Dennis Kucinich's Bullet-Ridden, Blood-Dripping Cleveland Script Sign Mailer Is Certainly a Choice


  • Dennis Kucinich campaign mailer

Dennis Kucinich waited until nearly the last minute to officially announce his campaign to once again become Cleveland's mayor. Resting assured that his name recognition among voters was far better than that of the other candidates, Kucinich was content to talk about certain Cleveland issues like the West Side Market as a well-known private citizen while rumors swirled, figuring there was little to gain by declaring officially and giving his opponents time to start dinging the more susceptible areas of his resume (Fox News work, defense of Syria's Bashar Al-Assad).

Those early days of quiet are over.

His official announcement, which came in front of one of the Cleveland script signs in Tremont and which was generally sorta awkward, led with a promise that his No. 1 issue was safety.

From Scene's coverage that day:

On that topic, Kucinich’s stance was qualified, striking a balance between pro- and anti-police factions locally. We must support the police who risk their lives every day on the one hand, he said, but “question police and take appropriate disciplinary action” when they violate internal rules or breach civil rights.

Kucinich said that moping by current leaders about violence was no solution. Action is required. He pledged to hire 400 new police officers and 100 new police assistants to be more responsive to crime. He also wants to create a “Civic Peace Department” and launch a nonviolence curriculum in the Cleveland schools – a variation on a proposal he dreamed up 20 years ago in congress – which he said would address all forms of violence in Cleveland.

Kucinich talked at length in a recent mayoral forum focused on criminal justice about his ideas, which, besides the Civic Peace Department, overlap here and there with other candidates, many of whom have said public safety is also one of their chief concerns.

None of them, however, took the step that Dennis and his campaign did this morning with a quite visceral (some would say tacky) mailer that shows a Cleveland script sign bullet-ridden and dripping blood.

The reverse side reads "Cleveland neighborhoods are under a siege of crime" with a hodgepodge of recent crime stats and an assertion that Clevelanders are afraid to walk to the streets or go shopping.


Reaction, as one might predict, was not great, but it was Kucinich's own campaign that blasted out the mailer and background info with quotes to reporters this morning (Subject line: Disturbing), and it, predictably, is quite pleased with how it's going.

This morning's press release included quotes from Dennis that teed up their talking points:

“The image is disturbing, “ Kucinich acknowledged, “but the fear and apprehension and anxiety being experienced by Clevelanders in neighborhoods all across this city are far beyond disturbing."

“And city officials and candidates who are not paying attention and ignoring this crisis don’t understand what’s going on or what to do about it. Every other positive thing we want to do in this city depends, first and foremost, on making Cleveland a safer city,” Kucinich said. 
And later, Kucinich told Ideastream Public Media:

“It’s one thing to look at social media, which is always worth paying attention to, but the people of the city have to deal with the reality that is much more shocking than that image,” Kucinich said.

Justin Bibb has so far been the only mayoral candidate to address Kucinich's mailer, tweeting "Clevelanders will not be fooled by this fear mongering."

The summer mayoral season is well underway.

Meanwhile, Destination Cleveland, which wasn't thrilled with the mailer either, threw some positive spin on the day with some shade at Dennis to boot.

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