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Posted at 1:30 PM ET, 11/16/2010

Kucinich mulls bid for top Gov. Reform slot

By Ben Pershing

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) is mulling whether to make a bid for the top Democratic slot on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, a move that could make him a leading voice on issues affecting the District and the federal workforce and a high-profile defender of the Obama administration.

Current panel Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) hopes to stay on as ranking member in the next Congress, switching places with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who will become chairman. But some Democrats have worried privately whether Towns is up to the task, particularly since the media-savvy Issa is expected to launch a number of probes of the White House and its policies.

The current No. 2 man on the committee's Democratic roster, Rep. Paul Kanjorski (Pa.), lost his reelection race two weeks ago. Rep. Carolyn Maloney is third, but says she supports her fellow New Yorker Towns. And while Rep. Elijah Cummings' (D-Md.) name has been mentioned as a possible challenger to Towns, Cummings said Monday on the Ed Schultz show, "Mr. Towns is the ranking member, I support him and he will be the ranking member."

Next in line is Kucinich, who is currently fifth on the roster. On the same program, he told Schultz, "I'm going to be talking to my colleagues about what would be the best route to take to ensure that the oversight responsibilities of the Congress will, in fact, not be compromised."

A Kucinich spokesman declined to comment further on his boss' intentions.

So far there has been no push from the House Democratic leadership to push Towns out of the job, and any move to do so would draw the ire of the Congressional Black Caucus -- particularly since former CBC chairman Cummings is now on record supporting Towns.

Watch Kucinich and Cummings discuss the position below (Hat tip to The Daily Caller):

By Ben Pershing  | November 16, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency, Capitol Briefing  | Tags:  oversight and government reform; dennis kucinich; edolphus towns; elijah cummings; darrell issa  
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Kucinich a "high profile defender of the Obama administration"? Boy, they must have found him a high chair!

Posted by: TexRancher | November 17, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

@ eeterrific... I confess I've never lived in Cleveland, so I am far from an authority, but I've read that the major battle was between Kucinich and banks who held bonds given by the municipal power company. Naturally, the company couldn't redeem the bonds at maturity, so the company wanted to refinance, which the holders refused. This would have forced default, and the holders would have seized the power company, making a tidy gain. A modicum of internet research ought to turn up facts.

Posted by: rjjd | November 17, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

@ eeterrific... I doubt that many historian (pro or amatuer) would agree with you. Cleveland has been bloated to death with corruption and organized crime since perhaps the 20's, so I don't think any mayor could compete. Perhaps all that got washed away after the steel mill went belly up. But if you research, you'll find that Cleveland was a major port, but also was a major hub to some of the most powerful mafia leaders, perhaps in the country.

Posted by: darbyohara | November 17, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Sheesh...I remember when Mr. Kucinich was the boy mayor in Cleveland...and he almost destroyed (I know, I know, insert Cleveland joke here) the city. I remember the celebrations when they got him out of office.

Sad...really really sad who we put in leadership positions.

Posted by: eeterrific | November 17, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

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