John Frohnmayer may have just declared his candidacy for the US Senate yesterday, but he's come out with guns a' blazing. The independent candidate has already made news by calling for President Bush's impeachment.
From the Register-Guard:
Frohnmayer, a Corvallis resident, said in his prepared speech text that it's time to put Bush on trial in Congress for his "constitutional abuse." Specifically, Frohnmayer said the president should be impeached because he has issued more than 1,100 "signing statements" in which he proclaims, while signing legislation, how his administration will interpret and apply the resulting laws.
"In defiance of the Constitution, President Bush has signed laws and then said he won't enforce them, or that he will take on himself the judicial function of interpreting them. ... We must respond to this constitutional demolition. If he is not impeached, the same constitutional abuse is available to the next administration."
Among the four declared candidates for the Senate, Frohnmayer is the only one to call for Bush's impeachment. Democrats Steve Novick and Jeff Merkley have not done so, although spokesmen for both candidates said they think the option should remain on the table.
Smith has not considered impeachment as an option, spokesman R.C. Hammond said.
The call for impeachment is sure to appeal to some disgruntled Democrats. Already, some analysts forsee Frohnmayer having a spoiler effect on the race, in Gordon Smith's favor:
Political scientist and blogger Russ Dondero said Frohnmayer faces almost impossibly long odds of winning the Senate race. If he rises to the level of a spoiler role, he posed less danger to Smith than to Merkley, whom Dondero expected to win the Democratic nomination.
"This may be a rather Quixotic campaign that doesn't have an impact," Dondero said. "But if it does have an impact, it has more of an impact for Jeff Merkley than it does for Gordon Smith."
That assessment reflected the results of a survey released last month by Portland pollster Mike Riley. It found Frohnmayer had 7 percent support, with 10 percent coming from Democrats and 5 percent from Republicans.
Read the rest. The Senate race just got that much tougher for the Democratic nominee.