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, a longer summary from Rolling Stone magazine's blog, and an article on impeachment by Elizabeth Holtzman (reprinted at 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\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: and online at


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 ( 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.

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