Dennis Kucinich

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Dennis Kucinich is the U.S. Representative for the 10th Congressional District of Ohio and a candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2008. He announced his bid for the Democratic nomination on Tuesday, December 12, 2006, but he dropped out in late January, 2008. A progressive Democrat, he was first elected to Congress in 1996, and was then re-elected in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004.

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Courage of His Convictions

An early and consistent opponent of the War in Iraq, Kucinch was the first Democratic presidential candidate to advocate immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces. He was the only Democratic presidential candidate with the guts to speak at the January 27, 2007 United for Peace and Justice rally in Washington, DC. The other candidates were playing it safe rather than speaking up for America and Peace.

Biography

Background

Dennis Kuchinch was born on October 8, 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio. The eldest of 7 children of Frank and Virginia Kucinich, Dennis Kucinich and his family lived in 21 differnet locations, including several cars, by the time Kucinich was 17 years old. He has commented that,"I live each day with a grateful heart and a desire to be of service to humanity."

The experience of poverty in his youth engendered a passinate concern for the welfare of others. Kucinich has promoted a national health care system, preservation of Social Security, increased Unemployment Insurance benefits, and the establishment of wholesales cost-based rates for electricity, natural gas and home heating oil.

In his Cleveland, Ohio district, Kucinich has been recognized by the Greater Cleveland AFL-CIO as an advocate for the social and economic interests of his community. Kucinich led a citizens' movement which reopened two Cleveland neighborhood hospitals. His efforts on behalf of Cleveland's poor gained the recognition of the National Association of Social Workers. He continues to be a local and national advocate for the homeless.

Kucinich was drafted to serve in Vietnam, but he failed his physical exam. [1] He is married to Elizabeth Harper, and he is the brother of Gary Kucinich.

Last liberal

Kucinich can be considered one of the last liberal's in the american congress unlike most democrats kucinich has refused to adopt the moderate-conservative democratic party line however kucinich remains a member of the congressional progressive congress a group of the only liberal democrats.


Political Career

Kucinich first came to national prominence in 1977 when he was elected mayor of Cleveland Ohio at the age of 31, the youngest person ever elected to lead a major American city. After serving several terms in Congress he came back to national attention as a candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination in 2004.

As the Mayor of Cleveland Kuchinish was confronted with the demand by Cleveland's banks that he sell the city's 70 year-old municipally-owned electric system or Muny Light to its private competitor (in which the banks had a financial interest) as a precondition of extending credit to city government. Kucinich refused to sell Muny Light. In an incident unprecedented in modern American politics, the arrogantr and greedy Cleveland banks plunged the city into default for a mere $15 million. Kucinich lost his re-election bid in 1979. Fifteen years later, Kucinich made his first step toward a political comeback, winning election to the Ohio Senate on the strength of the expansion of the city's light system which provides low-cost power to almost half the residents of Cleveland. In 1998 the Cleveland City Council honored him for, "having the courage and foresight to refuse to sell the city's municipal electric system."

Congressman Kucinich has been honored by Public Citizen, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth and the League of Conservation Voters as a champion of clean air, clean water and an unspoiled earth. He was an early critic of nuclear power as being risky economically, and environmentally, raising questions about nuclear waste byproducts. As a state senator he raised so many questions about a planned siting of a nuclear waste dump in Ohio that the idea was eventually scrapped. Early in his first term in Congress he thwarted an effort to repeal a provision of the Clean Air Act.

He has been recognized for his advocacy of human rights in Burma, Nigeria and East Timor. Together with the late Rep. Joe Moakley (D-Mass), he has led a strong effort to close the School of the Americas in Georgia, the incubator of human rights violations in Central America. On the eve of the World Trade Organization's Seattle conference, Rep. Kucinich organized 114 Democrats to help convince President Clinton to seek human rights, workers rights and environmental quality principles as preconditions in all US trade agreements. Kucinich marched with workers through the streets of Seattle protesting the WTO's policies and with students through the streets of Washington, DC, challenging the structural readjustment policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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