin, detailed the campaign which led to Kucinich's election to Congress:[16]

The election of Dennis Kucinich in Ohio's 10th Congressional District was a ground-breaking event demonstrating the powerful political potential of a mass, grassroots coalition led by labor.

Trade unionists and seniors provided the largest numbers of some 5,000 volunteers but many others came from Hispanic, environmental, peace and other organizations.
According to the campaign staff, the volunteers canvassed at least 600 of the district's 750 precincts, some as many as four times. They turned the western half of Cuyahoga County and especially the west side of Cleveland into a sea of 15,000 bright yellow yard signs reading "Light Up Congress! Elect Dennis Kucinich" -

Many organizations also issued their own literature and did their own mailings including the AFL-CIO's Labor '96, the UAW CAP Council, the Sierra Club, Peace Voter '96, gay rights and senior groups. The United Auto Workers and the Steelworkers did plantgate distributions. The Ohio Council of Senior Citizens distributed 12,000 pieces with the positions of Kucinich and his opponent, incumbent Martin Hoke, on senior issues to senior buildings, nutrition sites and bingo games.

Then First Lady Hillary Clinton, Congressmen Louis Stokes, Joe Kennedy and Barney Frank also helped out.

The coalition embraced many political viewpoints: Democrats, independents, Greens, socialists, Communists, members of the Labor Party, even some disgruntled Republicans. Democratic Party figures, including First Lady Hillary Clinton, Congressmen Louis Stokes, Joseph Kennedy and Barney Frank visited Cleveland to help in the effort.
But it was the grassroots, labor-community coalition that Kucinich had in mind on election night when he gave his impassioned victory speech with jubilant leaders of organized labor standing behind him, their right fists held high, chanting, "We are the party of the people! We are the party of the people!" The coalition was inspired by both Kucinich's personality and his program.
The Republicans reacted with fury to this open challenge to their decades of labor-baiting bully tactics. Kucinich's program, Republican county chairman Jim Trakas announced, is "very similar to the Communist Manifesto" and is "what Lenin stood for." Kucinich blasted this reversion to "McCarthyism."

The smears were endlessly propagated by a right-wing talk show host who made it his mission three hours every morning to stop Kucinich. The poisonous attacks, aimed at suppressing voter turnout, caused the race to tighten considerably. In the final week before the election the focus of the Hoke campaign shifted to virulent red-baiting directed at this writer.
In what was probably a first since the beginning of the Cold War, Kucinich refused to knuckle under, calmly stating that I was one of 5,000 volunteers and declaring, "It's Halloween and Hoke is dressing up as Joe McCarthy. Karl Marx is not running my campaign but apparently Harpo Marx is running his."
On Nov. 5 Hoke was defeated by a vote of 108,000 to 102,000 with 10,000 going to a candidate of the Natural Law Party. It was a stunning rebuke to Hoke's shameful attempt to whip up hatred and hysteria. Although he spent a million dollars - over twice as much as Kucinich - he could not shake the solid majority of voters who showed outstanding maturity.

Later, the Communist Party USA itself contradicted Kucinich's claim that Nagin was merely "one of 5,000 volunteers."

In 2005 Rick Nagin campaigned unsuccessfully in his own right for City Council, and was heavily criticized over his Communist Party ties. Nagin had resigned as chairman of the Ohio Communist Party (but had remained a member) to take a position as executive assistant to Nelson Cintron Jr, the first Latino in City Council and a protoge of Kucinich's

According to the People's Weekly World[17];

Nagin was continuously targeted as a member and former chairman of the Ohio Communist Party, yet his strong showing was impressive and stemmed from a number of factors....
Nagin also had seven and a half years of experience as executive assistant to Nelson Cintron Jr. who represented an adjacent ward. Furthermore, he had been a key organizer for Dennis Kucinich's campaigns for Congress and president and for the 2004 John Kerry presidential campaign.

Supported by Bruce Bostick

Bruce Bostick in Dennis Kucinich-endorsed campaign video, directed by Chad Ely

Communist Party USA activist and Steel Mill worker, Bruce Bostick endorses Kucinich in the 2008, video to the right.

Kucinich and communists, kindred spirits?

The Communist Party USA appears to see Dennis Kucinich as a man worthy of support and someone who can be relied on to push the correct agenda in Congress.

In a 2004 report to the CPUSA National Board, the Party's Political Action Committee chair, Joelle Fishman wrote a report on Party work in the U.S. Presidential elections. She included a comment on Dennis Kucinich and the Democratic Party National Convention[18].

Dennis Kucinich's 50 delegates to the national Democratic convention, will be presenting a platform plank for a Department of Peace, voted favorably by four state conventions, including dramatically in Texas just this week. The efforts of Kucinich together with Jesse Jackson and others, to bring forward more advanced demands, will make an important contribution to the convention. A very special contribution will be made by an expectedly large number of labor union delegates who will work together in one bloc to get a strong platform for jobs, health care, and pensions.

The Communist Party USA would also be at the convention;

We project our role at the convention as distribution of the Peoples Weekly World/Nuestro Mundo and literature to delegates and in free speech areas, and participation in the Kucinich-led issue events. We hope to have reporters inside the convention, we hope to speak with any labor delegates we know in their home states before the convention, and to participate in the Boston Social Forum which will be held the weekend prior to the convention".

In a July 2007 report to the CPUSA's National Committee, Party chairman Sam Webb urged fellow communists to "have a positive attitude toward the candidacy of Congressman Dennis Kucinich," characterizing the latter as "a leading voice of the broad people’s coalition." "The more he [Kucinich] speaks to audiences of the core forces," said Webb, "the better positioned the movement will be to win in 2008 and to fight the good fight in 2009."

Still working with Communists

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Denrickuse 0.preview.PNG

Rick Nagin of the Communist Party USA was Labor Coordinator for Dennis Kucinich's 2008 primary campaign[19].

Dennis Kucinich, (center rear), endorsed Rick Nagin (second from right) in his 2009 City Council race[20].

I've known Rick Nagin for more than 30 years. He's honest, hard-working and conscientious. The people of Ward 14 have a chance to elect a Councilman who will be totally dedicated to them. What more can you ask for?

I'm proud to join with the AFL-CIO in supporting Rick Nagin

Dennis Kucinich, Congressman, 10th District

Communist memorial

In August 2012, about 20 people spoke at Ohio Communist Party USA member Judy Gallo's memorial. They included her surviving husband and their two sons, Jesse Gallo and Nick Gallo . Others were labor and community leaders including Harriet Applegate, executive secretary of the Cleveland AFL-CIO, representatives of Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Betty Sutton, State Rep. Nickie Antonio and East Cleveland Councilwoman Barbara Thomas, the former president of AFSCME Local 3360 at MetroHealth.[21]

DSA connections

DSA support for Vaccines Compensation Bill

Democratic Socialists of America backed Dennis Kucinich nationally with his 2002 HR2459 Vaccines Compensation bill.

According to the minutes of a January 5, 2002 SF DSA Steering Committee meeting;[22]

According to a (fundraising) call from DSA, supporting HR2459 is a national DSA project. The idea is to contact representatives about co-sponsoring the bill, which comes from Dennis Kucinich and is supported by the progressive caucus. Everyone said they would contact their rep (neither Pelosi nor Lantos has signed on; Woolsey and Lee are co-sponsors).
This led to the question of the best way to contact Congress post anthrax scare. The feeling was regular mail might not get through, and probably a phone call would have the greatest impact. e-mail is another option.

Take Back America Conferences

Dennis Kucinich was on the list of 129 speakers at the 2003 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.[23]

He was back in 2007.

DSA support in 2004

Ohio Democratic Socialists of America backed Kucinich in his difficult 2004 Congressional race.[24]

Ohio Progressive Dennis Kucinich is working hard to keep his West Cleveland 10th CD seat after his presidential primary campaign failed to catch fire, and DSAers are committed to returning the firebrand veteran politician and Progressive Caucus co-chair to Congress.

Kucinich and Howard Dean were top priorities for DSA in the 2004 elections, according to a report on the 2003 Democratic Socialists of America conference in Detroit[25];

The business sessions of the Detroit convention were characterized by cooperation, a sense of everyone working together on projects. Most of the discussion dealt with the 2004 presidential election and the urgency of getting George W. Bush out of the White House. While DSA members are working for various Democratic candidates (especially Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich), the general consensus was that our organizational priority must be supporting any reasonable candidate against Bush, while at the same time helping to build a broad progressive coalition that can pressure the next president to address our issues.

DSA event

In 2006 Neil Abercrombie and Dennis Kucinich spoke at a Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee event in Washington DC at the home of Stewart Mott, for Bernie Sanders[26].

The questions and comments actually had to be cut off to let Bernie get to the plane.
He flew to Washington and the next day attended the Washington, D.C., DSA PAC party at the home of Stewart Mott. Not only did Bernie Sanders speak; so did members of Congress Neil Abercrombie (HI) and Dennis Kucinich (OH). Christine Riddiough, former DSA National Director, served as host/ moderator

Ohio Conference on Fair Trade commendation

On June 5, 2008, the Ohio Conference on Fair Trade, led by president Simone Morgen, of Columbus Jobs with Justice, and Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio, commended Sen. Sherrod Brown and five members of Ohio's congressional delegation for co-sponsoring the Trade Reform, Accountability, Development and Employment (TRADE) Act, introduced by Sen. Brown and Rep. Mike Michaud the day before in Washington D.C.

Representatives Marcy Kaptur, Dennis Kucinich, Tim Ryan, Betty Sutton and Charlie Wilson were among over fifty original House and Senate co-sponsors joining labor, environmental, family farm and faith groups in support of new consensus legislation which offers a positive vision for future U.S. trade policy.

Said OCFT President Simone Morgen.. "We have the opportunity for a new beginning that can spread the benefits of fair trade to the widest possible number of people. This is change we can really believe in!"[27]

DSA support on healthcare

According to the September 2009 Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America newsletter;[28]

There have been two positive developments with respect to health care reform in Congress. First, Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and other progressives on the House Labor and Education Committee were able to insert an amendment into HR 3200 allowing states to opt out of the public option in favor of a state single-payer plan. Secondly, Representative Anthony Weiner (D-New York) was able to persuade Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to schedule a vote on HR 676 in September (The Weiner Amendment would replace HR 3200 with HR 676.) in return for voting HR 3200 out of the House Commerce and Energy Committee.
In light of these developments, we ask DSA members to participate in the following activities on behalf of health care reform:Call your member of Congress. Demand that he or she support a strong public option, oppose stripping the Kucinich Amendment from the final bill, and support the Weiner Amendment. March with the Health Care for All contingent at the Detroit Labor Day Parade on Monday, September 7th.

The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First

Dennis Kucinich is on the list of Congressional Representatives who have participated in hearings/briefings since 1998, with the very radical Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, founded by Frances Moore Lappe (Democratic Socialists of America, Institute for Policy Studies) and Joseph Collins (Institute for Policy Studies), authors of the book "Food First".[29]

Presidential nomination attempt

In 2004, Kucinich also made a shortlived attempt to gain the Democratic Party's U.S. presidential nomination. Kucinich ran as a hard left, "peace" candidate in the Democratic Presidential primary in 2004 and attracted strong socialist support. Leading endorsers of his campaign included;

Tim Reynolds of the Dave Matthews Band, Ani DiFranco, Michelle Shocked, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Joaquin Phoenix, Shelley Morrison, Staceyann Chin, Danny Glover, Ed Asner, James Cromwell, Mimi Kennedy, Hector Elizondo, Roy Scheider, Elliot Gould, Howard Zinn, Studs Terkel and Barbara Ehrenreich[30], Wendell Berry, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer and Michael Males.

Ambassador John W McDonald, longtime U.S. and international diplomat, also thrown his support behind Kucinich[31].

Anti US-South Korea FTA briefing

On Wednesday, June 7, 2006, the Institute for Policy Studies allied Korea Policy Institute co-organized, with the Oakland Institute, a press briefing in Congress, sponsored by Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Speakers included Congressman Kucinich, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Assemblymember Kang Ki Kap of Korea's Democratic Labor Party, Kim Tae Il, the General Secretary of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, Lee Heung Se of the Korean Advanced Farmers Federation, Lee Kang Sil of the Korean Hospital and Medical Workers Union, Chris Townsend of United Electrical Workers, and Kathy Ozer of the National Family Farm Coalition. All spoke of their deep misgivings over the proposed Korea-US FTA.[32]

Assisting CODEPINK's "Fallujah Aid"

diplomatic courtesy letter from Rep. Henry Waxman to Daniel Goodspeed, Consul General, U.S. Embassy in Aman, Jordan. Dec. 14, 2004. (click to enlarge)

In December 2004, US Senators Barbara Boxer of California, Raul Grijalva of Arizona and Congressmen Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Henry Waxman of California provided diplomatic courtesy letters to a contingent of anti-war groups and individuals desiring to Fallujah, Iraq. Among those travelling in the contingent were: Rosa Suarez del Solar and her husband Fernando Suarez del Solar; Jeffrey Ritterman, Physicians for Social Responsibility; Jodie Evans, co-founder of CodePink: Women for Peace; Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Global Exchange and CodePink; Hany Khalil, national organizer, United for Peace and Justice. The organizations sponsoring the tour were CodePink, Project Guerrero Azteca for peace, Global Exchange, the Middle East Children's Alliance, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Peace Action, United for Peace and Justice, and Voices in the Wilderness.[33]

Fernando Suarez del Solar stated that had it not been for the help of the two congressmen, the tour would have not seen the light due to obstacles laid by the Pentagon. The contingent traveled from December 27, 2004 through January 8, 2005.

The contingent delivered $100,000 in cash and and $500,000 in humanitarian aid. At the time the diplomatic courtesy letters were issued, Medea Benjamin had stated that the aid was intended for families of the “other side” in Fallujah.[34]

Backing Barack Obama

In 2008, rather than making a serious bid for the presidency himself, Dennis Kucinich urged his supporters to back Barack Obama.

According to the Communist Party USA's Political Affairs editors Blog

Polling about 1% in Iowa just a day before the Iowa Caucuses, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) urged his supporters to back him, but in places where they do not have enough votes to make an impact, to throw their support behind Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL).

Kucinich was quoted in the Baltimore Sun as saying:
"I strongly encourage all of my supporters to make Barack Obama their second choice. Sen. Obama and I have one thing in common: Change.”

To which Obama replied:
“I have a lot of respect for Congressman Kucinich, and I’m honored that he has done this because we both believe deeply in the need for fundamental change. He and I have been fighting for a number of the same priorities -- including an end to the war in Iraq that we both opposed from the start."

In 2004, Kucinich served as a pole to unite left left wing voters behind his campaign-which he then delivered to John Kerry.

Kucinich did the same for Barack Obama in 2008. That is, run for the Democratic presidential nomination. Consolidate a base of left wing support, then stand aside, handing that support base to another leftist Democrat with more chance of success.

The Communist Party USA seems to have foreseen and approved of this scenario.

Communist Party Chairman Sam Webb, wrote in a July 2007 report to the Party's National Committee[35];

Finally, we should have a positive attitude toward the candidacy of Congressman Dennis Kucinich. Despite the efforts of the media to sideline him, Kucinich is emerging as a leading voice of the broad people’s coalition. He brings consistent anti-right, anti-corporate, pro-peace positions to the presidential primaries and debates. None of the other candidates can make the same claim. The more he speaks to audiences of the core forces, the better positioned the movement will be to win in 2008 and to fight the good fight in 2009.

Supporting Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Rep. John Conyers, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (speaking) and Sen. Dick Durbin, joined by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney (second from left) gathered in the shadow of the Capitol building in Washington, DC, March 13th 2008
.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers' petition drive to end sweatshop conditions in Florida's tomato fields received a warm welcome in Washington, DC. Senator Dick Durbin joined Senator Bernie Sanders, Representatives Dennis Kucinich and John Conyers, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and representatives from dozens of human rights, religious, labor, and student organizations joined the CIW's call to end sweatshops and slavery in the fields.

Senator Sanders decried the "desperate conditions, conditions that in some cases are so extreme that even the Bush Administration has brought slavery charges," in Florida's fields, and announced that a hearing into those conditions is scheduled for April 15th.

Senator Durbin announced that a letter had been sent to "seven companies -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., Kroger Co., Publix, Safeway Inc., US Food Service, Supervalu Inc., and Sysco Corp. -- asking them to join McDonald's and Yum Brands in the extra penny a pound program."[36]

Russia Caucus

Congressmen Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Tom Price (R-GA) announced September 22, 2009, the formation of a bipartisan caucus to address issues that areof mutual concern to Russia and the United States and to examine "ways to improve friendship, dialogue and international exchange between the two nations". The announcement comes as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrives inthe United States tonight forthe G-20 summit in Pittsburghon September 24-25.

“The relationship between the United States and Russia has influenced the path of global development and the course of world politics. Today we announce the bipartisan Congressional Russia Caucus to help make sure that the relationship we share with Russiais equitable and friendly. I look forward to working with Congressman Price and other members who share our goals of ensuring that the future of American-Russian relations is strong and peaceful,” said Kucinich.

“Few matters in the international arena can be discussed today without giving due consideration to Russia’s influence in global affairs,” said Rep. Price. “By opening a dialogue and engaging in diplomatic fact-finding, we hope to advance a stronger understanding of Russian policy and how it affects the United States and its allies. Congressman Kucinich’s breadth of knowledge of foreign affairs is considerable, and I look forward to working together to move the U.S.-Russia relationship in a more productive and principled direction.”

The Russia Caucus will "serve to maintain an open and constructive relationship between lawmakers from both countries by encouraging dialogue and the free exchange of ideas".[37]

Committee to Stop FBI Repression delegation

In mid November 2010, a delegation from the Committee to Stop FBI Repression ( returned home from several days of bringing the "issue of the FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas of people doing international solidarity work and anti-war organizing to the U.S. Capitol". Three supporters of the Marxist-Leninist Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!, Deb Konechne of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, Anh Pham, who is facing a reactivation of her subpoena and Joe Iosbaker, whose home was raided, spent two days meeting with U.S. Representatives on the issue. The delegation asked each Congressperson to sponsor a “Dear Colleague” letter condemning the raids and grand jury subpoenas. In the two days, the delegation met with either the Congressional Representative’s staff or the Representative themselves fro[[m the following 16 offices: Tammy Baldwin (WI), John Conyers (MI), Danny Davis (IL), Keith Ellison (MN), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Luis Gutierrez (IL), Mike Honda (CA), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Barbara Lee (CA), Jim McDermott (WA), Jim McGovern (MA), Bobby Rush (IL), Linda Sanchez (CA), Jan Schakowsky (IL), Maxine Waters (CA). The "meetings were positive, with all the offices expressing genuine concern about the situation. In some cases, because of the outpouring of calls from around the country, the U.S. Representatives were aware that the delegation was in Washington D.C. and the offices made time on their schedules to meet with the delegation. This reinforces the continuing importance of the solidarity work taking place around the country."

Rep. Conyers (MI), chair of the Judiciary Committee, directed the Counsel of the Judiciary Committee to meet with the delegation. Also, Rep. Ellison (MN) and his Congressional staff met directly with the delegation for a significant amount of time. rep. Ellison sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, expressing concern over the situation and is continuing to work on options to support his constituents affected. The delegation also received face-to-face meetings with Rep Gutierrez and Rep Davis from Chicago. Rep. Grijalva’s (AZ) office set up a meeting between the delegation and the Executive Director of the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the Congress of which rep. Grijalva is the chair. In addition, the office of Jan Schakowsky (IL) and Maxine Waters (CA) gave the delegation significant time and attention.

“It was clear that progressive Representatives of the Congress are very concerned about the FBI investigation. Overall, they were very thankful for our visit and for the information and analysis given to them The level of awareness about the raids and grand jury was varied, from little to full awareness, but the delegation certainly changed that. After the two days, our presence and purpose definitely created a stir in the halls of Congress. “The fact that we were able to interact with 16 legislative aides or Congress people themselves, during an extremely busy time of restructuring leadership in the Congress, exemplifies the attention this matter is receiving”, stated Joe Iosbaker.[38]

The Progressive

Kucinich has been a contributor to the liberal magazine, The Progressive.

Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament

The following were, as of 2011, vice presidents of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament :[39]

Qaddafi Offers Kucinich Trip to Libya to Broker Peace

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who was been one of the most outspoken critics of the Obama administration's military intervention in Libya, confirmed that he was invited to visit the North African nation in an attempt to end months-long conflict between the Qaddafi regime and the rebel forces who have been aided by NATO air strikes.

The Guardian first reported that the Qaddafi regime offered Ohio Democrat an all-expense paid trip Tripoli as part of a hastily arranged “peace mission.”

But Kucinich, who was worried about security, declined the offer and visited Syria instead.

In a statement, Kucinich said he was contacted by both sides seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict.“During my communication with parties to the conflict, I made it clear that I could not negotiate on behalf of the administration, but that I was ready to listen and to communicate to members of Congress ideas for how the conflicts could be resolved peacefully,” he said in a statement. “I also notified administration officials of what was communicated to me on several occasions.”

Kucinich proposed a peace plan in June that called for an immediate ceasefire and offered a framework to achieve reconciliation and national unity.

“As we reach almost a half a year in Libya, we know that the use of force and ultimatums that neither side will accept will not end the bloodshed or bring about a just political settlement,” Kucinich said. “As a strong proponent of the use of diplomacy instead of the use of military force, I believe it is my obligation and my right to participate in speech and debate over these critical matters.”

Kucinich authored multiple resolutions to end the Libya mission or handcuff the administration as it pertains to Libya, and he is now suing the administration for going to "war" without seeking proper congressional approval.[40]

Shilling for Qaddafi

Democratic U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich and a former top State Department official aided Moammar Qaddafi right up to the time that rebels overran the Libyan dictator’s Tripoli compound, papers discovered there have disclosed.

The staunchly anti-war Kucinich disputes the notion that he provided such assistance. But a letter found in the rubble shows that he talked to a senior Qaddafi official asking for evidence of corruption within the rebel Libyan National Transitional Council so he could use the information to try to persuade the White House to remove support for NATO airstrikes…

And David Welch, President George W. Bush’s assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs, told two senior Qaddafi officials that many in Washington would support the idea of the dictator’s stepping aside “but not necessarily relinquishing all power.”

A letter to Gadhafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, detailing the Kucinich conversation was discovered in the bombed-out Bab-al-Aziziya compound by Al-Jazeera journalist Jamal Elshayyal, who had been invited inside by rebels.

The eight-term Ohio congressman, who ran for president in 2004 and 2008, said he also was looking for links between the rebels and al-Qaida that would help his cause, Elshayyal reported.

Kucinich quickly denied that he had given support to Qaddafi. “My questions about the legitimacy of the war, who the opposition was, and what NATO was doing, were well known and consistent with my official duties,” he said in a statement.

“Any implication I was doing anything other than trying to bring an end to an unauthorized war is fiction.”

The support given by Welch, who now works for the multinational company Bechtel, appears to go further, according to minutes of a meeting he had in Cairo, which Elshayyal smuggled out of the compound. Welch brokered the deal to restore diplomatic relations with Tripoli in 2008.

According to the papers, he met two senior Qaddafi officials, Abubakr Alzleitny and Mohammed Ahmed Ismail, in the Four Seasons hotel in Cairo on Aug. 2. On that same day Saif, who was considered the Libyan strongman’s heir apparent, appeared on Libyan television to urge his countrymen to continue the fight against the NATO-backed rebels.

According to the minutes, Welch advised the two men how to win the propaganda war against the rebels, and suggested several “confidence-building measures.”

“The documents appear to indicate that an influential US political personality was advising Qaddafi on how to beat the US and NATO,” reported Elshayyal.

According to his report, one of the documents read. “Any information related to al-Qaida or other terrorist extremist organizations should be found and given to the American administration but only via the intelligence agencies of either Israel, Egypt, Morroco, or Jordan . . America will listen to them . . . It's better to receive this information as if it originated from those countries..."

Welch also advised the tottering regime to take advantage of the unrest in Syria. “The importance of taking advantage of the Syrian situation particularly regarding the double-standard policy adopted by Washington . . . the Syrians were never your friends and you would lose nothing from exploiting the situation there in order to embarrass the West," the ex-diplomat is reported as saying.

Welch, who was ambassador to Egypt before becoming assistant secretary of state in 2005, promised that he would “convey everything to the American administration, the Congress and other influential figures."[41]

HR 365

HR 365 was introduced by Michigan Democratic Rep. Hansen Clarke, in 2011, in a YouTube video posted on the representative's page, he said "We need to cut, cap, and forgive student loan debt," and that "That is the true debt that is burdening American families. We cut student loan debt we'll have a freer more prosperous country."

The bill has been sponsored by House Representatives Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Keith Ellison of Minnesota John Conyers of Michigan, and Elijah Cummings of Maryland.[42]

FightingBobFest speaker

Dennis Kucinich has been a guest speaker at Wisconsin's annual progressive Fighting Bob Fest, in 2002, and 2011. [43]

Progressive Democrats of America

In 2012, Dennis Kucinich served on the Advisory Board of Progressive Democrats of America.[44]

Staff

The following have worked as staff members for Dennis Kucinich:[45]

External links

References

  1. The Sun News "Marcy Kaptur coasts to win in 9th District congressional race," November 7, 2012
  2. http://kucinich.house.gov/Biography/
  3. http://kucinich.house.gov/Biography/
  4. http://kucinich.house.gov/Biography/
  5. http://web.archive.org/web/19990219104730/www.dsausa.org/pc/pc.members.html
  6. http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2008/11/19-16
  7. http://cpc.grijalva.house.gov/index.cfm?ContentID=166&ParentID=0&SectionID=4&SectionTree=4&lnk=b&ItemID=164
  8. Common Dreams, Progressive Groups And Congressional Caucus To Present Their Third Annual Alternative State Of The Union Address, JANUARY 26, 2000
  9. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  10. Peoples world, Reps. Lee, Kucinich call for Peace Dept. March 15 2002
  11. Dem. Left, Summer 2002
  12. http://lee.house.gov/common/popup/popup.cfm?action=item.print&itemID=641, Lee press release, September 3, 2003]
  13. Rep. Lee introduces universal health care bill, by: David Lawrence October 9 2003
  14. http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/oct2003/corr-o13.shtml
  15. PWW, November 12, 1994, page 4
  16. PWW November 23, 1996
  17. PWW 10th December 2005
  18. http://www.cpusa.org/article/view/586/
  19. http://www.naginforcouncil.com/aboutrick.html
  20. http://www.naginforcouncil.com/kucinich_endorsement.html
  21. PW, Judy Gallo, longtime activist, dies at 70, by: Rick Nagin, August 22 2012
  22. Minutes of Jan 5, 2002 SF DSA Steering Committee
  23. Our Future website: Take Back America 2003 Speakers (accessed on June 17, 2010)
  24. http://www.dsausa.org/dl/DLFall2004.pdf
  25. http://www.dsausa.org/convention2003/report/index.html
  26. http://www.dsausa.org/dl/Winter_2007.pdf
  27. [http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/20080605_LeadersLaunchTradeAct_OhioCFT2.pdf, Congressional Leaders Launch Bold New Trade Reform Act Ohio Conference on Fair Trade. June 5, 2008, Media Advisory]
  28. GDDSA newsletter, Sep. 2009, Volume 10, Issue 5
  29. [ http://www.foodfirst.org/es/about/staff, Food First staff page]
  30. http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=369
  31. http://lists.portside.org/cgi-bin/listserv/wa?A2=ind0311B&L=portside&P=1051
  32. Press Conference on the Proposed US-Korea Free Trade Agreement: Mobilize and Organize to Resist the US-South Korea FTA and Neoliberal Globalization (MORFNG)*Los Angeles, CA | June 16, 2006
  33. Google cache of IslamOnline.net: Bereaved US Families Share Iraqis Agonies of War by Adam Wild Aba, Jan. 4, 2005. (accessed on Oct. 18, 2010), originally located here, and deleted in early October, 2010
  34. Big Peace: Rep. Waxman Spokeswoman: ‘We Do Not Know’ If We Aided Fallujah Terrorists with Code Pink Letter, Oct. 16, 2010 (accessed on Oct. 18, 2010)
  35. http://www.cpusa.org/article/articleview/834/1/145/
  36. New Ground, 117, march/April 2008
  37. Press release, Kucinich, Price Form Bipartisan Congressional Russia Caucus, Washington, Sep 22, 2009
  38. Report on Congressional Delegation From the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, U.S. Peace Council website, posted Nov. 20, 2010
  39. Invitation to Join Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, 2011 (accessed on Aug. 10, 2011)
  40. Fox News, Qaddafi Regime Offered Kucinich All-Expense Paid Trip to Libya to Broker Peace, August 26, 2011]
  41. Newsmax.com, Gadhafi Letter Indicates Support From Kucinich Thursday, 01 Sep 2011 01:26 PM, By Martin Gould
  42. PW, Forgive student loans and save the economy, by: Jordan Farrar September 27 2011
  43. FBF Speakers page, accessed Dec. 28, 2012
  44. PDA WEBSITE, 2012 Advisory Board Members, ACCESSED JAN. 15, 2012
  45. Legistorm: Dennis Kucinich (accessed on Aug. 24, 2010)