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Group Delivers Clinton Petition to Gallegly

October 30, 1998|PAMELA J. JOHNSON

Armed with 744 signatures, a handful of Ventura County voters marched into Rep. Elton Gallegly's Oxnard office Thursday and demanded that the Simi Valley Republican halt the impeachment inquiry on President Clinton.

Calling themselves "Censure and Move On," the group is part of a nationwide effort to sway Congress to censure Clinton, then drop the impeachment investigation stemming from the president's affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Gallegly was one of the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee who voted earlier this month to recommend an impeachment inquiry against President Clinton.

The petition drive was launched over the Internet last month. Nationally, about 285,000 signatures have been collected, said John Gelles, a retired Ventura attorney who helped spearhead the local effort.

Those who signed the petition in Gallegly's 23rd Congressional District were from various political parties, Gelles said. Of the eight who presented the petition to Gallegly's office, two were Republicans, the others Democrats or Independents.

"We plead with you in a bipartisan spirit," Gelles told Gallegly's field representative Brian Miller. "A spirit that will keep the president in office until the next election."

The campaign presented petitions to lawmakers in 226 congressional districts in 44 states, according to Gelles.

Group members said that if Gallegly does not halt the inquiry, petitioners would vote against him Nov. 3, even if it would mean crossing party lines.

"He has gone to great lengths to stay open-minded and consider the facts as they are presented," Miller said of Gallegly, who was at a meeting and unavailable to accept the petition in person. "That people might vote against him is not going to persuade him one way or another."

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