KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine – A long-shot Senate candidate wants to have President Bush arrested if he sets foot in this coastal town where his parents have a summer home.
Laurie Dobson, an anti-war activist who lives in Kennebunkport, went to Town Hall on Tuesday to hand over copies of a "writ of indictment" that she said could lead to the arrests of both the president and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Standing on the front steps, Dobson maintained there's nothing to prevent townspeople from prosecuting Bush and Cheney for war crimes.
"Nothing says that towns cannot file ordinances about war criminals. Traditionally this is not done by towns but by grand juries. However, tradition is not the only way in which to conceive to do this," she said.
Dobson said her initiative is modeled after a measure in Brattleboro, Vt., that the Select Board voted to put on the ballot at next month's town meeting. Kurt Daims of Brattleboro, who submitted that town's petitions, joined Dobson on Tuesday.
Dobson, who hopes her petition will be taken up at the town meeting in June, shrugged off potential consequences, including the unlikely scenario of a showdown between Kennebunkport police and the president's Secret Service detail. "We can dare to do this," she insisted.
In Kennebunkport, where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats 1,080 to 674, officials expressed skepticism about Dobson's effort.
"The town doesn't have the power to indict anybody. That's beyond our scope of authority," said Town Manager Larry Mead, who suggested that Dobson may be trying to generate interest in her Senate campaign.
Dobson is running as an independent against Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Rep. Tom Allen. Another independent, retired psychologist Herbert Hoffman of Ogunquit, has also entered the race.
Anti-war demonstrators have routinely held marches and rallies in this town of 3,700 during Bush's visits to the oceanfront home of former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara.
Last summer, Dobson opened her three-acre farm to people attending a peace demonstration featuring peace mom Cindy Sheehan in Kennebunkport.
But the Bush family is well liked among local residents.
At the Colonial Pharmacy in Dock Square, where former President George H.W. Bush occasionally shops, Shelly Jude said from behind the counter that the idea of arresting the younger Bush seemed farfetched. "Sounds crazy to me," she said.