Cynthia McKinney

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Cynthia McKinney
Cynthia McKinney.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 4th district
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Denise Majette
Succeeded by Hank Johnson
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by John Linder
Succeeded by Denise Majette
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 11th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by None – district created
Succeeded by John Linder
Personal details
Born Cynthia Ann McKinney
(1955-03-17) March 17, 1955 (age 59)
Atlanta, Georgia
Political party Democratic (1986–2007)
Green Party (2007–present)
Spouse(s) Coy Grandison (divorced)
Residence Lithonia, Georgia
Alma mater University of Southern California and Tufts University
Occupation high school teacher, college professor
Religion Roman Catholic

Cynthia Ann McKinney (born March 17, 1955) is an American politician and activist. As a member of the Democratic Party, she served six terms in the United States House of Representatives. In 2008, the Green Party of the United States nominated McKinney for President of the United States. She was the first African-American woman to represent Georgia in the House.[1]

In the 1992 election, McKinney was elected in the newly re-created 11th District,[2] and was re-elected in 1994. When her district was redrawn and renumbered due to the Supreme Court of the United States ruling in Miller v. Johnson,[1][3][4] McKinney was easily elected from the new 4th District in the 1996 election, and was re-elected twice without substantive opposition.

McKinney was defeated by Denise Majette in the 2002 Democratic primary. Some people believe she was defeated because of Republican crossover voting in Georgia's open primary election, which permits anyone from any party to vote in any party primary and "usually rewards moderate candidates and penalizes those outside the mainstream."[5] USA Today concluded that

McKinney's loss was a rejection by voters in both parties of her controversial profile, which included support for Arab causes and a suggestion that Bush knew in advance of the Sept. 11 attacks. An inflammatory remark by her father on an Atlanta TV broadcast Monday may have been the final blow. State Rep. Billy McKinney said his daughter's tough fight was because "Jews have bought everybody. Jews. J-e-w-s.""[5]

After her 2002 loss, McKinney traveled and gave speeches, and served as a Commissioner in The Citizens' Commission on 9-11. On October 26, 2004, she was among 100 Americans and 40 family members of those who were killed on 9/11 who signed the 9/11 Truth Movement statement, calling for new investigations into unexplained aspects of the 9/11 events.[6] McKinney was re-elected to the House in November 2004, following her successor's run for Senate. In Congress, she advocated unsealing records pertaining to the CIA's role in assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the murder of Tupac Shakur and continued to criticize the Bush Administration over the 9/11 attacks. She supported anti-war legislation and introduced articles of impeachment against President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

She was defeated by Hank Johnson in the 2006 Democratic primary,[7] after finding herself in the national spotlight again over the March 29, 2006, Capitol Hill police incident, where she struck a Capitol Hill Police officer for stopping her to ask for identification. She left the Democratic Party in September 2007.[8]

Members of the United States Green Party had attempted to recruit McKinney for their ticket in both 2000 and 2004. She eventually ran as the Green Party nominee in the 2008 presidential election[9][10] receiving 0.12% of the votes cast.[11]

Early life and political career[edit]

Cynthia McKinney was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the daughter of Leola McKinney, a retired nurse, and Billy McKinney, a law enforcement officer and former Georgia State Representative.[citation needed]

A photograph of the young Cynthia McKinney in Atlanta, featured in the film American Blackout

McKinney was exposed to the Civil Rights Movement through her father, an activist who regularly participated in demonstrations across the south. As a police officer, he challenged the discriminatory policies of the Atlanta Police Department, publicly protesting in front of the station, often carrying young McKinney on his shoulders. He became a state representative, and McKinney attributes her father's election victory after several failed attempts to the passage of the Voting Rights Act passed by Lyndon B. Johnson.[12]

McKinney earned a B.A. in international relations from the University of Southern California, an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She worked as a high school teacher and later as a university professor.[citation needed]

Her political career began in 1986 when her father, a representative in the Georgia House of Representatives, submitted her name as a write-in candidate for the Georgia state house. She got about 40% of the popular vote, despite the fact that she lived in Jamaica at the time with then-husband Coy Grandison (with whom she had a son, Coy McKinney, born in 1985). In 1988, McKinney ran for the same seat and won, making the McKinneys the first father and daughter to simultaneously serve in the Georgia state house.[citation needed]

In 1991, she spoke aggressively against the Gulf War, causing many legislators to walk out in protest of her remarks.[13]

In 2007, McKinney moved from her longtime residence in the Atlanta suburb of Stone Mountain to California.[14]

First terms in Congress[edit]

In the 1992 election, McKinney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as the member of Congress from the newly created 11th District, a 64% black district spanning from Atlanta to Savannah. She was the first African American woman to represent Georgia in the House.[1] She was re-elected in 1994.

In 1995 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Johnson that the 11th District was an unconstitutional gerrymander because the boundaries were drawn based on the racial composition of the constituents.[1] McKinney's district was subsequently renumbered as the 4th and redrawn to take in almost all of DeKalb County, prompting outrage from McKinney. She asserted that it was a racially discriminatory ruling, given the fact that the Supreme Court had previously ruled that Texas's 6th District, which is 91 percent white, was constitutional.[1]

The new 4th, however, was no less Democratic than the 11th, and McKinney was easily elected from this district in 1996. She was re-elected two more times with no substantive opposition.

On October 17, 2001, McKinney introduced a bill calling for "the suspension of the use, sale, development, production, testing, and export of depleted uranium munitions pending the outcome of certain studies of the health effects of such munitions. ..." The bill was cosponsored by Reps. Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, Puerto Rico; Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio; Barbara Lee, D-Ca.; and Jim McDermott, D-Wash.[15]

Criticism of Al Gore[edit]

During the 2000 presidential campaign, McKinney wrote that "Al Gore's Negro tolerance level has never been too high. I've never known him to have more than one black person around him at any given time." Gore's campaign pointed out that its manager, Donna Brazile, was black.[16]

McKinney also chastised Gore for failing to support the U'wa people of Colombia trying to oppose petroleum drilling near them. In a press release issued on February 22, 2000, entitled "No More Blood For Oil" McKinney wrote that "Oil drilling on Uwa land will result in considerable environmental damage and social conflict which will lead to greater militarization of the region as well as an increase in violence." Addressing herself to Gore, she wrote "I am contacting you because you have remained silent on this issue despite your strong financial interests and family ties with Occidental."[citation needed]

September 11 attacks[edit]

McKinney gained national attention for remarks she made following the 2001 US attacks, charging that the United States had advance knowledge of the attacks and that US President George W. Bush may have been aware of the incipient attack and allowed them to happen,[17] allegedly due to his father's business interests: "It is known that President Bush's father, through the Carlyle Group, had–at the time of the attacks–joint business interests with the bin Laden construction company and many defense industry holdings, the stocks of which have soared since September 11."[17] In the month that followed the attacks, when New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani refused to cash a $10 million check written by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in light of the Prince's suggestion that the attacks were an indication that the United States "should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stand toward the Palestinian cause,"[18] McKinney published an open letter to the Saudi Prince, in which she wrote of her disappointment at Giuliani's action and stated, "Let me say that there are a growing number of people in the United States who recognize, like you, that U.S. policy in the Middle East needs serious examination...Your Royal Highness, many of us here in the United States have long been concerned about reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that reveal a pattern of excessive, and often indiscriminate, use of lethal force by Israeli security forces in situations where Palestinian demonstrators were unarmed and posed no threat of death or serious injury to the security forces or to others."[19]

2002 primary defeat[edit]

In 2002, McKinney was defeated in the Democratic primary by DeKalb County judge Denise Majette.[20] Majette defeated McKinney with 58% of the vote to McKinney's 42%.

McKinney protested the result in court, claiming that thousands of Republicans, knowing they had no realistic chance of defeating her in the November general election, had voted in the Democratic primary against McKinney in revenge for her anti-Bush administration views and her allegations of voter fraud in Florida in the 2000 presidential election. Like 20 other states, Georgia operates an open primary: voters do not align with a political party when they register to vote and may participate in whichever party's primary election they choose. Thus, relying on the Supreme Court's decision in California Democratic Party v. Jones, which had held that California's blanket primary violated the First Amendment (despite the fact that the Court explicitly differentiated — albeit in dicta — the blanket primary from the open primary in Jones), on McKinney's behalf, five voters claimed that the open primary system was unconstitutional, operating in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the associational right protected by the First Amendment, and various statutory rights protected by § 2 of the Voting Rights Act.[21]

The district court dismissed the case, noting that the plaintiffs had presented no evidence in support of the 14th Amendment and Voting Rights Act claims, and lacked standing to bring the First Amendment claim. It interpreted the Supreme Court's Jones ruling to hold that the right to association involved in a dispute over a primary — and thus, standing to sue — belongs to a political party, not an individual voter. On appeal in May 2004, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld this result in Osburn v. Cox,[22] noting that not only were the plaintiffs' claims meritless, but the remedy they requested would likely be unconstitutional under the Supreme Court's decision in Tashjian v. Republican Party of Connecticut. On October 18, 2004, the Supreme Court brought an end to the litigation, denying certiorari without comment.[23][24]

Other factors in her defeat were her controversial statements regarding Bush's involvement in 9/11,[17][25] her opposition to aid to Israel, a perceived support of Palestinian and Arab causes, and alleged antisemitism by her supporters.[26][27][28][29] and on the night before the primary election, McKinney's father stated on Atlanta television that "Jews have bought everybody ... J-E-W-S."[17] Cynthia McKinney had been through a long contentious relationship with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,[30] and commentators such as Alexander Cockburn allege that money from out-of-state Jewish organizations, angered by her stand on Middle East issues, was key in her election defeat. Cockburn also wrote that "Buckets of sewage were poured over McKinney's head in the Washington Post and the Atlanta Constitution."[31] According to the Anti Defamation League, McKinney's use of the New Black Panther Party as security, given that organization's use of antisemitic and racist invective, and her failure to distance herself from that group, are "troubling."[32] Georgia political analyst Bill Shipp addressed McKinney's defeat saying "voters sent a message: 'We're tired of these over-the-top congressmen dealing in great international and national interests. How about somebody looking out for our interests?' " [33]

Between terms[edit]

Cynthia McKinney speaking to the press in 2006

McKinney traveled widely as a public speaker between her terms in office. Throughout 2003 and 2004, McKinney toured the US and much of Europe speaking of her defeat, her opposition to the Iraq War, and the Bush administration. In a January 2004 issue of Jet magazine, McKinney said that the "white, rich Democratic boys club wanted [her] to stay in the back of the bus."[citation needed]

In 2004, McKinney served on the advisory committee for the group 2004 Racism Watch.[34] On September 9, 2004, she was a commissioner in The Citizens' Commission on 9-11. On October 26, 2004, she was among 100 Americans and 40 family members of those who were killed on 9/11 who signed the 9/11 Truth Movement statement, calling for new investigations of unexplained aspects of the 9/11 events.[6]

There was speculation that she was considering a run as the Green Party's nominee for the 2004 presidential election. However, wanting her congressional seat back, she turned down the Green Party nomination.[citation needed]

2004 return to Congress[edit]

Majette declined to run for re-election to the House, opting instead to become a candidate to replace retiring Senator Zell Miller, a conservative Democrat. McKinney instantly became the favorite in the House Democratic primary. Since it was taken for granted that victory in the Democratic primary was tantamount to election in November, McKinney's opponents focused on clearing the field for a single candidate who could force her into a runoff election.[citation needed]

However, her opponents' efforts were unsuccessful, and five candidates entered the Democratic primary. As a result of the fragmented primary opposition, McKinney won just enough votes to avoid a runoff. This all but assured her return to Congress after a two-year absence. However, contrary to traditional practice, the Democrats did not restore McKinney's seniority. Had she been able to regain her seniority, she would have been a senior Democrat on the International Relations and Armed Services committees, as well as ranking Democrat on an International Relations subcommittee.[35]

McKinney hosted the first delegation of Afro-Latinos from Central and South America and worked with the World Bank and the U.S. State Department to recognize Afro-Latinos. She stood with Aboriginals against Australian mining companies. She was one of the 31 in the House who objected to the official allotment of the electoral votes from Ohio in the United States presidential election, 2004 to incumbent George W. Bush.[36]

9/11 Commission[edit]

Initially, McKinney kept a low profile upon her return to Congress. However, on July 22, 2005, the first anniversary of the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, McKinney held a briefing on Capitol Hill to address alleged outstanding issues regarding the 2001 attacks on the US.[dead link] The day-long briefing featured family members of victims, scholars, former intelligence officers and others who critiqued the 9/11 Commission account of 9/11 and its recommendations. The four morning panels addressed flaws, omissions, and a lack of historical and political analysis in the commission's report. Three afternoon panels critiqued the commission's recommendations in the areas of foreign and domestic policy and intelligence reform. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution[37] editorial maintained that the purpose of the event was to discuss whether or not the Bush administration was involved in the 9/11 attacks, expressing surprise that McKinney was once again taking on the issue that was widely believed to have cost her her House seat. The Journal-Constitution declined to publish McKinney's reply.[38] The 9/11 Commission has sealed all the notes and transcripts of some 2,000 interviews, all the forensic evidence, and both classified and non-classified documents used in compiling its final report until January 2, 2009. McKinney's interest in 9/11 relates specifically to what she expresses as her opposition to excessive government secrecy,[39] which she has challenged with numerous pieces of legislation.

McKinney has said that she "remain[s] hopeful that we will learn the truth" about 9/11 "because more and more people around the world are demanding it."[40]

Hurricane Katrina activism[edit]

McKinney has been an advocate for victims of Hurricane Katrina and a critic of the government's response. Over 100,000 evacuees from New Orleans and Mississippi relocated to the Atlanta area, and many have now settled there.

During the Katrina crisis, evacuees were turned away by Arthur Lawson's Gretna police when they attempted to cross the Crescent City Connection Bridge between New Orleans and Gretna, Louisiana.[41][42] McKinney was the only member of Congress to participate in a march across the Crescent City Connection Bridge on November 7, 2005, to protest what had happened on that bridge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.[43]

In response, McKinney introduced a bill[44] on November 2, 2005, that would temporarily deny federal assistance to the City of Gretna Police Department, Harry Lee's Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, and the Crescent City Connection Police Department, in the state of Louisiana. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, but was not acted on. However, in August 2006, a grand jury began an investigation of the incident.[45][46] On October 31, 2007 the Grand Jury ruled not to charge anyone. The Grand Jury accepted Gretna Police Chief Arthur Lawson's explanation, "Some of the people in the crowd acted aggressively and threatened to throw one of the officers off the bridge, the chief said. The shot was fired over the officer's shoulder and over the side of the bridge.[47]

McKinney chose to be an active participant in the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, despite the Democratic Party leadership's call for Democratic members to boycott the committee. She submitted her own 72-page report.[48] She sat as a guest along with only a few other Democrats. In questioning Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, McKinney referred to a news story in which the owners of a nursing home had been charged with negligent homicide for abandoning 34 clients who died in the flood waters. McKinney asked Chertoff: "Mr. Secretary, if the nursing home owners are arrested for negligent homicide, why shouldn't you also be arrested for negligent homicide?"[49]

The Congressional Black Caucus' Omnibus Bill (HR 4197) was introduced on November 2, 2005, to provide a comprehensive response to the Gulf Coast residents affected by Hurricane Katrina. The second title of the bill was submitted by McKinney, seeking a Comprehensive Environmental Sampling and Toxicity Assessment Plan, or CESTAP, to minimize harm to Gulf Coast residents from the toxic releases into the environment caused by the hurricane.[50]

At the request of McKinney, the[51] Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, chaired by Thomas M. Davis, held a previously unscheduled hearing titled "Voices Inside the Storm" on December 6, 2005.

McKinney, along with Rep. Barbara Lee (CA), produced a[52] "Katrina Legislative Summary," a chart summarizing House and Senate bills on Hurricane Katrina. On June 13, 2006, McKinney pointed out on the House floor that only a dozen of the 176 Katrina bills identified on the chart had passed into law, leaving 163 bills stalled in committee.

On August 2, 2007, McKinney participated in a press conference in New Orleans to launch an International Tribunal on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which she described as an effort to seek justice for the victims of those hurricanes and their aftermath.

Department of Defense homicide accusation[edit]

On September 28, 2008, at a press conference, McKinney announced that she had spoken with a constituent whose son was a National Guardsman. The constituent claimed her son had disposed of 5,000 bodies for the Department of Defense during the week of Hurricane Katrina.[53]

Anti-war and human rights legislation[edit]

Until 2000, McKinney served on the House International Relations Committee, where she was the highest-ranking Democrat on the Human Rights Subcommittee. McKinney worked on legislation to stop conventional weapons transfers to governments that are undemocratic or fail to respect human rights.

On November 18, 2005, McKinney was one of only three House members to vote for H.R. 571, introduced by House Armed Services Committee chairman Duncan Hunter, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, on which McKinney sat. Hunter, a Republican, offered this resolution calling for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq in place of John Murtha's H.J.Res. 73, which called for redeployment "at the earliest possible date." In her prepared statement, McKinney accused the Republicans of "trying to set a trap for the Democrats. A 'no' vote for this Resolution will obscure the fact that there is strong support for withdrawal of US forces from Iraq ... In voting for this bill, let me be perfectly clear that I am not saying the United States should exit Iraq without a plan. I agree with Mr. Murtha that security and stability in Iraq should be pursued through diplomacy. I simply want to vote 'yes' to an orderly withdrawal from Iraq."[54]

Articles of impeachment introduced[edit]

At the end of the 2006 legislative session, McKinney introduced articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush as (H Res 1106), which made three charges against Bush:[55]

  • Failure to uphold the constitution, specifically that "George Walker Bush ... in preparing the invasion of Iraq, did withhold intelligence from the Congress, by refusing to provide Congress with the full intelligence picture that he was being given, by redacting information ... and actively manipulating the intelligence on Iraq’s alleged weapons programs by pressuring the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence agencies.
  • Abuse of office and executive privilege, "obstructing and hindering the work of Congressional investigative bodies and by seeking to expand the scope of the powers of his office."
  • Failure to ensure that laws are faithfully executed, specifically by a program of illegal domestic spying and circumvention of the FISA Act.

The second article also made charges against Vice President Dick Cheney alleging he manipulated intelligence in order to justify the Iraq War, and against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice alleging that she knowingly made false statements concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program.[55]

McKinney's bill was abandoned when it failed to clear the House Committee on the Judiciary[56]

Capitol Police incident[edit]

On the morning of March 29, 2006, McKinney entered the Longworth House Office Building's southeast entrance and proceeded past the security checkpoint, walking around the metal detector. Members of Congress have identifying lapel pins and are not required to pass through metal detectors. The officers present failed to recognize McKinney as a member of Congress because she was not wearing the appropriate lapel pin and had recently changed her hairstyle. She proceeded westward down the ground floor hallway and about halfway down the hallway was stopped by United States Capitol Police officer Paul McKenna, who states that he had been calling after her: "Ma'am, Ma'am!"; at that time it is reported that McKinney struck the officer. Two days later, Officer McKenna filed a police report claiming that McKinney had struck "his chest with a closed fist."

In the midst of a media frenzy, McKinney made an apology[57] on the floor of the House of Representatives on April 6, 2006, neither admitting to nor denying the charge, stating only that: "There should not have been any physical contact in this incident." Minutes before the Congresswoman's apology, McKinney's security officer pushed a TV correspondent outside of the U.S. Capitol.[58]

Though not indicted for criminal charges or subjected to disciplinary action by the House, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police said of Officer McKenna, "We're going to make sure the officer won't be harassed. We want the officer to be able talk to experts, who can look at his legal recourses, if he needed to."[59]

Unintentional on-air criticism[edit]

In the wake of the March 2006 incident with the Capitol Police officer, Rep. McKinney was in the news, and her office invited the media to attend one of her monthly "District Days," where she spends one full day meeting with constituents to discuss issues of concern. At her April 23, 2006, "District Days" event, Rep. McKinney was being interviewed by WGCL's Renee Starzyk, who repeatedly questioned her about the March 29 scuffle with a Capitol police officer. Frustrated, McKinney stood up and apparently forgot she was still wearing the microphone. Her offscreen comments were captured on tape. She was heard saying, "Oh, crap, now you know what ... they lied to [aide Coz Carson], and Coz is a fool."[60] McKinney returned on screen with the microphone, this time with instructions on what parts of the interview the station was allowed to use: "anything that is captured by your audio ... that is captured while I'm not seated in this chair is off the record and is not permissible [sic] to be used ... is that understood?"[61] The comments from the interview were subsequently aired on CBS and eventually across the nation.[citation needed]

Other issues[edit]

MLK Records Act[edit]

McKinney has submitted to Congress two different versions of the same bill, the "MLK Records Act" (one in 2003, the other in 2005), which, if signed into law, would release all currently sealed files concerning the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.[62] These records were sealed in 1978 and are not due to be declassified until the year 2028. The 2005 version of the MLK Records Act, HR 2554 had 67 cosponsors by the time McKinney left office at the end of 2006. A Senate version of the bill (S2499) was introduced by Senator John Kerry and was co-signed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. The bill has also received numerous endorsements from former members of the House Select Committee on Assassinations.[citation needed]

Tupac Shakur Records Act[edit]

Documents relating to the death of rapper Tupac Shakur, in which McKinney has taken an active interest, would be released under another bill introduced by Rep. McKinney. In a statement, McKinney explained her reason for the bill: "The public has the right to know because he was a well-known figure. There is intense public interest in the life and death of Tupac Shakur."[63] Legislation demanding release of records is a more direct route than the tedious process and limited scope of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).[citation needed]

2006 primary and primary runoff[edit]

McKinney finished first in the July 18, 2006 Democratic primary, edging DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson 47.1% to 44.4%, with a third candidate receiving 8.5%.[64] However, since McKinney failed to get at least 50% of the vote, she and Johnson were forced into a runoff.

In the runoff of August 8, 2006, although there were about 8,000 more voters than in the primary, McKinney received about the same number of votes as in July. Johnson won with 41,178 votes (59%) to McKinney's 28,832 (41%).[65] McKinney's loss is attributed to a mid-decade redistricting, in which the 4th had absorbed portions of Gwinnett and Rockdale Counties, as well as her highly publicized controversial run-in with a police officer in the March 29, 2006, Capitol Hill police incident.

CNN reported that during her concession speech, McKinney hardly mentioned her opponent but praised the leftist political leaders elected in South America. She also questioned the efficacy of voting machines and criticized the media.[66]

2008 Green Party presidential candidacy[edit]

Cynthia McKinney before speaking at the Green Party Presidential Debate in San Francisco, January 2008

McKinney was a Green Party candidate in the 2008 presidential election.[10] Green Party members had attempted to recruit McKinney both in 2000 and 2004. In 2000, she was widely mentioned as a possible vice-presidential running mate for Ralph Nader; in 2004, attempts were made to convince McKinney to run on the Green Party ballot line for president.[citation needed]

McKinney appeared at the July 15, 2007, Green Party National Meeting in Reading, Pennsylvania, where she suggested that the Green Party could become a progressive political force. "[T]he disgust of the American people with what they see before them—all they need is the blueprint and a road map. Why not have the Green Party provide the blueprint and the road map?"[this quote needs a citation]

At an August 27, 2007, peace rally in Kennebunkport, Maine, McKinney confirmed the depth of her disenchantment with the Democratic Party, urging San Francisco voters to replace Nancy Pelosi with antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan. On September 10, in a letter to the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States, McKinney stated she would not seek the Green Party nomination for president.[67] However, in early October it appeared that McKinney was making moves toward declaring herself an official Green Party candidate.[68]

On July 9, 2008, she named as her running mate journalist and community activist Rosa Clemente[69] and clinched the party's nomination three days later at the 2008 Green Party National Convention.[70]

On September 10, 2008, McKinney joined a press conference held by third-party and independent candidates, along with Ralph Nader, Chuck Baldwin, and initiator Ron Paul.[71] The participants agreed on four basic principles:

  • An early end to the Iraq war, and an end to threats of war against other countries including Iran and Russia.
  • No increase in the National Debt

On November 4, 2008 McKinney received 161,603 votes, 0.12% of the total votes cast, placing her behind Obama, McCain, Nader, Barr, and Baldwin.[72]

Free Gaza Movement[edit]

Ship Dignity[edit]

On December 30, 2008, McKinney was aboard the ship Dignity as it attempted to enter the Gaza Strip, which had its coastal area declared a "closed military zone" by Israel, while on a humanitarian mission by the Free Gaza Movement from Cyprus. Aboard were physicians, medical supplies, and activists, including Caoimhe Butterly. The Israeli Navy confronted the ship at night in international waters. Members of the crew claimed that the ship was rammed, gunfire was directed at the water, and the ship was forced to dock in Lebanon after taking on water.[73][74] Israeli officials claimed that the collision was accidental and occurred after the ship was informed they wouldn't be allowed to enter Gaza and tried to outmaneuver the patrol boat; they decried McKinney's actions as being irresponsible and provocative for the sake of propaganda.[74][75]

Ship Spirit of Humanity[edit]

On June 30, 2009, McKinney was aboard the Greek-flagged Free Gaza Movement's ship Spirit of Humanity carrying 21 activists including Irish peace activist Mairead McGuire, medical supplies, a symbolic bag of cement, olive trees and toys, when it was seized by the Israeli Navy 18 mi (29 km) off the Gaza coast. It is unclear whether they were in international waters or in Gazan waters, which is subject to the Israeli blockade of Gaza.[76][77] Although both the Cypriot and Israeli authorities were officially informed the destination was Gaza before the vessel's departure, according to the Cypriot government the ship "was given permission by the competent Authorities of the Republic of Cyprus to sail off the port of Larnaca in Cyprus on the basis of its declaration that its intended destination was the port of Port Said in Egypt."[77]

McKinney was held at the Givon immigration detention center in Ramle, until she was released on July 5.[78] McKinney initially refused to sign the deportation papers because they were written in Hebrew and that the papers would require them to admit that they were in violation of Israel's blockade, which they deny.[79][80][81][82][83] According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Israeli officials stated that the "Palestinian Authority and the rest of the international community had agreed to the off-shore blockade to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza."[81] The Palestinian Chronicle reports that such an agreement to the off-shore blockade never happened. "No Palestinians have agreed nor did the international community agree to a blockade of Gaza by land or Sea."[84] On June 17, 2009, a group of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) called for an end to Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.[85]

On July 7, 2009, McKinney was deported to the United States.[86] The Israeli government indicated it will deliver the supplies via land.[81]

Opposition to the 2011 military intervention in Libya[edit]

On May 24, 2011, McKinney appeared on state-run television in Libya and stated that United States participation in military intervention in the 2011 Libyan civil war was "...not what the people of the United States stand for and it's not what African-Americans stand for".[87] Also on Memri-TV, Cynthia McKinney stated "On a previous visit to Libya, I was able to learn about the Green Book, and the form of direct democracy that is advocated in The Green Book. When I went back to the United States, I spoke with Senator Mike Gravel, who was a presidential candidate, just like me, in 2008, because he too is pushing a form of direct democracy for the United States. That is because the government of the United States fails to represent the interests of the American people now. The government is here, and the people of the US are here."[88]

In June 2011, McKinney visited Libya[89] and accused NATO and the United States of trying to assassinate Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. McKinney also criticised the trade embargo on the Gaddafi's regime and accused mainstream media in the Western world of subjecting the population of the European Union and the United States "to the largest propaganda blitz by their governments."[90]

Her nationwide speaking tour regarding the intervention in Libya "Eyewitness Libya", which was sponsored by the ANSWER coalition and the International Action Center drew hundreds across the country.[91][92]

2012 congressional election[edit]

McKinney announced in April 2012 that she would run for the 4th congressional district against Hank Johnson on the Green Party ticket.[93] However, in August she failed to qualify for the ballot. Nevertheless, she received 58 write-in votes in the general election.[94]

Awards and honors[edit]

In February 2010, Cynthia McKinney was awarded the 'Peace through Conscience' award from the Munich American Peace Committee (MAPC).[95]

McKinney has been featured in a full-length documentary titled American Blackout. On April 14, 2006, she received the key to the city of Sarasota, Florida, and was doubly honored when the city named April 8 as "Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney Day" in Sarasota.[citation needed] On May 1, 2004, during her hiatus from office, McKinney was awarded the so-called fifth annual Backbone Award by an advocacy group, "because she was willing to challenge the Bush administration and called for an investigation into 9-11 when few others dared to air their criticism and questions."[96]

On June 14, 2000, a part of Memorial Drive, a major thoroughfare running through her district, was renamed "Cynthia McKinney Parkway," but the naming has come under scrutiny since her primary defeat in 2006.[97] Her father had previously been honored when a portion of Interstate 285 around Atlanta was dedicated as James E. "Billy" McKinney Highway.[98]

Electoral history[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Jim Lehrer (October 31, 1996). "Georgia on Her Mind". PBS. 
  2. ^ Constructed after the Congressional reapportionment associated with the 1990 United States Census.
  3. ^ The Court found that the 11th District was an unconstitutional gerrymander because the boundaries had been drawn based on the racial composition of the constituents. See also: Miller v. Johnson
  4. ^ See map of old district "GeorgiaInfo – Carl Vinson Institute of Government". Archived from the original on May 13, 2008. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  5. ^ a b Welch, William (August 21, 2002). "Crossover vote helped tilt Ga. races". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-03-05. Crossover voting gave a significant lift to Democrat Denise Majette in unseating controversial Rep. Cynthia McKinney 
  6. ^ a b "911 Truth Statement". 911truth.org. October 26, 2004. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  7. ^ "Democrat U.S. House District 4". WSBTV Action News 2 Atlanta. August 8, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-08. 
  8. ^ All Things Cynthia McKinney (Cynthia McKinney's personal website). "Cynthia Severs Ties with Democrats".  submitted by admin September 25, 2007.
  9. ^ "Cynthia McKinney Announces Run for President". YouTube. December 16, 2007. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  10. ^ a b "McKinney speaks truth to power in Wisconsin" (Press release). Green Party. December 11, 2007. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  11. ^ Public Disclosure Division, Office of Communications, Federal Election Commission (January 22, 2009). "2008 Official Presidential General Election Results, General Election Date:11/04/08". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Insightful Personal Conversation with Cynthia McKinney". Video.google.com. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  13. ^ Foerstel, Karen (1999). Biographical Dictionary of Congressional Women. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 181. ISBN 978-0-313-30290-9. 
  14. ^ "Cynthia McKinney Moves-McKinney Parkway Fate in Question". Foxnews.com. November 13, 2007. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  15. ^ "Iraqi cancers, birth defects blamed on U.S. depleted uranium". Seattlepi.com. Retrieved 2010-07-19. [dead link]
  16. ^ Chris Suellentrop (April 19, 2002). "Cynthia McKinney — The rep who cries racism". Slate.com. 
  17. ^ a b c d "Lessons from Rep. Cynthia McKinney's defeat, by Michael Barone". U.S. News and World Report. August 29, 2002. 
  18. ^ "Giuliani rejects $10 million from Saudi prince". CNN. October 12, 2001. Retrieved 2007-10-05. 
  19. ^ McKinney, Cynthia. "Letter to His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed bin Talal". Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  20. ^ "Barr, McKinney lose in Georgia primaries". CNN. August 21, 2002. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Brian.Carnell.Com". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  22. ^ "369 F.3d 1283" (PDF). May 17, 2004. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  23. ^ Osburn v. Georgia, 04-217) (cert denied, 541 U.S. __).
  24. ^ "Order List – October 18, 1004" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  25. ^ "Faith, race and Barack Obama". The Economist. July 6, 2006. 
  26. ^ "She also, as The New York Times said in reporting her victory, had made 'a series of other incendiary, often racial comments.' This is The New York Times' delicate way of alluding to the stridently anti-Semitic character of McKinney's 2002 campaign, in which 'Jews' were repeatedly blamed for her faltering in the polls and for her eventual defeat." Alexander, Edward. The Democratic Party's anti-Semitism problem, The Seattle Times, August 9, 2004.
  27. ^ "McKinney ended up losing the Democratic primary in 2002 to Denise Majette. Majette rode to victory largely on the negative publicity that flowed McKinney's way both when the 'Bush KNEW' accusation made national news and when her anti-Semitic and pro-Islamist beliefs were exposed." Preston, Bryan. The Female Michael Moore, National Review Online, July 27, 2004.
  28. ^ "...in the past McKinney has been accused of making anti-Semitic comments during interviews and speeches." Leibowitz, Rebecca. Defeating Anti-Israeli and Anti-Semitic Activity on Campus – A Case Study: Rutgers University, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Jewish Political Studies Review 17:1–2 (Spring 2005).
  29. ^ "A year later, Representative Cynthia McKinney, a black Georgian Democrat, ran and anti-Semitic campaign against her Jewish opponent." Heineman, Kenneth J. God Is a Conservative: Religion, Politics, and Morality in Contemporary America, New York University Press, p. 234. ISBN 978-0-8147-3554-1
  30. ^ "Deconstructing Cynthia McKinney". Archived from the original on March 11, 2009. Retrieved 2011-06-03. 
  31. ^ Cockburn, Alexander (August 21, 2002). "The Attack on Cynthia McKinney". Counterpunch. Retrieved August 23, 2010. 
  32. ^ "ADL Condemns Racist, Anti-Semitic Tirades at Rep. Cynthia Mckinney's Concession Speech". Adl.org. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  33. ^ Welch, William (August 21, 2002). "Crossover vote helped tilt Ga. races". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  34. ^ "2004 Racism Watch Calls on Bush-Cheney Campaign to Change or Pull Offensive Ad". Common Dreams. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  35. ^ "Mark Donham: Why Are the Democrats Trying to Deny Cynthia McKinney Her Seniority?". Counterpunch.org. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  36. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 7". U.S. House of Representatives. January 6, 2005. Retrieved August 25, 2010. 
  37. ^ Kemper, Bob. "McKinney reopens 9/11". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on July 27, 2005. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  38. ^ "[NOWAR/PAIX] A Message from Rep. Cynthia McKinney regarding "The 9/11 Commission Report One Year Later: A Citizens' Response – Did They, Get it Right?"". Archived from the original on February 8, 2007. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  39. ^ "Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney: Terrorist Warnings". Counterpunch.org. May 17–19, 2002. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  40. ^ Mckinney, Cynthia (April 8, 2010) Leaders' Lack of Respect for Rule of Law Makes Us All Victims of 9/11, LewRockwell.com
  41. ^ Johnson, Chip (September 9, 2005). "Police made their storm misery worse". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  42. ^ "The Bridge to Gretna". CBS News. December 18, 2005. 
  43. ^ "Marchers Cross New Orleans Bridge to Protest Racism". National Organization for Women. November 7, 2005. 
  44. ^ "H.R. 4209, 109th Congress, 1st Session" (PDF). United States House of Representatives. November 2, 2005. 
  45. ^ "Bridge blockade goes to grand jury". New Orleans Times-Picayune. August 5, 2006. 
  46. ^ "La. Police Who Turned Away Katrina Victims Face Inquiry". Washington Post. August 5, 2006. 
  47. ^ Michael Kunzelman.'No charges in Katrina Bridge Blockade'"USA TODAY" October 31, 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2011: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-10-31-3360763218_x.htm
  48. ^ "A Failure of Initiative: The Final Report of the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina". U.S. House of Representatives. February 15, 2006. 
  49. ^ "MicKinney roils hurricane panel". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on March 8, 2006. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  50. ^ "Hurricane Katrina Recovery, Reclamation, Restoration, Reconstruction and Reunion Act of 2005". Government Printing Office. November 2, 2005. 
  51. ^ "Select Bipartisan Committee". Katrina.house.gov. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  52. ^ Offices of Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Cynthia McKinney (June 6, 2006). "Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Summary of Congressional Legislation" (PDF). United States House of Representatives. 
  53. ^ Roig-Franzia, Manuel (October 27, 2008). "Stealth Candidacy". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  54. ^ "McKinney: Republicans seek to silence dissent on Iraq war". Finalcall.com. Nov 18, 2005. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  55. ^ a b "GNN.tv". GNN.tv. 8 Dec 2006. Archived from the original on November 14, 2007. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  56. ^ "H. Res. 1106 [109th]: Articles of Impeachment against George Walker Bush, President of the United States of America,...". GovTrack.us. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  57. ^ "McKinney apologizes for scuffle with officer". WXIA-TV ATLANTA. March 30, 2006. 
  58. ^ "McKinney's Bodyguard Shoves Channel 2 Reporter". Wsbtv.com. April 6, 2006. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  59. ^ "Officer Considers Lawsuit Against McKinney". WSBTV Atlanta. 
  60. ^ "Station catches McKinney bad-mouthing staffer". Associated Press. 
  61. ^ CNN Sunday Morning Transcript. CNN. 2006-04-23.
  62. ^ "Martin Luther King, Jr., Records Collection Act of 2005". Government Printing Office. May 23, 2005. 
  63. ^ "Congresswoman floats 2Pac bill". Los Angeles Times. December 3, 2005. 
  64. ^ "Georgia Election Results: Official Results of the July 18, 2006 Primary Election". Georgia Secretary of State. July 16, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-08. 
  65. ^ "Democrat U.S. House District 4". WSBTV Action News 2 Atlanta. August 8, 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-08. 
  66. ^ "CNN.com – McKinney beaten but unbowed – August 9, 2006". CNN.com. August 9, 2006. Archived from the original on August 31, 2006. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  67. ^ McKinney, Cynthia (September 10, 2007). "Cynthia Withdraws Name From Consideration for Green Party Presidential Nomination". All Things Cynthia McKinney. 
  68. ^ Thomas, Luke (October 5, 2007). "Cynthia McKinney to announce bid for the White House". Fog City Journal. 
  69. ^ "Richard Winger, "Cynthia McKinney Names V-P Running Mate" Ballot Access News". Ballot-access.org. July 9, 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  70. ^ "McKinney wins Green Party nomination", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 2008-07-12
  71. ^ "Nader's Debate". The Nation. October 24, 2008. Retrieved 2013-08-28. 
  72. ^ "2008 official presidential general election results". FEC. November 4, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  73. ^ "Gaza relief boat damaged in encounter with Israeli vessel". CNN. December 30, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  74. ^ a b "Gaza Strip: Aid boat docks in Lebanon after being damaged". The Los Angeles Times. December 31, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-31. 
  75. ^ Malone, Julia (December 29, 2008). "McKinney relief boat reportedly attacked by Israel". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  76. ^ "Israel navy intercepts boat with ex-U.S. Rep. McKinney". CNN. June 30, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  77. ^ a b Jerusalem Post
  78. ^ Cook, Rhonda (July 5, 2009). "McKinney released, returning to United States". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  79. ^ Cynthia McKinney Remains Imprisoned in Israel After Gaza-Bound Boat Is Seized Fox News July 2, 2009
  80. ^ "McKinney held in Israel, to be returned to U.S.". CNN. July 2, 2009. Retrieved April 30, 2010. 
  81. ^ a b c Cook, Rhonda (July 4, 2009). "McKinney, still in jail, expected to see judge Sunday". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  82. ^ "Fox News". Fox News. April 7, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-19. [dead link]
  83. ^ Cook, Rhonda (July 5, 2009). "McKinney released, returning to United States". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  84. ^ Lamb, Franklin (July 6, 2009). "How Cynthia McKinney Honored America". Palestinian Chronicle. Retrieved July 12, 2009. 
  85. ^ "UN, aid agencies call for end to Israel’s two-year blockade of Gaza". United Nations. June 17, 2009. Retrieved July 15, 2009. 
  86. ^ "?". Irish Times. July 7, 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-19. 
  87. ^ "Former U.S. congresswoman McKinney speaks on state TV in Libya". CNN. May 21, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  88. ^ "Memri". Former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney on Libyan TV: I Offered Qadhafi-Style Direct Democracy to Solve Problems of America. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  89. ^ Cynthia McKinney visits a hospital in Libya. Tripoli, Libya: WBAIX.org. June 4, 2011. 
  90. ^ Cynthia McKinney (June 9, 2011). "Truth dispatch: Updates from Libya". Wayne Madsen Report. Retrieved June 12, 2011. 
  91. ^ "Eyewitness Libya nationwide tour featuring Cynthia McKinney a huge success". Retrieved 2011-08-27. 
  92. ^ "Cynthia McKinney draws hundreds on Libya". Retrieved May 1, 2012. 
  93. ^ "Cynthia McKinney back and running for her old congressional seat". Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  94. ^ http://sos.georgia.gov/elections/election_results/2012_1106/writeincd4.pdf
  95. ^ http://www.mapc-web.de
  96. ^ "The Honorable Cynthia McKinney". Backbone Campaign. 
  97. ^ Dell'Orto, Giovanna (March 15, 2007). "Naming places after living politicians can be embarrassing". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  98. ^ "Highways would lose McKinney connection". Augusta Chronicle. December 30, 2006. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
District created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 11th congressional district

January 3, 1993 – January 2, 1997
Succeeded by
John Linder
Preceded by
John Linder
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 4th congressional district

January 3, 1997 – January 2, 2003
Succeeded by
Denise Majette
Preceded by
Denise Majette
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 4th congressional district

January 3, 2005 – January 2, 2007
Succeeded by
Hank Johnson
Party political offices
Preceded by
David Cobb
Green Party presidential candidate
2008
Succeeded by
Jill Stein