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Some Republicans would rather switch than impeach

December 25, 1998
Web posted at: 1:35 p.m. EST (1835 GMT)

SAN CARLOS, California (AllPolitics, December 25, 1998) -- Much of the fallout from the House vote to impeach President Clinton is falling on the Republicans who led the charge against him.

Election offices in several northern California counties have reported getting an unusual number of calls since the vote Saturday -- including calls from irate Republicans.

voter switch
Weston, a Republican for 20 years, signs up to join the Democratic Party

"Some people are telling me they're Republicans and they're pretty upset with what's going on, and they just want to change their party," said Rose Fonda of the San Mateo Board of Elections.

George Weston was one of them. A Republican for nearly 20 years, he's now one of California's newest Democrats.

"That's a good way to register my protest against what the Republicans are doing," Weston said.

California Republican Party officials, however, said news about GOP defections may be greatly exaggerated. There are no official numbers yet on how many people have made the switch.

"We have a significant portion who are very much in favor of the impeachment process against President Clinton and another segment which has been strongly opposed," said Chris Bertelli of the California Republican Party.

"Of course, any time we lose a registered voter, we want to know why," Bertelli added.

He could ask Norma Sigler, who had voted Republican throughout her life until the impeachment proceedings.

"I was so disgusted with what was going on in Washington, I didn't want to have any part of the Republican Party, so I switched," Sigler said.

Correspondent Rusty Dornin contributed to this report.

Investigating the President

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Friday, December 25, 1998

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