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New Mexico Dems Calling for Bush Impeachment

ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico Democratic Party is calling for President Bush’s removal from office.

Party Chairman John Wertheim said Tuesday that delegates to Saturday’s state party convention supported a call for the president’s impeachment largely because of “perceived abuses of power and corruption in the Bush administration.”

He listed as examples of abuses of power, warrantless wiretapping of U.S. citizens, the misstatement of facts preceding the invasion of Iraq, and the scandal surrounding the indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney’s former top aide in connection with the leak of the identity of a covert CIA operative.

“Everyone understands President Bush is not going to be impeached,” Wertheim said. “But these abuses of power and corruption in the administration are deeply serious matters and there should be more talk about this abuse of power.”

The one-sentence amendment, added from the floor to the platform’s section on political and election reform, reads: “Resolved, that the Democratic Party of New Mexico supports the impeachment of President George Bush and his lawful removal from office.”

Marta Kramer, executive director for the Republican Party of New Mexico, said Tuesday the Democrats “foolishly” voted to “to impeach and punish our president for aggressively waging the war on al-Qaida and terrorist organizations.”

“How will dragging the country into impeachment hearings protect Americans?” she asked. “How will censuring the president protect Americans?”

The amendment, suggested by Bernalillo County convention delegate Robb Chavez, was accepted on a show of hands by about 80 percent of the nearly 1,400 registered convention delegates, Wertheim said. It required support by at least two-thirds of the delegates.

Kramer said the action proved the only plan the Democrats have “is to attack our president, undermine American resolve and demoralize our troops.”

Wertheim said Democrats perceive a double standard between President Bush and former President Clinton. Concerns raised about Bush’s actions are “much more serious than anything that was said about President Clinton,” he said.

The Democrats met to nominate candidates for the June 6 primary election and to pass a party platform.

The delegates also approved a resolution concerning religious freedom in light of a lawsuit against the Air Force by an Air Force Academy graduate from Albuquerque.

The resolution states: “We believe no member of the armed services should be coerced, forced, manipulated or evangelized to any particular religion nor to any religious beliefs at all.”

Mikey Weinstein, who is Jewish, sued last October, alleging the academy was unconstitutionally imposing evangelical Christianity on cadets. The lawsuit, joined by active-duty officers, asked the court bar illegal proselytizing throughout the Air Force. The group’s lawyers recently asked to amend the lawsuit to also seek a declaration that the service’s new guidelines on religion are unconstitutional.

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