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Record and controversies
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Kucinich voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.
During the debate in 2002 over the resolution giving the president the right to use military force against Iraq, Kucinich proposed an amendment to recommit the Iraq resolution to committee with instructions requiring the president to submit to Congress an estimate of the impact of the war on the U.S. economy, Iraqi citizens, and international stability. Supporters felt as though the motion was necessary, for the costs of the war were likely to be high and military action should remain a last resort in dealing with Iraq. The amendment failed 101-325.
As the FY2004 Intelligence Authorization was debated in 2003, no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. In response, Kucinich offered an amendment (H.AMDT.194) which would have audited all telephone and electronic communications between the CIA and the office of Vice President Cheney on the subject of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Kucinich argued that this would help determine what evidence there was for the initial invasion of Iraq.
On January 10, 2007, Kucinich introduced a resolution (H.Con.Res.23) expressing, “That it is the sense of Congress that the President should not order an escalation in the total number of members of the United States Armed Forces serving in Iraq.”
During the March 2007 debate of the Iraq supplemental spending bill, Rep. Kucinich supported an amendment by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) requiring withdrawal of American forces by the end of 2007. Kucinich stated that “the Lee Amendment makes sure the money is there to bring troops home...People are looking for leadership [to get the troops out of Iraq]. Here it is.”
12-Point exit plan
On January 8, 2007, Kucinich unveiled his comprehensive 12-Point exit plan to bring the troops home and stabilize Iraq. (Watch a video of Kucinich's press conference)
The plan includes the following steps:
- The U.S. announces it will end the occupation, close the military bases, and withdraw.
- The U.S. announces that it will use existing funds to bring the troops home and the necessary equipment home.
- We will order a simultaneous return of all U.S. contractors to the United States and turn over the contracting work to the Iraqi government.
- We'll convene a regional conference for the purpose of developing a security and stabilization force for Iraq.
- Prepare an international security peacekeeping force to move in, replacing U.S. troops, who then return home.
- Develop and fund a process of national reconciliation.
- We have to once again restart the programs for reconstructions and jobs for the Iraqi people.
- Reparations for the damage that's been done to the lives of Iraqis.
- Assuring the political sovereignty of Iraq and making sure that their oil isn't stolen.
- Repairing the Iraqi economy.
- Economic sovereignty for Iraq.
- An international truth and reconciliation process, which establishes a policy of truth and reconciliation between the people of the United States and Iraq.
For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal
Department of Peace and Nonviolence initiative
On February 6, 2007, Kucinich began an initiative to create a Department of Peace and Nonviolence. While the notion of such a department dates back to the days of the founding fathers, several attempts have failed in the past. Kucinich vowed to hold hearings on legislation. 
Kucinich, who used to co-chair the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is a self-described "Wellstone Democrat." He has been praised as "a genuine progressive" by Ralph Nader. In 2003, Kucinich was the recipient of the Gandhi Peace Award.
With a net worth of between $2,000 and $32,000, Kucinich is one of Congress's least wealthy members.
Kucinich was born October 8, 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1973, he graduated from Case Western Reserve University with both a BA, and an MA.Prior to his election to Congress, he was elected to Cleveland City Council in 1969, when he was 23. In 1972, Kucinich ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, losing to incumbent Republican William E. Minshall Jr. In 1974, after Minshall's retirement, Kucinich sought the seat again but failed to gain the Democratic nomination and ran unsuccessfully as an independent. In 1975, Kucinich became clerk of the municipal court in Cleveland and served in that position for two years.
Kucinich served as the mayor of Cleveland, Ohio from 1978 to 1980 in a contentious term that culminated in a recall election that Kucinich barely survived. Kucinich attempted to win a second term but lost to Republican George Voinovich. He kept a low profile for several years, but in a 1983 special election he was elected to city council for Ward 12. In 1985 he ran for governor as a third party candidate but withdrew. Kucinich then went to live in New Mexico "on a quest for meaning," (his own words) and lived quietly until 1994 when he won a seat in the Ohio State Senate.
House of Representatives
In 1996, Kucinich was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
His voting record is not always in line with the Democratic Party. He voted for a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning, as well as for the resolution calling for an investigation into President Bill Clinton's role in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, two stances not consistent with those of his party. . However, he has since criticized the flag-burning amendment and voted against the impeachment of President Clinton.
He has also leaned strongly toward an anti-abortion stance, although he is quick to note that he has never supported a constitutional amendment prohibiting abortion altogether. In 2003, however, he began describing himself as pro-choice and said he had shifted away from his earlier position on the issue.  Press releases have indicated that he is pro-choice but also wants to initiate a series of reforms, such as ending the "abstinence-only" policy of sex education and increasing the use of contraception in hopes of making abortion "less necessary" over time.
Kucinich voted against the USA PATRIOT Act and has been an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq.
Kucinich has spoken out against the conference system of lawmaking. "It's a defect in the system," explains Kucinich. "When a bill goes into a conference committee, it gets yanked out of the sunlight and into the shadows. The conference process is a closed one, so you can go into a conference committee and basically add anything or take out anything you want and no one really knows. It transforms the legislature into a secret cabal."
Kucinich is interested in media reform and has vowed to make it a national issue. Kucinich stated, "... there is great concern about the proper role of the media in a democratic society. The American people clearly do not want the media to be in a position where they're determining which candidates ought to be considered for the presidency and which ought not to be considered for the presidency. Such practice by the media represents a tampering with the political process itself. The role of the media in this process has now become a national issue central to the question of who's running our country." See also the report at FAIR
2004 presidential bid
Despite finishing low in polls and early primaries, he continued his campaign because "the future direction of the Democratic Party has not yet been determined"  and chose to focus on Oregon, spending 30 days there before the May primary, "because of its progressive tradition and its pioneering spirit." . He even offered  to campaign jointly with Kerry during Kerry's visit to the state, though the offer was ignored. He won 16% of the vote in Oregon.
2008 presidential bid
On December 11, 2006 in a speech delivered at Cleveland City Hall, Kucinich announced that he would again seek the nomination of the Democratic Party for president in 2008. (Watch Kucinich's speech at YouTube)
His 2008 platform includes:
- Creating a single-payer system of universal health care that provides full coverage for all Americans.
- The immediate withdrawal of all U.S. Forces from Iraq and replacing them with an international security force.
- Guaranteed quality education for all, including free Pre-K and college for all who want it.
- Immediate withdrawal from the WTO (World Trade Organization)and NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).
- Repealing the USA PATRIOT Act.
- Fostering a world of international cooperation.
- Abolishing the death penalty.
- Environmental renewal and clean energy.
- Preventing the privatization of social security.
- Providing full social security benefits at age 65.
- Creating a cabinet-level "Department of Peace"
- Ratifying the ABM Treaty and the Kyoto Protocol.
- Introducing reforms to bring about instant-runoff voting.
- Protecting a woman's right-to-choose while decreasing the number of abortions performed in the U.S.
- Ending the war on drugs.
- Legalizing same-sex marriage.
- Creating a balance between workers and corporations.
- Restoring rural communities and family farms.</p>
Money in politics
This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.
|Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle|
|Donor||Amount (US Dollars)|
|Comcast Corp||$ 5,500|
|American Federation of Teachers||$ 5,000|
|American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees||$ 5,000|
|Fluor Corp||$ 5,000|
|Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union||$ 5,000|
|NARAL Pro-Choice America||$ 5,000|
|Primex World||$ 5,000|
|Rick Case Automotive Group||$ 5,000|
|Scientific Data Systems||$ 5,000|
|Sheet Metal Workers Union||$ 5,000|
|Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' www.OpenSecrets.org site.|
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
|Links to more campaign contribution information for Dennis Kucinich
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
|Fundraising profile:||2008 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by organization/corporation:||2008 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by industry:||2008 election cycle||Career totals|
- Revolving door profile for Dennis Kucinich from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- 2006 privately funded travel profile for Dennis Kucinich from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- Personal finance profile for Dennis Kucinich from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
Committees and Affiliations
- House Committee on Education and Labor
- House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)
- House Committee on Education & Labor
- Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education
- Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities
- House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Post Office, and the District of Columbia
- Subcommittee on Domestic Policy
Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)
- House Committee on Education and the Workforce
- Subcommittee on Education Reform
- Subcommittee on Workforce Protections
- House Committee on Government Reform
- Subcommittee on Energy and Resources
- Subcommittee on National Security Emerging Threats and International Relations
- Former Chair, Congressional Progressive Caucus
More Background Data
|On the Web|
Articles and Resources
- Official website
- Campaign site
- Dennis Kucinich For President 2008 Online Map Join it today! Use the Map to Find other Kucinich Supporters, Volunteers, Staff Members, Meeting Places, as well as Campaign Offices
- Audio and video archive of Presidential campaign events, speeches; video messages from Kucinich
- Kucinich blog
- Kucinich Campaign Organization.
- Open Secrets - 2006 congressional races database
- Compare where Dennis Kucinich stands to other 2008 candidates at whereIstand.com
Local blogs and discussion sites
- Psychobilly Democrat
- As Ohio Goes
- Writes Like She Talks
- Pho's Akron Pages
- Callahan's Cleveland Diary
Articles about Dennis Kucinich
- Joshua Scheer, "Rep. Dennis Kucinch: No More Money for War on Iraq," truthdig, December 4, 2006.
- Jonathan E. Kaplan, "Department of Peace bill off to a rocky start — again," The Hill, February 7. 2007.
- kos, "Kucinich: 'Fox is legitimate'," Daily Kos, March 15, 2007.
Articles, Interviews & Speeches by Dennis Kucinich
- Speaker Profile, Institute for Cooperation in Space, 2002.
- Letter to MoveOn.org readers, June 17, 2003.
- Interview with Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, BuzzFlash, January 8, 2004.
- The Encyclopedia Of Cleveland History by Cleveland Bicentennial Commission (Cleveland, Ohio), David D. Van Tassel (Editor), and John J. Grabowski (Editor) ISBN 0253330564
- Cleveland: A Concise History, 1796-1996 by Carol Poh Miller and Robert Anthony Wheeler ISBN 0253211476
- Cleveland: Prodigy of the Western Reserve by George E. Condon ISBN B0006DX6QQ
- The Battle of Cleveland: Public Interest Challenges Corporate Power by Dan Marschall
- Seven Making History: A Mayoral Retrospective by The League of Women Voters of Cleveland
- The Cleveland Press, December 15, 1978. Default Time Arrives As The Nation Watches by Peter Phipps.
- The Cleveland Press, December 15, 1978. Suburbs to Cleveland: Drop Dead!
- The Plain Dealer, August 1, 1999. Our Century: 'Boy Mayor' Leads Battle Into Default by Fred McGunagle.
- The Plain Dealer, August 7, 1999. Our Century: Muny Survives, But Kucinich Is Out of Power by Fred McGunagle.
- Rahul Mahajan, "Where Was He When It Mattered?: Kucinich: Maverick or Stalking Horse?", Counterpunch, December 22, 2006.
- Efforts to initiate the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney
- Operation Iraqi Freedom: Military and Political Dissent
- U.S. presidential election, 2004
- U.S. presidential election, 2004: Campaign Issues
Semantic data ()
|From the Sunlight Foundation API|
|Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives|
|Title:||First name:||Middle name:||Last name:|
00 District short:
|Currently in office?|
|Phone:||Fax:||Website:||Webform email: |
|Bioguide ID:||Votesmart ID:||FEC ID:||Govtrack ID:|
|CRP ID:||Eventful ID:||Old Sunlight ID:||Twitter ID:|
|OpenCongress Wiki URL:||YouTubeID:||Senate class:|
|Entered manually within the Template:Politician|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
Ranking Member On:
Ranking Member On:
|First Elected to Current Office:
November 5, 1996
|First Took Current Office:
January 3, 1997
November 2, 2010
|Previous Political Work?
Ohio Senate, Mayor of Cleveland, Cleveland City Council
|Other Party Membership:|
Date of Birth: September 8, 1946
November 5, 1996