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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Dennis Kucinich

Kucinich to WA: Never mind

Whether you were wishing that U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich would pull up stakes and move to Washington because you really, really like him, or the exact opposite, you're not going to get your wish.

The Associated Press is reporting that Kucinich is likely to stay in Ohio after all, rather than relocating to Washington state to run for Congress here. And the congressman is telling supporters in that state with their help he has a good chance to keep his seat.

Apparently the redistricting in Ohio is going better than he expected, and his district in Cleveland won't be completely wiped out in the latest redrawing of boundaries. But he will have to run against another Democratic incumbent, Marcy Kaptur, who is saying she's not stepping aside.

This may disappoint a few Western Washington progressives, who are strong supporters of Kucinich's brand of liberalism. During a recent appearance at Seattle's Hempfest, he touched all the bases from ending the wars and abolishing nuclear weapons to protecting the environment and legalizing marijuana.

It may disappoint even more Republicans, who seemed extremely anxious to have Kucinich roiling the mix out here. (Update: Go inside the blog to see State GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur's sorrowful comments regarding the news.)

Washington's redistricting, meanwhile,  may not be providing Kucinich with any good landing spot, even though it will have a new congressional district and at least one open seat. Asked yesterday at the end of the Redistricting Commission meeting which district might be best for a Kucinich run, House Democratic appointee Dean Foster replied: “One in Ohio.”

Kucinich: Get up and march, Seattle

U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich might not be thinking of running for Congress in Washington state if he gets redistricted out of his seat in Ohio. Then again, he might.

The Ohio Democrat was in Seattle over the weekend, speechifying at a popular progressive venue. Hempfest.

Kucinich delivered a speech he's calling “The Seattle Declaration”, in which he called for listeneners to engage in protests to:

End wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and bring U.S. troops home;

Abolish nuclear weapons.

Repeal the Patriot Act

Protect abortion rights

Demand equal rights for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and trangender individuals

Institute public-funded elections

Save the earth from drilling, fracking and polllution

Legalize marijuana.

He hit almost all the liberal high notes in a speech of about nine minutes. That last one is pretty much a given considering it was, after all, HEMP-fest, and not all the hemp products in use were twisted into rope. Some of his listeners were probably in no shape to get up and march at the time.

His campaign organization is putting a video of the speech on its website.

As previously reported, Washington was one of the states that was supportive of Kucinich's presidential campaigns, and  may be on a short list of states to which he might move and run for Congress if his Ohio district disappears.

History not on Kucinich’s side

The chances of Dennis Kucinich winning a congressional seat in Washington if he's redistricted out of his seat in Ohio may be  pretty slim politically. They are not-existent, historially, according to this post from SmartPolitics.

No congressman has ever served back-to-back terms from different states, with the exception of a few who didn't move but found themselves in a new state as a result of external events like West Virginia splitting off from Virginia during the Civil War.

Feeding the Kucinich rumors

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a longtime congressman and sometime presidential candidate from Ohio, could be districted out of his House seat in the Buckeye State. That has prompted speculation that he could move elsewhere, to a simpatico Blue-state district, to run for election and remain in the House.

Washington state has been mentioned as one such state, based in part on the fact that Kucinich has made some trips here and received a warm welcome. Kucinich himself may have fanned that flame a bit this week with an appeal to donors to his re-election campaign that mention's he might not actually be running for re-election in Ohio, but somewhere else.

In a missive headlined “My Next Move?” he writes he won't quietly fade away: “Instead, we're gearing up for a long and difficult campaign in 2012 - wherever that may be…I've been approached by supporters across the country - from Washington to Maine - to explore options outside Ohio should redistricting force me out of my current district.”

Coupled with the fact that Washington state will gain a congressional district, and two of the state's House members could be running for something else next year — Democrat Jay Inslee is running for governor if Chris Gregoire isn't, and Republican Dave Reichert has been mentioned as a prospect for U.S. Senate and governor — This has set off lots of speculating among the political cognescenti.

But remember that the cognescenti are long on speculation and short on memory. Kucinich probablly did warm welcomes in Western Washington…heck, he got a warm welcome in Spokane in 2004 when he stopped in before the caucuses. So did Howard Dean and John Kerry. We're warm and friendly people.

A better yardstick might be how did Kucinich do in the caucuses that year, when folks had to, you know, actually support him?

Not so well, if memory serves. Kucinich finished a distant third, behind Kerry and Dean, in that year's precinct caucuses, with about 8 percent of the delegates. In 2008, when Kucinich again ran for president, he was already out of the race by the time the state held its primary and caucuses. His name was on the primary ballot, but he polled less than 1 percent.

Doesn't sound like much of a foundation to build on, particularly for someone who's going to be labeled a carpetbagger the minute he announces a campaign.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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