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Kucinich: Clackamas PUD about restoring ‘Power to the People'

For Immediate Release: April 27, 2004

Contact: Matt Harris, 216.403.3980, press@kucinich.us

Terre Lundy, 515.988.5534

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich encourages citizens in Clackamas County to vote for the Clackamas People's Utility District when they mail in their ballots for the May 18th primary.

"PUDs are about power in more ways than one," said Kucinich. "They're about providing electric power, and they're also about taking back power from for-profit corporations and restoring it to the hands of the people."

"The proposed PUD in Clackamas County," continued Kucinich, "is a textbook example of what happens when citizens in a community take a look at the benefits of public versus private ownership of power-generating facilities for the first time."

The Clackamas County PUD (CPUD) would save residents of the district approximately $860 million during its first ten years; annual savings would reach 33 percent (according to a just-released feasibility study). "Savings of 33% are right in line with what we're seeing from many PUDs across the country," said Kucinich. "More than 2000 public power systems are savings tens of millions of Americans billions of dollars nationwide. Some enjoy savings as high as 50 percent" over neighbors in adjacent communities that still buy their electricity from private, for-profit corporations.

Support of public power projects has long been a Kucinich hallmark. In 1978 Kucinich said "no" to an Enron-like takeover attempt of Cleveland's municipally-owned electric system. Fifteen years later the Cleveland City Council honored him for "having the courage and foresight to refuse to sell the city's municipal electric system" and saving Cleveland residents 100s of millions of dollars over the years in the process.

Kucinich is no newcomer to Oregon PUDs. In 1982 he was one of two finalists for the position of General Manager for the Emerald People's Utility District in Eugene. "I've long admired the foresight of Oregon citizens who in many ways are steps ahead of the rest of the country. The six PUDs in Oregon provide approximately nine percent of the state's electric needs.

"I look forward to congratulating the people of Clackamas County when they form the seventh," continued Kucinich. "I applaud the dedicated volunteers of Clackamas Public Power for undertaking this civic-minded effort to provide low-cost power to the citizens of Clackamas County."

"This is about more than just electricity," concluded Kucinich. "It's about public power and people taking charge of their own destinies. I urge the citizens of Clackamas County to support creation of their own PUD by voting "yes" on Measures 3-122 and 3-123 on their May 18 ballot, and in so doing restore ‘power to the people,' where it has always belonged."

For information about the National campaign: http://www.kucinich.us
For Congressman Kucinich's Schedule: http://www.kucinich.us/schedule.htm
To schedule an interview with Kucinich or spokesperson: interviews@kucinich.us
Oregon Contact: Barry Marks: (503) 292-3253, mediateam@kucinich-oregon.us