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Amy Hollyfield
By Amy Hollyfield November 15, 2007

Not quite lockstep with unions

During the Democratic debate in Las Vegas on Nov. 15, 2007, CNN host Wolf Blitzer tried to probe the limits of Rep. Dennis Kucinich's longstanding support of union positions. Blitzer said: "I take it that ... there's nothing — there's no issues, no major issues you disagree with America's unions."

Kucinich, a House member from Ohio, responded with this statement, which we find to be True. In 2001, Teamsters officials lobbied Capitol Hill in favor of oil exploration in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"It's time for America to have what it has lacked for too long: a responsible, realistic energy plan that meets our needs and protects our future," Jerry Hood, a Teamsters leader from Alaska, said at a news conference on July 31, 2001.

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One day later, Kucinich voted against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge when he voted "yes" for an amendment that would have removed proexploration provisions from an energy bill. He cites threats to the environment and human rights in his opposition to exploration.

Kucinich calls himself "the candidate of workers ... the one candidate in the race who comes right from the working class and can address those needs directly because I remember where I came from." On this issue, he's correct in saying he wasn't with the unions.

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