Thursday, July 03, 2003

Kucinich as Mayor of Cleveland. 

I have to confess to having a bit of a temper. That said, I am a passionate person for my beliefs, and I suppose just as passionate over my fears that we are losing our country to a right wing fascist mentallity. My father and I just had an argument over Dennis Kucinich. Now my father is a democrat, mind you, but rather plodding and pragmatic. He has a web site on Germany in World War 2, and is developing one on current politics.

But one thing he doesn't know about is Kucinich's term as mayor of Cleveland, and just why the city defaulted. There are many who still want to portray this issue as a loggerhead for Kucinich. Truth is, Kucinich is now seen as a hero to many in Cleveland, according to the Clevelandmagazine.com (Thirty people who defined Cleveland issue):

In December 1978, as the city’s financial troubles mounted, the Cleveland Trust Bank refused to grant the city a loan extension unless it sold the Municipal Light System (now Cleveland Public Power). Kucinich wouldn’t sell and the city went into default.

Ryan: “Dennis was willing to risk a bright future in politics for cheap electricity. He showed me, as a young man, he was willing to stand up to incredible powers and put his own personal life in jeopardy in the interests of people he [represented] by refusing to sell Cleveland Public Power. Think of what he really did give up: all those years of political life when he was almost exiled.”

Kucinich lost his bid for re-election in 1979. He spent 13 of the next 15 years out of politicaloffice.

Forbes: He suffered. He couldn't make a living. He could not get a job. That was payback from the business community for what they felt he did to the town."

Kucinich was elected to Congress in 1996.

Joe Cimperman, city councilman: "We were in a Labor Day parade three years ago in Brook Park. And I remember him putting his arm around me and saying that I had to maintain spiritual peace inside, because giving in to anger would be my downfall. At that point, it was the best thing he could have said to me, because he sensedmy inexperience and my youth , and wanted to impart some wisdom."

“When the hospitals started closing, he reached out to every council member who was impacted by it. He called me at 3 in the morning. He was feeding, living, breathing off of this chance to keep [St. Michael’s] open.”

Forbes: “[Last year,] we went and had a cup of coffee together — he had his cup of hot water — and we sat and talked abut the mayor’s race. He had given it a passing thought. He said, ‘If I run for mayor, I want to talk to [Dick] Jacobs, I want to talk to [Al] Lerner, I want to talk to [Sam] Miller, I want to talk to [Bert] Wolstein, and I want to announce a project a month.’ Which told me that he had changed. He never would’ve even considered talking to those men before, when he was mayor.”

Cimperman: “There’s people from a generation that will never change their opinions about him, both positively and negatively: the older neighborhood core and the older corporate core. The more people my age, in their 30s and 40s, get to know him, the more they’re like, ‘This guy stands for things that are important to me.’ At the Tremont arts and cultural fair in Lincoln Park [in September], I was walking with him and it was unbelievable how many people said, ‘Keep the peace. Don’t let us go to war.’ ”

Dennis Kucinich wants to form the Department of Peace and reduce the Pentagon budget. Sounds like a good idea to me.