On this edition of Parallax Views, former Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich has often been called a man ahead of his time. A member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio’s 10th district from 1997 to 2013, has been both known and often ridiculed for his unwavering progressive politics. He voiced support for issues like marijuana legalization, trans individuals holding important political positions, opposing the Iraq War, making universal single-payer healthcare a reality, and more before such positions were popular. Many of those positions were formerly seen as too radical or lofty, especially at the times Kucinich ran for President 2004 and 2008. But, as The Washington Post has noted, the former Congressman has since been vindicated. Which is to say that many of his positions have now become part and parcel of the mainstream discourse. “When he ran for president, he was ridiculed and dismissed,” wrote David Montgomery in The Washington Post, “t turns out he was the future of American politics.”
But the former Congressman and man ahead of his time isn’t done yet. He’s running for Mayor in Cleveland. Which is fitting seeing as he first came to prominence as Cleveland’s Mayor in 1977. And now he’s telling the full story of his first go as Mayor in his fascinating new book The Division of Light and Power.
Described as a cross between The Godfather and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Division of Light and Power details how Mayor Kucinich fought corporate interests to save Muny Light, Cleveland’s publicly owned utility company. This led to a conflict with CEI (Cleveland Electrical Illuminating Company) that makes for a riveting tale of one man’s fight against political corruption. It’s a story that involves organized crime, hitmen, and even attempted assassination. And now, for the first time, Dennis Kucinich is telling the full story in the form of a memoir. He joins us on this edition of the program to discuss The Division of Light and Power as well as how Catholic social teachings and growing up in relative poverty have influenced his political and social worldviews. All that and more on this edition of Parallax Views.