Posted: December 19, 2007 6:39 PM
Kucinich Protests Debate Exclusion, Faces Personal Loss
Ohio Democrat Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s campaign loudly protested his exclusion from the final Democratic debate before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. “The Des Moines Register, Iowa Public Television, the Iowa Democratic Party, and other broadcast sponsors should be asked to explain why the leading voice in the progressive Democratic constituency has been denied a presence and a voice in this debate,” his campaign said.
Kucinich himself pointed to Alan Keyes’s inclusion in the Republican debate, asking why “non-candidate Alan Keyes” could participate when he could not, according to USA Today.
The Des Moines Register, which sponsored the debate, explained that Kucinich was barred from the debate because he did not have “a campaign office in Iowa by the Oct.1 deadline.” The newspaper added that Kucinich campaign staffer Marcos Rubenstein, who, according to the campaign, “coordinates campaign activities from his home office in Dubuque,” did not count. “A person working out of his home did not meet our criteria for a campaign office and full-time paid staff,” the Register argued.
The Kucinich campaign maintains that “the Des Moines Register’s arbitrary and unreasonable exclusion of Congressman Kucinich is consistent with the treatment that the Congressman has received from the entrenched political and institutional interests in Iowa.”
Des Moines Register political columnist David Yepsen applauded the decision to exclude “minor candidates Dennis Kucinich and [former Sen.] Mike Gravel, [D-Alaska],” which “left more time for the serious contenders and fewer distractions for the viewers,” while arguing that the inclusion of Keyes only hurt the Republican debate.
On Wednesday, Kucinich was dealt a heavy personal blow when his brother Perry Kucinich was found dead in his Cuyahoga County, Ohio, apartment, Radar Online reports. Police noted no signs of foul play.
Perry Kucinich, 52, had previously been known for holding up a bank at the same time then-Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich was holding a public-relations event. According to Dennis, Perry had a history of “mental problems, including several attempted suicides;” he was eventually declared unfit to stand trial.