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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Oemig’s Impeachment Resolution. Well, I’ll be…

posted by on February 14 at 14:47 PM

Sen. Oemig actually lined up some cosponsors, including a member of D leadership, Sen Harriet Spanel (D-40, Bellingham)—the caucus chairwoman.

Also on board: From Seattle, Sen. Adam Kline (D-37, South Seattle), Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard), and Margarita Prentice (D-11, part of South Seattle).

Sens. Darlene Fairley (D-32, Lake Forest Park), Karen Fraser (D-22, Thurston County), Debbie Regala (D-27, Tacoma), and freshman Claudia Kauffman (D-47-Kent)—also from Seattle’s burbs like Oemig—singed on as well.

The resolution is scheduled for a March 1 hearing in Fairley’s Government Operations Committee—which includes Oemig and Kline, and so, is likely to pass.

I just talked to Sen. Kline about his decision to sign on, despite, as he put it, being “caught between two considerations” … a pro and a con.

The con (or cons really) as Kline described them were political. A) “Should they [the Democrats in Congress] spend the next two years doing this? Everything else, like ending the war, is too important. … Why disguise all the good things we’re doing?” and B) Does leadership [in Olympia] want this to go to the floor and get all those headlines on this instead of all the other stuff we’re doing.”

However, Kline tells me that “Eric made a passionate case and… you know what? In substance he’s right.

Oemig’s case is that letting Bush get away with illegal surveillance, promoting the war with false intel, and slashing legal rights for “enemy combatants” sets a terrible precedent for the Oval Office.

Most important for Kline, it seemed, was “pay back” (his words) for the Clinton impeachment.


Ken Starr camped out in front of the White House for four years just looking for something to hang impeachment on. We knew what they wanted the end result to be, and they just went looking. Land deals. Filegate. Hillary’s commodities trading. Travelgate. And then they got the blue dress. Now, we have a little boy President who wanted his war—who should be impeached. The Republicans trade on the fact that we won’t do unto them what they did unto us. Well, they ought to have fear of consequences—the way politics used to be played.

Kline, in fact, says he almost filed the resolution himself—going as far as getting language from U.S. Senator Russ Feingold’s office. “It looked like what Eric came up with,” Kline says.

“But I decided not to,” Kline says. “I’m tired of being the left-wing bad boy. I have serious business I’m working on this session.”

Meanwhile, I was able to talk to U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott’s office about why they told Oemig they weren’t interested in taking up impeachment in Congress. McDermott spokesman Mike DeCesare told me: “We know when the President is leaving office. We don’t know when the troops are leaving Iraq. We know what we have to do. Focus.”

And here’s what U.S. Rep Jay Inslee (D-1) told me:

As much as I despise what this president has done to the country, my job is to find a way to end the war in Iraq, which I voted against. We should do nothing whatsoever to hinder our effort to end the war. Grandstanding that prevents us from growing a coalition against the war is a luxury we cannot afford. We don’t have the votes to remove Bush from office. Bush is leaving office. We need to make sure our troops are leaving Iraq.

I pretty much make the same case as Inslee in today’s print edition of the Stranger.

RSS icon Comments


I'm proud of Jeanne K-W. Right on.

Posted by Levislade | February 14, 2007 2:55 PM

But Adam Kline IS the bad boy of the liberal left -- that's why we love him so much!

By the way, Erica--Erica, are you listening?--Adam Kline proposed that the 37th District Democrats (E. and S.E. Seattle) pass a resolution against rebuilding the viaduct. The resolution passed.

Posted by Brendan | February 14, 2007 3:23 PM

That's cool. But you know what would be cooler? If he proposed a similar resolution in Olympia.

Posted by Josh Feit | February 14, 2007 3:31 PM

Josh, I have three words that make a much stronger case against impeachment than any of the reasons you've detailed:

"President Richard Cheney"

Posted by robotslave | February 14, 2007 4:32 PM


Read Oemig's Reso. (which I posted in full earlier today on Slog)

Cheney is named too.

Posted by Josh Feit | February 14, 2007 4:38 PM

A great day for Democracy in Olympia! Eric Oemig announced his resolution to investigate Bush and Cheney to a full room of vocal supporters. Thank you to co-sponsoring Senators Harriet Spanel, Darlene Fairley, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Margarita Prentice, Karen Fraser, Debbie Regala, Claudia Kauffman and Adam Kline for also having the courage to stand up for accountability in government. They deserve to receive huge loads of loving Valentine's Day emails for seeing the truth with a clear eye, and demanding a look into the many high crimes and misdemeanors of Bush and Cheney.

I'm disappointed that Josh Feit didn't take the time to see through the usual inane arguments for avoiding investigations and impeachment. The question Legislators in Washington State need to ask themselves now is; "Are the allegations of misconduct by the President and Vice President serious enough to warrant investigations?" If they adopt this resolution to investigate, then the Washington State Legislature sends it to the floor of the House of Representatives as a privileged item. It could be accomplished in less than an afternoon and never have to cross their desks again. The rest of the work is up to Congress.

Even in Congress the job is not too onerous. A committee would be selected to investigate, and the regular work of Congress would carry on as usual. Impeachment does not require proof of guilt. That comes after impeachment when the Senate holds a trial. All that is needed for impeachment is sufficient evidence to file charges. The evidence of guilt are overwhelming and well documented.

As Senator Oemig points out, people in government are multi-taskers. They go from meeting to meeting prepared to take on wide ranging issues such as transportation, child health care and port security in a single afternoon. Adding impeachment to the mix isn't going to make anybody blow a circuit.

Impeachment is about government being accountable to the people and restoring rule of law in this country. I'm glad that we are represented by a growing number of Legislators in this state who believe that we need to call a stop to abuse of Executive powers before it chokes the life out of Democracy. Let the world know that Democracy lives in Washington State!

Posted by Linda Boyd | February 14, 2007 5:55 PM

Oemig is right on this one. To paraphrase "Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans," (who cares if that is actually true), injustice is what happens when you are busy getting things done in the state (or national) legislature.

Someone needs to take a stand not just against the war but against the way the government and this country is moving. Someone needs to speak, and put their foot down, and future Bushes and Cheneys need to know that there is still some accountability. I will go so far as to say that our nation as a whole needs this, desperately.

Posted by Jude Fawley | February 14, 2007 9:17 PM

I do not think the Dems want to end the war, and they want to leave Bush in office until he is done leveling Iran, and then poof, Bush is gone and makes the perfect scape goat, and Aipac is happy happy happy. This is why Bush is not going to be impeached, not the BS about trying to end a war they do not want to give up.

Posted by Gary | February 15, 2007 12:06 AM

p.s. I am not surprised that some at the Stranger are against impeachment, becasue you all supported this war from the beginning. Yes, most people in this country were for the war becasue they watch Fox and Cnn and read Newsweek, but what is the Stranger's excuse?

Posted by Gary | February 15, 2007 12:16 AM

It seems to me that impeachment will go further in proving to the international community that indeed the people of the US did not support there leaderships poor decisions and that they took steps (given..too late) to try and correct them. Since it will (should) come back to a global community deciding what is the best policy in the middle east, impeachment will go further in proving that we are involved to find a solution to that problem(s)and that we realize our past, we except our role in this, and are now moving on.

Posted by drone5969 | February 15, 2007 11:23 AM

Josh- Come on, man! The democrats promised us during the campaigns that they would INVESTIGATE BUSH. We have been asking them to pay at least a little attention to a rule of law. Jay Inslee himself promised us this, during the 2006 campaign season.

Jay Inslee is NOT even doing much to get out of Iraq, and even if he did, his commitment to the miltary industry in WA is no less than Cantwell and Murray. There will be another invasion, another cataclysm, within a few years.

There is NOTHING in the Democratic legislative agenda more important than curbing the military industrial congressional complex. In our state that's called, the Military Cantwellian, Murrayan, Insleean Complex.


Posted by Todd Boyle | February 15, 2007 5:16 PM

Why does Inslee separate bringing the troops home from impeachment? Is he blind/ Who is writing his opinions, his five year old son?

We are impeaching to bring the troops home!

As far as Iran is concerned, we are asking for a preemptive impeachment. Bush should have been impeached in 2003 before the second invasion. This war must end before we cross the Rubicon and the only thing left to save is our skins.

There will not be an opportunity like this again to take the power away from a mad administration. Elections will not end the madness the war on terror brings, political will can.

Posted by Michael Tivana | February 15, 2007 10:13 PM

Sens. Darlene Fairley (D-32, Lake Forest Park), Karen Fraser (D-22, Thurston County), Debbie Regala (D-27, Tacoma), and freshman Claudia Kauffman (D-47-Kent)—also from Seattle’s burbs like Oemig—"singed" on as well.

These people singed? What is singed?

It was my understanding they signed on to my senator's (Eric Oemig's) resolution to impeach!
The Crown Prince anointed by the Supremes - he and Cheney need to be investigated. No President should think he can do anything he wants to do with no regard for Constitutional rights.

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