Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Meeting with Price today

I apologize for the short notice - the meeting with Price is actually 3:15-4pm, not at 3:30 (though people could arrive late, if they can't come earlier) on Tuesday at his Chapel Hill office. I think Price mainly wants to talk about the NSA surveillance (heset up this meeting), which he seems to see as Bush'smost impeachable crime. He co-sponsored H.Res. 643 about this and he signed on to a letter written byRep. Conyers.

There will be a pre-meeting at 2:15 at Cup A Joe'sacross Weaver Dairy Rd. from Price's office to preparefor the meeting and discuss anything we didn't go overSaturday. Updates will be placed here and maybe also atwww.davidpricewatch.org.

Soon there will be a group meeting, possibly thisweekend, with Kent Kanoy, a Democrat challenging Pricefrom the left, to decide about the non-partisan Grass Roots Impeachment Movement's stance on his candidacy.

The Chapel Hill town meeting on the case forimpeachment will be on the 28th (with outreach tospecific Democratic candidates from other districtsand challengers to Price, etc.) and we hope toorganize a town meeting in Durham in March, maybe atthe Hayti Heritage Center, and possibly other actions.Price is having town meetings in Cary and Durham (Ithink on the 21st) next week. Possibly later in theyear there will be public actions. Another issue toorganize around is phone company participation in thewarrantless surveillance.

We will have a presence at the SURGE Conference thisweekend at NCCU and the March 18th anti-war demonstration in Fayetteville through Peace 1st.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Meeting Saturday and a second meeting with Price is Tuesday afternoon

The impeachment campaign strategy meeting is thisSaturday (February 18th) at 3:30 at Durham's SouthwestLibrary (3605 Shannon Rd., off MLK Parkway near theold South Square, which is on University Dr.). Themeeting room is at the entrance to the Library, on theright.

Al McSurely's suggested agenda below basically seemsgood for that meeting. We could also discuss a draftresolution for groups to sign (and one is probablygoing to be circulated in Orange County tonight).

Also, Rep. Price invited us to meet with him nextTuesday at his office in Chapel Hill, 3:30-4:15pm, onhis work around the NSA warrantless domesticsurveillance, and that is set up.

Proposed Agenda:

1. Report on meeting in Carrboro, meeting in ChapelHill on the 28th,meeting with Price, and outreach in Durham. (15mins.)
2. Selecting Steering Committee for GRIM, includingwho can deal withmedia. Possibly a one-page informational flier aboutGRIM, how toContact us, and a local Website?. (15 mins.)
3. Next Steps? 30 mins.
a. Any Democratic Primary candidates?
b. Follow-up with Price, possible actions, etc.
c. Outreach to Republicans?
d. Constitutional Lawyers organized with anad in, say,Independent?
e. Letter from GRIM to local politicians,asking them theirposition on Impeachment?
f. Mass Meeting in Durham? In Raleigh? InNorthernChatham? In Hillsborough?
4. Adjournment 4:45 p.m.

Email from District Director Rose Auman:

As he discussed with you in the January 30th meeting,Rep. Price returned to DC in early February to determine with his colleagues the most effective wayto address his and the nation\'s serious concerns aboutthe President\'s authorization of NSA wiretapping of UScitizens without approval from the FISA Court.

He asked that I e-mail those who left their contactinformation to let you know that he and several otherDemocrats in the House will be sending a letter to theAdministration requesting the appointment of a specialcounsel to investigate the charges that thewiretapping program was in violation of the law andthe Constitution.

He will be in the Chapel Hill office on Tuesdayafternoon, February 21, and could meet with you totalk more about this if you\'d like: 3:15-4:00 p.m.would be good. Just let me know. Thanks.

Rose Auman
District Director
U. S. Rep. David Price
5400 Trinity Road, Suite 205
Raleigh, NC 27607

(919)859-5999 (voice)
(919)859-5998 (fax)
Website: http://price.house.govYou may sign up for Rep. Price\'s e-mail updates athttp://price.house.gov/Forms/EmailSignup/

Our work for peace must begin within the private worldof each of us . . .
Dag Hammarskjold

Friday, February 10, 2006

Price's commitments on impeachment and upcoming events

Below is more about the meeting with Price last week, what has been going on since then, and a meeting on February 18th at 3:30 at the Southwest Library in Durham.

The Price Meeting

January 30th 12 of us, mostly from Orange County, but also representing Durham and Raleigh, met with Congressman Price, his District Director, and the director of his Chapel Hill office (where the meeting took place). I think we met for over an hour (it was supposed to be for about 45 minutes, before another anti-war group's meeting).

I introduced the Downing Street Memos petition and gave Price copies of the 8 Downing Street memos with important parts marked, Bonifaz's memo on impeachment, a short DSM summary from http://www.afterdowningstreet.com/, a longer summary from Rolling Stone magazine's blog, and an article on impeachment by Elizabeth Holtzman (reprinted at http://www.commondreams.org/). Then John Heuerpresented a petition focusing on Rep. Conyers' legislation, which was circulated at the Carrboro Town Hall meeting mainly.

Price was supportive and listened to us. We asked him to support investigation of the Downing Street Memos and NSA spying revelation as evidence of impeachable crimes, to support Rep. Conyers' three Resolutions, and to ask the Senate to finish and release the Phase II report on how the faulty Iraq intelligence was used. Price thinks Bush is the worst president, undermining the Constitution, arrogant, and takes "plenary power for the Presidency." Price said that the Downing Street Memos are like a "smoking gun" to me at the end of the meeting. He seems to be most concerned about illegal domestic surveillance.

He focused on "appropriate means" though, and what he sees as practicality. Price was impressed by Al Gore's recent speech (December 16th, online at www.afterdowningstreet.org./?q\u003dnode/6827), which advocated a special counsel (Price also advocated an independent commission like the 9/11 Commission, but I would be wary of advocating using that group), whistleblower protections, opposing the Patriot Act until there are more safeguards, comprehensive Congressional hearings, and that companies stop cooperating with warrantless searches. Price committed to supporting or introducing legislation for a counsel or independent commission to gather evidence on impeachable crimes.

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) recently introduced Resolutions to censure Bush (Resolution 636) and Cheney (Resolution 637) and to create a select committee that will report on the necessity of impeachment (Resolution 635). Price is basically opposed to this (but not definitely opposed), saying it is unlikely to work and pointing out how otherrecent impeachments occurred. He also pointed out that this would be the first impeachment of more than one person at a time. The current co-sponsors were all or mostly from the Congressional Black Caucus and Al McSurely asked Price to be the first Southern white Democrat to join them. There are now 23 co-sponsors I think.

Our group asked Price to take the lead in organizing by publicly advocating impeachment and energizing the public. Price feels mobilization is our role, his role being work in Washington, and that we should "shame" Congress into being more of a check on the Executive.

Price might not realize the potential level of Congressional support for investigation of Bush crimes (for example, the number of supporters of Barbara Lee's (D-CA) DSM related Resolution last year, including a Republican co-sponsor and two Republicans who did not vote against it, for whatever reason.

We will continue circulating the Downing Street memos petition (and welcome help in reaching more people, especially Raleigh). Information: downingstreetactionnc.blogspot.com and online at www.petitiononline.com/dsmnc/petition.html.


The day after the Price meeting there was a meeting in Carrboro on the campaign. The Orange County Peace Coalition advocated creating the Grass Roots Impeachment Movement organizing committee, to work throughout the District. February 28th there will be a town meeting on impeachment at the Chapel Hill Town Hall. This is the last month for people to register to run against Price in the election this year, and people are still talking about getting Cynthia Brown or someone else to challenge Price on impeachment and the War.

Upcoming Durham Meeting

There will be a meeting Saturday, February 18th in Durham at the Southwest Library (3605 Shannon Rd., near the old South Square Mall, now a Super Target) at 3:30. The meeting is to discuss what we have done so far, the organization of GRIM, outreach, the town meeting in Chapel Hill on the 28th, demonstrations and protests, and organizing Durham events, such as a town meeting. Republicans, Democrats, communists, Greens, Libertarians, anarchists, independents, socialists, and anyone who wants to defend the Constitution and impeach leaders who violate the law and democratic principles should come.

The new David Price Watch website (www.davidpricewatch.org) will have an impeachment section with updates and petition(s).

Below are two rough press releases by Wes Hare. I think more was going to be added to the final release by others.

First Press Release:

Over 140 voters from the 4th Congressional District met at Carrboro Town Hall last Friday to discuss the Case for Impeachment of Bush/Cheney. The citizens overwhelmingly endorsed two proposals at the close of the meeting: (1) Request that Cong. David Price sign on the House Resolution 635, introduced by Rep. John Conyers to establish a bi-partisan committee with subpoena powers to investigate possible crimes of Bush as the first step toward impeaching him; and (2) Seriously consider running a candidate against Cong. Price if he does not assert more leadership about impeachment of Pres. Bush.

On Monday afternoon, a dozen members of this group met with Cong. Price and asked him to be the first white southern Congressperson to endorse the Impeachment Investigation Bill. He said no. He said he was going to look for other approaches that would be more reasonable to middle America.

On Tuesday, Wes Hare, co-chair of the Orange County Peace Coalition, A coalition of eleven anti-war, religious and humanitarian organizations in Orange County, announced that he was going to ask the Coalition to create a Grass Roots Impeachment Movement (GRIM) Organizing Committee, that would coordinate efforts to hold community forums in Orange county and reach out to the other areas throughout the 4th Congressional District on the constitutional crisis that Bush and Cheney have created. GRIM could also support possible candidates to to run in the Democratic Primary in early May for the seat now held by Price.

The last time Price was challenged within his own Party was during the Presidential Primary year of2000. About 63,000 people voted in that primary. This Congressional District is composed of all of Durham and Orange Counties, and the top half of Wake County and a couple of precincts in northern Chatham County.

Second Press Release:

For More Information call Wes Hare or Al McSurely.

Chapel Hill, 8 February 2006: Wes Hare, co-chair of the Orange County Peace Coalition, announced theformation today of the Grass Roots ImpeachmentMovement (GRIM) Organizing Committee. Hare said, “We welcome Republicans, Democrats, Independents and all patriots who take our constitutional heritage seriously.” The Peace Coalition, which includes eleven anti-war, religious and humanitarian organizations in Orange County, sponsored a forum on “The Case for Impeachment” in Carrboro in late January attended by over 140 people. Another Forum is scheduled for the Chapel Hill Town Hall on Tuesday, February 28th at 7 p.m.

“Several Republican Senators are now aggressively questioning Pres. Bush’s obviously unconstitutional spying on American citizens,” Harenoted. Sen. Specter’s Hearings will continue, he noted, and they will make the case for impeachment nationally. “But we believe ordinary citizens at the grassroots level have a responsibility to become well-informed on these illegal actions of Bush and Cheney.”

A dozen voters met with Cong. David Price last week to ask him to become the first white southerner to join the call for a Congressional Committee to investigate Pres. Bush’s possible high crimes and misdemeanors. Cong. Price declined to become a co-sponsor of Cong. John Conyers' bill. It now has over 10 co-sponsors, and it is growing everyday. But Price did promise the group to work closely with other Representatives in exploring several parallel initiatives. Price joined with Cong. Mel Watt at a Durham meeting the same afternoon. In response to Prof. Chuck Stone’s impromptu straw poll, over half of the predominantly Black audience raised their hands when he asked how many were for impeachment.

“Depending on Price’s actions,” Hare said, “GRIM may support a candidate to run in the Democratic Primary in early May for his Congressional seat.”Candidates must file by noon on February 28th. Seven hours later, Hare said, “We will continue beating the drum for impeachment in the Chapel Hill Town Hall.”

Price was last challenged in the Democratic Primary in 2000, a Presidential Primary year. About 63,000 people voted in the 4th Congressional District, which is composed of Durham and Orange Counties, and the top half of Wake County and a couple of precincts in northern Chatham County.