Kucinich listed his agenda as: jobs for all; health care for
all; retirement security for all and an end to war.
“The economy is being increasingly run by those who have at
the risk of those who have not,” he said of his concern
about jobs. “The interest of the people is being crushed by
these interest groups.”
As for war, Kucinich noted that he had questioned the
motives of the Bush Administration and its claims of weapons
of mass destruction as a reason for going to war well before
the first shot had been fired.
“That war was a racket,” he said. “It was based on lies.
Weapons of mass destruction are what we have here in this
country – poverty, homelessness and poor health care are
weapons of mass destruction.”
Asked about the fact that he is facing a popular Toledo icon
in Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Kucinich declined to make the
comparison between the veteran legislators.
“I'm not here to tell you not to vote for anyone,” he
responded. “I'm here to tell you about what I'm all about.
It's about my capacity for service.”
Kucinich, a Cleveland native and life-long resident, is
facing Kaptur in a March 6 primary for the right to move on
to the general election in the newly-drawn Ohio Ninth
Congressional District. The two long-time Democratic
comgressmen are victims of a double whammy – a census count
in which Ohio lost two congressional seats due to a
population decrease in comparison with other states and a
Republican majority in the Ohio General Assembly.
Elected to Cleveland City Council at the age of 23, Kucinich
gained national notoriety when he was elected mayor of that
city at the age of 31 and then faced down the Cleveland
banks, refusing to budge when they insisted that the
publicly-owned electric system be turned over to a private
The banks forced the city into default sending Kucinich's
political career into a black hole from which he finally
emerged in 1996 when he was elected to Congress. The years
have seen him vindicated in his decision not to privatize
the electric company.
In the interim, Kucinich has retained a national name
recognition after having made a run for the Democratic
presidential nomination in 2008 as the most liberal
candidate in the group unwaveringly pressing for a
single-payer health insurance program, for example, as he
reminded listeners last Saturday.
In this heavily Democratic district, the winner of the
Democratic primary will go on to face the Republican
standard bearer, most likely Samuel (“Joe the Plumber”)
Wurzelbacher who has been endorsed by the district's daily