Lots of political candidates make campaign promises. But not like Charlotte Dennett's.
Dennett, 61, the Progressive Party's candidate for Vermont Attorney General, said Thursday she will prosecute President Bush for murder if she's elected Nov. 4.
Dennett, an attorney and investigative journalist, says Bush must be held accountable for the deaths of thousands of people in Iraq — U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians. She believes the Vermont attorney general would have jurisdiction to do so.
She also said she would appoint a special prosecutor and already knows who that should be: former Los Angeles prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, the author of "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder," a new book.
"Someone has to step forward," said Dennett, flanked by Bugliosi at a news conference announcing her plan. "Someone has to say we cannot put up with this lack of accountability any more."
Dennett and two others are challenging incumbent Attorney General William Sorrell, a Democrat, in the Nov. 4 election.
Bugliosi, 74, who gained fame as the prosecutor of killer Charles Manson, said any state attorney general would have jurisdiction since Bush committed "overt acts" including the military's recruitment of soldiers in Vermont and allegedly lying about the threat posed by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in speeches that were aired in Vermont and elsewhere.
"No man, even the president of the United States, is above the law," said Bugliosi.
The White House press office didn't respond to a request for comment Thursday. But Republican National Committee spokesman Blair Latoff denounced Dennett.
"It's extremely disappointing that a candidate for state attorney general is more concerned with radical left-wing provocation than upholding the law of Vermont," Latoff said. "These incendiary suggestions may score points among the most fringe elements of American society, but can't be settling for anyone looking for an attorney general."
Anti-Bush sentiment runs deep in Vermont. It's the only state Bush hasn't visited as president, and one whose liberal tendencies make it unlikely he will.
In 2007, the state Senate adopted a resolution calling for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Last March, the towns of Brattleboro and Marlboro voted to seek indictments against Bush and Cheney over the war, and dozens of other towns voted at town meetings to call for his impeachment.
Sorrell, who is seeking a sixth term, said he doesn't believe a Vermont attorney general would have the authority to charge Bush.
"The reality is, in my view, that unless the crime takes place in Vermont, then I as the attorney general have no authority under Vermont law to be prosecuting the president," Sorrell said.