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David Swanson: 10 States Introduce Impeachment

10 States Introduce Impeachment

By David Swanson

In 10 U.S. states, either this year or last year or both, the state legislature has introduced and considered, though not yet passed, a bill to petition the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach Bush and Cheney. The question, of course, is what in the heck is wrong with the other 40 states? We can't find a single state legislator with the decency to uphold the U.S. Constitution and at least introduce a resolution to impeach? Where are the states that created the Constitution? Where are Massachusetts and Virginia? What's holding up New York? Where in the world is Oregon? Is this all the pressure we can muster in the cause of justice?

But let's give credit where it's due. These 10 states have acted: CA, HI, IL, MN, MO, WA, VT, NM, WI, TX. These 10 legislators who've taken the lead should be drafted to run for Congress (except for Ellison, whom we've already elected to Congress): Les Ihara, Jr. HI; Lon Burnam TX; Gerald Ortiz y Pino NM; Eric Oemig WA; Paul Koretz CA; Daryl Pillsbury VT; Karen Yarbrough IL; Jamilah Nasheed MO; Frank Boyle WI; and Keith Ellison MN. Special credit goes to Oemig and Ortiz y Pino who have come close to passing their bills.

Of course, at the local level, dozens of cities and towns have passed these resolutions, and dozens more are trying. Vermont is far and away in the lead in the number of resolutions passed, but its Congress Member has not yet responded. While the national Green Party backs impeachment, so do at least 16 state Democratic parties. A list of all these resolutions, passed and pending, can be found at

Last Congress, 39 Congress Members signed onto a redundant bill, a bill to conduct a preliminary investigation into grounds for impeachment. I call this redundant because an impeachment hearing simply is a preliminary investigation. There's no serious doubt that there are grounds to begin such a hearing. The problem is that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has ordered her party not to impeach, even though the Constitution says otherwise.

Well, we've got news for you, Nancy. The public still cares about the rule of law, and we care less about your certainty that you can help elect a Democrat to take the throne in 2009 than we do about turning that throne back into a desk chair. On April 28, a crowd of 2,000 people will use their bodies to spell impeachment on the beach in San Francisco and then march to your house. The same day, your state's Democratic Party Convention in San Diego (where you'll be, pretending it's election season) will be going about the nation's business by backing impeachment. I plan to speak at an impeachment rally in front of Fanuiel Hall in Boston also on April 28th. And as it happens, President Bush will be speaking at a college graduation in Miami, Fla., on April 28, and he can expect to hear the cry for impeachment. Meanwhile, in Cleveland on A28, Congressman Dennis Kucinich will speak out for impeachment.

In New York's Central Park on April 28th, a crowd will spell out the word IMPEACH on the grass. Another thousand people will do the same at Coney Island, and then spell it out with pizza pies on the boardwalk. Both events are being organized by military mothers with sons who served in Iraq. A pilot will fly a banner saying "IMPEACH!" around NYC and take aerial photographs of the human murals.

Up in Minneapolis on A28, citizens will be spelling out "IMPEACH!" with canoes on a lake. That evening they'll form the letters with bed sheets lit from below so that people will be able to read it from planes passing overhead. In our nation's capital, 1,000 people will form a human mural to spell out IMPEACH! at the base of the Washington monument. Remember Washington, the guy who chose NOT to be king?

In fact, events are being planned for April 28th all over the country and outside of it, and you can find one or create one at

Here are a few of the reasons we have no choice but to take this step:


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