Before Nina Turner or Bernie Sanders or Jill Stein made it clear that cashing in on Clinton-bashing was a thing, former Dem Rep. Dennis Kucinich was making the rounds as the dirtbag left's favorite son. With Ohio's Democratic nomination for governor relatively open, the Mistake from the Lake is already finding out just how much of a massive albatross he would be in a general election.
Ahead of a tight primary on May 8, Dennis Kucinich’s bid to win the Democratic nomination for the critical gubernatorial race in Ohio landed in trouble this week because of the revelation that he was paid $20,000 last year by a group sympathetic to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Now, largely overlooked election filings show that the former congressman’s political apparatus received thousands of more dollars from two brothers involved in multiple efforts to bring Kucinich and Assad together since 2007.
Elie Khawam, a member of a pro-Assad party in the Middle East, gave $6,000 to Kucinich Action PAC in two installments: $1,000 on May 4, 2015, and $5,000 on Nov. 1, 2016, two months before Kucinich’s most recent meeting in Syria with the dictator. Elie’s brother, Bassam Khawam, gave $2,000 to the Kucinich for President campaign on June 30, 2012. Both men, who are U.S. citizens, accompanied Kucinich on his January 2017 visit, and Bassam has said they funded the trip.
Kucinich has depicted his visits with Assad ― all but one of which took place after the Syrian ruler began turning his guns on his own people in 2011― as important diplomatic outreach to avoid American foreign policy mistakes and militarism. But he has also repeatedly downplayed credible reports of war crimes by the Assad regime, including at an April 2017 British conference the pro-Assad group paid for him to attend, three months after his trip to Damascus. Kucinich opponents are now making the issue central to the question of whether he’s fit to be governor.
“Kucinich has been an outspoken defender of the Assad regime in Syria even as it killed countless people and has repeatedly used chemical weapons against defenseless civilians,” former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D), a supporter of Democratic front-runner Richard Cordray, said Wednesday.
Cordray’s campaign is already demanding that Kucinich reveal any other income since he left Congress in 2013, including potential payments for multiple appearances on RT, a media outlet owned by the pro-Assad government of Russia.
The former congressman’s financial ties to the Khawam brothers could add fuel to the fire.
Asked about the donations, Kucinich spokesman Andy Juniewicz noted that the men had been friends for over 30 years. The Kucinich campaign says Cordray’s team is misrepresenting his views.
Admitting a 30 year relationship with pro-Assad war crimes truthers is probably a bad idea, even in Ohio. I'm glad this came out now rather than after Kucinich might have beaten Rob Cordray in the primary.
Maybe it's terrible saying that, but hopefully this will knock Kucinich out of Ohio politics for good.