Taking Grassroots Activism to the Next Level

Denny Says ‘Farewell’

November 16th, 2007 by

After serving in the US House for 20 years, Dennis “Denny” Hastert announced today that he was stepping down a little over a year before his current term ends in 2009.Hastert was the longest serving Republican Speaker of the House in history, holding the position from January 1999 to November 2006. Armenian-Americans remember him well as the man who refused to schedule a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution for the over 8 years he served as Speaker.

How can we forget the last-minute, behind the scenes phone call to Denny from President Clinton in 2000, urging him to kill the measure after it passed committee? We were told there were grave national security concerns in the Middle East and that having our country recognize the first genocide of the twentieth century would “risk the lives of Americans” and jeopardize the “fragile” Palestinian-Israeli “cease-fire.” Sound at all familiar?

More controversy around this episode was raised in 2005, when a Vanity Fair article about former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds alleged that Hastert may have received illegal payments from the Turkish government in return for his services against the Armenian Genocide Resolution.

That same year, the rock-group System of a Down undertook a campaign to meet with Hastert and ask him to schedule a vote on the resolution. They finally tracked him down in April of 2006, when, by chance, they crossed his path in the Capitol Hill Rotunda. A shocked and bumbling Hastert said he would “take a look” at the matter, and then proceeded to sit on the measure for the rest of his term.

Needless to say, his tenure will not be missed.

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This entry was posted on Friday, November 16th, 2007 at 12:10 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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