Sunday, April 09, 2006

Vermont Democrats call for Bush impeachment

Vermont Democrats call for Bush impeachment

RANDOLPH, Vermont (Reuters) - Democratic Party leaders in Vermont on Saturday passed a motion asking Congress to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush.

In an elementary school cafeteria strewn with American flags and copies of the U.S. Constitution, some 100 state party officials agreed to make the request to the U.S. House of Representatives.

"You know in your own hearts and minds that something is terribly wrong in this country," said Margaret Lucenti, a Democrat from Vermont's capital Montpelier.

The measure asks the Republican-controlled House to pass articles of impeachment against Bush for misleading the nation on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and engaging in illegal wiretapping, among other charges.

Democratic state committees in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Nevada and North Carolina have taken similar steps.

With a population of just 621,000 -- only Wyoming has fewer people -- the rural New England state is considered far left of mainstream American politics.

Last month residents of the Puritan-founded town of Newfane passed a resolution calling for the Republican president's impeachment. Since then at least six other Vermont towns have followed suit.

In 1999, more than two dozen towns called for a reduction in nuclear weapons. In 1974, one Vermont town meeting drew national attention when officials voted to seek the impeachment of then-President Richard Nixon.

"This is far bigger than a fringe movement on the left," said Dan DeWalt, a 49-year-old woodworker who drafted the Newfane impeachment resolution. "Vermont has a long tradition of speaking out on issues beyond our borders."

(Additional reporting by Jim Finkle)