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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Welch Talking Impeach?

Just watched former CIA "Medal of Freedom" winning boss George Tenet do the whole "Meet the Press" hour.


If you missed it, check the transcript. Can anyone think of Georgie-Porgie's next job?

Talk show host?

Impeach_1_3 Did want to take note that impeachment talk is still being talked. These two active Vermont women (State Sen. Jeanette White on the right, Liza Earle on the left), were snapped outside the Brattleboro restaurant where Democratic Congressman Peter Welch held his 60th Birthday Party and $75-a-head campaign fundraiser!

God, I remember when 60 sounded "ancient."

A few hours before the "Happy Birthday" festivities,   Mr. Welch met for almost an hour at the Hartland Town Hall with four leaders of that effort: Newfane Selectman Dan DeWalt, South Burlington Attorney James Leas, U.S. Army veteran, former-Sgt. Adrienne Kinne of Sharon and Richmond nanny/baker extraordinaire Liza Earle.

Welch, along with Vermont's U.S. Sens. Patrick J. Leahy (D) and Bernie Sanders (I), opposes making impeachment of President George "WMD" Bush and V.P. Dick "America" Cheney the focus. They say they have plenty of congressional investigations under way now that the Democrats have the majority, and impeachment would only sidetrack those efforts.

Peter_welch The Birthday Boy came "with an open mind," said Ms. Earle. "He said he disagrees with us on impeachment, but his job is to hear voters out."

She said Welchie agreed to do a town meeting at the Hartland Town Hall on the impeachment issues. It's tentatively scheduled for next Saturday. Stay tuned for more details.

According to Earle, Rep. Welch told the quartet "that his priority is ending the war. Everyday, he told us, he asks himself what will hasten that end, and he's made a judgment call that impeachment is not part of that answer."

Welch_3 Jim Leas told us Welch agreed with about 80 percent of what they wanted and they were "thrilled."

"We knew we wouldn't convince him [on impeachment]," said Leas, "but the door is open for discussion."

A number of folks showed up outside Welchie's fundraiser at the Riverview Cafe in Brattleboro to remind him that a whole lot of Vermonters think impeachment is the way to go. A raft with about six people and an "IMPEACH CHENEY" sign also paddled by the Welch event on the Connecticut River.

Energetic bunch of Vermonters, eh?

Attempts to get Welch's side of the meeting from Press Secretary Andrew Savage and Staffer Jon Copans [who attended], have unfortunately been unsuccessful.

Stay tuned.


Welch Campaign Manager Carolyn Dwyer called after we posted this to tell us “about 75” supporters attended the Brattleboro fundraiser. She also was complimentary of the impeachment protesters.

“They did it with passion and humor,” said Ms. Dwyer, “and made their opinions clear, but in a respectful, light-hearted way.”

They even sang "Happy Birthday" to the congressman!


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What da hell?

Copans doesn't respond to yesterday's events? What is it with the Vermont Dems and why they continue to ignore the impeachment issue? Not only was this a slamdunk issue for all Vermont Dems to go with but the friggin base wants it!

What am I missing here?

When was the last time Ian Carleton and Jon Copans EVER sent out an email update saying, "The Dems passed the impeachment resolution in the Senate?" That's not big news? Obiviously they (Ian Carleton, Jon Copans, and other Executive Directors of the VT Democratic Party) don't understand the interests of their party loyalists. Party loyalists in Vermont WANT impeachment. When will they EVER learn?

Now you know why we end up with ridicouolous "Don Quixote" third parties in the statehouse. Nobody wants to be on a winning team that doesn't take necessary risks and doesn't listen to their core constitutents!


Brattlerouser, do you have a statewide poll showing that "the friggin base" of Vermont Democrats want impeachment?



There hasn't been one conducted yet... in Vermont.

But the mere fact that over 300 people show up at the Statehouse all on the same page supporting the impeachment resolution does speak for itself. I've talked to some reps and media types and I contonously hear that they haven't seen this many people come to the statehouse for a single event/bill/resolution. The civil unions vote brought in large numbers but that was almost evenly divided. This time it wasn't. Keep in mind up to 38 towns passed the impeachment resolution and this was no other non-binding resolution, this was to call for investigations into impeachment.

As for whether or not the town meetings that passed the resolutions were true respresentation of the towns... while it may be true in some cases that the number of people who voted for impeachment do not reflect the population of some towns, that doesn't mean the resolutions that passed don't carry the same amount of weight as say... passing town budgets. If a majority of folks were against the resolution, they had the chance to defeat it but they didn't So there.

As for polls, there are a lot of good national polls out there that indicate the true nature of impeachment. After Downing Street has a list of all the polls done on impeachment and they break down where Democrats stand. In addition, MoveOn will be releasing their poll numbers on impeachment soon, so that will give an even better indication where Dems stand on the issue. For more go here

Hope this answers your questions.


I trust you understand that 38 towns out of 251 is a tiny fraction. And also that the towns in question did not include Vermont's largest population centers (Burlington, etc.)

I am a card-carrying, dues-paying, meeting-attending, vote-casting member of that Party you're talking about, and I'm not in favor of impeachment and nobody I personally know is.

Without a poll of people who label themselves Democratic voters, the fact that a couple of hundred people showed up at the State House says absolutely nothing about how many members of the Vt. Democratic Party actually support impeachment. I strongly suspect that many of those people who showed up aren't even Democrats, but rather would label themselves Progs, Greens, etc. I'm sure that very few of them, if any, pay the annual dues to the Democratic Party to be a member. I strongly suspect that many of them don't reliably vote Democratic, and some of them may not even vote. But even if every single one of the people who came to the State House is a card-carrying Democratic party member, that still says nothing about the true level of support for impeachment among the rank and file of the Vt. Democratic Party. So your claim that "the friggin base" of the Vt. Democratic Party is all in favor of impeachment is an unfounded claim.

Be in favor of impeachment if you want. That's your prerogative. But don't go making unfounded claims about how popular the support is. In MY party.


By the way, Brattlerouser, your rant above also asked the question, "When was the last time Ian Carleton and Jon Copans EVER sent out an email update saying, "The Dems passed the impeachment resolution in the Senate?" That's not big news?" Howabout in the April 24 edition of the Vt. Democratic Weekly Digest, which is posted on the VDP website every week (and e-mailed to members like me)? In that issue Carleton specifically mentions the vote in the Senate and the fact that the House would also be taking up an impeachment vote. So they did exactly what you accused them of not "EVER" doing. It's still there for you to read. Get your facts straight.


Um, I don't think you need to pass a resolution in Burlington to prove a point. I think it's a no brainer that a majority of those in that town support the idea of investigations into impeachment. While 300+ and 38 towns may reflect a small number "on paper" keep in mind there hasn't been that kind of a turn out in the statehouse in a long time for ANY issue. IMHO I think that represents a good idea of the sentiment around the state. John Kerry had the 2nd largest margin of victory in the '04 election in Vermont. Vermont is also one of the bluest states in the country so I think impeachment has definitely crossed the minds of many in this state and I'm sure a lot of folks would think it's a good idea.

While there are no polls indicated where Vermont Dems stand on impeachment (as a matter of fact, why didn't they go outa their way to find out? If it's good enough for MoveOn to figure out, why can't the VT Dems?) keep in mind that that the at the last two state party conventions in Randolph, they passed and supported the resolutions calling for impeachment. I would think that the party leaders in these counties that supported it, got a good idea of the sentiment of what these Dems are thinking. If not, then what does their vote represent to you? Seems like to me this is what Vermont Dems want.

As for the VT Dems April 24th letter mentioning the Senate vote on impeachment, IMHO, big deal. My dog can do that too. When did they ever advocate or suggest that the Dem leaders take on this issue and ask their constituents to call their representatives to pass the resolution? They do this kind of thing for other issues. Why can't they do the same with this?

Another case of looking after themselves as opposed to what Vermonter really want.


What you have come up with is that it is your personal feeling that there is a lot of support for impeachment in Vermont. That's fine, but it is nothing more than that. That's a long way from the grand pronouncements you were making earlier about how virtually everyone was for it.

You also admit that there are no polls commissioned by the Vt. Dem. Party to find out where the members stand on impeachment, even though you claimed that "the friggin base" of the party supports impeachment and "the party loyalists" want it. In other words, you agree that there is no hard evidence to support your grand statements. So now you say the Party should do a poll. I disagree. Why should they do a poll? The Legislators already voted and the ones who voted no, voted their conscience. You want to convince them to do something different -- i.e., go along with a mob -- by showing them a poll?

Finally, you admit that you were completely wrong about the Vt. Dem. Party not issuing a statement that mentions the Senate vote for impeachment, but, instead of owning up to it, you say "big deal." You made accusations about what the Democratic Party didn't say, apparently without even going to their website to check.

Here's an idea. Why don't you spend some time talking to constitutional scholars around the country and see what they think about impeachment.



With all due respect (and an honest attempt to bring this down to a level of a sincere civil discussion) What is you response to to the last two Democratic party conventions in Randolph that passed to support the resolution? Wouldn't that count as a significant part of the democratic base? I do. Would VT democratic party leaders bring this issue up if they wanted to? I don't think so. Who did? In my mind, it was the democratic party faithful/activists, or my idea of the core constituecies. I think that counts for something significant.

I do believe it the people at the top of the Vermont Democratic Party made a big mistake in telling its constituents to come out and support the impeachment resolution. Heck, if it was good for Democracy for Vermont (which by the way, they sent out an alert asking people to show up for the House impeachment vote) why could it not be good for Ian Carleton and co.? Granted I didn't read the notice you mentioned.

Mea culpa.

However, I know I did not see a single email or newsletter asking the party faithful to support it. IMHO, the people who came out to support the impeachment resolution made the Dems look bad. Those 38 towns and 300 + people were on the side of democracy and the Constitution. The leadership in the House and those who voted against were not.

I think a poll should be warranted after the leg. voted on it. I don't think time is of the esseence because if it were issued before or after the the leg. brought it up, I think the results would be the same.

As for the last point, I am spending time looking into constitutional scholars into the merits of impeachment. In fact, the one I admire most right now is a Reublican who wokred in the Reagan Administration. Bruce Fein, who was an Assistant Atty. General during the Reagan years said there is no one more impeachable today than Bush & Cheney. I highly recommend reading this article to give you an idea where some constitutional scholars --on the unlikeliest (sp.?) of sides-- stand.

The Center for Constitutional Rights also has a great argument for impeachment and wrote a book detailing how all the dots are conected to proceed with impeachment hearings.

And lastly, I'm checking out -- and I suggest to you as well-- Dennis Loo's Impeach The President also from the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Here's another great article to check out as well

The writing is on the wall with this presidency. Never have I seen such abuse of power by the executive branch and I don't want to see another sitting president repeat the same mistakes twice because another president got away with what he did during that time. If a president lets out the genie of the abuse of power and we don't put it back in then it's probable future presidents will do the same. Investigations into impeachment is necessary. The Vermont leadership had an opportunity to send a message. I believe a good number of Vermont citizens from all over the state (including many other towns that didn't get the resolution passed or on the warning) wanted to do the same. But Symington squandered that opportunity and the further destruction of our fragile system of democracy continues. I wanted to tell my children 20 years from now that our state and the Democratic party stood up to abusive power and stood up to defend democracy. Looks like I'll have to come up with a different explanation because Symington and the people in charge of the Vemont Democratic Party didn't.


> I do believe it the people at the top of the Vermont Democratic Party made a big mistake in telling its constituents to come out and support the impeachment resolution.

I meant they "made a big mistake in NOT telling its constituents to come out and support the resolution."


Brattlerouser, good points. Your'e more persuasive when you don't use the firebrand rhetoric. We totally disagree about the wisdom and appropriateness of an impeachment resolution (and I note that I have the three most liberal, if not radical, members of congress on my side of this issue), especially one that starts in a state legislature, but I take your points. (And, no, please don't tell me about Jefferson's manual -- that's not the law).



Talk to Jeffrey Taylor sometime and he'll explain the Jefferson Manual (JM) better than I can. Taylor was an attorney at the Justice Department during the end of Nixon's presidency and knows the JM inside and out. He'll know whether or not the JM is or isn't law. He's also a lawyer in Rutland so he should be easy to reach.

As for the necessity for impeachment, here's a little something I wrote on Green Mountain Daily that might clear up some reservations people may have. Take what you like and leave the rest but at least you'll know where I'm coming from.

Thanks for the discussion.


This just in.

A major polling company shows close to 40% surveyed support investigations into impeachment. Check it out.


Who was surveyed? What were the questions asked? Was it a "push" poll? Were the questions suggestive? Or was it a completely neutral, non-leading poll? If I was asking the questions, and I directed my survey to the right audience, I could get a higher figure than 40%.

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