Dennis Kucinich really pissed me off when he came to Seattle to test the waters as a congressional candidate.     He seemed to me to be worse than just a carpet bagger,  Kucinich was a hypocrite.  Since then, I have been very wary of ohso liberal candidates who are as pious as one can imagine while ignoring whatever identity groups do not conform to there well oiled memes.

Now Dennis running for governor of Ohio.  Like a bad dream about his previous relations with Gaddafi,  or appearances on Putin’s “RT” propaganda network,  this week the Ohio press revealed that Dennis was paid $20,000 last year by a group sympathetic to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as well as   thousands of more dollars from two brothers involved in multiple efforts to bring Kucinich and Assad together since 2007.

Elie Khawam, a member of a pro-Assad party in the Middle East, gave $6,000 to Kucinich Action PAC in two installments: $1,000 on May 4, 2015, and $5,000 on Nov. 1, 2016, two months before Kucinich’s most recent meeting in Syria with the dictator. Elie’s brother, Bassam Khawam, gave $2,000 to the Kucinich for President campaign on June 30, 2012. Both men, who are U.S. citizens, accompanied Kucinich on his January 2017 visit, and Bassam has said they funded the trip.

Kucinich has depicted his visits with Assad ― all but one of which took place after the Syrian ruler began turning his guns on his own people in 2011― as important diplomatic outreach to avoid American foreign policy mistakes and militarism. But he has also repeatedly downplayed credible reports of war crimes by the Assad regime, including at an April 2017 British conference the pro-Assad group paid for him to attend, three months after his trip to Damascus. Kucinich opponents are now making the issue central to the question of whether he’s fit to be governor.

“Kucinich has been an outspoken defender of the Assad regime in Syria even as it killed countless people and has repeatedly used chemical weapons against defenseless civilians,” former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D), a supporter of Democratic front-runner Richard Cordray, said Wednesday.

Cordray’s campaign is already demanding that Kucinich reveal any other income since he left Congress in 2013, including potential payments for multiple appearances on RT, a media outlet owned by the pro-Assad government of Russia.

Asked about the donations, Kucinich spokesman Andy Juniewicz noted that the men had been friends for over 30 years. The Kucinich campaign says Cordray’s team is misrepresenting his views.

Hypocrisy is infectious. Kucinich travelled to Syria  in January 2017 and took Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) along.  Tainted by this Gabbard repaid the costs of the trip after an uproar in Congress. Kucinich has rebuffed commentators’ calls to refund the Khawams; his lawyer told international relations analyst Idrees Ahmad the visit was paid for by the Arab American Community Center for Economic and Social Services (AACCESS-Ohio), a group Bassam Khawam once headed, and with Kucinich’s private funds.


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