Monday, July 26

Hey Kucinich Supporters!

Monday at the Washington State delegation breakfast, Dennis Kucinich showed up to kickstart our stay at the convention. He was full of energy, greeting us with the question, "Are you ready to join the effort to elect John Kerry as the next President of the United States?"

He said that the press kept asking, 'But don't you disagree about the war?' He responds that, "If we didn't disagree, we wouldn't be Democrats." He said that the media wants to split Democrats up in this election, but that we were of one opinion on electing John Kerry. In this election, he said that Democrats would demonstrate the first motto of the United States, 'Out of many, one.'

At the state party Sunday, I talked with one of the Kucinich delegates to get an idea what it meant to them to be here participating in the process. Chris Karnes, from the 6th Congressional and 27th Legislative Districts shared his views. Karnes is a 2nd year physics student attending Tacoma Community College.

Karnes learned about Kucinich from the MoveOn primary last year, which was the first time he'd taken a serious look at any of the candidates. He liked Kucinich's positions, and started attending Meetups. When he started working with the Pierce County coordinator, they weren't all sure what to do at first but "it all coalesced."

Karnes said that 75 people attended their precinct caucus, an unusually high number, and he served as chair for his precinct. He went further, and worked on the Pierce County platform committee, where he says that a resolution against the PATRIOT act passed unanimously. Wording opposing key provisions of the PATRIOT act is in the final platform document, similar planks must have been passed all around the country, though some provisions are also supported as necessary to national security. Another resolution that passed concerned cutting wasteful military spending, including new nuclear weapons development and Star Wars type programs. He says similar planks were passed in Thurston, Skagit, and King Counties, among others.

Karnes then served on the state platform subcommittee on government and political reform. They dealt with issues like electronic voting, voting systems, corporate power, and media reform. On a statewide level, he said, "People are aware that corporations have considerable undue influence." There were minor disagreements about the wording of the final version at the state convention, but the premise was well accepted. He said that Dean & Kucinich delegates stayed late at the state convention to help pass an additional resolution to oppose any draft for the Iraq war.

At every caucus level where they were represented, as many caucus attendees probably remember from their own caucuses, Kucinich delegates started with just under 15%. In most cases, they were successfully able to fight their way up to 15%, but it took a lot of work. Since Kerry had already secured the nomination, they lobbied Kerry and Dean delegates by phone and at the caucuses to switch over. Of those who switched over, Karnes says, "I am very grateful for that. I wouldn't be here without the support of Dean and Kerry people who wanted to make sure everyone had a seat at the table."

Karnes expects everyone to pull together to work for Kerry's election, but says "we're not going away." He would like to see more progressive changes in politics, but he'll stick with the Democratic party. An important priority for him is working to get the troops out of Iraq, saying that the situation will continue to overshadow domestic priorities.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you have a great blog here!


I have a eh s state washington site. It pretty much covers how a lot of us feel in Washington State.

Come and check it out if you get time.

7:17 AM  
Blogger The Blah Brain said...

Hey nice blog you've got here! :) - Paul

3:29 AM  

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