Dennis Kucinich, Self-Described ‘Courageous Congressman,’ Sues Congress

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From fighting for the people, to fighting an olive pit.

He burst onto the national scene as the outspoken progressive in the 2004 presidential election. Over the course of his career, Dennis Kucinich has been the champion of many causes, from his opposition to the war in Iraq to his embrace of a vegan diet.

And now the man who calls himself “America’s most courageous congressman” has settled on his next crusade and his next ┬átarget – the House of Representatives’ cafeteria.

(See photos from the chamber: Scenes from the State of the Union speech)

On Jan. 3, Kucinich filed suit in the DC Superior Court for damages incurred when the representative for Ohio’s 10th district bit into a sandwich that contained olive pits, which was a surprise ingredient for the mite-sized masticator.

Kucinich is seeking $150,000 for the resulting “permanent dental and oral injuries requiring multiple surgical and dental procedures.”

The oddsmakers placing their bets on the federal cafeteria winning out would be well advised to study Kucinich’s history of combative persistence once he’s in the middle of a fight. As a 31-year old mayor of Cleveland, Kucinich barely survived a recall vote in 1978, but still drew the scorn of the local establishment including the business and political elites. His response? To boycott the city council meetings, of course, according to an Aug. 28, 1978, TIME story.

And in 1999, when Kucinich threw himself into the fight against genetically modified food, he said, according to a Sept. 13 1999 TIME report, “there’s nothing more personal than food.” (via Cleveland Plain Dealer)

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