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With the mother of a Georgia soldier killed in Iraq at her side, Cynthia McKinney emerged Wednesday night from a screening of the anti-President Bush documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" talking about injustice.
country has set aside $191 billion for war, and yet too many of the American
people are hurting," the former congresswoman said during a news
conference at Stonecrest Mall.
McKinney said she invited the mother of Army Spc. Jamaal Addison to watch the film with her because "people need to understand the power of those elected to represent them. Decisions made in Washington, D.C., have an impact in Decatur, Ga."
Patricia M. Roberts wept through most of the movie, which she called "powerful." It prominently features the mother of a Michigan soldier killed in the war.
"Everything she experienced, I experienced, except they came to my door," said Roberts, whose 22-year-old son died March 25, 2003. The Michigan mother was notified by telephone.
McKinney is one of six people seeking the Democratic nomination for the 4th District congressional seat. She held the seat for five terms but lost it in 2002 after she called for an inquiry into whether Bush administration officials had advance notice of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks but did nothing to prevent them.
Many were outraged at McKinney's charge at the time that "persons close to this administration are poised to make huge profits off America's new war."
The person who defeated her, Denise Majette, is now running for the U.S. Senate.
McKinney is joined in the race for the 4th District seat by state Sens. Liane Levetan, Connie Stokes and Nadine Thomas, businessman Chris Vaughn and former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard, all Democrats, and human resources manager Catherine Davis, a Republican.
On Wednesday night, dozens of McKinney supporters, many dressed in "McKinney for Congress" T-shirts, applauded as she appeared briefly onscreen among the Congress members protesting alleged disenfranchisement of black voters in Florida during the 2000 election.
An unabashedly partisan crowd booed, jeered and laughed at the president and administration officials, calling them names like "Satan." When national security adviser Condoleezza Rice's face was being made up for TV, someone shouted, "That won't do no good." Secretary of State Colin Powell prompted the commentary "good man gone bad."
Most of the candidates for the 4th District haven't seen "Fahrenheit 9/11" yet, which broke weekend box office records for a documentary after its Friday opening. "It's been so hectic lately, I haven't had much time to go to the movies," Vaughn said.
Levetan's campaign manager said she wants to see it but hasn't yet. Stokes' campaign manager said she isn't much of a moviegoer and is too busy to see the film.
On the recommendation of friends, Thomas also saw the film Wednesday. Unlike McKinney, she went alone, saying she needed a break from the campaign.
Woolard saw "Fahrenheit 9/11" the day it opened.
"I have seen quite a few of Michael Moore's movies, and I think he does a great job at . . . bringing attention to important issues in the country," she said. "And I thought he did a good job on this one."
Davis, the only Republican vying for the 4th District seat, said she has no intention of seeing the film.
"From everything that I've heard, some of the things he's put in there are just not true," Davis said.
But truth may be in the eye of the beholder. McKinney's campaign billed Wednesday night's outing as a "truth celebration."
McKinney said Roberts' loss outweighed any political costs the former congresswoman had suffered for her criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the terrorist attacks and the war.
price I paid is nothing compared to what she has paid," she said,
"and compared to the price that's been paid by the American people
and the Iraqis."
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