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Cindy Sheehan considers challenge to Pelosi
By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press
Support Cindy Sheehan's Camp Casey Peace Institute:
Cindy Sheehan, the soldier's mother who galvanized the anti-war
movement, said Sunday that she plans to seek House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi's congressional seat unless she introduces articles of
impeachment against President Bush in the next two weeks.
Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as
an independent if Pelosi does not seek by July 23 to impeach Bush.
That's when Sheehan and her supporters are to arrive in Washington,
D.C., after a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting next week from
the group's war protest site near Bush's Crawford ranch.
"Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership,"
Sheehan told The Associated Press. "We hired them to bring an end to the
war. I'm not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn't be too big of a
move for me. I would give her a run for her money."
Messages left with Pelosi's staff were not immediately returned. The
White House declined to comment on Sheehan's plans.
She plans her official candidacy announcement Tuesday. Sunday wrapped up
what is expected to be her final weekend at the 5-acre Crawford lot that
she sold to California radio talk show host Bree Walker, who plans to
keep it open to protesters.
Sheehan announced in late May that she was leaving the anti-war
movement. She said that she felt her efforts had been in vain and that
she had endured smear tactics and hatred from the left, as well as the
right. She said she wanted to change course.
She first came to Crawford in August 2005 during a Bush vacation,
demanding to talk to him about the war that killed her son Casey in
2004. She became the face of the anti-war movement during her 26-day
roadside vigil, which was joined by thousands. But it also drew
counter-protests by Bush supporters, many who said she was hurting troop
Sheehan, who has never held political office, recently said that she was
leaving the Democratic Party because it "caved" in to the president.
Last week, she announced her caravan to Washington, an undertaking she
calls the "people's accountability movement."
"I didn't expect to be back so soon, but the focus is different than it
was before," Sheehan said Sunday. "Instead of talking and making
accusations, we're going into communities and talking to the people
who've been hurt by the Bush regime. We're finding out how we can help
Sheehan, who will turn 50 on Tuesday, said Bush should be impeached
because she believes he misled the public about the reasons for going to
war, violated the Geneva Convention by torturing detainees, and crossed
the line by commuting the prison sentence of former vice presidential
aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. She said other grounds for impeachment
are the domestic spying program and the "inadequate and tragic" response
to Hurricane Katrina.
Libby was convicted of lying and obstructing justice in an investigation
into the leak of a CIA officer's identity.
Sheehan said she hopes Pelosi files the articles of impeachment so
Sheehan can move onto her next projects, including overseas trips for
humanitarian work. But if not, Sheehan said she is ready to run for office.
"I'm doing it to encourage other people to run against Congress members
who aren't doing their jobs, who are beholden to special interests,"
Sheehan said. "She (Pelosi) let the people down who worked hard to put
Democrats back in power, who we thought were our hope for change."
Pelosi was elected to the House in 1987 and became the first female
speaker in January.
Sheehan said she lives in a Sacramento suburb but declined to disclose
which city, citing safety reasons. The area is outside Pelosi's
district, but there are no residency requirements for congressional
members, according to the California secretary of state's office.