What You Didn’t Know About Impeachment
The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for and Conviction of Treason, Bribery or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Article 2, Section 4 -- United States Constitution
Definition of Impeach: to bring an accusation against: to charge with a crime or misdemeanor.
To charge a public official before a competent tribunal with misconduct in office.
The House of Representatives brings forth Articles of Impeachment and the Senate holds the trial to determine guilt or innocence. The Senate is the body that has the power to convict.
Three United States Presidents have been impeached.
Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868. The impeachment was over how he handled reconstruction after the Civil War. The Senate did not vote to convict.
Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice. He was acquitted in the Senate.
Donald Trump was impeached in 2020 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. He was acquitted in the Senate.
Donald Trump was impeached on January 12, 2021 for insurrection. As a note: there was no opportunity for the President to present a defense. The Speaker of the House has sent the Article of Impeachment to the Senate. The trial is scheduled to start on February 9th. The trial will be held in the Senate after Donald Trump has left office.
Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution states “Judgments in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office.”
There is nothing in the Constitution that states that a private citizen can be found guilty and removed from office when they have already left office.
Diminishing the seriousness of impeachment threatens our system of government and the separation of powers. Impeachment proceedings based on inadequate reasons, speed and dislike for a President means that this will become a method of removing a President the opposing party does not like. Constant changing of the Presidency is a massive threat to the stability of our government. The United States is not alone in the world. Many other nations are watching to determine the strength of the United States and will take advantage of any perceived signs of weakness.
How Does a Recall of a State Office Holder Work?
Federal officers are not subject to recall in the state.
Any state officer may be recalled.
(Article II, Sections 13 – 19 Elections Code § 11000 et seq.)
A notice to serve, file and publish a notice of intention to circulate a recall petition is filed.
Notice of intention
Name and title of officer to be recalled.
Statement for reasons for recall – not over 200 words.
Number of signatures.
The petition must be signed by registered voters equal to 12% of the last vote for office from at least 5 counties. In 2021 that number of signatures is 1,495,709.
An election to determine whether to recall an officer and if appropriate, to elect a successor, shall be called by the Governor and held not less than 60 days nor more than 80 days from the date of certification of sufficient signatures.
The recall election may be conducted within 180 days from the date of certification of sufficient signatures in order that the election may be consolidated with the next regularly scheduled election occurring wholly or partially within the same jurisdiction in which the recall election is held, if the number of voters eligible to vote at that next regularly scheduled election to at least fifty percent (50%) of all the voters eligible to vote at the next recall election.
Officers charged by law with duties concerning elections are required to make all arrangements for such election. The election must be conducted, returns canvassed, and the result declared, in all respects as are other state elections.
Signatures are gathered by county and those signatures are validated by the county registrars.
The actual ballot will have the question: Should Gavin Newsom be recalled? If the vote results in a yes the Governor will be gone. The second list on the ballot will be the names of people running for the office of Governor. If the Governor has been recalled then the person who gets the most votes of all the candidates will be the new Governor.
The recall election shall be called by the Governor and held not less than 60 days nor more than 80 days from the date of certification of sufficient signatures.
Get to Know your City Council
One way to become involved in local politics and to make a change is at the grass roots level by becoming familiar with your City Council Members. Sonoma County is one of 58 counties in California and is made up of nine cities that have anywhere from 5-10 City Council Members each. Every City Council Member represents one District within their own city. These districts are not to be confused with Congressional Districts.
City Districts were established due to The California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (CVRA). This law asserts local at-large voting systems as discriminatory if they “impair the ability of a protected class” or to put it into English: It claimed that certain areas of said city were not represented by the demographic of the neighborhoods they represented. The result is that you can only vote for one person on the ballot for City Council that represents the actual district you reside in.
The basic way a City Council operates is that the members meet and discuss proposed legislation, tax increases and expenditures. The City Council will then hold meetings that are open to constituents who are given the opportunity to weigh in. Then the council decides which items end up being approved and which get defeated. The Mayor has the right to veto and the Council has the right to override the veto. This is how the Federal Government works with the Legislative Branch of the House and the Executive Branch with the President.
Your City Council not only passes laws, but also deals with budgetary issues, taxes and items that can improve your city. These votes are for issues that directly affect you in everyday life. If you know the tendencies of your City Council, you will have a better way of choosing the right person to represent your district in the next election.
Sonoma County Cities:
Cloverdale, Cotati, Healdsburg, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Santa Rosa, Sonoma and Windsor
Democrat or Republican? Where Do Your Values Lie?
Quite often I see many people who think that they are a Democrat, but their values speak otherwise. What are your values and where do you fit in? Democrat? Republican? With the many changes going on regarding both Parties you might be surprised where your values lie.
Individual liberty has been a sore difference between Democrats and Republicans. Political correctness is on the rise and many people believe that people need to be protected against themselves. Democrats have tended toward favoring legislation that restricts some freedoms including higher taxes and bigger government and most recently freedom of speech. Republicans favor personal responsibility in that individuals should be able to choose for themselves what they do and what they do not do, if it doesn’t break existing laws. They believe that taxes are the biggest infringement on one’s personal liberty and favor lower taxes and a smaller Government. They believe that the Government's first duty is to protect the people not run their lives.
Taxes are the biggest infringement on ones’ freedom. Both parties favor tax cuts, but each party takes a different view on where those tax cuts should come from. The Democrats believe there should only be cuts for middle and low-income families but believe taxes should be higher on corporations and wealthy individuals. This way they can fund social programs such as Welfare, Food Stamps and Low-Income Housing. It is a means to re-distribute wealth by taking it away from those who have more and giving it to those who have less. The Republicans believe there should be tax cuts for everyone - both corporations and people of all income. They believe in Trickle Down Economics, which is based on the belief that if you cut corporate taxes, then more jobs are created, which in turn increases employment and therefore increases spending and tax revenue thru sales tax. These newly created jobs help Social Programs in two ways, more funding for programs thru tax revenue and less demand for Social Programs because people have jobs.
Democrats tend to be more progressive in their views, favoring late term abortion (20 -37 weeks) and in some states, infanticide which can be performed literally during birth. They support gay marriage. They are for stricter gun control laws that limit gun ownership. Their goal is to outlaw gun ownership altogether by abolishing the 2ndAmendment and the right to keep and bear arms. They would like the term “God” removed from schools as well as prayer in any form. They are inserting the “1619 Project” into our schools which states, “All Americans are systemically racist at birth” They oppose the Death Penalty but are in favor of rehabilitation programs. Most recently, with the riots we have witnessed this past summer, we are hearing the cry for defunding the police as well as the elimination of jails and prisons all together. Republicans tend to be conservative on social issues. They tend to oppose gay marriage and promote marriage being between a man and a woman. They also oppose abortion, but some tend to be a bit more progressive by giving women a right to choose in the case of rape or incest. Republicans promote the right of gun ownership as decreed in the 2ndAmendment of the Constitution. They tend to believe in God and an “eye for an eye” when it comes to the Death Penalty. They have the strong belief that God “Created all men equal” They fully support and respect Police and U.S. Servicemen.
Labor and Free Trade
Republicans and Democrats have very different ideas when it comes to the business environment. The Democrats favor increasing the minimum wage to a flat rate nationwide so that Americans have more money with which to purchase goods. They also favor higher corporate taxes resulting in businesses relocating overseas and having lower tariffs for these imported goods to come back into the country. Republicans tend to oppose increasing the minimum wage, citing the need for business to keep costs low so they can prosper and be able to employ more workers, offer better benefits and maintain competitive pricing for whatever product they sell. They believe in lower corporate taxes to encourage business growth within our country and favor higher tariffs to encourage buying products made in America.
Democrats generally prefer a lot of government regulation and oversight of the health care system, including support for the Affordable Care Act, because it mandates that all citizens be enrolled in the health care system. When the Affordable Health Care was enacted it was said that it would lower health care rates by $2,500 annually. Republicans, who opposed the Affordable Care Act, believe that too much government involvement in the industry will drive up costs as insurance companies cannot meet the rates demanded by the government. This will drive insurance companies out of business, causing a negative impact on the quality of care that consumers receive. Since the Affordable Health Care act was enacted, health care costs have increased $4685 annually.
When it comes to differences between Democrats and Republicans, foreign policy cannot be missed. Each party has had different stances in relation to foreign policy over the years depending on the situation. Generally speaking, when military involvement is required, Democrats favor more targeted strikes and limited use of manpower, while Republicans favor a full military effort to displace regimes that are totalitarian and detrimental to their own people and who are threatening others. Both parties typically agree that sending aid to other countries is a good thing but disagree on the nature of that aid and who should be receiving it. Democrats tend to cut military spending while Republicans believe in a strong military presence. This position is not to promote war but to be prepared for peace.
Energy Issues and the Environment
There have always been clashes between the parties on the issues of energy and the environment. Democrats believe in heavily restricting drilling for oil or other avenues of fossil fuels to protect the environment. The Green New Deal that is currently being implemented is shutting down the Keystone Pipeline. Democrats support energy solutions such as wind and solar and subsidizing the cost of electric vehicles and solar panels through consumer tax breaks. Republicans believe that being self-reliant on energy production is a key to a strong economy and favor expanded drilling to produce more energy at a lower cost to consumers. They also believe in developing many forms of clean energy but favor allowing the free market to decide which forms of energy are practical from a consumer and economical standpoint and not from government strong arm tactics to be paid for by taxpayers.
The parties have different views on the education system for the country, but both agree there needs to be changes. Democrats favor more progressive approaches to education, such as implementing the Common Core System, Critical Race Theory and the 1619 Project. Democrats favor implementing new taxes to pay off student loan debt. Republicans tend to favor more conservative changes such as School Choice so parents can decide which school fits their own child’s needs. They believe in the 1776 Report which teaches students the history and principles of the founding of the United States. Republicans believe that student loans should not be paid by the taxpayer because not all people go to college. Instead, they favor promoting the private sector for giving loans and scholarships and not funded by the government through hard working taxpayers.
Unfortunately, we have seen the country divide because of different political views. It is time to educate oneself no matter what your views are and, most importantly to vote with the party that sincerely reflects upon your own personal views.