Kucinich campaigns in Tampa

05/29/07 Mitch E. Perry
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Kucinich  Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich was in Tampa on Saturday. 


The Ohio Congressman, in his 2nd run for the nomination, made 3 stops in Tampa during the day, and ended his day of campaigning by appearing at a WMNF sponsored concert Saturday night at Skipper’s smokehouse in North Tampa. 


Kucinich appeared in the Bay area less than 48 hours after the Democratic led Congress voted to give President Bush money to continue funding the war in Iraq for the next 4 years.


That vote has angered many anti war voters..But Congressman Kucinich, who has advocated cutting off funding of the war for months now, said he was offended that his Democratic colleagues tied the Iraq supplemental to an increase in the minimum wage

Kucinich on raising minimum wage with Iraq supplemental bill (roll tape# 1 o.q. “that’s obscene”)


Kucinich appeared for approximately an hour and a half fundraiser at the Tampa upscale   Mise En Place restaurant Saturday afternoon, before appearances in Pinellas County and as the keynote speaker at the League of United Latin American Citizens in Florida’s Convention in the evening.  During a question and answer session at Mise En Place, he told supporters that he believed much of the new Iraq supplemental will go private businesses  (roll tape#2 o.q.”enterprise”) 


When asked about the hottest issue in domestic American politics, the new immigration bill introduced earlier this month in the Senate, Kucinich said comprehensive reform means canceling the NAFTA, and demanding that the Mexican government do more to pay ITS workers a decent wage. And he said employers who willingly hire undocumented immigrants need to pay penalties  (roll tape#3 o.q.”across the borders..”)


In most polls, Kucinich barely registers.  But the 60 year old  Congressman, who began his political career 40 years ago this year when he ran for Cleveland City Council,  says he is running a viable campaign, and has begun to see his numbers rise in New Hampshire, the site of the first Democratic Primary next January (roll tape#4 oq.q”  right”)


Recently, most of the Democrats backed out of a debate that would be co-sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus that would be aired on the Fox News Channel.  Due to pressure from liberal bloggers and others who say that Fox is propaganda channel for the Republican party, the biggest names in the party opted out of the debate.


But the Black Caucus is now again imploring candidates to participate, saying that issues that affect the black community will get a fuller hearing in this proposed debate.  Dennis Kucinich has consistently opposed his Democratic colleagues, and said he’d gladly go on Fox (roll tape#5 o.q.”it’s that simple”)


The Florida Democratic Party is madly scrambling after Governor Charlie Crist signed into law moving up the Presidential Primary election to January 29th.


That’s angered the national Democratic Party, who carefully had moved other States to be in line after Iowa and New Hampshire are the first in the nation to vote for President.


DNC Chair Howard Dean has threatened all of the candidates that they could lose all the delegates they win in Florida, even if they campaign in the state.  But Kucinich called such an edict “undemocratic (roll tape#6 o.q.”is best”)


Shirley Kopperman from Tarpon Springs said she became a Kucinich supporter during the last campaign. She thinks his lack of popular support is an indictment about the awareness of the American public (roll tape#7 o.q.” matinee idol looks”)


Sam Porterfield from Tampa said he liked Kucinich’s ideas, specifically for his calls for  universal health coverage and the environment.  (roll tape#8 o.q. “hopefully”)


The next time Kucinich will be on  a national stage will be a week from tonight, when the next Democratic Party Debate takes place from New Hampshire on CNN.




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