Archive for the 'Van Hollen' Category

Next moves in impeachment: Adopt-A-Rep… and more

As noted in a prior post, Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s impeachment resolution H.Res.333(/799*) was referred back to the House Judiciary Committee after a series of votes on Tuesday.

Disappointingly, Rep. Chris Van Hollen voted the wrong way in each of three votes that day — first to table, or kill, the resolution introduced by Kucinich, then to force a vote on sending it back to the Judiciary Committee, and then to in fact refer it back to that committee.

Given that H.Res.333 has languished in that committee for months without a hearing, Kucinich and impeachment supporters preferred to have an immediate debate on the House floor — and in a surprising parliamentary stunt, Republicans switched votes midway through balloting and sided with Kucinich to oppose Hoyer’s motion to table the bill. While this might have provided an opening for an immediate debate — one Rep. Kucinich was prepared for — Hoyer and the Democratic leadership were able to force two subsequent party-line votes rejecting that possibility.

So what next for impeachment supporters?

First and foremost, we need to try to capitalize on the events of last week by pressuring House Judiciary Committee members to take up the impeachment resolution that was, after all, referred to them by the full House. Setting aside the gamesmanship and party politics of Tuesday’s votes, the first vote showed gratifying support for immediate consideration of the Cheney impeachment resolution: 85 Democrats joined Rep. Kucinich in asking the House not to table his impeachment motion, despite strong, frankly inexplicable, and certainly unconscionable pressure from the Democratic Party leadership not to do so.

Accordingly, we hope you’ll join us in our “Adopt-A-Rep” campaign — pick a Democrat (or, if you really like uphill battles, a Republican!) on the House Judiciary Committee and call/e-mail him or her urging support for committee hearings on the impeachment resolution before it.

But that may not be all we can or should do. We hope the following ideas will inspire discussion, debate, and decision by those of us supporting impeachment in Takoma Park and Maryland’s 8th Congressional District. Please have a look, and please leave your comments below.

Option: Push for improved impeachment resolution
In focusing on the Vice President’s deceptions leading to the Iraq War and the threats against Iran, Kucinich’s impeachment resolution presents only a few of the reasons for impeachment. Some argue that for various reasons, other reasons — such as those provided in the Takoma Park impeachment resolution passed this summer — ought to be included in an improved impeachment resolution considered by the House and its Judiciary Committee. While we don’t have a seat at the Kucinich table, we might try to agitate for using the Takoma Park resolution briefly with Rep. Kucinich and prominent supporters like David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan.

Option: Register displeasure with Rep. Chris Van Hollen
(1) Arrange a meeting or attend one Rep. Van Hollen is scheduled to attend, and let him know how disappointed we are in his failure to join the most progressive, Constitution-oriented issue before this country today: the need to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney for manifest injuries to the Constitution, the country, and the rule of law.

(2) Boycott DCCC fundraising. Rep. Van Hollen’s stature — and power — within the Democratic Party are evidenced by his role as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. By publicly pledging not to contribute to this campaign committee, we would be directing our protest both at the Democratic Party leadership and specifically at Rep. Van Hollen.

There are reasons for doing so beyond impeachment. The DCCC is arguably building a Democratic Party that Democrats don’t want — DCCC-sponsored freshmen like Heath Shuler are among the Democrats who vote with Bush most often. Meanwhile, there are many alternatives for contributing to progressive and liberal electoral victories in 2008 — ones that don’t also reward a Democratic Party leadership for its intransigence on impeachment.

(3) Support a challenger. Chris Van Hollen’s opposition to impeachment is a legitimate issue of overriding importance in the 2008 election. If you see impeachment as a necessary constitutional remedy to Bush and Cheney’s abuses of power and assaults on the Constitution and the rule of law, then Van Hollen’s leadership role in opposing impeachment is arguably a dereliction of duty to his oath of office. He is certainly not representing us this way; maybe we can do better — maybe we should try.

Option: Engage 2008 candidates and campaigns
We could turn our attention to raising impeachment per se and impeachment-related issues, such as those enumerated in the Takoma Park impeachment resolution (torture, warrantless surveillance, signing statement, etc.) with 2008 election candidates or their proxies in the area. This could involve:

(1) Publishing presidential candidate comparison checklists on those issues and on impeachment, and/or

2) Attending campaign events prepared to ask questions about impeachment and impeachable issues such as torture, the war, and warrantless surveillance.

Option: Your advice here
All suggestions are welcome — the more so if they come with some idea of where/when/how you’re willing to help with them!

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* H.Res.799 is the designation for the “privileged resolution” Kucinich introduced on Tuesday.
NOTE: links to “DCCC-sponsored”, “most often” via DownWithTyranny, 10/23/07.

Citizen Spotlight: Letter to Chris Van Hollen

Dear Congressman Van Hollen:

There is, they say, more than one way to skin a cat. I hope so, because our efforts thus far have yielded a big fat zero. I refer not to the skinning of cats, of course, but to popular efforts at restoring the rule of law in the United States through the impeachment of the President and Vice President.
Continue reading ‘Citizen Spotlight: Letter to Chris Van Hollen’

A town hall meeting on Capitol Hill

On the morning of Thursday, September 20, over two dozen impeachment supporters from Takoma Park, Garrett Park, and elsewhere in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District crowded into a meeting room in Longworth House Office Building for a wide ranging discussion with Rep. Chris Van Hollen.

State Senator and constitutional expert Jamie Raskin and Takoma Park Mayor Kathy Porter were among the delegates, who also included Lisa Moscatiello, Thomas Nephew, and Hank Prensky from Takoma Park, Warren Kornberg and Jim Agenbroad from Garrett Park, and Alan McConnell from Silver Spring, to name but a few.

Rep. Van Hollen was presented with a folder containing the Takoma Park City Council impeachment resolution, a list of signatories for the Garrett Park referendum, the agenda and attendance list for the meeting, prepared statements by several of the delegates, books on impeachment by Elizabeth Holtzman and John Conyers and his Judiciary Committee staff — and, in a small gesture he appreciated, a small box of “Impeachmints” candy bought at “Now and Then.”

What came next was basically a town hall meeting on Capitol Hill. Continue reading ‘A town hall meeting on Capitol Hill’

Statement of Maryland 8th CD impeachment supporters to Chris Van Hollen, 9/20/07

On Thursday, September 20, over two dozen impeachment supporters from Maryland’s 8th Congressional District met with Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8) on Capitol Hill to urge him to support the impeachment of Vice President Cheney and President Bush.

Two days earlier, impeachment supporters including George Taylor, Hank Prensky, and Jay Levy of Takoma Park, and Warren Kornberg, Joyce Sherfey, and Jim Agenbroad of Garett Park, met in Takoma Park to prepare for the meeting. The following statement (principal author: Lisa Moscatiello) was read and accepted as a joint statement.

Lisa read the statement to Representative Van Hollen as the first order of business at the Thursday morning meeting.

On July 23rd, the City of Takoma Park passed a resolution asking that Congress introduce articles of impeachment against Vice President Cheney and President Bush. In the coming weeks another city in your district, Garrett Park, will be holding a referendum on a resolution that is nearly identical to the one Takoma Park passed.

We are asking you to honor the wishes of your constituents by introducing legislation in Congress based on the language in these resolutions. We are asking that you introduce such legislation boldly, making a statement on the floor of the House in front of C-Span cameras about why this bill is needed at this time. You can turn this into an opportunity to take charge of the national conversation about what this country stands for and why it is worth asking people to give their lives for it. Continue reading ‘Statement of Maryland 8th CD impeachment supporters to Chris Van Hollen, 9/20/07’

Impeachment Possible for Cheney and Gonzales

pt_cheney_0611_narrowweb__300x2971.jpgmn_senate_gonzales_d.jpg

by David Swanson at afterdowningstreet.org

Thanks to your help, already 19 Congress Members are cosponsoring H. Res. 333, articles of impeachment against Cheney. And an additional bill, H. Res. 589 has been introduced proposing the impeachment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. That bill already has 28 cosponsors, and Congressman Steve Cohen, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, is working with Bruce Fein, Deputy Attorney General under Ronald Reagan, to draft articles of impeachment against Gonzales.

Congress Members will be far more likely to take up the impeachment of Cheney or Gonzales when they return to Washington on September 4th if they have heard from you while they’re home for the month of August. Please phone, Email, and fax your Congress Member’s local district office right away. Ask for a meeting. Stop by uninvited. Encourage them to sign onto both H Res 333 and H Res 589 and/or to introduce their own bill for impeachment. You are more likely to persuade them with a face-to-face conversation this month than when they are back in D.C. in September.

read more>>


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