PRESS RELEASES from from Kucinich for President 2008

Kucinich, top-rated Democrat, excluded from Des Moines Register debate

For Immediate Release - Wednesday, December 12, 2007

DES MOINES, IA - The highest polling Democratic Presidential candidate among the Party's progressive, grassroots, activist base, Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, has been excluded from the Des Moines Register-sponsored Presidential debate here on Thursday because his Iowa field director operates from a home office rather than a rented storefront.

Despite being the top-ranked Presidential candidate in polls conducted by Democracy for America (DFA), Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), and one of the country's leading progressive publications, The Nation,  Kucinich was not invited to participate in the debate because "It was our determination that a person working out of his home did not meet our criteria for a campaign office and full-time paid staff in Iowa," according to a statement from the newspaper's top officials, including editor Carolyn Washburn.

The dismissive reference was to Kucinich Iowa Field Director and State Coordinator Marcos Rubinstein, who coordinates campaign activities from his home office in Dubuque, bolstered by a dozen-or-so other senior campaign staff who have traveled the state over the past several months.

Both the DFA and PDA have been extremely active in Iowa in the past few weeks promoting the top vote-getters in their on-line polls. The DFA is planning to run full-page ads featuring Kucinich, as well as second and third-place finishers John Edwards and Barack Obama; and the 90,000-member PDA has been sending emails to its Iowa members advising them that Kucinich scored first with 41% while Edwards came in a distant second at 26%.

The results of those polls, and others showing Kucinich ahead of "invited" candidates - Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd - apparently carried no weight at the Des Moines Register, despite the fact that the newspaper and other national media have been portraying the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses as a national political event that may determine the outcome of the Presidential race.

"The Iowa caucuses have been portrayed as having national implications, and if the Register has decided to use hair-splitting technicalities to exclude the leading voice of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, then the entire process is suspect," according to a statement from the Kucinich campaign. The Iowa Democratic Party, Iowa Public Television, and well-funded political interests have barred Kucinich from previous public appearances. "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."

Kucinich, his campaign pointed out, is the only Democratic Presidential candidate who voted against the Iraq war authorization in 2002 and every war-funding measure since. He has been warning for years that the Administration's belligerence toward Iran is unjustified, and, last week's revelations in the National Intelligence Estimate confirm that. He is the only Democratic candidate who voted against the Patriot Act, and the only Democratic candidate who has called for the repeal of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because of its disastrous effect on U.S. jobs. Kucinich is also the only candidate pushing for a national, not-for-profit, single-payer health insurance system that will cover all Americans.

"He is also the only major candidate who has been excluded from Thursday's debate," said his campaign. "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."

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Washington, D.C.: Sharon Manitta, (202) 506-6683,
National HQ: Andy Juniewicz, (216) 409-8992,

Serious Questions Raised About Des Moines Register Presidential Debate

For Immediate Release - Thursday, December 13, 2007

DES MOINES, IA - Serious new questions are being raised today about the decision by the Des Moines Register to exclude Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich from today's Democratic Presidential debate, especially after the newspaper's inclusion of non-candidate Alan Keyes in yesterday's Republican debate.

In an "explanation" sent to the Kucinich campaign on Tuesday, the newspaper said the Congressman was not invited to participate because "It was our determination that a person working out of his home did not meet our criteria for a campaign office and full-time paid staff in Iowa."  The reference was to Kucinich's full-time Iowa field director who coordinates statewide activities from a home office in Dubuque.

At the same time, while the Register is claiming publicly that Kucinich "did not meet our criteria," it is currently featuring newspaper-produced videos of Kucinich the other recognized Presidential candidates on its You Tube pages. The videos were shot a few months ago by the newspaper, and the segments, each dealing with responses to top campaign issues, have been on the Des Moines Register You Tube site since last month.

Only one "candidate" is not included among the videos: Alan Keyes.
"If Congressman Kucinich was a 'qualified candidate' a few weeks ago when the Des Moines Register posted these videos, how did he become 'unqualified' just a few days ago?" the Kucinich campaign asked in a written statement. "Instead of imposing a poll tax or requiring proof of land ownership to participate in the democratic process, the Des Moines Register has established a new requirement: renting commercial real estate."

It is not clear whether Republican Alan Keyes has a full-time staff or an official office in Iowa. "That's a question that Register Editor Carolyn Washburn will have to answer," said the Kucinich campaign.

What is clear, the Kucinich campaign said, is, "The Des Moines Register, for reasons known only to its top executives, has excluded the candidate who swept 47 of 50 states in the Democracy for America poll, topped all other Democrats in the Progressive Democrats of America poll, and was the runaway winner in a poll by one of the nation's leading political publications, The Nation. His national poll numbers are higher than senators Biden and Dodd - who were deemed 'qualified' by the newspaper - virtually tied with Governor Richardson in some polls, and only a few points behind former Senator Edwards in other polls.

"If the Register based its decision on the fact that this campaign hasn't bought ads in the newspaper, or because its insurance advertisers don't want the public to hear about the Congressman's universal, not-for-profit health insurance plan, or because his positions on Iraq, Iran, impeachment, the Patriot Act, NAFTA, or any other issue may make the other candidates or the newspaper's editor uncomfortable, they should be honest enough to admit that.

"Setting arbitrary Iowa-specific criteria for a debate that will be broadcast all across the nation and around the world is a ruse and a fraud. It is a disservice to the people of Iowa, to voters everywhere, and to the spirit of democracy. The Des Moines Register has imposed itself as the ultimate arbiter of who should be heard, what should be heard, and what is important. This is a disgraceful display of elitist arrogance and journalistic manipulation of the democratic process."

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Media contacts:
National Campaign HQ: Andy Juniewicz, (216) 409-8992,

Washington, D.C.: Sharon Manitta, (202) 506-6683,