When nationally noted antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan announced Sunday that she'd keep the heat on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by running against her next year if Pelosi didn't support articles of impeachment against President Bush, it got us thinking.
Given the ongoing Iraq war and backlash to Bush's recent commutation of Lewis "Scooter" Libby's sentence, we wondered: Who's maintaining any similar pressure on the congressional delegation in Blue Oregon? So we revisited John F. Bradach, a 55-year-old local lawyer whose impeachment efforts we covered last spring (see "The Reach to Impeach," WW, April 18, 2007).
Like Sheehan, Bradach had a relative killed in Iraq. His nephew, Marine Cpl. Travis Bradach-Nall, was killed on July 2, 2003.
And like Sheehan, Bradach says he's using the Iraq war "to keep beating the drum on this." Recently, Bradach invited members of Oregon's congressional delegation to a Fourth of July block party in his Alameda neighborhood to honor his nephew. None came.
Bradach, who bombards politicos' offices with emails, says no Democrats in the region want to be seen near his ideas because they're all "good soldiers following" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Since no pol answered Bradach's calls, we decided to give them a ring. And guess what? Of the seven politicians representing Oregon, plus one from southwest Washington, only two called us back to answer our questions about impeachment.
One was Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.), who last year supported House Resolution 635, which would have gathered information to see if impeachment was a viable option. He was the only Oregon congressman to do so. But the resolution never got out of committee, and Wu doesn't support starting impeachment without first gathering evidence to see if it's a viable option. (Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, this year introduced a resolution with nine cosponsors that calls for the impeachment of Vice President Cheney.)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) says he'd rather use the next year and a half to "enact universal health care, achieve energy independence and remove troops from Iraq" but would keep "an open mind" if the House of Representatives passed articles of impeachment, the first stage in impeachment proceedings.
As for the other six lawmakers—Reps. Peter DeFazio, Darlene Hooley and Earl Blumenauer (all D-Ore.); Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.); and Sen. Gordon Smith and Rep. Greg Walden (both R-Ore.)—we're still waiting.