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A Campaign Built on Policy Not Money

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Kevin Gosztola       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   4 comments

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A campaign for the presidency demands that a presidential candidate raise vast amounts of money. In fact, this current election has people in the media predicting that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will raise 1 billion dollars before the election is over. This requirement for candidates to raise money is not limited to presidential candidates. Senators and congressmen have to raise more money now than ever in order to win or unseat incumbents. However, do candidates have to rely on money to get elected?

With the current blogosphere, alternative news media, and the trend in the American public where people desire politicians or leaders who will stick up for them, perhaps it is not such a good idea to focus on raising money. Perhaps, it is more beneficial to candidates to introduce policies, bills, and plans to the public so that they can gain support for their candidacy. After such a disastrous Bush administration, Americans don't want to take any chances that the next president will be as weak on domestic policy reform and as immoral and reckless on foreign policy as Bush has been.

Apply this idea of campaigning on policies, resolutions, bills, and plans to Democratic candidates running for president who are currently holding office as congressmen or senators. One could easily make the case that one Democratic candidate is already fulfilling this idea because having chosen to not accept money from special interests, lobbyist, corporations, etc. so that he can remain independent he has to gain support by taking action on Capitol Hill in order to get attention and support for his run for the presidency. Virtually all of his media appearances in the past have been based on the sole issue he is pushing fearlessly---impeachment. That Democratic candidate is Dennis Kucinich.

Out of all the candidates, he is the one who speaks the most about what policies he has introduced in the House and what actions he is taking on certain issues. He is the co-author of H.R. 676, the bill for a single-payer health care system in America. He is the man with the bill for defunding the Iraq war, which is H.R. 1234. He is the only candidate campaigning for a Department of Peace and is the sponsor of H.R. 808, a bill for a Department of Peace which currently has 67 sponsors. Kucinich has a bill for “the Secretary of Labor to make an administrative determination of the amount of unpaid wages owed for certain violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act in the New Orleans region after Hurricane Katrina,” which allows him to take a tough stance on Katrina Relief that favors the American worker. And just today, a press release was issued stating that Dennis Kucinich has introduced “the Universal Prekindergarten Bill”, which “would ensure that all children ages 3-5 have access to high-quality, full-day, full-calendar year prekindergarten education.”

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Not only that, the most pressing issue in America, the impeachment of Cheney then Bush, is propelling his campaign because he is the author of the bill in the House, H.R. 333, which calls for the impeachment of Richard B. Cheney. And he is going to force a vote on impeachment before Thanksgiving based on a plan which works like this, which inevitably will push him into a position in the polls equal to where Edwards or Barack Obama stands right now:

An impeachment motion will be brought to the floor. Immediately, leaders will move to table the resolution. By voting to table the resolution, they will register whether they are for or against the impeachment of Cheney. If they vote to table the resolution, they are against impeachment and should be fired from their job in the House. If they vote nay on tabling the resolution, than we owe them a phone call where we praise them for standing up for America.

This does not just effectively move us on the path to restoring our Constitution, repairing our system of checks and balances, and reinstating a level of accountability in government.

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Again, it like the other bills Dennis Kucinich has introduced helps him gain in the polls. Candidates like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton who are all talk and have very little policy to go with what they say suffer because Dennis is strongly pushing actions on issues which Americans support. Bills such as the impeachment bill help him because he has something for us to trust him on. We trust him to institute real change while with candidates like Barack and Hillary we have to take them at their word, which is a very dangerous thing when you look at where they are getting their campaign money from.

Chris Dodd, another candidate for president, seems to be taking some cues from Dennis. He, as Dave Lindorff pointed out on OpEdNews, “moved to place a ‘hold’ on new permanent legislation developed by the Democrats, in coordination with some Senate Republicans, saying he would not let it pass unless a provision granting immunity to telecom companies that had been aiding the NSA in their spying activities was removed. He vowed to filibuster the bill if his colleagues tryed to move it to a vote.”

It must be noted that he could do this in the Senate to stop the war. But in taking this action to filibuster the immunity provision, the point that I intend to make is that his bold move has contributed to a boost in his popularity on the Internet and in polls.

Actions that are boldly taken that produce results for the American people are ways for these candidates, who wish to play this “horse race” of an election differently than the media expects them to, to go up in the polls and continue to qualify for inclusion in the next debate.

I caution you and ask that you watch to see if what these candidates do is how they normally act. For people like Kucinich, he was responsible for the October 2002 analysis that proved the administration was not making a good enough case for Congress to grant Bush authorization for a war with Iraq. So, we know he is dependable. As for Dodd, I am learning more and more about him. Judging from campaign contributions, which can be looked up on, I am skeptical of him because I believe he may have as many limitations as Hillary and Barack will have when they win. But I am not counting him out. If something happens to Dennis, I will support Dodd.

What we need is a president who feels no limits when it comes to taking action for Americans. Dennis Kucinich is such a viable option for the Democratic nomination because his actions, track record, and policies make him such an “electable” candidate---such a strong Democrat. If we look to the general election, that’s what’s needed for a Democrat to come out ahead of a Republican like “a noun, a verb, and 9/11” Rudy Giuliani.

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But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. Right now it doesn't matter what Republicans are doing. We know what worst case scenario they present to the Democratic Party and it is up to us to find the best candidate capable of taking on that worst case scenario if it should pan out.

Therefore, with the primary still in full swing, let’s focus on the Democratic candidates’ policies, campaign contributions, and track records first before we admit anybody’s won. Too much is at stake to settle for the MSM's favorite Democrat.


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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for

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