BRATTLEBORO, Vt. – Voters in two Vermont towns approved measures Tuesday calling for the indictment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for what they consider violations of the Constitution.
More symbolic than anything, the items sought to have police arrest Bush and Cheney if they ever visit Brattleboro or nearby Marlboro or to extradite them for prosecution elsewhere — if they're not impeached first.
In Brattleboro, the vote was 2,012-1,795. In Marlboro, which held a town meeting on the issue, it was 43-25 with three abstentions.
"It really carries no weight," said Brattleboro Town Clerk Annette Cappy. "Our town attorney has no legal authority to draw up any papers to allow our police officers to do so, but the gentleman who initiated the petition, got the signatures, wanted it on the ballot to make a statement."
The measure in Marlboro isn't binding because it didn't appear on the warning for the meeting, according to Nora Wilson.
"It was emotional. There were heartfelt speeches on both sides," Wilson said.
The question put to voters in Brattleboro referred to "crimes against our Constitution" but did not specify the allegations.
In Brattleboro, a steady stream of voters paraded into the Union High School gym to cast their ballots on a day when school board elections and Vermont's presidential primary were also on the slate.
Voters interviewed after casting ballots said they saw the article as an opportunity to express their frustration over the war in Iraq and Bush's tenure in general.
"I realize it's an extreme thing to do, and really silly in a way," said Robert George, 74, a retired photographer. "But I'm really angry about us getting involved in the war in Iraq and him (Bush) disrespecting the will of the people."
Ian Kelley, 41, a radio DJ, said he didn't vote on the article.
"It's not a good reflection on the town," he said. "Do I like either of them and would I vote for them? No. But I don't think it's cause to arrest them."
Barbara Southworth, a 66-year-old nurse, said she would have voted against it.
"I forgot to vote because it was on the flip side," she said.
The White House press office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee denounced the indictment effort.
"It appears that the left wing knows no bounds in their willingness to waste taxpayer dollars to make a futile counterproductive partisan political point," said Blair Latoff. "Town people would be much better served by elected officials who sought to solve problems rather than create them."