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  Kucinich, Dennis
<-  2010-01-02  
NameDennis Kucinich
Address12217 Milan Ave
Cleveland, Ohio 44111, United States
Born October 08, 1946
Died Still Living (67 years)
Contributor*crickets chirp*
Last ModifiedJuan Croniqueur
May 19, 2013 01:38pm
Tags Caucasian - Slovak - Very Liberal - Anti Alaska/Offshore Oil Drilling - Anti School Vouchers - Anti-Bush Tax Cuts (Pro-Tax Cut Rollback) - Anti-Death Penalty - Anti-Missile Defense - Anti-Social Security Privatization - Government Reform - Health Care Reform - Jobs/Industrial Growth - Pro Animal Rights - Pro Embryonic Stem Cell Research - Pro Environment - Pro Marijuana Legalization - Pro-Affirmative Action - Pro-Choice - Pro-Gay Marriage - Pro-Gun control - Pro-Labor - Protectionist - Divorced - Married - Union Member - Catholic - Straight -
InfoDennis' Early Years

The oldest of seven children, Dennis was born in 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio to Frank and Virginia Kucinich. The family lived in 21 places, including a couple of cars, by the time he was 17 years-old. One of his most vivid memories was watching his family count out money on an old white counter top to see if they had enough for their bills. He attended Catholic grade and high schools.

One nun, noticing that other students were commenting on the fact that he seemed only to wear one purple pair of pants, obtained another pair for him. Such acts of kindness and compassion seared themselves into his memory and led him to a life of public service.

At 17 he left home, took jobs as an orderly and also as a copy editor while enrolling full-time at Case Western University. After graduation he began his political career serving as a councilman and later as Clerk of Courts. At 31, he ran for mayor of Cleveland attempting to become the youngest mayor of a major American city in history.

Mayor of Cleveland and Muni-Light

He was elected mayor of Cleveland in 1977 on the promise to save the city's municipally-owned electric system which offered customers significantly lower rates than the private utility. A year later, Cleveland's banks demanded that he sell the city’s 70 year-old municipally-owned electric system to its private competitor (in which the banks had a financial interest) as a precondition of extending credit to the city.

The attempted political blackmail failed as did several assassination attempts. He remembered his parents counting out coins on the dresser and refused to sell the people's power. In an incident unprecedented in modern American politics, the Cleveland banks plunged the city into default for a mere $15 million despite being offered triple collateral to protect the loan.

The principled stand destroyed his political career. He lost his reelection bid. He was demonized as the mayor who threw Cleveland into default. Fifteen years later, the citizens of Cleveland - recognizing he had saved them hundreds of millions of dollars in municipal power bills and also forced the private utility to keep bills low to compete – voted him into the Ohio Senate. His campaign signs featured a light bulb and the expression "Because he was right." In 1998 the Cleveland City Council honored Dennis for "...having the courage and foresight to refuse to sell the city's municipal electric system."

U.S House of Representatives

In 1996, Dennis unseated a two-term Republican incumbent. He has followed that narrow victory by winning 60 to 70% of the votes in the following elections. Much of those vote totals were achieved because of outstanding constituent services and his successful efforts to save a local steel mill, two neighborhood hospitals, and 10th District cities a dramatic - and disruptive - increase in train traffic.

At the same time his reputation as a progressive leader in the Congress grew. He was voted the chair of the Progressive Caucus because of his passionate commitment to peace, human rights, workers rights, economic justice and the environment.

In 2002 the second great challenge of his elected career occurred. After analyzing the "evidence" presented by the Administration in its rush to folly in Iraq and actually reading the National Intelligence Estimate, he stepped forward to help lead 125 Democrats in voting against the blank check for the President to wage an illegal, immoral and ineffective war.

Speaking from the floor of the House some 140 times against the war and appearing on over 100 radio and talk shows was a risky political move. But it did not stop him. The neo-cons and their complicit friends in media engaged in a frenzy of caustic name calling. In Feb. of 2003 when Dennis explained on Meet the Press that oil was a key causal factor for the war and that our troops would be trapped in a costly door-to-door war, administration zealot Richard Perle insisted Dennis' comments were "scurrilous" and "an out-and-out lie." Richard Cohen of the Washington Post chimed in to agree with Perle calling a Congressman who saw no evidence of WMDs and did see oil as a cause for war a "fool." Other "mainstream" opinion commentators called him a "clown" and worse for not seeing the clear evidence of WMDs.

For his tireless and courageous efforts he was awarded the Gandhi Peace Award in 2003.

In 2006 when Israel and Hezbollah were facing off, Dennis again stepped forward for peace. As the Administration gave a green light to Israel and the Republican Congress sat silent – again – Dennis warned that the conflict and the ensuing deaths would make peace even more intractable. And now as the Israeli and Lebanese governments teeter from public criticism, his words ring true.

It was not the first nor, hopefully, will it be the last time Dennis Kucinich ignored political dangers to do the right thing. After all, it is his life story.



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Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Jan 16, 2013 03:35pm News Dennis Kucinich Signs as Fox News Contributor  Article Homegrown Democrat 
Dec 20, 2012 01:40pm Statement Kucinich: Obama’s Social Security cuts mean a ‘Cat Food Christmas’ for seniors  Article Craverguy 
Dec 17, 2012 04:00pm Statement Dem renews call for 'Department of Peace' after Conn. shooting  Article Craverguy 
May 16, 2012 04:00pm Announcement Dennis Kucinich opts out of Washington state race, will retire  Article Homegrown Democrat 
Apr 16, 2012 10:55am General Kucinich asks for online votes on whether or not to run in Washington  Article Homegrown Democrat 
Mar 10, 2012 04:40am Commentary Dennis Kucinich and “wackiness”  Article Craverguy 

[View All
Previous Messages]
D:275123 MAIN ( 0.0000 points)
Sun, July 27, 2003 08:17:18 PM UTC0:00

D:239ArmyDem ( 5910.5693 points)
Mon, July 28, 2003 09:54:59 AM UTC0:00
123 Main sure enjoys drive by URL slinging . . . .

Pp:243FreedomDemocrat ( 422.8084 points)
Wed, August 6, 2003 04:37:49 AM UTC0:00
Just finished watching the AFL-CIO Forum. Thank God that lightning messed things up and Kucinich was cut off in the middle of his closing speech. The guy is a mad man. His rantings against the WTO and NAFTA scared me almost as much as a speech by Hitler would.

I:31Default User ( 1568.2518 points)
Wed, August 6, 2003 06:52:33 AM UTC0:00
his petty attacks on Dean and Gep also made him look bad. I am glad Sharpton smacked him down for it

D:11Nats In First! ( 11.8254 points)
Wed, August 6, 2003 09:47:05 AM UTC0:00
I think he could actually help Dean-if he keeps attacking him as an insincere peace candidate, Dean can look more hawkish without having to really change his views.

D:1RP ( 3311.3784 points)
Wed, August 6, 2003 09:48:46 AM UTC0:00
Not to mention making Dean seem calm and relaxed. :)

I:13User 13 ( 1518.3322 points)
Fri, August 8, 2003 06:13:42 PM UTC0:00
"The first thing we gotta do with Dennis Kucinich is get him to stop using the word 'holistic.' We don't want people to think he's Jerry Brown." -- actor Michael Gross to actress Morgan Fairchild, at a Kucinich fundraiser, August 4, 2003

R:326Neal ( -121.1271 points)
Wed, August 13, 2003 06:30:59 PM UTC0:00
Willie Nelson is a big supporter of Kucinich. How could someone (not me) add him to the endorsement lists?

D:1RP ( 3311.3784 points)
Wed, August 13, 2003 10:08:55 PM UTC0:00
I think he's already in there.

D:383InspectorMorse ( 221.5876 points)
Wed, August 13, 2003 10:28:28 PM UTC0:00
Kucinich is the democrat worth voting for.

D:383InspectorMorse ( 221.5876 points)
Wed, October 8, 2003 05:06:38 PM UTC0:00
Happy Birthday to my favorite congressman and the next president.

D:1RP ( 3311.3784 points)
Wed, October 8, 2003 11:54:44 PM UTC0:00
Next president of what? :)

D:383InspectorMorse ( 221.5876 points)
Sat, October 11, 2003 03:23:32 AM UTC0:00
President of the United States of Vegans :)

Reg:16None Entered ( 1178.9144 points)
Sat, October 11, 2003 03:47:32 AM UTC0:00

D:478Bob ( 2253.6577 points)
Sun, October 12, 2003 12:13:37 AM UTC0:00
I wonder if he'll do better than Hagelin did in 2000 as a NL candidate......if the Natural Law Party is able to improve its showing in the presidential election by nominating a far-left Democrat, maybe us Socialists should follow suit in '08 ; ) . Although I don't think that would sit well with too many of my less moderate, more stridently left, totally anti two-party comrades.....

R:661Chuckles6713 ( 0.0000 points)
Tue, December 9, 2003 05:52:24 AM UTC0:00
I would like to make an endorsement for Mr. Kucinich. He stands for every normal citizen. Mr. Kucinich is the only canidate in my opinion that stands for a true American. Under a Kucinich administration things could be worked out and maybe we could live in a great nation like we use to.

NPA:662... ( 295.7570 points)
Tue, December 9, 2003 06:43:37 AM UTC0:00
Come move to his district (my home) and see how effective he is.

D:45Blue Wizzrobe ( 1112.9661 points)
Tue, December 9, 2003 06:48:48 AM UTC0:00
Republicans for Kucinich!

NPA:662... ( 295.7570 points)
Tue, December 9, 2003 06:55:17 AM UTC0:00
that was going to be my next comment...

D:45Blue Wizzrobe ( 1112.9661 points)
Tue, December 9, 2003 07:28:48 AM UTC0:00
Wesley Wyndham-Price always triumphs!

D:478Bob ( 2253.6577 points)
Fri, January 2, 2004 01:42:58 PM UTC0:00
I do like Kucinich ideologically, but his unelectability turned me to Dean. Personally, I feel his unfortunate physical traits are holding him back more than his stance on the issues.

While being far to the left and not in line with the centrist wing of the Dems, I think their biggest concern regarding Kucinich is his stature. It's downright hard to sell someone who's 5'7 and not attractive by any stretch. The kicker is his name - Kucinich. It's not presidential, not even pronouncable for some people. The whole thing flows poorly..."Dennis Kucinich" sounds weak compared to a more attractive, mono-syllabic name like Bush or Dean. Just look at the last several presidents - Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Ford....all easy to pronounce, American-sounding names (not that it helped Ford). Being a gifted speaker unfortunately doesn't make up for Kucinich's physical shortcomings. People have said Abraham Lincoln would not win an election in today's TV society because he was gaunt and quite frankly downright ugly.

Those in the extreme wings of the party are not as unelectable as you might think. They just have to be packaged well. If Kucinich, using the same platform, was a foot taller, had broad shoulders and a full head of hair, and had a name that could sell better (like Bob Heaney) he'd probably have a much better showing in the polls ; )

N:778Gerald Farinas ( -103.2701 points)
Fri, January 2, 2004 01:49:04 PM UTC0:00
Kucinich will be out of the running by February or March.

PM's:711None Entered ( 9.6681 points)
Sun, January 11, 2004 09:54:54 AM UTC0:00

Veg:334Nothing wrong, just gone ( 591.1573 points)
Wed, January 28, 2004 09:56:11 PM UTC0:00
Definitelt an interesting candidate. He looks more and more like the Natural Law nominee to me. Reminds me of William Lemke 1936, although Lemke was a decent Congressman with goofs supporting him, while in this instance, Kucinich is also a goof (or so it seems).
The one plus he may bring to the Dems if he doesn't run third party, is that even if he only polls 1 or 2 percent, many of these voters seem to be the type who don't normally vote. An increase of 1 or 2 percent in his vote would have made Al Gore President.

Un:352Ralphie (12176.8838 points)
Fri, February 20, 2004 01:03:06 AM UTC0:00
He looks even more elf-like when it's up close.