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13 December 2007

Kucinich Barred from Democratic Debate in Iowa

Oh, yeah: this is a democratic process. No one's being excluded unfairly -- and why, I ask you? Lack of popularity in polls doesn't cut it, as you can see below. Home office -- i.e., lack of money -- doesn't cut it. So, what possible explanation are we left with? I leave it to you to figure out. From Democracy Now, linked in the title above (my emphases):

In campaign news, Congressmember and Democratic hopeful Dennis Kucinich has been excluded from today’s Democratic presidential debate in Iowa. Debate sponsor the Des Moines Register told Kucinich he isn’t eligible because he doesn’t meet local requirements on a local campaign office and paid staff. Kucinich’s Iowa field director works out of a home office. The most recent poll of likely Democratic voters shows Kucinich has one percent support in Iowa—the same as Senator Chris Dodd. Nationally, Kucinich has two percent support—the same as Bill Richardson and Senator Joe Biden. Dodd, Richardson and Biden are all taking part in today’s debate. In a statement, the Kuncinich campaign called the exclusion “arbitrary and unreasonable”, saying: “[If] the Register has decided to use hair-splitting technicalities to exclude the leading voice of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, the entire process is suspect.”
A response from the Kucinich campaign.

Kucinich has indeed won polls in all the major, grass-roots, progressive Democratic organizations -- Progressive Democrats of America, Democracy for America, and the Nation magazine's poll. As the Kucinich campaign put it:
Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich has won another major poll among grassroots Party activists most likely to vote in caucuses and primaries, capturing 41% of the vote from Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), which has more than 80,000 members across the nation.

In the field of eight candidates, the Ohio Congressman was the overwhelming winner, easily out-pacing second-place finisher former Senator John Edwards, who received 26% of the vote. Senator Barack Obama came in third with 13%, followed by Senator Hillary Clinton with 9%, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson with 5%. The other Democratic candidates were in the low single digits. Kucinich was also the top vote-getter among PDA members in the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

It is the third exceptionally strong finish by Kucinich in polls among active, grassroots Democrats. Last month, he topped all other candidates in 47 of 50 states in a poll sponsored by Democracy for America (DFA). Also, a poll conducted by the progressive The Nation magazine showed Kucinich with 35% of the vote, Obama second with 24% and Edwards third with 13%.

In last month’s DFA poll, Kucinich received almost 32% of the 150,000-plus votes cast, more than Edwards and Obama combined. There, too, he won both Iowa and New Hampshire.

In announcing today’s results, PDA said, “The Congressman's showing indicates that Progressive Democrats are still in sync with the Kucinich agenda: Out of Iraq; no attack on Iran, single-payer healthcare, fair trade, etc.” The poll was open only to PDA members, and the organization said it added “extra layers of security” to protect the integrity of the survey.

In an analysis of the recent polls in The Nation today, Washington correspondent John Nichols wrote that Kucinich’s “pointed opposition to the war in Iraq and outspoken advocacy of impeachment of Vice President Cheney has echoed the sentiments of the Democratic base” and “party activists who do the heavy lifting.”

Nichols also noted, “The DFA and PDA poll results give Kucinich an additional measure of credibility as he reaches out to key activists, including Democrats who are currently leaning toward other contenders...”

Kucinich’s national and state-by-state poll numbers have risen noticeably in the past several weeks. Not only is he the only Democratic candidate who voted against the Iraq war authorization in 2002 and every supplemental funding measure since, he also is the only Democratic candidate who voted against the Patriot Act. And, his early opposition to hostile moves by the Administration towards Iran was validated earlier this week when the National Intelligence Estimate revealed that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program four years ago.

Kucinich, sponsor of a resolution calling for impeachment proceedings against Cheney, has called for a Congressional investigation of the handling of the NIE findings by the Administration. He said that such an investigation “will further build the case for the impeachment of both the President and the Vice President.”

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