Resident Runs for Congress In Hopes of Ousting Cheney

Photo: Cynthia Papermaster
Cynthia Papermaster

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Empowered by her ability to influence a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a resident of Berkeley decided yesterday to run for a seat in the House in the June 3 primary.

Cynthia Papermaster, who is an activist with anti-war group Code Pink, said she decided to run for a seat in the 16th Congressional District-which does not include Berkeley-because she said she wants to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney.

Officials from the California Secretary of State said citizens can represent a congressional office they do not live in. Papermaster will be running against Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose.

Papermaster first filed papers to run against Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, but decided to withdraw those papers after Stark said he would support impeaching Cheney.

Stark also said Papermaster had been a vocal supporter of impeachment, convincing him to poll his constituents.

"We then added a question on impeachment to the survey," he said. "She was very instrumental in getting me to reach out to the constituents."

Stark said Tuesday he changed his position after that survey indicated 64 percent of the 2000 constituents polled in his district said they supported impeaching President George W. Bush.

Stark said he supports impeaching Cheney before Bush to prevent Cheney from becoming president.

Papermaster then decided to withdraw from the race against Stark and instead run against Lofgren, who does not support impeachment.

Papermaster said that while she does not think she can beat Lofgren, she is running in hope of influencing Lofgren to change her position, just like Stark.

"She's absolutely got that seat for life," Papermaster said. "My chances of winning are laughable."

But Papermaster said she still has hope because the public supports impeachment.

"If I can capture her constituents on that, maybe I can win," she said.

Lofgren's office could not be reached for comment.

Even though Cheney leaves office in less than a year, Papermaster said she felt it was her duty to try to impeach him by running for office.

"We have to uphold the constitution," she said.

Papermaster said she is not opposed to Lofgren's policies, only the fact that she does not support impeachment.

Because Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, who represents Berkeley, supports impeachment, Papermaster said she would not run against her.

Many politicians in the Democratic Party think impeachment will divide the nation and are waiting for Bush and Cheney to leave office, Papermaster said.

"Impeachment is not a dirty word," she said. "It is possible to do this."


Contact Asaf Shalev at [email protected]

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