The impeachment noose swings in Santa Rosa, Calif.
In a move that surprised current and former members, Santa Rosa’s normally staid and nonpartisan City Council asked Congress to launch impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
On a 5-1 vote cast at midnight Tuesday, the council endorsed a resolution presented by local impeachment advocates.
The vote by a seven-member council that had steadfastly resisted taking stands on national issues put Santa Rosa in the company of 88 other cities and counties, including Berkeley, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Arcata and Sebastopol.
Advocates, critics and political observers alike were surprised by the vote.
“You’re kidding,” said Sharon Wright, who served on the council from 1992-04, when told of the vote.
The vote also surprised liberal Councilwoman Susan Gorin, who had anticipated defeat.
“Although I felt myself leaning towards it, I was really surprised by the support from most of the rest of the council because the council has a history of not responding to situations that deal with federal or state issues,” she said.
Besides Gorin, council members Carol Dean, Veronica Jacobi, Lee Pierce and John Sawyer supported the resolution. Mayor Bob Blanchard cast the lone no vote while Councilwoman Jane Bender abstained.
Blanchard said he, too, was stunned by a council turnaround he didn’t see coming.
“I think they got suckered in,” he said, alluding to the impact of pleas from more than 40 speakers who waited until the issue came up at the end of a long council agenda.
Members of the Sonoma County Resolution to Impeach Coalition, which offered the measure, said actions by city councils and state legislatures are the only way to gain the attention of congressional leaders.
There’s no rest for the Bush-Cheney deranged crowd.
“This begins to raise the question as to whether we will take on all comers,” Blanchard said. “Is the next issue we’re going to take on the war?”
Don’t be surprised.