Speaker Pelosi Heckled During Press Conference
Asked Why She Refuses to Debate Opponents

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Politics

Published on October 31, 2008 with 4 Comments

By Luke Thomas

October 31, 2008

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was interrupted during a press conference earlier today and asked why she refuses to debate her opponents in the race for the eighth congressional district.

Pelosi was speaking to media at the law offices of Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold to urge California voters to approve Proposition 1A.

Suddenly, Cindy Sheehan campaign manager Tiffany Burns asked Pelosi: “Speaking of Congress, why won’t you debate Cindy Sheehan? She’s your opponent here in San Francisco.”

“Excuse me,” Pelosi said.  “I’ll answer any question you want, but we have an issue here, OK?”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Photo by Luke Thomas

Pelosi said she would address Burns’ question “privately” following the press conference. However, Pelosi did not keep her promise and left the event under tight escort.

The last time Pelosi debated any of her opponents was in 1987 when she first sought election to Congress following the death of Rep. Sala Burton.

Pelosi’s job approval rating slipped to an all time low after she failed to bring an end to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan as promised when Democrats took control of Congress in 2006.

“Nancy Pelosi can spend her time ignoring the voters and ignoring the issues,” Sheehan said in a statement, “but Cindy Sheehan For Congress won’t let her get away with ignoring us.”

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched FogCityJournal.com. The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Comments for Speaker Pelosi Heckled During Press Conference
Asked Why She Refuses to Debate Opponents
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  1. Dear Editor,

    I wish I could move back to the Bay Area to vote for Cindy Sheehan, because Nancy Pelosi has been blocking both grassroots efforts for impeachment and the agitation for it within Congress for two years. Pelosi even interfered with a merely-symbolic impeachment resolution by L.A. City Council, one of the councilmembers told me. She may be historic as the first woman Speaker, but it’s embarrassing to be a woman when she’s been such a failure as a leader. I’m one of the activists who tried to give her proof of Bush’s crimes on her book tour this summer – I ended up arrested and spending the night in a jail cell for ‘trespassing’ because she really really does not want to read Vincent Bugliosi’s book “The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder!” (The charge was dropped; I had bought a ticket and waited in line to see her at her book-signing. But throughout her tour her goons worked hard to prevent any pieces of paper being given to her or any tough questions being posed. The call-screener at a radio show on Pasadena public radio sounded like more of her security detail, weeding out impeachment calls.)

    In interviews, Pelosi uses the straw man technique to mis-state our complaint. Oh, she doesn’t blame us for being angry, she says, this is a terrible war, but it’s the Republicans’ fault. She won’t mention the fact the Cheney-led manipulation of intelligence and the attendant disinformation campaign to trick America into war constitute criminal fraud. Her excuses don’t even address the fact only a third of Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s 35 articles of impeachment even cover the Iraq War. And then she patronizes voters by saying we just don’t understand process; she’s doing her best, but those pesky Republicans won’t co-operate. We understand very well, thank you. We understand it’s Pelosi’s weakness that encouraged them to filibuster and walk out, and which keeps White House staff from obeying subpoenas! An impeachment process would cure all those ills.

    Meanwhile, voting for Cindy Sheehan would not just be a protest vote. Sheehan has gone on diplomatic missions to over 13 countries, for which she was recognized by congress and the Canadian, Scottish, and South Korean governments. She is the co-founder of Gold Families for Peace and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. She is endorsed by Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, Gore Vidal, Sean Penn, Melissa Etheridge, Willie Nelson, Rosie O’Donnell and ex-CIA agent Ray McGovern as well as former State Dept. official Col. Ann Wright. The SF Bay Guardian, the Bayview Newspaper, and the Fog City Journal all wisely endorsed her.

    So, the 8th district can vote for a feminist who is pro-labor and anti-corporate, who will push for assistance for people losing their homes, increased regulation for key industries, and the repeal of No Child Left Behind; who will advocate for civil liberties, immigrant rights, gay rights, single-payer health care, a national energy system, a mass transit system, fair trade, free higher education, and an end to jailing millions of non-violent offenders. You can vote for Cindy Sheehan and get a strong woman who will defend the Constitution, someone who has already stood up to our rogue president frequently and at great risk to herself. But if you don’t like those things, there’s Nancy Pelosi.

    –Jennifer Epps

  2. There is absolutely no excuse for the “Speaker” of the House to remain silent and not debate her opponents. Notice she was more interested in talking about a multi million dollar “transportation” project (that she will no doubt enrich herself with by personally INVESTING IN THE PROJECT, like everything she speaks for) than answering one of her constituents questions.

    She said she would answer Tiffany Burns’s question, and then lied and flew the coop again.

    Pelosi is running scared. She should be with a 30% approval rating.

    We demand that Speaker Pelosi OPEN HER MOUTH and acknowledge her opponents in the form of a DEBATE!

    She is not a queen, and she is noot entitled to her position.

    How you can help:
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    Get out on the Streets with us!

  3. As Speaker of the House, Rep. Pelosi is the third most powerful person in our government. She controls what bills get brought before Congress. She sets the agenda. So don’t believe any of that nonsense about the Dems not being able to get anything done because they only have a razor-thin majority (note–the majority would be a lot bigger if the *Democrats* hadn’t quashed all the congressional challenges, without any investigation, in 2006). Here’s the truth: Pelosi could, and should, have stopped all war funding. She could have let the investigations commence into Bush administration misdeeds. She could have put impeachment ON the table where it belongs, even if only as leverage to advance Democratic agenda. She could have stopped Bush and the Neocons in their greedy, oil-drenched tracks.

    Instead she did exactly the opposite. She has promoted and enabled every single Bush initiative, and as a result, our country teeters on the brink of financial chaos. Had she done her constitutionally mandated job and begun impeachment proceedings (for any one of hundreds of Bush high crimes and misdemeanors, not the least of which is lying the nation into war), she could have prevented this crisis. She has personally stifled and quashed many investigations and has allowed Bush officials to ignore congressional subpoenas in the ones that did proceed, rendering Congress toothless. Worst of all, she has given away much of Congress’ constitutional power of oversight. The recent so-called bailout bill gives the president dictatorial power to spend hundreds of billions with zero checks and balances. Bush could arrest Congress tomorrow and no one could do anything about it. Seriously.

    Now you may well wonder why Pelosi would allow this. The way I see it, there are two possible answers. She’s either a blithering moron; or she’s in Bush/Cheney’s pocket. Either way, that makes her unfit for office and worse, a fake Democrat. So while she *talks* a good game, pay attention to her *actions.* Her grandstanding speech on the House floor blaming the Republicans for the financial crisis–while she herself was pushing a phony “bailout” bill that not only exacerbated the problem but made things even worse–was hypocrisy at its worst. Get a mirror, Madame Speaker. It is YOU who is to blame.

    Running against Nancy Pelosi as an Independent is Cindy Sheehan. Sheehan is tough as nails and refuses to bow down before the big oil agenda. As Pelosi sadly demonstrates, just because someone has an (D) after their name doesn’t make them a Dem. Sheehan may not be the best public speaker but she is right on all the issues and she is competent, passionate and will fight for the rights of her constituents and Americans–and not assiduously ignore us like Ms. Pelosi does time and again (while constantly making excuses and blaming Republicans).

    Which brings me to my last note–a personal experience. This year I worked on the Clint Curtis for Congress (D) campaign down in Florida. Early this year, Curtis, a progressive democrat, spoke to a representative of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee about campaign funding. The representative asked Curtis if he would fall in line with Pelosi–do what she says and vote as she dictates. Curtis was stunned, and told the rep no, he would vote along with his constituents’ wishes–you know, the way representative government is *supposed* to work. Wrong answer. The DCCC kicked Curtis to the curb and recruited a pro-Bush millionaire bluedog corporatist Dem to run against the Republican incumbent. Curtis was defeated handily in the primary, out-fundraised by 14 to 1.

    So think twice before voting for Rep. Pelosi simply because there’s a (D) after her name. For Pelosi IS the problem. I urge you to support Cindy Sheehan for Congress.

    “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” — Einstein

  4. That interruption does not merit. BFD.