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Jan. 15, 2008

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re: "the guy that bankrupted Cleveland"

Kucinich's tenure as mayor is often regarded as one of the most tumultuous in Cleveland's history. After Kucinich refused to sell Muni Light, Cleveland's publicly owned electric utility, the Cleveland mafia put a hit on Kucinich. A hitman from Maryland planned to shoot him in the head during the Columbus Day Parade, but the plot fell apart when Kucinich was hospitalized and missed the event. When the city fell into default shortly thereafter, the mafia leaders called off the contract killer.

In the book Best and Worst of the Big-City Leaders, 1820–1993, Melvin G. Holli, in consultation with a panel of experts, placed Kucinich among the ten worst big-city mayors of all time for reasons of temperament and performance, while Kucinich's supporters say that Kucinich kept his campaign promise of refusing to sell Muni Light to CEI and was brave for not giving in to big business. Specifically, it was the Cleveland Trust Company that required all of the city's debts be paid in full, which forced the city into default, after news of Kucinich's refusal to sell the city utility. For years these debts were routinely rolled over, pending future payment, until Kucinich's announcement was made public. In 1998 the council honored him for having the "courage and foresight" to stand up to the banks and saving the city an estimated $195 million between 1985 and 1995.


(Suggest removal) 1/15/08 at 10:43 a.m.

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