Dennis Kucinich to stump for Pete Stark on Sunday

Liberal icon Rep. Dennis Kucinich – now a lame duck, having lost his primary in which redistricting pitted him against a fellow Ohio Democrat – isn’t going quietly into that good night, but instead is rallying to the side of a Bay Area friend.

Kucinich will join Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, for a get-out-the-vote rally, phone bank and precinct walk at noon this Sunday, June 3 in Dublin – the home turf of Stark’s own primary opponent, fellow Democrat Eric Swalwell. In fact, they’re rallying in the same union hall that’s the meeting place of the TriValley Democratic Club, of which Swalwell is a longtime member.

Dennis Kucinich“I have worked closely with Pete Stark for the past 16 years in Congress. He is a singular force to protect the health of the American people,” Kucinich said in a news release issued by Stark’s campaign. “He is a key architect of the Affordable Care Act, which will finally guarantee quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Pete is also the author of a law (COBRA) which is directly responsible for protecting access to and continuity of health care for 45 million Americans who are in between jobs. We need Pete Stark to continue representing us in Congress.”

Stark said he’s honored to have the support of Kucinich, who ran dark-horse campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008. “Dennis is a strong leader on progressive issues – we have worked together to enact health reform, protect Social Security and Medicare and stand up for working families.”

Stark announced President Obama’s endorsement two weeks ago.

Swalwell, 31, a Dublin councilman and Alameda County prosecutor, is taking on Stark, 80, a 20-term incumbent, in the newly drawn 15th Congressional District, which includes Hayward, Fremont, Pleasanton, Dublin, San Ramon, Livermore, Union City, and the unincorporated areas of Castro Valley, Fairview and San Lorenzo. Conservative independent candidate Chris Pareja, 40, a businessman from Hayward, is running as well.

What might’ve been a cakewalk for Stark – rumored to be seeking his last term, and dean of California’s delegation – instead grew ugly in April and May as Stark had to apologize for a series of unsubstantiated accusations he made against Swalwell.


Afghanistan withdrawal resolution defeated

H.Con.Res. 248, legislation by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, that would order the President to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan, failed today on a 65-356 vote after more than three and a half hours of debate.

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland; Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont; and Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma were among the legislation’s 19 co-sponsors. They were joined by Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, in voting for it today.

From Stark:

Pete Stark“Madam Speaker, I rise today in support of H.Con.Res. 248 to bring our troops home from Afghanistan.

“Despite the wishes of the people who voted him into office, President Obama is escalating the War in Afghanistan. It’s now up to Congress to end the war. This resolution would invoke the War Powers Resolution of 1973, and remove troops from Afghanistan no later than the end of the year.

“This war has no clear objective. We have spent $258 billion on the War in Afghanistan, with billions more to come this year. American soldiers and their families are paying a greater price. Over 1,000 soldiers have died, and over 5,000 have been wounded in action. According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch, and other humanitarian organizations, tens of thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed.

“It is time for Congress to assert its constitutional authority over matters of war and bring our troops home. I urge my colleagues to join us in support of this resolution. War will never stabilize Afghanistan. We must turn to diplomacy and infrastructure development to achieve stability in Afghanistan.”

From Miller:

“We need to move in a new direction in Afghanistan. Today, I again registered my opposition to the current US policy in Afghanistan by voting for Mr. Kucinich’s war powers resolution. While we know it isn’t feasible for American troops to leave Afghanistan in the time allotted in the resolution, by voting for it I am sending a clear message to President Obama and my colleagues that we need to move in a new direction in Afghanistan.”

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, was one of five Republicans (the others included Rep. John Campbell, R-Irvine) to vote for the legislation. From Paul:

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, issued a statement saying she had voted against the resolution “with a heavy heart.” See her full explanation after the jump…
Continue Reading


Tuesday’s DNC video highlights

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio:

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.:

U.S. Senate candidate and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner:

And I’ll add Hillary Clinton as soon as I find a clean clip…

UPDATE @ 9:22 P.M: Here she is, in three segments:


Fiery House hearing on Bush abuses

Here’s Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, testifying today at the House Judiciary Committee‘s hearing on “Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations,” discussing an article of impeachment he introduced this month (co-sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland) against President George W. Bush based on “Deceiving Congress with Fabricated Threats of Iraq WMDs to Fraudulently Obtain Support for an Authorization of the Use of Military Force Against Iraq:”

More video from today’s hearing, after the jump… Continue Reading


Nader has a snit over impeachment hearing

So the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by John Conyers, D-Mich., will hold a hearing Friday on “Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitations.” From the committee’s Web site:

“Over the last seven plus years, there have been numerous credible allegations of serious misconduct by officials in the Bush Administration,” said Conyers. “At the same time, the administration has adopted what many would describe as a radical view of its own powers and authorities. As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I believe it is imperative that we pursue a comprehensive review commensurate to this constitutionally dangerous combination of circumstances. Next Friday’s hearings will be an important part of that ongoing effort.”

The Committee is expected to examine a range of legal and legislative responses to allegations of administration misconduct and their expansion of executive branch power.

Among those called to testify will be Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, who earlier this month introduced an article of impeachment against President George W. Bush, based on “Deceiving Congress with Fabricated Threats of Iraq WMDs to Fraudulently Obtain Support for an Authorization of the Use of Military Force Against Iraq.” Impeachment advocates shouldn’t get all that excited: Kucinich will have a chance to talk about it, but House Democratic leaders have made that’s not the hearing’s main focus. Instead, the committee aims to generally review what it believes to be the president’s abuses of power. Still, even a discussion of impeachment is a milestone for Kucinich and this Congress.

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader isn’t on the list of invited witnesses, and that sure does seem to starch his boxers, as evidenced by the letter he sent to Conyers today:

July 23, 2008

Chairman John Conyers
House Judiciary Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Chairman Conyers:

For years I have been urging you to initiate a resolution of impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for chronic, repeated violations of our Constitution and the many “high crimes and misdemeanors” they commit day after day. These two men are the worst recidivist impeachable occupiers of the Presidency and Vice Presidency in American history.

Since assuming power over both Houses, the Democratic leadership declared impeachment to be “off the table.”

During our 2004 Nader/Camejo independent campaign for the Presidency, we invited the American people to sign on in support of our demand for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Many thousands of citizens signed.

We have had several conversations and two meetings where impeachment was discussed. On March 24, 2008, I wrote you a letter describing the various options open to you as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (see enclosed.)

A few days ago, it was reported that your Committee will hold hearings this Friday July 25, 2008 on Congressman Dennis Kucinich’s article of impeachment referred to your jurisdiction.

You have invited four members of the House to testify including, of course, Congressman Kucinich and several observers of the subject, including the inestimable former mayor of Salt Lake City Rocky Anderson, Bruce Fein and John Dean. The Libertarian candidate for President, Bob Barr is also on the witness list, but I am not.

This is not the first time that I have been excluded from testifying on subjects both of us have been concerned about and have discussed. Remember your invitation to testify at your unofficial public hearing right after the 2004 elections regarding “irregularities” in Ohio? Within two days, your chief of staff, Perry Applebaum, persuaded you to disinvite me.

Applebaum has been a problem with my appearing before a Committee Chairman whom I have known, admired and worked with for nearly forty years. He has performed his exclusionary behavior on other occasions. It is time to make this public and to ascertain why he prevails again and again with his superior either not to invite or to deny requests to testify regarding subjects well within my knowledge, experience, and forthrightness.


Ralph Nader
P.O. Box 34103
Washington, D.C. 20043

But why should Nader be invited? What special viewpoint or knowledge would he bring to such a hearing that others can’t? Lots of people are “concerned” about it and I’m sure many people have “discussed” the matter with Conyers, but not everyone gets to testify.

This seems to me like yet another example of Nader’s indefatigable ego: It’s not good enough for him that impeachment is being discussed; HE must be invited to hold forth on it.

Uh, Ralph? It’s not all about you.


Kucinich pursues Bush’s impeachment, again

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, once again put the impeachment of President George W. Bush on the House floor today, and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland again voiced her support:

“As a co-sponsor of Congressman Kucinich’s previous articles of impeachment, I want to commend his ongoing efforts to hold this President accountable for his abuses.

“The lifeblood of any democracy is the trust the people have in their political leaders and institutions. When leaders abuse that trust, they imperil their country by breaking the ties that bind the people to their government. And nowhere is that trust more essential than when it comes to deciding whether to go to war.

“As President of the United States and Commander in Chief of our nation’s military forces, George W. Bush’s record is replete with abusing this trust with the purpose of enabling a war of choice. His actions will have a lasting effect on the heart and soul of our nation and the very fiber of democracy.

“His war of choice has caused incalculable damage to our country, and the damage is exacerbated daily by his continuance in office. His breach of the public trust and misleading the nation into a disastrous war in Iraq warrants his impeachment and removal from office.

“This article of impeachment introduced today provides a compelling exposé of the President’s abuse of the public trust in his fateful and calamitous decision to launch an unnecessary war in Iraq. I strongly support it.

Kucinich last month had introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush; they were sent to the House Judiciary Committee, where they died without hearing or action. Today he introduced just one article, based on “Deceiving Congress with Fabricated Threats of Iraq WMDs to Fraudulently Obtain Support for an Authorization of the Use of Military Force Against Iraq.”

House Speaker Nancy “Off the Table” Pelosi, D-San Francisco, somewhat surprisingly told reporters at her weekly briefing this morning that it’s “a Judiciary Committee matter. And I believe you will see some attention being paid to it by the Judiciary Committee. Not necessarily taking up the articles of impeachment, because that would have to be voted on the floor, but to have some hearings on the subject.”