This year marks Dennis Kucinich’s 40th year of involvement in civic life. He has served as a member of the Cleveland City Council, as Clerk of the Cleveland Municipal Courts, as Mayor of the City of Cleveland, as Ohio State Senator and is now in his 6th term as United States Congressman. In two presidential campaigns, he successfully kept progressive issues in the limelight.
Kucinich’s voice in the Democratic presidential debates was effectively silenced by mega-corporations, many with links to the industrial war machine. Highly questionable and possibly illegal methods were used to exclude his message from several debates, resulting in his forced absence from the presidential race.
Now his Congressional re-election bid is being similarly attacked. The intensity is increasing as the March 4th primary gets closer.
One of opponent, Joe Cimperman’s, television ads states, “on (Kucinich’s) watch we’ve lost 38,000 jobs”, cleverly inferring that it was the Congressman’s fault.
Kucinich responds, “the downtown Cleveland business establishments is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps even a million dollars or more, to attack me in a way that is unprincipaled … I’ve been the national spokesperson challenging NAFTA. I brought it up in all of the debates. I’ve been able to point out that we have lost millions of jobs in America because of NAFTA. Of course, in Cleveland, in a period of about 10 years, we’ve lost 38,000 jobs or more. And so, one of the TV ads attacking me—ads that are paid for by the Cleveland corporate establishment—blames me for the losses of the 38,000 jobs that are attributed to NAFTA. This is a ‘swiftboat’ type attack.”
Union leader, Harriet Applegate, says Kucinich “saved our steel industry,” and that “everyone knows that Cleveland has lost thousands of jobs because of NAFTA. Now Joe Cimperman wants to blame Congressman Kucinich. Nothing could be further from the truth. Dennis Kucinich has worked tirelessly for working people and that is why labor supports him. He is the strongest opponent of NAFTA in Congress.”
In fact, Kucinich directly saved 1560 jobs, created 3700 supporting jobs, and had an economic effect of $400 million annually, according to his campaign.
During his long career, Kucinich notes that he has been “standing up for working men and women (and) standing up for jobs in this country.”
Kucinich's record of service shows that he is fiercely dedicated to his city, his community, and the American people. His stated goals of “rebuilding our strategic industrial base so that the maintenance of steel/automotive/ aerospace is seen as vital to our national economic security … a not-for-profit health care system … (and moving) towards a works green administration, where sustainability becomes the hallmark of our economy (and) where we turn our government into an engine of sustainability,” comprise an American vision that will benefit all of her citizens.
Dennis Kucinich Photo credit: Robin Rae Swanson
Clevelander, Roy Scheffler says, “I want to thank Congressman Kucinich for his tireless efforts, his hard work in keeping jobs in Cleveland, rebuilding this community and holding a future for the people and the children of this town.”
Bruce Bostick, 30-year steel worker from Cleveland, notes, “when they were going to close the steel mill in Cleveland, everybody said it was a done deal, and you couldn’t do anything. But Dennis got everyone together and we saved the steel mill. And we’ve got manufacturing in Cleveland because of Dennis, because Dennis has the courage to stand up and organize people. … when they started that war, its a war over lies, it’s costing us our entire economy, Dennis stood with us and Dennis spoke the truth.”
Jay Westbrook of the Cleveland City Council confirms “how important it is to have Dennis Kucinich for us in the U.S. Congress.”
Not only Cleveland, but the entire country, benefits from the balance provided by Kucinich’s strong and persistent Congressional voice for progressive values.