Thursday, August 16, 2007

County supervisors duck, bobble, and weave to avoid taking a stand on impeaching Cheney

Last Tuesday, August 14, I cut short my two-week road trip to attend a hearing before the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors on a resolution to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney.

In February, my friend and political ally, Janie Sheppard, decided to focus on impeaching Cheney. Janie and many others gathered hundreds of signatures on petitions to present along with the resolution. Janie’s posted about her petition gathering
here. The resolution was drafted and submitted by Supervisor J. David Colfax.

Before the hearing started, I interviewed former CA 1st District Congressman Dan Hamburg. On August 9, the New York Times published a half-page ad created by Dan, "Let's put Bush and Cheney where they belong..."

Here’s Dan:

What happened at the hearing? Janie describes it best: “The Constitution lost today as the Board of Supervisors voted 3 to 1 to table the motion to consider the resolution in favor of impeaching Vice President Cheney. We have one courageous Supervisor, Colfax, who understands the connection between Cheney’s impeachable acts and the unmet needs of the county. We have four supervisors who care not a wit for the Constitution, their oaths of office to defend the Constitution, or the expressed wishes of their constituents. Those supervisors are Wattenburger, Pinches, Smith and Delbar.

“All the speakers were passionate. Dan Hamburg held up the printed oath of office that included defending the Constitution, reminding the Supervisors that they had solemnly promised to do just that. He referred to his experiences as both a Supervisor and Congressman. Els Cooperrider, an immigrant, spoke of the importance of the US Constitution to the immigrants of this country. I spoke of history: the failure of Congress to impeach Nixon and the consequent licensing of the idea of the Imperial Presidency as well as the role resolutions could play in influencing the positions of our representatives on a national level. [Read Janie's testimony.] Mike Thompson, our Congressman, so far has refused the requests of his constituents to sign on as a co-sponsor to H.R. 333, a resolution to impeach Dick Cheney.

“By tabling the motion to consider the resolution, the County decided to stick its head in the sand. Supervisor Pinches went so far as to say that he did not follow national politics and didn’t care. Supervisor Delbar did not say one word. Supervisor Wattenburger slumped in chair, trying to make the whole episode vanish via his motion to table. Supervisor Smith would tend to local issues, which in her view, do not include taking a position on impeachment. The Supervisors, however, do not speak for us, the impassioned citizens who understand what is happening in our country and want to change it.”

Here’s Janie after the hearing:

On August 15, the Ukiah Daily Journal reported on the hearing, “No action taken on Cheney resolution.”

What isn’t being reported is that those of us who are committed to the impeachment of Cheney and Bush are regrouping and aren’t giving up.

(Photo of Janie Sheppard and Jim Houle with the sign he waved in the hearing while the supervisors "ducked.")

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