OR-1: Dennis Kucinich for Congress?!

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

OR-1: Dennis Kucinich for Congress?!

"The interchangeability of matter and spirit means the starlit magic of the outermost life of our universe becomes the soul-light magic of the innermost life of our self. The energy of the stars becomes us. We become the energy of the stars. Stardust and spirit unite and we begin: One with the universe. Whole and holy. From one source, endless creative energy, bursting forth, kinetic, elemental. We, the earth, air, water and fire-source of nearly fifteen billion years of cosmic spiraling." - Dennis Kucinich

For months now, there's been a bizarre sort of soap opera going on just north of the Columbia River. It seems that Congressman Dennis Kucinich - a Democrat from Cleveland, Ohio - is considering a run for Congress from Washington state.

Why? Because Ohio is losing a congressional seat in reapportionment, and it seems that it's Kucinich's district that's going away. And apparently, he has fond memories of the time he claims to have seen a UFO at Shirley MacLaine's home in Washington state.

Well, now that Oregon has a vacant seat in Congress, could Kucinich come here to seek his political fortune?

That's what Political Wire's Taegan Goddard suggests:

Could this be the new district Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is looking to run from?

I checked in with the state Elections Division. Could Kucinich run here? The answer is yes. The only requirements come from the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 2:

No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

That's right. As long as Dennis is a resident of Oregon on the day of the election, he could be the new Congressman from Oregon's First.

I tend to agree with David Nir of Daily Kos Elections, who calls this "an awful possibility". Kucinich is a nutball.

What do you think?

Trivia Update: The University of Minnesota Library's Eric Ostermeier notes that no one has ever accomplished what Kucinich may be about to attempt - winning back-to-back congressional elections after moving from one state to another.

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    No way. No.

    Question: would the special election blunt this? By moving here to contest it, would he then vacate his present seat? And he wouldn't challenge a sitting (I hope) new incumbent Democrat in a subsequent general...

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      Good point. Yes, he would vacate his current seat in order to run here (or in Washington) since you can't be a resident of two different states at the same time.

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        Unless you're Dick Cheney, then you can live be a resident of Texas and Wyoming.

        Come to think of it, haven't we had several aspiring politicians who have been residents of two states: One state for tax purposes, another for voting purposes.

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        I'd like to see him run in Washington State

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        I don't think he's a nutball! I've spoken with him a few times and he's totally involved and candid in conversations about what some elitist wannabe journalists might see as extreme. Like a Dept of Peace! Yeah that's really FUNNY unless you've actually transported people without arms and legs with their guts shot out crying for their mothers, while they DIED! That was in another foreign place of no sense for us to be where they didn't know what they were doing back then and even now it's the same stuff. HA HA HA! I'm with Kucinich on most issues but the need for a Dept of Peace is mandatory because the "Defense" Dept hasn"t and won"t, ever!

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      As a current resident of CD 1 I am confident that Kucinich would have trouble getting 15% of the primary vote. Washington County and the Western edges of Portland may vote Democratic, but they are not on the very left of the party. The other rural counties in CD1 even more so.

      Besides, Oregon is where we put up border guards to stop California beer from entering the state. A congressman? no way.

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    The anti-choice record is something I didn't know about and would like to hear Kucinich respond to, but I would be excited about the possibility of Kucinich running here.

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    Kari, I don't like carpet-bagging and don't think Kucinich should run in OR-1, and think he probably would lose.

    That said, this post is an unworthy hatchet job, as actually are parts of the Kos post you cite.

    About Kucinich and abortion rights, LifeNews.com discusses his possible move to WA under a headline calling him "pro-abortion" http://www.lifenews.com/2011/05/08/pro-abortion-dennis-kucinich-may-leave-ohio-to-stay-in-congress/

    Quotes & sources on his position on abortion rights in 2004 and 2008 are at: http://www.ontheissues.org/2004/dennis_kucinich_abortion.htm


    "I intend to be a president who’s a healer, who understands that this country has been put in a debate that has torn it apart. But the truth of the matter is, it’s possible to take a course of action where you can get all the people of America in support of a culture of life which includes prenatal care, postnatal care, child care, universal health care, a living wage, all those things that give support to life. And we also need to listen carefully to those who are concerned about abortion. At the same time, a healer as president would help reconcile this nation, and cause a woman’s right to privacy to be protected unquestioningly, protect Roe v. Wade, but also go out and listen to people and engage people and open up hearts."

    It took me about 15 seconds to find those. You're much more sophisticated in modern info finding than me. What gives? (I will come to UFOs separately)

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        From The Nation in 2002, Kari, 2002. Any evidence that he's lying about his positions since he changed them? Do his votes contradict them? What are his ratings now?

        I have contradicted your implicit claim that it's his older positions that matter and not his new ones, which you have not justified or defended. If I used a similar framing to criticize a politician you liked you'd be all over it. You don't like Kucinich, fair enough, but character assassination isn't justified.

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          I have contradicted your implicit claim that it's his older positions that matter and not his new ones, which you have not justified or defended. If I used a similar framing to criticize a politician you liked you'd be all over it.

          So if Dick Cheney suddenly said he's had a change of heart and ran for the Democratic nomination in the 1st, I guess you would take him at his word? Or is it that you're just doing the same thing you're accusing Kari of and defending Kucinich simply because you like him?

          There's a lot of politicians out there that coincidentally change their opinion on an issue exactly when it becomes politically convenient for them to do so. Questioning the motivations behind their change of heart is entirely justified, regardless of what their ideology is.

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    Not credible, Oregonians care way too much about Oregon credentials. Cue a variant of that salsa commercial ...

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    Kusinich has many good things going for him. That said, his real claim to fames have been failed presidential bids, doomed stances on losing issues, and being too liberal for the 'liberal' party. So I think he's a non-starter.

    ...that said, I think he would be a FANTASTIC lobbiest. It'd be great to get someone with that sort of fire pushing bills rather then the usual rich and richer sorts...

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    Kari, It's unlike you to pronounce a thoughtful rep. with a progressive record to be a "nutball." Perhaps it was just an unguarded moment, as we all experience, but now it's out there and I'd like you to retract it.

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      A progressive record on some issues. Not progressive on others. See above.

      As for "nutball" - can you explain this speech?

      "The interchangeability of matter and spirit means the starlit magic of the outermost life of our universe becomes the soul-light magic of the innermost life of our self. The energy of the stars becomes us. We become the energy of the stars. Stardust and spirit unite and we begin: One with the universe. Whole and holy. From one source, endless creative energy, bursting forth, kinetic, elemental. We, the earth, air, water and fire-source of nearly fifteen billion years of cosmic spiraling."

      And there's a lot more where that came from.

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          He's talking about Eastern religion? Great. Fine.

          I have no problem with spirituality.

          For the record, the whole speech is here, and the context was a foreign policy and peace conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

          It was a political speech, not a spiritual sermon or poetry.

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            It's a great speech. If our foreign policy were informed by such conceptions, we would likely not be responsible for hundreds of thousands [millions actually, but I am not ready to provide the references right now]of lost lives and trillions of dollars ill-spent from our national treasury.

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            Question: Would you have issue if he replaced the word 'energy' with 'matter'? As it has been conclusively proved that all elements heavier then Oxygen were all generated in stars...

            As for the point of the speech, pointing out that we are connected to all things, then inferring that we are connected to each other in a peace speech is not a bad tactic.

            Perhaps if instead of 'energy' he said 'God', would that be better?

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        Perhaps you are not familiar with the eastern metaphysical tradition. Many are not. Kucinich's statement is quite consistent with the view of the universe held by millions of Buddhists, Hindus and others. Would you call the Dalai Lama a nutball?

        I have spoken with Kucinich at length several times and find him to be one of the most intelligent, informed, and humanitarian pols I have met. If he decides to run in the Oregon first district, I will contribute to and volunteer for his campaign. Oregon would be fortunate to have Kucinich in our delegation.

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        Not any nuttier than claiming people can walk on water or turn water into wine or that there are paradises (or horrible punishments) awaiting us after we die.

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    Kari Chisolm: let us examine the cosmology of The Bible and see how much sense it makes? At least there is at least a scintilla of truth in Kucinich's beliefs- in that it is true that all matter on Earth is derived from stars and the dust they were transformed into.

    Anyway, how many countries has POTUS Peace Laureate bombed since he's been in office? How many "collateral damage" casualties have resulted? How much has this cost in dollars, too?

    Would we be better off if the POTUS took Kucinich's positions, rather than his own, on all matters of policy? (A rhetorical question as the answer is obvious).

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      See above. No problem with spirituality. It was a foreign policy speech.

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        So would it be "nutball" to mention God (be it Christian, Muslim, or Jewish) in a speech at a Praxis Peace Institute Conference? I don't think so. I'd also like to mention that the Praxis mission statement specifically includes "to link spiritual perspectives and practice to informed civic responsibility."

        From where I'm sitting, it looks like you have such strongly formed opinions of Kucinich that you are unable to see that you're being remarkably unfair. And to characterize a speech at the Praxis Peace Institute as being "about foreign policy" and to suggest that spirituality has no place there or in foreign policy? While failing to mention what the Praxis Peace Institute is about? Kari, I've read this site for a long time. I like you, but I think you're far off-base in these comments.

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          I agree with you, William.

          The basis for the original post is idle speculation by one blogger. Not anything Dennis has said, but what one blogger has speculated as a possibility.

          It seems like Kari took the occasion of this one blogger's speculation to engage in a little Dennis bashing.

          And, as I write this, this silly little exercise has generated 47 responses (mine will be the 48th).

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      All he has done is stay strong on all the issues that progressives care about the most.

      All? No.

      Most? Sure.

      Quick question: What exactly has he done to advance those values? Or stop bad guys attacking those values?

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    I think Kari would be surprised by the amount support DK would receive in CD1(Wu: exhibit 1). The Brad's are great and it will be tough enough to choose from them. But I doubt they are confused by the impact of DK on this race. As evidenced by this blog, it would make some of our choices easier.

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    I couldn't stop laughing even at the notion.

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      Kurt nails it.

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        Actually, he flubs it. K was asked there by Washington Dems, not the other way around.

        Still, it is easy to paint all politicians as 'self-centered egoists', isn't it?

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          Actually Jason you are dead wrong. K was not asked to Washington by the Washingtaon state democratic party or any party leaders. The leaders have repeated many times that he is not welcome or invited. He keeps showing up at the supposed/alleged invitations from the Washington labor council and anti-war activists.

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            Jeff Johnson, president of the labor council, said he invited Kucinich to speak at the convention after he shared a stage with him at a February rally in support of public workers in Wisconsin.

            That sounds like it's more than "supposed/alleged".

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      Absolutely. And it's not like we have a shortage of good Democratic candidates in District 1 to make anyone look for an outsider, even one with a degree of national name recognition.

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      Got to say, I agree with you on this one! Well said.

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    From the Kucinich site noted above:

    "I’ve had a journey on the issue [of reproductive rights]. A year ago, before I became a candidate for President, I broke from a voting record that had not been pro-choice. After hearing from many women in my own life, and from women and men in my community and across the country, I began a more intensive dialogue on the issue. A lot of women opened their hearts to me. That dialogue led me to wholeheartedly support a woman’s right to choose."

    Source: Campaign website, www.Kucinich.org, “On The Issues” Apr 1, 2003

    As a lesbian and GLBT activist, I count on people of reason - whether elected or everyday folk - to take an thoughtful and introspective approach on issues that create conflict with their own long held views, esp. those that originate from a religious upbringing.

    It is those folks who are some of our most significant allies because they alone can understand their intellectual journey.

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    That said, and although I AM a Kucinich fan for all the reasons noted above, I am also a huge fan of the quality candidates we already have - and will have - on the Democratic slate in CD 1.

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      We've all been roped in to a discussion prompted by idle speculation by one blogger.

      Kucinich is not going to run in Oregon. If he did, he wouldn't win.

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