This week, a full-color, eight-page comic booklet arrived at the doorsteps of thousands of Cleveland voters. Paid for by something called the "Citizens for Change" Political Action Committee, the booklet parodied the "Dennis the Menace
" comic strip in its attempts to persuade voters not to vote for Dennis Kucinich in the upcoming Cleveland mayoral primary on Sept. 14.
"Dennis is a menace as mayor," page two proclaimed. "Dennis is a menace on crime," the next page announces. "Dennis is a menace in it for himself—not Cleveland." etc.
The booklet is heavy on text, quoting extensively from media reports that documented the tumult of Kucinich's first mayoral term, (1978-1979). It highlighted controversies with the police department, the financial fallout (bankruptcy) of his decision not to sell Muny Light and his recent appearances on Fox News, among other things.
The Kucinich campaign issued a press release when they learned of the impending publication.
"The anonymous attacks of the secretive “Change” political action committee reveal the true character and motivations of those who contribute and those who benefit from their reprehensible lies and dishonest misrepresentations," it read. "Tactics such as these should be condemned by every decent, honorable person seeking to be a leader in the city of Cleveland."
The release noted that the PAC's tactics were "strikingly similar" to the Friends of Kevin Kelley PAC, which has created the anti-Kucinich website clevelandsworstmayor.com
. They are also similar to the tactics of the Democratic Majority for Israel PAC, which flooded Northeast Ohio with anti-Nina Turner ads in the leadup to this month's OH-11 primary.
The Citizens for Change PAC
describes itself as a political action committee "dedicated to prevent Dennis Kucinich from becoming Cleveland’s mayor again." Its financial backers are unknown, but its address is listed as Beachwood, Ohio.
At the most recent mayoral debate Tuesday
, Kucinich used his closing statement to co-opt the "Dennis the Menace" attack line and turn it into a battle cry:
"Yes, I am a menace,” he said, “I’m a menace to violent criminals who are running in the streets; I’m a menace to banks who redline, I’m a menace to utilities which price gouge people; I’m a menace to crooked politicians who steal from the taxpayers and to those who look the other way.”
Kucinich has now created a mailer of his own that continues to play up this theme: "A menace to banks who redline," the mailer reads. "A menace to utilities who price gouge. A menace to crooked politicians. A menace to violent criminals. A menace to a wasteful, lazy City Hall."
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