Sunday, September 5, 2010

Dennis Kucinich

Dennis John Kucinich
(born October 8, 1946)

Someone tried to kill Dennis, y'all.

Before communicating with space aliens and marrying a supernaturally hot, young British woman, Dennis Kucinich (six-time U.S. Representative from Ohio's 10th Congressional District - he represents my Dad, which I think is hilarious) was once the boy Mayor of Cleveland.

In 1977 he was elected - at the age of 31 - to the office, and his tenure was distinguished, as Carter's was, for not giving away enough of the store to get everyone out of the terrible hole that was the late 1970s. In particular he was excoriated for not selling Cleveland's publicly owned electrical utility to its main, private competitor to get the city out of debt, a debt which had been routinely forgiven by its main bond-holder, Cleveland Trust. Making his stand for the little people public earned the wrath of Cleveland Trust, which suddenly demanded all debts repaid, plunging the city into default.

Cleveland was not the first major American city (following the Depression) to go into default - that honor belongs to New York City. But as we all know, NYC going into debt would have been a major embarrassment and they were bailed out by the federal government. Cleveland was already an embarrassment, and was so allowed to fall.

Rumor has it that "a hit man from Maryland" (did he have bushy hair?) was sent to kill Kucinich for reasons which are not made clear in Wikipedia, nor why, just because there were a (failed) attempt to recall him out of office that such a hit would be called off. But it was reported that way in the Free Times a few years ago, and we all know where that kind of investigative journalism got them.

The former Muni Light, now Cleveland Public Power, continues to provide electricity at reasonable rates to the people of Cleveland, and Kucinich, after a decade or so of soul-searching, was vindicated for his efforts and is now the political powerhouse we all know and love to watch on Jon Stewart.

Dennis Kucinich was the last Cleveland mayor to serve a two-year term, which was extended to a four-year term during the tenure of George Voinovich.

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