[Hpn] Vermont Senate calls for impeachment of Bush, Cheney

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Fri, 20 Apr 2007 12:02:10 -0400


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News | Vermont Senate calls for impeachment of Bush, Cheney=20
By Shay Totten | Vermont Guardian

Posted April 20, 2007

http://www.vermontguardian.com/local/042007/ImpeachmentVote.shtml

MONTPELIER - The Vermont Senate this morning approved by a 16-9 margin a =
resolution calling on the U.S. House to launch impeachment proceedings =
of Pres. George W. Bush and Vice Pres. Dick Cheney.

The move comes just days after nearly 150 people from around Vermont =
converged on Montpelier to urge lawmakers to pass such a resolution out =
of the House and Senate. The emotionally-charged, 40-minute meeting left =
backers hopeful that something could happen this session.

Today's resolution was introduced by Senate Pres. Pro Tem Peter Shumlin, =
D-Windham, and Sen. Jeannette White, D-Windham. The process began last =
night when Senate Majority Leader Dick McCormick, D-Windsor, introduced =
a resolution. However, his resolution did not include Cheney. The =
resolution by Shumlin and White did include Cheney.

Three Democrats - Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, Sen. Dick Mazza, =
D-Chittenden/Grand Isle, and Sen. Bill Carris, D-Rutland - joined six =
Republicans in voting against the resolution. One Republican - Sen. =
George Coppenrath, R-Caledonia, was absent at the time of the vote.=20

Rep. Dave Zuckerman, P-Burlington, will spend today and Tuesday =
collecting signatures from House members to introduce an identical =
resolution in the chamber.

"We will take the same language the Senate passed today, collect =
signatures today and Tuesday, and turn it in Tuesday afternoon, which =
gives people around the state time to call their representatives and ask =
them to sign it; we would then have it on the calendar for Wednesday and =
the speaker will either let it be voted on or have it sent to =
committee," said Zuckerman. "In respect to the senate action, many of us =
are quite pleased they took the vote, but it's clear that it only =
happened because citizens got involved."

Impeachment backers were thrilled with the move, and now turn their =
attention to the House, where an impeachment resolution has been sitting =
in the House Judiciary Committee for weeks.

"I think what impressed the legislators [at Tuesday's meeting] was the =
critical importance of stepping up to the plate at this moment in =
history," said Barry Aleshenick of Guilford, who attended Tuesday's =
meeting. "We need the House to follow suit, because the entire nation =
has its hopes in a state like Vermont to lead the nation in this =
incredible historical moment and to have the moral imperative to get us =
out of what we've been in. For the Senate to take the first step this =
morning is just wonderful."

All eyes are now on the House, where House Speaker Gaye Symington has =
not been willing to have the resolution taken up because it would =
distract lawmakers from more important work on education funding, health =
care, among other issues.=20

Currently, a resolution with 20 co-sponsors remains in the House =
Judiciary Committee, chaired by Rep. William Lippert, D-Hinesburg, and =
has yet to receive a hearing despite more than 100 calls in favor.

At Tuesday's meeting with impeachment backers, Symington reiterated her =
steadfast belief that a resolution supporting impeachment was not the =
solution when asked what could change her mind. "I don't disagree with =
your goals, but I don't believe that this is the way to achieve them," =
she said.

Rop Roper, chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, was pleased that =
the GOP contingent in the Senate stood together, but believes the move =
will only distract legislators from more pressing matters.=20

"I'm very proud to say that all of our Republican senators held together =
and did not support the resolution," said Roper. "Peter Shumlin has =
caved into a small, vocal minority of the population that is way out of =
the mainstream. All this is going to do is divide and distract our =
legislators when they need to be finishing up some very important =
business at the State House."

The nation's eyes have been turning to Vermont since Town Meeting Day, =
when 38 towns passed resolutions calling for Congress to introduce =
articles of impeachment against Bush and Cheney. Since then, supporters =
have been urging state lawmakers to pass a similar measure. Recently, =
the popular comic strip Doonesbury profiled Vermont's impeachment =
efforts during a six-day run.

Shumlin has been also facing increased pressure from his county =
constituents, many of whom have sparked the impeachment movement in =
Vermont.

At the meeting with impeachment supporters Shumlin said, "I would =
welcome anyone to introduce the resolution and I will vote for it."=20

That is a different position than Shumlin took earlier this year in =
public statements, including in statements at a monthly meeting of the =
state committee of the Vermont Democratic Party. He said earlier that if =
the resolution made it to the Senate it would receive immediate =
hearings; however, all of those statements were made before Legislative =
Counsel said that the resolution did not have to start in the House.

In recent weeks, Shumlin has said that there is not enough time =
remaining in the legislative session to take up the resolution.

"He had to do something because he was facing a lot of pressure in his =
county," said Rep. Darryl Pillsbury, I-Brattleboro, and a cosponsor of =
an impeachment resolution in the House. "I was very surprised by the =
vote as it came up pretty quickly, and I didn't even know about it. I'm =
very happy though."

Pillsbury and Zuckerman said if the new resolution is sent to committee =
again, it is likely that they would ask the House to pull it out and put =
it to a floor vote.

Impeachment backers hope the Senate resolution, coupled with a measure =
from the House, would send a message to the nation.

"We're not standing here as Vermonters and impeaching the president, be =
we are sending a message and denouncing the actions of this =
administration," said Aleshenick. "It's a matter of getting the ball =
rolling and that's what I said on Tuesday and then see where it goes."

Event information

What: Impeachment rally

When: Saturday, April 21

When: Noon

Where: Burlington City Hall

Details: Supporters of the impeachment resolution will gather to thank =
senators for their vote today, and to urge people to call House members =
to support a similar resolution, and to call on U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, =
D-VT, to introduce a bill in Congress that would start impeachment =
proceedings.


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<H1 align=3Dleft><A name=3Darticle1></A>News | Vermont Senate calls for =
impeachment=20
of Bush, Cheney </H1>
<P>By Shay Totten | Vermont Guardian</P>
<P class=3Ddate>Posted April 20, 2007</P>
<P class=3Ddate><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2><A=20
href=3D"http://www.vermontguardian.com/local/042007/ImpeachmentVote.shtml=
">http://www.vermontguardian.com/local/042007/ImpeachmentVote.shtml</A></=
FONT></P>
<P>MONTPELIER =97 The Vermont Senate this morning approved by a 16-9 =
margin a=20
resolution calling on the U.S. House to launch impeachment proceedings =
of Pres.=20
George W. Bush and Vice Pres. Dick Cheney.</P>
<P>The move comes just days after nearly 150 people from around Vermont=20
converged on Montpelier to urge lawmakers to pass such a resolution out =
of the=20
House and Senate. The emotionally-charged, 40-minute meeting left =
backers=20
hopeful that something could happen this session.</P>
<P>Today=92s resolution was introduced by Senate Pres. Pro Tem Peter =
Shumlin,=20
D-Windham, and Sen. Jeannette White, D-Windham. The process began last =
night=20
when Senate Majority Leader Dick McCormick, D-Windsor, introduced a =
resolution.=20
However, his resolution did not include Cheney. The resolution by =
Shumlin and=20
White did include Cheney.</P>
<P>Three Democrats =97 Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, Sen. Dick Mazza,=20
D-Chittenden/Grand Isle, and Sen. Bill Carris, D-Rutland =97 joined six=20
Republicans in voting against the resolution. One Republican =97 Sen. =
George=20
Coppenrath, R-Caledonia, was absent at the time of the vote. </P>
<P>Rep. Dave Zuckerman, P-Burlington, will spend today and Tuesday =
collecting=20
signatures from House members to introduce an identical resolution in =
the=20
chamber.</P>
<P><!-- begin_truncate -->=93We will take the same language the Senate =
passed=20
today, collect signatures today and Tuesday, and turn it in Tuesday =
afternoon,=20
which gives people around the state time to call their representatives =
and ask=20
them to sign it; we would then have it on the calendar for Wednesday and =
the=20
speaker will either let it be voted on or have it sent to committee,=94 =
said=20
Zuckerman. =93In respect to the senate action, many of us are quite =
pleased they=20
took the vote, but it=92s clear that it only happened because citizens =
got=20
involved.=94</P>
<P>Impeachment backers were thrilled with the move, and now turn their =
attention=20
to the House, where an impeachment resolution has been sitting in the =
House=20
Judiciary Committee for weeks.</P>
<P>=93I think what impressed the legislators [at Tuesday=92s meeting] =
was the=20
critical importance of stepping up to the plate at this moment in =
history,=94 said=20
Barry Aleshenick of Guilford, who attended Tuesday=92s meeting. =93We =
need the House=20
to follow suit, because the entire nation has its hopes in a state like =
Vermont=20
to lead the nation in this incredible historical moment and to have the =
moral=20
imperative to get us out of what we=92ve been in. For the Senate to take =
the first=20
step this morning is just wonderful.=94</P>
<P>All eyes are now on the House, where House Speaker Gaye Symington has =
not=20
been willing to have the resolution taken up because it would distract =
lawmakers=20
from more important work on education funding, health care, among other =
issues.=20
</P>
<P>Currently, a resolution with 20 co-sponsors remains in the House =
Judiciary=20
Committee, chaired by Rep. William Lippert, D-Hinesburg, and has yet to =
receive=20
a hearing despite more than 100 calls in favor.</P>
<P>At Tuesday=92s meeting with impeachment backers, Symington reiterated =
her=20
steadfast belief that a resolution supporting impeachment was not the =
solution=20
when asked what could change her mind. =93I don=92t disagree with your =
goals, but I=20
don=92t believe that this is the way to achieve them,=94 she said.</P>
<P>Rop Roper, chairman of the Vermont Republican Party, was pleased that =
the GOP=20
contingent in the Senate stood together, but believes the move will only =

distract legislators from more pressing matters. </P>
<P>=93I=92m very proud to say that all of our Republican senators held =
together and=20
did not support the resolution,=94 said Roper. =93Peter Shumlin has =
caved into a=20
small, vocal minority of the population that is way out of the =
mainstream. All=20
this is going to do is divide and distract our legislators when they =
need to be=20
finishing up some very important business at the State House.=94</P>
<P>The nation=92s eyes have been turning to Vermont since Town Meeting =
Day, when=20
38 towns passed resolutions calling for Congress to introduce articles =
of=20
impeachment against Bush and Cheney. Since then, supporters have been =
urging=20
state lawmakers to pass a similar measure. Recently, the popular comic =
strip=20
Doonesbury profiled Vermont=92s impeachment efforts during a six-day =
run.</P>
<P>Shumlin has been also facing increased pressure from his county =
constituents,=20
many of whom have sparked the impeachment movement in Vermont.</P>
<P>At the meeting with impeachment supporters Shumlin said, =93I would =
welcome=20
anyone to introduce the resolution and I will vote for it.=94 </P>
<P>That is a different position than Shumlin took earlier this year in =
public=20
statements, including in statements at a monthly meeting of the state =
committee=20
of the Vermont Democratic Party. He said earlier that if the resolution =
made it=20
to the Senate it would receive immediate hearings; however, all of those =

statements were made before Legislative Counsel said that the resolution =
did not=20
have to start in the House.</P>
<P>In recent weeks, Shumlin has said that there is not enough time =
remaining in=20
the legislative session to take up the resolution.</P>
<P>=93He had to do something because he was facing a lot of pressure in =
his=20
county,=94 said Rep. Darryl Pillsbury, I-Brattleboro, and a cosponsor of =
an=20
impeachment resolution in the House. =93I was very surprised by the vote =
as it=20
came up pretty quickly, and I didn=92t even know about it. I=92m very =
happy=20
though.=94</P>
<P>Pillsbury and Zuckerman said if the new resolution is sent to =
committee=20
again, it is likely that they would ask the House to pull it out and put =
it to a=20
floor vote.</P>
<P>Impeachment backers hope the Senate resolution, coupled with a =
measure from=20
the House, would send a message to the nation.</P>
<P>=93We=92re not standing here as Vermonters and impeaching the =
president, be we=20
are sending a message and denouncing the actions of this =
administration,=94 said=20
Aleshenick. =93It=92s a matter of getting the ball rolling and that=92s =
what I said on=20
Tuesday and then see where it goes.=94</P>
<P><STRONG>Event information</STRONG></P>
<P><STRONG>What</STRONG>: Impeachment rally</P>
<P><STRONG>When</STRONG>: Saturday, April 21</P>
<P><STRONG>When</STRONG>: Noon</P>
<P><STRONG>Where</STRONG>: Burlington City Hall</P>
<P><STRONG>Details</STRONG>: Supporters of the impeachment resolution =
will=20
gather to thank senators for their vote today, and to urge people to =
call House=20
members to support a similar resolution, and to call on U.S. Rep. Peter =
Welch,=20
D-VT, to introduce a bill in Congress that would start impeachment=20
proceedings.</P></DIV>
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