Articles of Impeachment from the Democratic Party

Evans Bayh III, junior senator from the State of Indiana, is impeached for conduct unbecoming a member of the Democratic Party, and that the following articles of impeachment be exhibited to the court of Democratic voters of the State of Indiana and the United States of America:

Article I -
Support of Bush Tax Cut for Wealthy

Last Thursday night, Birch Evans Bayh III (hereinafter referred to as "the Respondent") cast his Senate vote for a $350 billion tax cut proposed by President George W. Bush, thus providing the key margin in a 51-49 vote. The Respondent was one of just three of the 48 Democrats to support the tax cut. Even three Republican moderates and an Independent senator voted no.

The majority of the tax cut supported by Respondent will go to the wealthiest 10 percent of Americans. The Congressional Budget Office, the White House Council of Economic Advisors and hundreds of independent economists have found the tax cuts won't create jobs in the long term - except perhaps for a few more valet positions for Halliburton executives. The plan is expected to radically increase the federal budget deficit.

"If the Senate tax plan is ultimately enacted into law, ordinary taxpayers and our children will be paying dearly for the bill's tax cuts for the wealthy for decades to come," says Robert S. McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice.

Article II -
Estrangement from Local Party

Respondent's actions last week strained his already weakened connection to the Indiana Democrats who supported the Respondent in past elections. Last month, Indianapolis Recorder political columnist Amos Brown outlined the growing rift between local African-Americans and the Respondent. "Bayh's inattention to our African-American community and his seeming support for Republican initiatives and programs has angered Black voters," Brown wrote.

The Respondent's behavior last week further harmed that relationship, in that he rejected written appeals from the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus and the Indiana Association of Urban League Executives asking him to oppose the Bush tax cut. State Sen. Glenn Howard (D-Indianapolis), a member of the Black Caucus, was so frustrated by Bayh's disconnect with the grass-roots of the party that he recently boycotted a caucus meeting with the Respondent. Sen. Howard's concerns were heightened by last week's vote. "I was very disappointed that he joined in with the Republicans," Howard said.

Many other Indiana Democrats believe that the Respondent is more responsive to wealthy campaign donors than to the working people Democrats have historically represented. "When I learn that Bayh's top contributors are Conseco, Morgan Stanley and the Carlyle Group, I'm not surprised he voted the way he did," says former Marion County Democratic Party Chair Steve Laudig. "Weasels are not endangered species in Washington. It's unlikely I'll ever vote for him again."

Article III -
Pattern and Practice of un-Democratic Behavior

Although the Respondent claims the mantle of the party of the New Deal and the Civil Rights Act, the Respondent's vote last week was part of a pattern and practice of decidedly un-Democratic behavior. That behavior dates back to the Respondent's actions as governor, when he slashed Indiana's health coverage for the disabled and led the nation in the number of low-income families cut off from assistance.

A Congressional Quarterly analysis showed that, last year, Bayh voted with Bush 79 percent of the time, more often than he joined in with his fellow Senate Democrats. The partisan GOP crowd that gathered at the State Fairgrounds last week to greet President Bush booed Congresswoman Julia Carson, but greeted the Respondent warmly. They know he is one of them.

Last October, the Respondent stood by President Bush's side in a Rose Garden photo op to support the sweeping resolution to cede Congress' war powers to the president. The Respondent's rush to the president's side undermined other Senate Democrats' attempts to put controls on that power.

(Ironically, Indiana's senior Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican, joined Senate Democrats in the effort to limit that war resolution. Last Thursday, while the Respondent was abandoning his party to support the Bush tax cut, Lugar was busily shepherding through a global AIDS initiative. Now, who is the Democrat again?)

This court should reject the Respondent's defense to this charge, i.e. that his very designation as a Democrat is no more than an accident of birth, and that his last name and a slightly better hairline are the only characteristics distinguishing him from Mitch Daniels.

Wherefore, Birch Evans Bayh III, by such conduct, warrants impeachment and trial, and removal from all posts held as a member of the Democratic Party and disqualification from running under the banner of the Democratic Party.

Petitioner also requests that Birch Evans Bayh III only be allowed to run for future election under the last name Ashcroft. Petitioner also proposes that the junior senator from Indiana be traded to the Republican Party, along with a Democratic Leadership Council member to be named later, in exchange for the senior senator from Indiana.

Fran Quigley is a contributing editor to NUVO, where this article originally appeared - ...