campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer College to Host Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich

EVENT CHANGE: Congressman Kucinich has been called back to Washington, D.C. for a vote and will not be able to attend today's event. His wife, Elizabeth Kucinich, will speak on his behalf and answer questions regarding his campaign.

NEW LONDON, N.H. — Colby-Sawyer College will host a town-hall session for Democratic presidential candidate Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio.

The event will take place Monday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m. in Wheeler Hall at the Ware Campus Center. Congressman Kucinich will discuss his presidential campaign “Strength through Peace” and answer questions from audience members.

The oldest of seven children, Congressman Kucinich was born in 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio. The family lived in 21 places, including a couple of cars, by the time he was 17. One of his most vivid memories is of watching his family count out money to see if they had enough to pay their bills.

He attended Catholic grade and high schools. One nun, noticing that other students were commenting on the fact that Kucinich seemed only to wear one purple pair of pants, obtained another pair for him. Such acts of kindness and compassion seared themselves into his memory and led him to a life of public service.

At 17 he took jobs as an orderly and a copy editor while enrolling full time at Case Western University. After graduation he began his political career, serving as a councilman and later as Clerk of Courts. At 31, he was elected mayor of Cleveland on the promise to save the city's municipally-owned electric system which offered customers lower rates than the private utility.

A year later, Cleveland's banks demanded that Kucinich sell the electric system to its private competitor (in which the banks had a financial interest) as a precondition of extending credit to the city. He refused and the Cleveland banks plunged the city into default for a mere $15 million despite being offered triple collateral to protect the loan.

Congressman Kucinich was demonized as the mayor who threw Cleveland into default. Fifteen years later, the citizens of Cleveland - recognizing he had saved them hundreds of millions of dollars in municipal power bills and also forced the private utility to keep bills low to compete – voted him into the Ohio Senate. His campaign signs featured a light bulb and the expression “Because he was right.”

In 1996, Congressman Kucinich unseated a two-term Republican incumbent for a seat in United States House of Representatives and his reputation as a progressive leader in the Congress grew due to his passionate commitment to peace, human rights, workers rights, economic justice and the environment.

In 2002, after analyzing the “evidence” presented and actually reading the National Intelligence Estimate, he stepped forward to help lead 125 Democrats in voting against the blank check for President Bush to wage what he saw as an illegal, immoral and ineffective war.

For his efforts, Congressman Kucinich was awarded the Gandhi Peace Award in 2003.

In 2004, Congressman Kucinich ran for the U.S. president on a platform of peace, universal single-payer, not-for-profit health care and fair trade, conditioned on workers' rights, human rights and environmental quality principles, which he believes is only possible through the cancelling of NAFTA and withdrawal from the WTO. For the second time, he presented a plan to the Democratic platform committee for Medicare for all.

On Dec. 12, 2006, acting on his belief that congressional Democrats had no intention of ending the war in Iraq, Congressman Kucinich again stepped forward to lead a campaign for the presidency. His platform is based on a new national security doctrine of "Strength through Peace," which turns the dominant neoconservative doctrine of "Peace through Strength" on its head.

Congressman Kucinich holds that "Peace through Strength" led America into an illegal war against Iraq, with the acquiescence of leaders of both political parties. The Kucinich doctrine of "Strength through Peace" rejects unilateralism, preemption and first strike in favor of direct engagement, diplomacy and adherence to international law.

Congressman Kucinich has given more than 150 speeches on the floor of the House challenging the war. He maintains that his national security doctrine, opposition to the war and votes against funding the war qualify him uniquely for the presidency. Hailed as "the darling of the Democratic base," this product of an inner city childhood has positioned himself as the conscience of the Democratic Party and a world leader for peace. (For more biographical information go to

For more information on the Kucinich campaign, visit

Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students from 40 states and 11 foreign countries learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with pre-professional experience. Visit us on the World Wide Web at

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000.