BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) – A town considering whether to indict President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against the Constitution is being barraged with criticism from people calling it a haven for “liberal appeaser wimps,” “wackjobs” and “nuts.”

In e-mail messages, voicemail messages and telephone calls, outraged people are calling the measure the equivalent of treason and vowing never to visit Vermont.

“Has everyone up there been out in the cold too long?” said one.

“I would like to know how I could get some water from your town,” said another. “It’s obvious that there is something special in it.”

On Thursday, resident Kurt Daims submitted a petition containing more than 436 signatures calling for the measure to be placed on the town’s March 4 agenda for Town Meeting, a New England tradition in which townspeople gather to vote on issues big and small.

The town Select Board voted 3-2 Friday to put the measure on the ballot.

It reads: “Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictments for consideration by other authorities and shall it be the law of the Town of Brattleboro that the Brattleboro Police, pursuant to the above-mentioned indictments, arrest and detain George Bush and Richard Cheney in Brattleboro if they are not duly impeached, and prosecute or extradite them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them?”

News of the measure made the rounds on the Internet, and soon people were calling and writing.

The Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce got about 60 e-mails Monday, all of them negative, said Executive Director Jerry Goldberg.

“Then, this morning, we had three or four calls in a row that were very positive. One even volunteered to help.”

“Why don’t you losers move to Peking or Pyongyang and see how much “Better” your fellow Socialists live,” said one e-mail to the town.

Some were downright nasty.

“Maybe the terrorists will do us all a favor and attack your town next, our country would be much safer with several thousand dead wackjobs in Vermont,” said another, from Brent Caflisch, of Rosemount, Minn.

It went on to say terrorists could kidnap the three Select Board members who voted in favor, “cut their heads off, video tape it and put it on the internet.”

Caflisch, who confirmed sending the e-mail, said Tuesday he did it out of disgust after reading about the measure on The Drudge Report, a web site.

A few were positive (“Arrest Bush and Cheney? You go, Brattleboro!” wrote one man) but most were critical.

“Be American, not a sniffeling liberal town that sleeps under the shield of safety provided to you by your President,” said another e-mail. “Vacation to VT CANCELLED! Cheney/North 2008!” it said.

The reaction caught town officials off guard, and left some workers on edge.

“We have some concerns about safety,” said Town Clerk Annette Cappy. “After reading some of these e-mails, you can’t help it.”

Acting Police Chief Eugene Wrinn said any threats would be taken seriously and possibly prosecuted. So far, no threats have been made, he said.

“If someone is concerned for their safety, if there’s a threat of harm, we will look at that seriously,” he said.

Daims, reached late Tuesday, said he was chagrined that the town and its employees were subject to ridicule.

“I feel bad for people who are loyal to Bush who have lost a son or had one in the service and it’s hard for them to admit the utter waste of it, and that it was caused by this man in the White House,” he said.

AP-ES-01-29-08 2204EST


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