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Dennis Kucinich, the eight-term Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio’s 10th District, faces the strong possibility that redistricting may result in the elimination of his district. Although the new districting is not confirmed, Congressman Kucinich has been spending a good deal of time in Seattle and in other Washington state areas. In Washington state, an individual can run for Congress by moving to the state and registering to vote before the Spring filing date.
photo credit: stevebott
Surprisingly, the 2004 and 2008 candidate for the office of President is getting mixed reviews from some Democrats in Washington. Judith Shattuck is the chairwoman of the Washington State Progressive Caucus and has long been a Kucinich supporter. Kucinich epitomizes the Democratic Progressive movement. According to Shattuck, Kucinich can count on support from the strong Progressive community in the state.
However, not all Democrats are excited about the congressman’s run. The chairman of the state’s Democratic Party, Dwight Pelz, fears that Kucinich’s arrival might divide the party and jeopardize the seats they have and two new unfilled seats. “It is inappropriate for a sitting congressman from Cleveland to try to run for Congress in Washington State. It is sort of ethically tainted,” offered Pelz.
Because of its own redistricting, Washington State has two open seats. Kucinich has visited the state several times since the first of the year. The state’s requirements for residency are favorable for the congressman, who can begin speaking tours in the state before he must declare for a run in the Spring.
When asked about a possible Kucinich run, the GOP chairman of Washington state, Kirby Wilbur, offered to pay his airfare for the run. Wilbur believes Kucinich is too far left for the state’s voters.
Anyone who has followed the congressman’s career knows that he is one tenacious competitor. While he is clearly a Progressive, he is also a clear voice of reason in these politically charged D.C. environment. Kucinich is unafraid to express his opinions. At times, his position on foreign policy has puzzled other congressional members. Ironically Representatives Kucinich and Paul were the only two members of the House to vote against H. Resolution 175. This resolution condemned the government state-sponsored persecutions of a minority class and for continuing a policy in violation of International Covenants on Human Rights.
Some of Kucinich’s positions include:
* Supports the withdrawal of the US from The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
* Opposes the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)
* Supports dialogue with Iran rather than a military action.
* Supports efforts to reduce emissions that are causing climate change.
* Supports the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, the international agreement to reduce greenhouse gases.
* He criticized the Obama Administration for its role in Libya.
* Kucinich submitted a failed resolution regarding the War in Afghanistan in March 2010.
* Rep. Kucinich opposed G W Bush’s foreign policy and specifically te involvement in Iraq.
* Supports the abolition of all nuclear weapons
* Kucinich supported the controversial Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists.
Kucinich favors negotiations rather than military confrontations. The congressman is strong on Homeland Security, but views conflict as the last of all options.
Rep. Kucinich led a move to bring articles of impeachment against George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. In the 2008 Presidential elections, he was the only candidate to vote against invading Iraq. Kucinich proved himself to be a worthy opponent in the stretch run of the 208 elections. His impressive debating skills are unquestioned.
Representative Kucinich currently serves on five committees:
* Committee on Education and the Workforce
* Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
* Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions
* Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
In his 10th District, Kucinich is legend. At 31, he was elected to serve as the Mayor of Cleveland, where he is affectionately dubbed the “boy mayor.” The congressman served as Mayor of Cleveland from 1977 until 1979. He has been a committed and consistent advocate for the Progressive movement ever since. He was born in Cleveland on October 8, 1946. Kucinich graduated with a BA from Cleveland State University. He earned his Master’s Degree in speech and communication from Case Western Reserve University.
On December 13, 2011, Kucinich stood in opposition to H.R. 3630 known as the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. This legislation is from the far right and would trim unemployment benefits by 40 weeks. This bill would negatively impact more than 1 million unemployed Americans and 200,000 Ohioans. At a time when the Department of Labor reports that more than 2 million Americans have run the course of their 99 weeks of benefits, Kucinich stands for We The People and opposes We The Few.
Rep. Kucinich has expressed his convictions that Americans want work, not unemployment benefits or welfare. He is mystified by the bank bailouts at the expense of Main Street. He is an aggressive supporter of job creation legislation.
On December 12th, Kucinich and Fortney Stark (D-CA) authored a memo to fellow Members of Congress asking for their support in opposition to legislation making it illegal to conduct diplomatic efforts with Iran. Kucinich and Stark support diplomacy rather than the alternative.
Ohioans will miss their “boy mayor.” This is a point in history that Ohioans need the voice of a We The People representative. Ohio’s loss of Kucinich may be Washington State’s gain. Most importantly, there are two unfilled seats in the House that Democrats definitely need to fill. We The People need Dennis Kucinich in the House and We The People want the congressional gridlock to end. With every ousted Tea Party member, Democrats take one chink out of the gridlock that is paralyzing Congress.