City council certifies two referenda questions

By Jon Hansen

The Champaign City Council certified two questions for the November ballot asking whether voters support U.S. troop removal from Iraq and the impeachment of President Bush at their meeting Tuesday night.

Resolution No. 2006-0 passed 6-2, with Mayor Gerald Schweighart and District 3 council member Vic McIntosh dissenting.

At the annual township meeting in April, Champaign residents voted in favor of placing the two questions on the ballot as a referendum.

The first question asks voters if the U.S. should withdraw military personnel and bases from Iraq “in order to halt the continuing loss of human life.”

The second question asks voters whether they support the U.S. House impeaching Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

It was up to the city council to certify the questions to appear on the ballot, regardless of their opinion of the proposed questions.

“This is democracy in action,” at-large council member Thomas Bruno said. “For us to contemplate frustrating the vote of the majority because we don’t like what the majority said would be affront to democracy.

“We’re acting as the keepers of this democracy.”

At-large council member Geraldo Rosales agreed.

“The township came forth and wanted to put this on the ballot, no question about it,” he said.

In opposition, McIntosh said that the issue has nothing to do with Champaign politics.

“We are talking about something that involves national politics, and all those people who came out (at the town meeting) had an opportunity to help out with local issues, but they choose this instead,” McIntosh said. “President Bush and congress aren’t going to care what we do.”

Schweighart had another objection.

“I didn’t like the process,” he said. “There was a lot of confusion with people who voted to abstain.”

The questions will now appear as referendums on the November 7 ballot.