Kucinich brings hard-nosed arguments
Presidential candidate touts his consistent anti-war stance as an advantage over fellow Democrats


By DAN HIGGINS, Staff writer
First published: Monday, March 26, 2007

ALBANY -- Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich predicted Sunday that by the time the New Hampshire primary arrives early next year, so many Americans will have tired of the war in Iraq that his peace platform will make him the choice for the Democratic nomination.

"They all voted for (war funding)," Kucinich said of his fellow Democratic opponents -- former Sen. John Edwards, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama. He said he is the only Democrat who can boast he's always been against the war, which, he told a packed house Sunday evening in Albany, "was based on lies."

Kucinich, a Democratic congressman from Ohio, was the guest speaker at Upper Hudson Peace Action's 25th anniversary dinner. Some 300 people squeezed into the basement of First Church in Albany.

The potluck supper featured many vegetarian dishes, but it was Kucinich who brought the red meat.

He ran down his platform of hot topics among progressive voters: ending the occupation of Iraq, canceling the North American Free Trade Agreement and working toward a universal, single-payer system of health care.

He also said that as chairman of a House subcommittee on domestic policy, he plans to launch an investigation of "a narrow portion" of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He offered few details, but said his subcommittee would be looking at "a few, specific discrepancies in the public record." The 9/11 Commission that published its final report in 2004 never resolved some conflicting facts, Kucinich said. He announced his own look at 9/11 in answer to a question from an audience member. The man complained that the 9/11 Commission was too tied to the Bush administration to offer an unbiased report, and Kucinich agreed.

Supporters who attended Sunday's event said they'll vote for him because he's speaking boldly about issues that other candidates seem to be ducking.

"I like his attitude," said Voorheesville resident Ann Eberle. She said she especially liked Kucinich's role in drafting a bill in 2005 that calls for the U.S. to create a Cabinet-level Department of Peace.

Earlier Sunday, Kucinich appeared in Schenectady, greeting supporters at Arthur's Market in the Stockade neighborhood. He said he would return to the Capital Region this election cycle.

Higgins can be reached at 454-5523, or by e-mail at dhiggins@timesunion.com.