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Did Kucinich Bankrupt Cleveland?

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Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-13-03 01:48 PM
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Did Kucinich Bankrupt Cleveland?
Maybe there is some nuance to this story...

A Profile in Political Courage...and Vindication

Having been elected to Clevelands City Council at age 23, Dennis Kucinich was well-known to Cleveland voters when they chose him as their mayor in 1977 at the age of 31. He was elected mayor on a promise that he would not sell off or privatize the beloved and trusted city-owned power system, though Cleveland was deeply in debt.

Cleveland Magazine offered this summary: Kucinich refused to yield to bankers who gave him a choice: Sell the Municipal Light System to the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. or the city will go into default. The mayor said no.

When Kucinich refused to sell Muny Light, the banks took the unprecedented step of refusing to roll over the citys debt, as is customary. Instead, they pushed the city into default. It turned out the banks were thoroughly interlocked with the private utility, CEI, which would have acquired monopoly status by taking over Muny Light. Five of the six banks held almost 1.8 million shares of CEI stock; of the 11 directors of CEI, eight were also directors of four of the six banks involved.

By holding to his campaign promise and putting principle above politics, he lost his re-election bid and his political career was derailed. But today Kucinich stands vindicated for having confronted the Enron of his day, and for saving the municipal power company. There is little
debate, wrote Cleveland Magazine in May 1996, over the value of Muny Light today. Now Cleveland Public Power, it is a proven asset to the city that between 1985 and 1995 saved its customers $195,148,520 over what they would have paid CEI. He also preserved hundreds of union jobs.

When Kucinich re-launched his political career in the mid-1990s, it was on the strength of having saved public power. His campaign symbol was a light bulb. Because he was right! was his campaign slogan when he won his seat in the state senate in 1994. The slogan that sent him to Washington two years later was Light Up Congress.

In 1998, the Cleveland City Council issued a commendation to Dennis Kucinich for "having the courage and foresight to refuse to sell the city's municipal electric system." "

Campaign Pulls Bright Spot From Dark Story

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dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-13-03 01:52 PM
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1. Your point is taken here
I think Dennis did the right thing on this as do many people now.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-13-03 01:54 PM
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2. And CPP rates are STILL lower than FirstEnergy.
Edited on Sun Jul-13-03 01:54 PM by MercutioATC
Cleveland Public Power continues to save the people of Cleveland money.
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zls44 Donating Member (849 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-13-03 02:30 PM
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3. AND
In 1997, the Cleveland Board of Selectmen gave Dennis a commendation for what he did.

Says a lot.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-13-03 03:19 PM
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4. If only Dennis had been here in CA instead of Wilson,
maybe California wouldn't be in the mess it is today.

Republican Pete Wilson passes energy deregulation.

Republican Graham pulls electric trading from the same oversight as other traded commodities, while his wife Wendy Graham is on the board of Enron, allowing them to commit fraud and gouge CA.

Republican Bush, who has Enron as his single biggest campaign contributer, refuses to cap prices on their market manipulation.

Republican Bush sends unfunded mandates our way, creating debt and new spending.

Republican Bush cuts taxes, depleting federal funds and thus federal level grants that fund needed programs, like HOME LAND SECURITY! So states have to pick up that bill too.

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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-13-03 04:08 PM
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5. Dennis did right
Ohio could have had an enron-gate type of situation of its own, otherwise.
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