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Governor of Massachusetts Favors Impeachment

Governor of Massachusetts Favors Impeachment
By Robert Feuer, Stockbridge, Massachusetts

On Friday, 13 July, Governor Deval Patrick showed his skills at working with the Massachusetts Legislature by passing all but $40 million of a $28.4 billion legislative budget for fiscal year 2008, which starts on 1 July 2007.

On the beautiful Summer's eve of 12 July, in a lower field at the Patrick's secluded country retreat in Richmond, Massachusetts, a fund raiser was being held. For a mere minimum of $250, over three hundred supporters and elected officials gathered under a series of catered white tents with three bars flowing beverages to go with the hors d'oeuvre.

I bit the bullet, paid the entry fee, and armed with the March 2007, National Priorities Project's "War Costs to Massachusetts", I headed right for the governor. I dutifully waited for him to conclude his hello's to others ahead of me. In time he turned to me, "Hello, Bob", Deval offered his hand and warm smile, "Thanks so much for coming out tonight to see me."

"The pleasure is all mine," I responded. "By the way, have you had a chance to read the Edward Bellamy book I gave you at Pittsfield High School. Thank you for your nice letter of thanks and recognition." His face told me he had been way to busy to start reading Looking Backward.

"I know how busy you have been, especially with tomorrow's deadline to respond to the legislature's budget. How would you like an extra $12.9 Billion for Massachusetts?" I asked. The Governor's eyes lighted up, his smile broadened, it was as if a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders. "Surely," he responded.

"Well, truth be told, Massachusetts can't have it because that's how much the war has cost Massachusetts. Way before this 'surge', Massachusetts had suffered the death of forty-eight hard working, tax paying soldiers; and had suffered 384 wounded soldiers."

"Bob, your killing me with these numbers," he replied.

"Deval, what's your view on state action for impeachment of Bush and Cheney?" His chagrin quickly changed to excitement, as he explained that as an active member of the NGA, National Governor's Association, he was aware that the organization is angry with the DNC, Democratic National Committee, for its foot-dragging on impeachment. He opined that there are far fewer members needed for a majority in the NGA, than in the Massachusetts Legislature; and he indicated such a majority may well already exist. NGA is one of Washington DC's most respected public policy organizations and serves as a key liaison between the state governments and the federal government. Presently, Arizona Governor, Janet Napolitano (D), is NGA Chair. Suddenly, things are looking a lot brighter. Governor Napolitano was the first woman governor elected as a clean election candidate.

According to Jefferson's Rules of the U.S. House, one complete state legislature's petition for impeachment takes priority in the House. This would clearly blow away the Speaker's roadblock to immediate impeachment. What is unclear to me is whether a petition from the NGA would hold the same sway in the U.S. House. None the less, in the event an NGA resolution for impeachment is readily attainable; for one, it would gain national media attention, and, secondly, it would move this issue further along.

As to the Massachusetts Legislature, the representatives and senator present at the governor's fundraising, each confided they were personally in favor of impeachment. Each also tried to persuade me that he or she was the only one in the state house who would say so. They did their best to convince me that we would sooner have a new president inaugurated, than a Massachusetts legislative petition for impeachment to send to Congress.

I know a smoke screen when I see one, and this one is a classic. The majority of Americans, outside the beltway, which includes the individual members of both the GCA and the Massachusetts Legislature, want Cheney impeached yesterday. There are 200 people in the Massachusetts Legislature, it shouldn't take one month to voter ID each one on the impeachment issue. If we could then get the governor to propel a state bill for impeachment, we should have a Massachusetts legislative petition to send Speaker Pelosi before mid-September 2007.


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