Kucinich was elected Mayor of Cleveland in 1977 and served in that position until 1979. At thirty-one years of age, he was the youngest mayor of a major city in the United States, earning him the nickname "the boy mayor of Cleveland". Kucinich's tenure as mayor is often regarded as one of the most tumultuous in Cleveland's history. After Kucinich refused to sell Muni Light, Cleveland's publicly owned electric utility, the Cleveland mafia put out a hit on Kucinich. A hit man from Maryland planned to shoot him in the head during the Columbus Day Parade, but the plot fell apart when Kucinich was hospitalized and missed the event. When the city fell into default shortly thereafter, the mafia leaders called off the contract killer.
Specifically, it was the Cleveland Trust Company that suddenly required all of the city's debts be paid in full, which forced the city into default, after news of Kucinich's refusal to sell the city utility. For years, these debts were routinely rolled over, pending future payment, until Kucinich's announcement was made public. In 1998 the Cleveland City Council honored him for having had the "courage and foresight" to stand up to the banks, which saved the city an estimated $195 million between 1985 and 1995.
"He was in political Siberia in the 1980s," said Joseph Tegreene years later. "It was only when it became clear to people that he was right... he got belated recognition for the things that he did."
Great deeds often go without appreciation for a very long time, if ever at all, especially when it involves an act of courage to stand up against dark forces that seek to retaliate. Unfortunately it is not part of the mentality of the human herd to look toward their future but will typically only decide for those things that make them most comfortable in their present moment. Their heros are only recognized in hindsight or perhaps more often are mis-identified in short-sight.
It is refreshing to see Kucinich, like Paul, have their strongest supporters among the young. It is good to see the newer generations are focused on what the future can bring.
edit on 7-3-2012 by Erongaricuaro because: (no reason given)