ELGIN, Ill. – On June 21, Dennis Kucinich took his campaign for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party into the home territory of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, one of George W. Bush’s closest allies.

Speaking to a rally of 300 supporters in this conservative Chicago suburb, Kucinich said, “As the next President of the United States, I will take on the monopolies.” Noting that both the Republican and Democratic parties are controlled by corporate interests, Kucinich said he would rein in the corporations.

Kucinich called for a new national commitment to workers. “I’m going to work with my brothers and sisters in labor,” he said, “and build workers’ rights into every trade agreement.”

Kucinich said that as president he would “challenge the military-industrial complex and work for education, housing, and healthcare for all.” He called for the establishment of a Department of Peace and said it was time to “take a stand to abolish all nuclear weapons.”

The Ohio congressman accused the Bush administration of whipping up an atmosphere of fear and said he would work for the repeal of the Patriot Act and the protection of civil liberties.

Other speakers included Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, who said he had long admired Kucinich for his support of universal health care.

Jeff Bronson, president of United Auto Workers Local 592, spoke about Hamilton Sundstrand’s lockout of his union’s members. He said he was pleased to speak in support of a candidate like Kucinich, who went to Rockford to express his solidarity with the locked-out workers.

Mary Shesgreen, a leader of Fox Valley Citizens for Peace, said Kucinich is “a peace candidate, a man who had the courage to come out against the war in Iraq.”

Cele Meyer, a leader of the DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace and Justice, said she supports Kucinich because he will withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization.

Dave Rathke, of the Illinois Education Association, said, “The Kucinich campaign isn’t just about one election or one candidate. It’s about rebuilding our sense of community.”