Subject: A Personal Note from Dennis Kucinich -- He Needs our $ Help!
Dear EI (Election Integrity) Participants:
I have very few if any heroes, and very few politicians that I admire, but Dennis Kucinich is one of the latter. The plea for funds for him is at the bottom. Allright, maybe it's a stretch, another kind of "election integrity," but one that matters just as much. I contrast Dennis with Henry Waxman -- and I was a fan of Waxman's, whose office is a stone's throw from my district, until I attended a Town Hall Forum of the DemocraticWestsideProgressives in Los Angeles on December 27, 2007 to hear him live. I was shocked.
1) Waxman deliberately concealed that the Democrats support the Iraq War by giving a Rube Goldberg account of why they could not pass a bill that set a definite time limit for withdrawal -- to distract from the obvious point that all that the Dems needed to do was stop funding.
2) With overwhelming and flagrant grounds for impeachment of Cheney/Bush who have announced if not boasted of their high crimes and misdemeanors, Waxman argued that impeachment was impractical because it would require extensive hearings to develop an evidentiary basis, and also because it might produce sympathy for Cheney/Bush and thus compromise the Dems chances in the upcoming presidential election. Peter Thottam, a local attorney who closed his office to become a full-time organizer for impeachment gave a heated response from the audience that the evidence was overwhelming and that the window of opportunity for action against a completely closed state was quickly closing. Waxman was not only unmoved, he was smug in his dismissal.
3) During Q&A Waxman was asked how he could vote for HR 1955, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act. Waxman said it was on a list of "uncontroversial bills" but that he was willing to now give it a closer look. By contrast, Kucinich has fought it and stated that it is unconstitutional.
4) During the Q&A, an 911 activist in his 80's, Zan Overall, politely asked which of the deviations from fact of the 911 Commissions Report Mr. Waxman was aware of and how concerned he was about them. Waxman said that he was not aware of any such discrepancies in the 911 Report. And, yes, I have not forgotten about Waxman's strengthes and what he has done for us.
Kucinich, by contrast, has fought the Iraq War from the start, long and loud, and put impeachment on the table to defend the Republic and the Constitution. Now the far-right is financing his opponents and Dennis needs our financial help to survive. Please read his email below. I consider him one of the very few representatives of the American people in Congress and hope that you will dig into your pockets to help him stay there.
Subject: A Personal Note
A Personal Note from Dennis Kucinich
Friends like those of you in PDA who fearlessly travel the same road and share the same dreams for our country and families are much appreciated. We have traveled together since the first PDA convention at Roxbury Community College on July 29, 2004 where Governor Howard Dean and I linked arms on the stage.
I thank you for all your past help and am asking for your help again. Currently, I am competing against well-financed opponents. Opponents who reject Impeachment and my efforts to defend the Constitution. Opponents who reject the Conyers-Kucinich bill for universal health care - H.R. 676. Opponents who reject beginning an immediate withdrawal of our occupying forces in Iraq. In the last financial report I was being outspent by five to one by just one of those opponents and face a media onslaught.
My political career follows the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. who said: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
And just like PDA I have never been silent about things that matter. I spoke out 140 times on the floor of the House to oppose the Iraq War and over 100 times in the media to explain that no credible evidence about the existence of WMDs had been produced. That the war was clearly illegal because it violated the U.N. Charter which is incorporated in the U.S. Constitution. In fact, I produced a thorough analysis disproving the WMD propaganda. Remember that I appeared on Meet the Press against Richard Perle, an administration defender, just before the war. I charged that the war was about oil. Perle responded that I had uttered "a lie, an out and out lie."
The same day On Face the Nation, Time's Joe Klein called me a "buffoon" for my anti-war and oil claims. Apparently their notes did not reach the desk of former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan who recently wrote: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq War is largely about oil." Nor did they ever read National Security Directive 54 written on Jan. 15, 1991 by our current president's father. That NSD directive was sitting under my hand at the Meet the Press taping and started with the following: "Access to Persian Gulf oil and the security of key friendly states in the area are vital to U.S. national security."
But there is a cost for speaking out about things that matter. Those who wish to preserve their privileges and power fight back. I learned that first when I was defeated in my bid for reelection as mayor of Cleveland after refusing to be blackmailed by corporate Cleveland into selling the city's municipal light system to its private competitor. While it sidelined my political career for over 13 years, it saved my constituents hundreds of millions of dollars.
From that time to this my constituents have known that I can not be bought or bossed. Like my friends at PDA I have never been one to run away from the important battles to defend and define our party and country. To stop the insane militarism and corporatism subverting our democracy. Next year, the average American family of four will see some $15,818 spent in its name on a wasteful, largely unnecessary military industrial complex. The same family will see more than $30,000 spent in Iraq to make us less safe, free and prosperous. I say "wasteful" because no country on earth dare attack us on a field of battle. The idea that we need more $13.5 billion aircraft carriers to fight an enemy without planes (except those they can steal!), a ship or even an artillery piece is as dishonest as the lies that led us into Iraq.
PDAers recognize that when Americans wanted health care, they got war. When they wanted Social Security and retirement security, they got war. And when they wanted better schools and jobs, they got war. With your help we can silence the rhetoric of fear in Congress.
I need your help to fight back against a well-financed campaign to silence your voice in Congress. Each and every day I wake up knowing who and what I represent. I represent working families who are struggling to survive and know that unless we return to the Progressive values that created the middle class, our Democracy and world peace are at risk.
Please go to my web site to contribute and volunteer: http://kucinich.us/
The congressional campaign phone number is 216 252-9000.
Thank you for responding,
This message was not paid for or coordinated with any candidate or campaign.
Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots PAC that works both inside the Democratic Party and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our goal: Elect a permanent, progressive majority in 2008. PDA's advisory board includes seven members of Congress and activist leaders such as Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Thom Hartmann and Rev. Lennox Yearwood. More info: pdamerica.org
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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)