Kimble: Impeaching Cheney

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Link: Kimble: Impeaching Cheney | www.tucsoncitizen.com

Alana Swoyer was there because she received an e-mail from a friend who had received it from a friend who had received it from a friend.

So Swoyer, an office manager at a local church, was carrying a sign reading, "No one is above the law."

Jean-Paul Bierny, a Belgian-born physician who has lived in Tucson since 1972, said he’s not part of any organized group.
But he was there also, carrying a sign: "Impeach Bush and Cheney for crimes against the U.S. Constitution and humanity."

Kim Mathews also was there with a sign she made: "Stop funding war, start supporting impeachment."

The three, along with another dozen people, were at North Swan Road and East Pima Street, outside the local office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, demanding that she support a move to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney.

That effort hasn’t received much attention because it has little chance of success. But Dennis Kucinich, the quixotic Democratic congressman from Ohio, is working to have Cheney impeached and removed from office for allegedly engineering false information that led to the war in Iraq.

The impeachment move has divided Giffords and the other Democrat representing southern Arizona in the House.
Rep. Raul Grijalva is one of 23 Democrats who have signed onto the impeachment attempt. He has called it a "statement" designed to bring some accountability to those who launched the war.

Giffords has not signed onto the bill. She says the House Judiciary Committee should hold hearings and decide whether to send it to the full House. If that happens, she’ll decide whether to support it, Giffords said.

That’s not enough for the Tucsonans who gather outside Giffords’ office every Monday, spending two hours during the evening rush hour demanding that she join the impeachment movement.

Frequent honks from drivers last week seemed to indicate a fair degree of support.
It puts Giffords in an interesting position.

In her first re-election race this fall, she is being criticized from the right by her opponent, state Senate President Tim Bee.

And she is being criticized from the left by members of her own party who want her to join the impeach-Cheney movement.

Michael Bryan, a local lawyer who is one of the protest leaders, acknowledged that Democrats who don’t like Giffords because of this issue don’t have a lot of other choices in November. "It’s not a case of are we going to support Tim Bee," Bryan said. "Clearly we won’t."

He accused Giffords of "a failure to uphold your constitutional duties."

"In Iraq, there is the lack of any conditions whatsoever," Bryan said. "There’s no timetable, no oversight. They’ve basically given the president everything he wants."

"I know that some of my constituents differ with me," Giffords responded. She’s aware of the protesters outside her office and said she applauds their exercise of the First Amendment to make their position known.

Giffords said she did support sending the Articles of Impeachment to the Judiciary Committee. "I don’t take impeachment lightly," she said. "But without the proper hearing process, it’s something that I cannot support."

Giffords rejects accusations that Congress is giving the Bush administration a free ride. "I do believe we are holding this administration to a much higher standard than past administrations," she said.

That’s not enough for some of those carrying signs outside her office. "I’ve pretty much written off the Democrats in Congress, including her," Mathews said. "I’ll vote for a third-party candidate, if there is one. Otherwise I’ll sit it out.
"I did support her, but I won’t do it again."

Mark Kimble appears at 6:30 p.m. and midnight Fridays on the Roundtable segment of "Arizona Illustrated" on KUAT-TV (Channel 6). He may be reached at mkimble@tucsoncitizen.com or 573-4662.

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Michael founded BlogForArizona.net as the Howard Dean presidential campaign blog for Arizona in 2003, and has been blogging ever since. Michael is an attorney living in Tucson with his wife Lauren. In 2008, Michael remade BlogForArizona into a collaborative project. Michael now is but one of the contributors to the blog and provides editorial and publishing direction in consultation with the Board of Directors and the other authors. If you want to keep up with the latest Arizona and National political news in an entertaining quick hit of news and opinion, check out the BlogForArizona twitter feed, which Mike curates under the hashtag #MB.

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