Brad Bristol votes in every major election, but isn't involved with a political party and doesn't consider himself very politically active.
The 50-year-old Nampa resident hasn't always agreed with Sen. Larry Craig on the issues, and was disillusioned when Craig offered a defiant defense of comprehensive immigration reform at a Caldwell town meeting last summer. But the last straw was the way Craig responded to his arrest in a Minneapolis airport bathroom — and his refusal to follow up on his "intent" to resign.
So on Sunday night — as Craig's self-imposed resignation date came and went — Bristol went live with a quixotic online effort to impeach Idaho's senior senator.
So far, he says, the prevailing feedback he's hearing is "why bother?" And Bristol knows impeachment is a difficult prospect. In my Tuesday blog post, I cited some history from style="text-decoration:underline;">infoplease.com; only one U.S. senator has been impeached — William Blount of Tennessee, in 1799.
Bristol is considering two routes:
• Gather signatures and submit them to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, since impeachment proceedings begin in the U.S. House of Representatives.
• Gather signatures for a possible recall election against Craig. If impeachment is a longshot, recall seems completely out of the question. As I read style="text-decoration:underline;">the state's statute on recall elections, it seems to exempt federal officials.
Voters have "underutilized" their right to remove politicians from office, Bristol said.
There probably is a practical reason for that. It is a daunting process — as it should be. I don't think an elected official should be fired on a whim.
Larry Craig probably has more pressing worries than an Internet impeachment effort. But this effort is worth watching, if only because it may provide a little more anecdotal evidence into where Idahoans stand on the ever-unfolding Craig saga.