AURORA–Colorado’s 6th Congressional District first-term Representative Jason Crow sent out what some call a peculiar electronic poll about the impeachment proceedings against President Trump to constituents this week. The poll says in part, “As I wrote in an op-ed earlier this fall, these allegations are stunning, both in the national security threat they pose and the corruption they represent.” Crow goes on to say, “I want to hear your thoughts on the ongoing impeachment inquiry.”
District resident Steve House of Brighton, a former Colorado Republican Party chairman, who is vying for Crow’s congressional seat in 2020 was puzzled by the poll.
“As a citizen who lives in the district, I look at this and say, alright, my representative wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post and justified why they needed to go forward. Now he’s asking my opinion of it. They haven’t seen the secret meetings, they don’t know the testimony has not been balanced,” House told Complete Colorado Wednesday. “Then you write this poll question with a whole bunch of narrative justifying why it should be done.”
On September 24, Crow and six other freshman Democrats wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post saying of allegations of criminality and corruption against President Trump around his dealings in Ukraine, “This flagrant disregard for the law cannot stand…Congress must determine whether the president was indeed willing to use his power and withhold security assistance funds to persuade a foreign country to assist him in an upcoming election.”
“Then I think about it from a political perspective and say to myself is he doing this just to collect data on people who supported his opinion so that he can raise money from it, get supporters from it?” House continued. “And by the way it’s coming from his congressional office so I’m paying for it as a taxpayer.”
House is skeptical that the public knows enough about what’s going on at the Capitol to form a reasoned opinion.
“I routinely run into people in the District who have heard a five-minute sound bite on the news and they’re either convicting the President or the Democrats for the foolishness of the impeachment,” said House. “That in and of itself is really a problem for America.”
“I think Jason Crow and his team initiated an op-ed and now this poll and they’re pushing to justify what they’re doing,” said House.
Roger Hudson, a campaign communications strategist and former print and radio journalist, is concerned that Crow is either looking for data on supporters for his campaign using congressional funds or is polling his constituents on how to vote in the impeachment rather than basing his decisions on the evidence presented in the hearings.
House notes that polling the public on their opinions is not what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the impeachment provisions, but it’s important to take this to conclusion in the Senate no matter how “ridiculous” the charges are.
“Did the Founders really intend for a phone call in the diplomacy environment between leaders of two countries to get published by leakers and have that lead to a president not to being able to do his job,” said House. “Did a discussion without action translate into impeachment. I doubt that’s what they intended.”
House said, “There’s plenty of reasonable doubt, so why are we putting the American people through this 11 months before an election?”
“I think if it goes to the Senate they should debate it, deal with it, appropriately vote on it. There’s a bunch of senators running for president, let them go on the record with what they think after they’ve heard all of the evidence conducted in the trial environment with an appropriate judge, prosecutors, attorneys and witnesses called by both sides,” House continued.
In 1788 in the Federalist No. 65, Alexander Hamilton presciently wrote of the dangers of political factions and the check and balance of the Senate as trier of fact in the impeachment process.
“The prosecution of [impeachment charges] …will seldom fail to agitate the passions of the whole community, and to divide it into parties more or less friendly or inimical to the accused. In many cases it will connect itself with the pre-existing factions, and will enlist all their animosities, partialities, influence, and interest on one side or on the other; and in such cases there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.”