Posted: January 7, 2008 6:18 PM
Kucinich Nabs 'Lord of the Rings' Actor Nod on N.H. Trail
Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio has picked up an endorsement from actor Viggo Mortensen, best known for his portrayal of hero Aragorn in “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy, American Chronicle reports.
Mortensen, who campaigned Monday with Kucinich in New Hampshire, said his decision to back the candidate was in response to ABC’s exclusion of Kucinich from their Democratic presidential debate on Saturday.
“When a television network has the power to decide which candidates are ‘worthy’ of addressing the American people, it robs the American people of their most precious right to the free flow of information and dissenting points of view,” Mortensen said, according to the Nation. He added, “If my being here provides additional attention to the congressman’s strong beliefs and progressive platform, I’m glad to do it.”
For his part, Kucinich accepted Mortensen’s endorsement and offer to accompany him on his campaign.
“Viggo has played a lot of tough-guy roles, and that’s very appropriate for this campaign because it’s tough to fight against the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies, to fight against the pro-war interests, to fight against Wall Street and the hedge funds that peddle sub-prime mortgages and bank their profits off-shore,” Kucinich said.
In Texas, Kucinich is suing the state’s Democratic party over a traditional loyalty pledge required of all candidates running in the party’s primary, according to an article in Austin American-Statesman.
The pledge states that all candidates who run must endorse the party’s eventual nominee for president. Kucinich, noting that the state Republican Party has no such pledge, nor is it required in the Texas Constitution, is filing suit in a federal court, charging that the pledge violates the First and Fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Kucinich signed the pledge in the 2004 election, but his desire for a speedy end to the ongoing war in Iraq has changed his decision this time around.
“He can’t in good conscience make that same loyalty oath to an unnamed Democratic nominee whose policies may be a continuation of the same policies we’ve been operating under,” a Kucinich spokesman explained. Music star and Texan Willie Nelson, a fervent Kucinich supporter, is also providing public support, calling the oath un-American.
The judge in charge of the case has said he wants to make a ruling by Jan. 11, in order to leave time for appeals before the ballots are printed and distributed for Texas’s March 4 primary.
As if campaigning for president weren’t enough, Kucinich now faces a two-front battle with strong challengers for his congressional seat in Ohio, according to the Associated Press. Contesting him in his district’s primary will be “Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman, North Olmsted Mayor Thomas O’Grady, antiwar activist Rosemary Palmer and former U.N. worker Barbara Ferris,” the AP reports. Should he win, he will face either former state representative Jim Trakas or previous challenger Jason Werner on the GOP side.