Cynthia McKinney was born March 17, 1955, in Atlanta, Georgia. She was the daughter of Billy McKinney a former Georgia State Representative and one of Atlanta's first Black law enforcement officers. She earned a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California, and a Masters of Art in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
She is a drafted nominee of the Green Party, which is probably best-known to Americans as the party of former Presidential candidate Ralph Nader, and indeed, she was slated for Vice President as Nader's running mate in 2000.
Her career in politics had a very unique start, when in 1986, her father in the Georgia House of Representatives submitted her name as a write-in candidate for the Georgia State House. Despite the fact that she wasn't even living in the United States at the time, but in Jamaica, she got 40% of the popular vote anyway. This inspired her to run for the Georgia State House again in 1988, where she was present in the United States this time, and she was elected, making it the first time a father and daughter had served in the State House of Georgia at the same time.
Her next move was to run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992, and she was elected to represent the 11th District of Georgia, which covers the territory between Atlanta and Georgia. She was re-elected in 1994. In 1995, the districts were redrawn under her protest, citing racial motives, and she became the Representative of the 4th district instead. She was to be re-elected to this position in 1996, 1998 and 2000.
She lost the 2002 election to DeKalb County Judge Denise Majette. She protested the results of the election, claiming that vengeful Republicans had rigged the election as retaliation for her anti-Bush administration views, her allegations of possible voter fraud in Florida in the 2000 Presidential Election, her controversial statements regarding Bush's involvement in 9/11, and her opposition to aid to Israel. Some voters lodged a formal suit on her behalf, supporting her claims, but the case was dismissed from lack of evidence.
During her "exile" from office, she because an outspoken protester against the Bush administration, and the "white, rich Democratic boys club wanted her to stay on the back of the bus."
Surprisingly after these bizarre events in 2002, she regained the position as the 4th district Representative again in 2004, but would lose it for the final time in 2006. During her second stay in office, she was one of the thirty-one members of Congress to make a formal protest over the alleged vote-rigging that kept incumbent George Bush in the Oval Office. In 2005, also in office, she held the most prominent briefing on Capitol Hill for the investigation into the events surrounding the 9/11 attacks. She also submitted the "MLK Records Act", which would release all records surrounding the assassination of Martin Luther King into the public record. These records are currently sealed as of 1978 and are not due to be declassified until 2028. A Senate version of the bill has been sponsored since by Senator John Kerry and Senator Hillary Clinton.
Cynthia McKinney has spear-headed much of the protest against government corruption, incompetency, cover-up, and civil liberties violations. Her laundry list of injustices she wants to correct goes on and on, and extend to calling for Presidential impeachment. While there is some support for her claims, and indeed overwhelming evidence in many places, her manner of speaking out with much passion and anger has alienated those who would otherwise agree with her in some circles. She is highly confrontational.
In any case, Cynthia McKinney has responded to the draft movement by announcing her candidacy for the Presidency, under the Green party. She speaks for many Americans who have lost faith and hope in their government, and she is neither the first nor the loudest to have pointed out how out-of-control the United States government appears and how it seems to be sinking into corruption.
She can count on some support from both African-American and women voters, as well as the beleaguered Green party, and she just may unite the various groups which have never ceased to protest since the day Bush took office. Seeing as how Bush polls as one of the least popular Presidents ever, that could turn into a lot of votes.
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