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WCAX News (Vermont)

Presidential Hopeful Pushes Impeachment At Dartmouth Forum

Kate Duffy

Hanover, NH - A month ago, a Channel 3 News poll found Vermonters favor the impeachment of the president and vice president by a margin of nearly two to one.1127 01

Monday night, the leader of that initiative in Congress spoke at Dartmouth. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat from Ohio, is running for president. But the forum in Hanover, N.H., was not just getting into the White House -- it was about getting the current occupant out.

"Our constitution is in trouble," Kucinich said. "Are we supposed to wait for George Bush and Dick Cheney to attack Iran before we take action? We can't wait. They're already rattling the sabers of war against another nation. They lied to get us into a war against Iraq. They're lying to push us into war with Iran. Why should we wait?"

Kucinich has sponsored two resolutions in Congress to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney: H. Res. 333 and H. Res. 799. He said he's drafting an extended version relating to President Bush. It's an issue that has divided Democrats. But more than a hundred people who gathered for the forum were on his side.

"There's slowly a building groundswell of citizens crying for impeachment," said Dan DeWalt, a Newfane selectman who led the initiative to get impeachment on the Town Meeting Day ballot in dozens of towns across Vermont. "What we're trying to do here tonight is get the folks who come here who are skeptical to change their minds; and get the folks to come here who believe in it to call their congressmen. Because ultimately, the only people who can impeach are the House of Representatives in Washington, DC."

But the House has no plans to do that. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, said the issue is "off the table." And Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat from Vermont, said taking up impeachment would be counterproductive.

"As a tactic, it will unite the Republicans and divide the Democrats," Welch said. "We saw that last week when Representative Kucinich brought his motion up on impeachment and all of the Republicans voted for it. They'd rather debate impeachment than the war, the economy, or children's health care."

But impeachment advocates criticized congressional Democrats for their stance.

"If Congressman Welch were working to bring war to an end, if Democrats were willing to cut off funding for the war, or actually had a game plan that would succeed in the next year, he might have a point," DeWalt said.

© 2007 WCAX News

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