With some local Democratic elected officials in open revolt
over his record on Israel, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, has withdrawn as keynote speaker for next week’s Palm Beach County Democratic Party fund-raising dinner.
He’s the second Democratic keynoter to be scratched this week. The party dumped Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu on Tuesday because local activists were upset by her refusal to commit to blocking a Republican filibuster of health care overhaul legislation.
After Kucinich was announced as the replacement speaker, state Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, threatened a boycott and state Sen. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, County Commissioner Burt Aaronson and state Rep. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, voiced disapproval today.
Kucinich has a long history of criticizing the actions of the Israeli government, voting against congressional resolutions in support of Israel and opposing sanctions against the anti-Israel government of Iran.
His critics have “falsely characterized” those stances as being anti-Israel, Kucinich said this afternoon in an e-mail to Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Mark Alan Siegel. While defending his position, Kucinich said he didn’t want the controversy to hurt the local party’s money-raising efforts.
Read his complete statement to Siegel after the jump….