Monday, February 18, 2008

Dennis Kucinich Needs You

Congressman Kucinich had to stop his Presidential campaign this last month. This is primarily because what passes for the spine of the House Leadership (the same cabal who declared a year ago that they were going to "hold George Bush accountable for Iraq") have floated up a primary challenger in Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman (garnering the support of longtime Kucinich foe The Cleveland Plain Dealer [one of the papers that tried engineer the recall of Dennis back in his days as the "boy mayor" of Cleveland]).

Why this is happening is no conspiracy. Unlike the limousine liberals that populate the beltway, Kucinich is a bona fide progressive, who has been a strident supporter of universal health care (particularly a single payer system), a critic of the war of Iraq (favoring an immediate pullout of troops) and, most offensive of all to the House Democratic leadership, a maverick that has refused to agree to support the party's eventual Presidential nominee (a loyalty oath requirement in some primaries that was used for the expressed purpose of keeping Dennis out of the public airwaves). He has also supported the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney (something which the Democratic House leadership is about likely to support as they are a single payer system).

You may be wondering why the Democratic Party so hates someone like this. After all, they have no problems suffering someone like Joe Lieberman, who after being defeated in his primary race to an anti-war candidate, decided to run as an independent (getting elected, against the wishes of his party). His punishment? The Senate Democrats use him to gain their majority and gave him Chairmanship of the Governmental Affairs Committee. This is a party that does not mind enduring the presence of center-right groups like the Blue Dog Democrats and the Democratic Leadership Council, who have successfully re-oriented their party towards supporting conservative policies like welfare "reform," free trade, and capital punishment. Their punishment? They get elected with the full graces of the party leadership. No, it takes one of the few remaining progressives, who refuses to bow to those forces, that is the threat.

Enter Joe Cimperman. Before 2008, Cimperman was a nobody city councilman, still in his 30s, and living the life of a local pol. That was until banking and real estate interests, with ties to the Cleveland Plain Dealer (who still remember their failed campaign to get Kucinich recalled), decided to subsidize Cimperman, with nearly $230,000, to "enter the race." His reason? Because Kucinich was spending too much time outside of his district. Of course, I do not see anyone making that argument from the DLC about Hillary Clinton in New York or Barack Obama in Illinois. Apparently, only Kucinich's district matters with such matters.

As it is, the primary for his district in Ohio is March 4. Needless to say, the Congressman's coffers are hardly teeming with money--one of the disadvantages of not being a candidate of corporations. I do not usually endorse candidacies to the point of encouraging people to donate money to their campaign, but if we lose Kucinich there will not be too many other progressive voices left in Congress. He needs our support, especially from those who live in or around his district.

Here's is Kucinich's Congressional re-election site.

Here is Representative Kucinich's campaign appeal.

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