Kucinich officially seeks top oversight spot opposite Issa

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) announced a bid Wednesday to lead Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Kucinich officially announced he would look to unseat Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), the committee's outgoing chairman, to counter Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.), the incoming GOP chairman of the committee.

Kucinich said the committee needs a strong Democrat to oppose Issa, a figure who's expected to use his new chairmanship to launch numerous and aggressive investigations of the Obama administration.

"We cannot simply stand by idly and hope that such a reckless approach to the use of the power of the chair will not happen, especially since it is not only being promised, but demonstrated by the person who will hold the gavel," Kucinich wrote in a "Dear Colleague" letter.

Kucinich currently serves as the fifth-ranking Democrat on the committee, and while he didn't mention Towns by name, he insinuated that the New York Democrat wouldn't be an adequate counterweight to Issa.

"Aggressive and thorough oversight is never to be feared. It is a goal," Kucinich wrote. "Now, with the change in the leadership of the Committee, we must be ready to preserve that goal tirelessly, courageously and unstintingly. That is the only way we can defend the integrity of congressional oversight from becoming an abusive power."

Democrats vote this week on leadership positions and committee chairmanships.