05 December 2006

Dennis Kucinich, one-time "boy mayor" of Cleveland and a candidate - officially anyway - for the Democratic presidential nomination last time around, may take another shot at it.

The Plain Dealer reports there's some talk the ultra-liberal Cleveland congressman may once again try his luck at a presidential run, which last time netted zero delegates but lots of dating proposals and - more importantly - a fair amount of love, and exposure, in the liberal blogosphere.

The Kucinich story is an interesting one, having been elected to Cleveland's city council at age 23 and then mayor at 31 (just about the time this writer began his radio career in the same town). There was no shortage of news when Kucinich was at city hall. He alienated the city's power structure (the banks and businessmen) with his populist appeal.

His most famous fight was to save a tiny municipal power plant from being swallowed up by the larger corporate utility. The muni plant served only the inner-city neighborhoods of Cleveland, but did so at lower rates than the larger utility was charging those in the surrounding area. "The fight to save muni light" eventually led to the city's default, as bankers refused to extend some relatively small loans unless Kucinich agreed to the sale of the small power plant. Kucinich was defeated in the next election and his political career derailed. But, as you can see, he's back and still battling for the little guy.

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