Dennis Kucinich Washington State Politics

Apology Requested for Erroneous Statements Made about Congressman Dennis Kucinich

Friends,

As a lifelong member of the Democratic Party in Washington State and a Peace Activist for more than 40 years, I am deeply offended by the false statements made by our State Party Chair Dwight Pelz against one of America’s leading progressive Democrats, Congressmen Dennis Kucinich. I have therefore written the following letter to our State Party chair Dwight Pelz requesting that he end his campaign of character assassination and issue a public apology to Congressman Kucinich.

We do not know whether Congressman Kucinich will run in Washington State. But what is certain is that Dwight’s lack of respect for Congressman Kucinich is having a chilling effect on many progressive members of the Democratic Party – at a time when party unity is needed if we are to re-elect President Obama, re-elect Senator Cantwell and elect Congressman Inslee to the Governor’s Office.

Article I, Section 2, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution grants Dennis Kucinich the right to run for Congress in any State he chooses. It also grants the voters the right to choose whoever they wish to represent them in Congress. If there is one thing the Democratic Party should stand for, it is protecting the Civil Rights and the Constitutional Rights of All Americans.

If you agree with me that our nation needs to choose Peace and Prosperity over War and Austerity and that is important to keep Dennis Kucinich in Congress, please go to our website washingtoncitizensforkucinich.org and sign our petition. Hundreds of Washington State Democrats have already signed our petition. We hope you will join us.

If you agree with me that Dwight’s conduct is inappropriate and harmful to the unity of the Democratic Party, I urge you to email Dwight and let him know that you think he should reconsider his actions and the effect they are having on our Party.

Sincerely,
David Spring, M.Ed.,
Board Member of the Washington State Progressive Caucus,
5th LD Representative to the King County Democratic Party Central Committee,
PCO for Twin Peaks Precinct, North Bend and Member, Washington Citizens for Kucinich
springforschools@aol.com

April 17, 2012
 
To: Dwight Pelz,
Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party
PO Box 4027 Seattle WA 98194 (206) 583-0664
chair@wa-democrats.org

From: David Spring, M.Ed.,
Board Member of the Washington State Democratic Party Progressive Caucus,
5th LD Representative to the King County Democratic Party Central Committee,
PCO for Twin Peaks Precinct, North Bend and Member, Washington Citizens for Kucinich
springforschools@aol.com

RE: Apology Requested for Erroneous Statements Made about Congressman Dennis Kucinich

Dear Dwight,
I am writing to express my concern about three statements you have made in the press which appear to be a campaign of character assassination against one of America’s leading progressive Democrats, Congressman Dennis Kucinich. These statements are not only offensive to Congressman Kucinich; they are deeply offensive to many in the Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party.

As you know, Congressman Kucinich is the former Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He is also a national leader of the Peace Movement, a national leader of the Workers Rights Movement and a national leader of the fight to protect Social Security and Medicare. These are all important components of the Democratic Party. Just in Washington State, there are nearly 200,000 union members, most of whom deeply appreciate the fact that Dennis has opposed the outsourcing of union jobs to sweat shops in China. There are at least 100,000 seniors who appreciate the work Congressman Kucinich has done in protecting Social Security and Medicare. And polls show that over 60% of all Democrats oppose endless trillion dollar foreign wars. We Peace Activists deeply respect the work Congressman Kucinich has done to promote and advance the cause of Peace in our nation.

Now is not the time to divide the Democratic Party by offending the hundreds of thousands of union members, senior citizens, peace activists and Progressive Democrats in our State who admire Congressman Kucinich. In making your offensive statements, you are dividing and harming the Democratic Party at a time when we need party unity to re-elect President Obama, re-elect Senator Cantwell and elect Congressman Inslee to the Governor’s office. None of these things will be possible without the grassroots support of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

Below are the three statements I believe were inappropriate and harmful to the unity of the Democratic Party. I am hoping you will review these statements, reconsider your position on these issues, end your attacks on Congressman Kucinich and issue a formal public apology to Congressman Kucinich and to the Progressive Caucus of the Democratic Party. .

1.      Your Statement that Congressman Kucinich was “rejected by the voters of Cleveland” is False and Misleading

Yesterday, April 16, 2012, you were quoted in several national newspapers as saying that Congressman Kucinich had been “rejected by the voters of Cleveland.” In fact, as the following Table from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Website shows, Congressman Kucinich got 73% of the vote in Cleveland. Almost three out of four Democratic voters in Cleveland voted to return Dennis Kucinich to Congress.
Unfortunately, thanks to Republican Party gerrymandering, Congressman Kucinich was forced to run in a Congressional District where the deck was stacked heavily against him. Instead of condemning Congressman Kucinich, you should be condemning the undemocratic gerrymandering of the Ohio State Republican Party.

KucinichResults.JPG

Your inaccurate statement was picked up and published in newspapers and other media sources all over the nation and has caused severe harm to Congressman Kucinich’s reputation. It is not appropriate for the Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party to be making false and derogatory statements about one of our nation’s leading Democrats. I therefore request that you immediately issue a public statement correcting the record and apologizing to Congressman Kucinich for the damage you have inflicted on his reputation.

2.      Your Accusation that Congressman Kucinich is a “narcissist” is False
 
On Sunday, April 15, 2012, in an interview by the Seattle Times, you accused Congressman Kucinich of being a “narcissist”. This is an extremely derogatory term which is only applicable to a person who is so mentally ill that they are unable to think of or act for the benefit of others. Congressman Kucinich has been a public servant for more than 30 years. He saved the public power system in Cleveland – despite threats against his life!  He stood up against unfair trade agreements that led to the outsourcing of millions of American jobs. He stood up for our civil rights in opposing the Patriot Act. He stood up to the Wall Street trillion dollar bailout and he opposed the $4 trillion dollar endless global war that has killed more than one million people. Congressman Kucinich has devoted his life to helping the poor and the elderly and the middle class. He is the exact opposite of a self-centered person. You owe Congressman Kucinich a public apology for this baseless name calling and reckless character assassination of one of the leaders of the Democratic Party Progressive Caucus.

. 3. Your Accusation that Congressman Kucinich is a “Carpet Bagger” is False
Several times in the past year, you have also been quoted in the media as claiming that Congressman Kucinich is a “carpet bagger.” This term is a very derogatory term which comes from one of the darkest periods in US history – right after the Civil War – when dishonest Yankee Republican politicians from the North would take a train to the South, run for office in a rigged election motivated solely by a desire to exploit the Southern States. These corrupt politicians when they were traveling often used a very cheap form of luggage called a Carpet Bag. Carpet Baggers enriched themselves through bribes, graft, theft, kickbacks and other despicable acts. This outrage led to bitterness and hatred in the south for the next 100 years. The term Carpet Bagger should not be used lightly – and it certainly does not apply to Congressman Kucinich.

HarpersWeeklyCartoon.jpg

 
You have claimed that the voters of Washington State would reject Dennis as an “outsider.” But it is a fact that one in three voters in our State is actually from another State. The voters are much more likely to care about where a candidate stands on the issues than what State the candidate came from. The fact that Jay Inslee had been defeated in Eastern Washington did not prevent him from moving to Western Washington and winning a seat in Congress.

In 2000, Hillary Clinton became the first former First Lady in history to run for the Senate. She moved from Arkansas to New York and won in a landslide. She too was subjected to character assassination and inappropriately accused of being a carpet bagger.

HillaryCarpetBaggerPoster.jpg


Despite being falsely accused of being a carpet bagger, Hillary Clinton was warmly embraced by the people of New York because they agreed with her position on the issues. The fact that she had moved from Arkansas to run for the Senate in New York was completely irrelevant to the voters of New York.In our own State, Cheryl Huff recently won an election in King County by a landslide after moving here from another county literally at the very last possible moment. No one cared where she was from – only that she was the best candidate for the job. Senator Slade Gordon also moved here from another State to run for office as did State Representative Roger Goodman. Darcy Burner is also from another State. We even have a candidate running for Congress this year who is from Nepal. The Democratic Party has and should continue to welcome any Democratic candidate who is legally qualified to run for office. There is simply no evidence that the voters care about where a candidate is from. All they want is someone they agree with on the issues.Dennis Kucinich is not corrupt and he is not interested in enriching himself. Instead, he is motivated by his deep desire to end war and spend the money creating jobs here in America. We do not know whether Dennis Kucinich is going to run in Washington State or not. But Article I, Section 2, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution grants Dennis Kucinich the right to run for Congress in any State he chooses. It also grants the voters the right to choose whoever they wish to represent them in Congress. Calling Congressman Kucinich a carpet bagger is not only dishonest; it is a violation of his civil right to run for office where ever he wants and a violation of the civil rights of voters to choose their own representative. If there is one thing the Democratic Party should stand for, it is protecting the Civil Rights and the Constitutional Rights of All Americans!  I therefore request that you apologize to Congressman Kucinich for attacking his character and violating his civil and constitutional rights.

Conclusion
Dennis Kucinich is an inspirational speaker and progressive leader who has 16 years of experience and seniority in Congress. He is the ranking Democrat on the House Labor and Education Committee and also the ranking Democrat on the House Government Oversight Committee. But most important, he is the national leader of the Peace Movement at a time in our nation’s history when our nation is faced with the clear choice between Peace and Prosperity or War and Austerity. If Dennis Kucinich were to come to Washington State, it would help the Democratic Party by rallying thousands of progressive Democrats, union members, seniors and peace activists to turn out and vote. This would help us elect Jay Inslee, Maria Cantwell and Barack Obama.

Our party is supposed to be the party of the Big Tent. We value diversity and respect differences. We honor and protect the civil rights and freedom of all Americans. We believe in the democratic process. When a party leader attacks a respected member of the Democratic Party with lies and baseless accusations, it harms the entire Democratic Party. I therefore respectfully request for the good of party unity in this important election year that you reconsider your past statements, end your attacks on Dennis Kucinich and issue a public apology to Congressman Kucinich and to the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

Sincerely,
David Spring, M.Ed.,
Board Member of the Washington State Democratic Party Progressive Caucus,
5th LD Representative to the King County Democratic Party Central Committee,
PCO for Twin Peaks Precinct, North Bend and Member, Washington Citizens for Kucinich
springforschools@aol.com
Washingtoncitizensforkucinich.org

Comments

comments