by Peter Freyne
I was here all day at the ranch in Burlington, writing "Inside Track" for Wednesday's print [and online] edition of Seven Days. That meant I could not make it to Montpeculiar and catch the Statehouse goings on, one of which attracted so many people not even WGOP, er, sorry, WCAX-TV News could ignore it.
Our pals at Channel 3 reported at 6:12 P.M. that about 100 Bush-Cheney impeachment supporters had descended on the Statehouse today to lobby Democratic leaders Peter Shumlin, senate president pro tem, and Gaye "Policy Before Politics" Symington, the Speaker of the House.
A real threatening and dangerous looking bunch, too, eh? Folks like Peggy Sapphire of Craftsbury and Eliza Earle of Richmond (below right).
Last week, Peter and Gaye quickly blew off three leaders of Vermont's grassroots pro-impeachment movement, saying the legislature they run simply "does not have the time."
This week they gave the more than 100 folks from every corner of the state about 40 minutes of their personal attention. Are they finally realizing this impeachment stuff is broad and deep?
Unfortunately, the sad fact is Shummy the Senator and future something has tried taking almost every possible side of the impeachment issue for months.
He's been passionately for it on several occasions.
He's blamed it's demise on Symington's refusal to take it up in he House.
He's denied blaming it on Symington.
He's blamed it on non-existent rules that require the House to pass it first.
He's blamed impeachment supporters for not bringing it up sooner.
Heck, he's blamed everyone but the Easter Bunny and Monica Lewinsky!
And in this photo from tonight's Ch. 3 News, it actually looks like Sen. Shumlin's nose is growing, doesn't it? Growing right before our very eyes!
Holy Pinocchio, Batman!
Associated Press Senior Writer Ross Sneyd couldn't ignore today's grassroots turnout either. Mr. Sneyd reported an even larger crowd showed up under the golden dome to press Democrat "leaders" to quit ducking it. AND, he also reported things have changed - Speaker Symington has opened the House Impeachment door she's kept shut tight. Opened it just a tiny, little crack:
Despitethe sometimes heated and emotional pleas from a crowd estimated at 130,House Speaker Gaye Symington and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlinsaid they had no plans to force a vote on the resolutions.
ButSymington did hint at a way out of what has become a growingdistraction for the state's top two Democrats among the left wing oftheir party. She said any member of the House could propose that theresolution be pulled out of the Judiciary Committee and debated.
"Theremay be a move at some point for the resolution to be taken up on theHouse floor," Symington said in a joint noontime appearance withShumlin before the crowd.