To the Editor:
You ask in last week’s edition: “Is Congressman Risking His Reelection Over Impeachment?”
Antonio Delgado states that he made his decision to vote for an inquiry into articles of impeachment because he “…took an oath before God and his fellow
citizens to uphold the Constitution of the United States.” That’s what we elected him to do.
We didn’t elect him to leave his conscience and good judgment at home and do whatever it takes to get reelected in 2020.
Congressman Delgado hasn’t stopped serving our Congressional district well.
Headlining reelection spec-
ulation over a single issue a year in advance doesn’t serve anyone’s interests.
To the Editor:
Re: West Davenport & Mike Zagata versus Fly Creek & Adrian Kuzminski!
Thank you, Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta, for giving us both sides of the impeachment debate.
Impeachment tests our constitutional system of government: When the executive and legislative branches so disagree as to freeze governmental action, impeachment calls us to the third and fourth estates:
Our present impeachment process is likely to be resolved by:
►the U.S. Supreme Court, (beleaguered, but representing the Constitution), and/or
►the free press representing us, the people.
So, FJ & HO, please keep up the discussion until we, the electorate, better informed, can resolve it…probably next fall, at the ballot box!
Or, as Mao put it: “Let many flowers bloom!”
(Mao probably didn’t mean it, the soil in a one-party state being so inhospitable to a free press.)
We mean it, our soil still being fairly fertile… thanks to your newspapers, and other worthy representatives of our “fourth estate”!
NICHOLAS CUNNINGHAM, M.D., DrPH
The House of Representatives doesn’t need to prove that a president committed a crime outlined in the federal code to pass articles of impeachment. They instead impeach based on whether the president committed “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” as outlined in Article II, Section 4 of the US constitution.
…In all, former prosecutors told Insider, there are at least four areas where Trump could face legal jeopardy.
►Illegally soliciting campaign help from a foreign government
The most obvious way in which Trump could have violated the law is by soliciting material campaign aid from a foreign government, which expressly violates the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.
The second area of potential legal liability for Trump relates to his request that Zelensky do him a “favor” right after mentioning how the US “does a lot for Ukraine,” and more importantly, after Zelensky raised the issue of US military aid right before Trump requested he investigate Biden.
Third, Cotter said, if Trump “in fact used government funds for his own gain, then there is a very strong argument that there is a theft of taxpayer money, or misappropriation, taking place.”
Last, if Giuliani, Barr, and other officials were involved in Trump’s efforts, as the complaint alleges, that would raise questions about a potential criminal conspiracy.
This was excerpted from “4 Laws Trump May Have Broken” on www.businessinsider.com
Within minutes of Antonio Delgado proclaiming his support for impeaching Donald Trump on Monday, Sept. 23, the National Republican Campaign Committee declared it is the freshman 19th District congressman’s “political death sentence.”
It’s out of character, for sure. On issues to date, Delgado’s played it safe, focusing legislative efforts on agriculture, broadband and healthcare, knowing, regardless, little legislation sent from the Democratic House of Representatives to the Republican U.S. Senate is going anywhere.
He’s played it just right in what Otsego County’s Republican Chairman Vince Casale calls “a textbook definition of a swing district.”
What did he have to gain by coming out for impeachment?
The 19th District voters who supported impeachment –Democrats and some centrists, mostly – had nowhere to go except Delgado. Sensible centrism made sense for an out-of-district candidate in his vulnerable freshman year: build cred, firm up the base incrementally.
That’s out the window now.
“My impression is this is a pure moral, ethical stand,” said Richard Sternberg, Cooperstown, the Democratic strategist and his party’s Town of Otsego chairman. “Having identified and political risks, he’s basically making a courageous stand.”
A look back on Election Night 2018 is illuminating, and shows vulnerability.
Delgado beat incumbent Republican John Faso handily by an 11.3 percent margin (147,873-132,873), but given the four-way race – remember the Green Party’s Steve Greenfield and independent Diane Neal, the “Law & Order SVU” actress? – he garnered less than a majority (48.6 percent) of the total vote.
We forget: Ulster County, a Democratic stronghold in the swing 19th, won the election for him. The Delgado lead there – it makes sense the congressman then established his district office in Kingston – was 19,052. Districtwide, he only won by 15,000.
And he only won four of 11 counties in the 19th: Otsego and Schoharie, both squeakers, the Dutchess portion just comfortably, plus Ulster.
Not a landslide. Reelection isn’t a sure thing.
Until the Sept. 23 announcement, Delgado had played it cool. It’s hard to think of any controversial stance on anything.
Maybe he simply got carried away by the Democratic fever that swept the House of Representatives over
the weekend of Sept. 21-22, after the Ukraine-gate surfaced.
Think 40 years ahead. A young lad is sitting on his grandfather’s lap, “What did you do in Congress,
Granpa?” Would grey-haired Delgado really want to reply, “Sat on the sidelines of history, Sonny.”
Casale presented an alternate scenario to Sternberg’s: “He’s scared of the left of center” – in Ulster County, if anywhere. “If he’s not with them, they will threaten him with a primary.”
Leading up to presstime this week, it appeared it may be, where goeth the polls, so goeth the presidency.
On Saturday the 28th, an NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll found 49 percent of Americans favored
impeachment – up 10 percent from April, when the Mueller Report was first released; 46 percent said impeachment was unnecessary.
By the next day, a CBS poll found 55 percent favored impeachment, to 45 percent saying it wasn’t warranted. Building, building… (Monday the 30th, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there WILL be a trial in the Senate if the House sends up articles of impeachment. Hmmm.)
But FiveThirtyEight, and pollsters who led the New York Times over a cliff in 2016, were expressing caution in the form of the “differential nonresponse bias.” – “If partisans on one side of a political question respond to a survey more readily than partisans on the other side, … the results in your poll won’t match the real-world opinion. “… Instead, the poll will be skewed by how willing some people are to respond to a survey.”
Given how sure-footed Antonio Delgado was in dispatching six Democratic primary challengers last year, then grinding down Faso, it’s interesting to see him bet all on this impeachment thing. It’s a plunge.
Delgado’s next local Town Hall meeting is 6-7 p.m. this Saturday, Oct 5, in the Cherry Valley Community Center, 2 Genesee St. Go and ask him about it.
On impeachment overall, waiting for the outcome of the 2020 presidential election – it’ll be here before we know it – would have been a better way to tamp down acrimony. But that’s not to be.
Otsego County’s Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, Tuesday, Sept. 24, joined at least 61 Democratic congressmen who changed their minds over the weekend and now support impeachment of President Trump.
“Having taken an oath of office before God and my fellow citizens to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, I can only conclude that Congress move forward with articles of impeachment,” the congressman said in a statement released at 8:23 a.m.
The change of position was prompted by the president having “admitted to soliciting the Ukranian president to investigate a political rival. In doing so, (Trump) used the power of the presidency to pressure a foreign government to help him win an election,” the statement said.
In developments that afternoon, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced the House Democrats will launch an impeachment investigation into the president. That evening, the president said on Wednesday he would release a full transcript of his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Within minutes of Delgado announcing his decision, the National Republican Congressional Committee issued a statement saying the freshman congressman “jumped on the socialist Democrats’ baseless efforts,” adding, “In a district President Trump won by more than 6 points, Antonio Delgado’s decision to pursue impeachment will be a political death sentence.”
The New York Times was reporting today Delgado was one of 61 congressmen who shifted into the pro-impeachment column in the past few days. Overall, 196 congressman now support impeachment, 77 oppose it, and 162 have not yet returned The Times’ calls, the newspaper reported.
“This is a far cry from the bipartisan and unifying message we heard in the Congressman’s slick campaign commercials less than two years ago,” German said. “He was elected to work across the aisle and govern. Today, the Congressman abandoned his commitment to governance in order to appease the most extreme elements of his base. This is exactly the type of behavior that inspired me to run. Politicians will never fix Washington.”
The Otsego County Democratic Party issued a statement praising Delgado’s “judgment and commitment to the critical oversight role” in changing his mind and now supporting President Trump’s impeachment.
“Beginning an impeachment investigation is the appropriate response when there is credible evidence that the laws of this country may have been violated by a sitting President,” it continued.
Casale said, “I wish the Congressman would focus on doing the work of the people of his district instead of taking us down another rabbit hole. It wasn’t enough to waste the taxpayer’s time and money on the Muller investigation, now we are on to a new bogus charge against the President.”
The Otsego County Democratic Party praises Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, for his “judgment and commitment to the critical oversight role” in changing his mind and now supporting President Trump’s impeachment.
But Republican County Chairman Vince Casale said the first-term congressmen is simply “appealing to a small angry group of socialist liberals who control his re-election.”
This is a copy of a letter I sent to Congressman Antonio Delgado.
Dear Congressman Delgado,
It was a pleasure talking with you at the Middleburgh Town Hall. I was the person who asked the first question. We have the same goals, just a different approach.
I brought up the idea that an impeachment inquiry will prevent President Trump from preemptively pardoning persons, as was the case of Ford pardoning Nixon, and more recently by Trump pardoning Arpaio. The impeachment inquiry will, in my estimation, lead to possible convictions while preventing an abuse of the pardon power.
Here is a hypothetical:
Attorney General William Barr has been found in contempt by the Judiciary Committee; he still needs to be found in contempt by the full Congress.
After being found in contempt of Congress, Barr will fight the ruling in court. Assuming he loses in court, Congress will then impose penalties. Barr then continues to refuse to testify, in the end Trump simply pardons Barr, nothing was accomplished. Barr doesn’t testify and walks away from any consequences.
I again cite the Constitution: “The President… shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” Impeachment is necessary.
You also brought up several reasons to delay impeachment where I disagree. During the Town Hall, I didn’t want to debate you, I remained silent; I respect you and did not want to keep interrupting, therefore I would like to outline some of the points where we differ:
1) Process: The “process” is an impeachment, not some new invented process. We are better off holding an impeachment inquiry instead of several ad hoc hearings. Witnesses will then know they will not be able to “weasel out” of jeopardy with the issuance of a pardon, all six proceedings under one umbrella. The facts will come out by starting the impeachment inquiry, it doesn’t need to end quickly.
I can make an argument for holding impeachment hearings into the election if the delaying tactics by Trump continue. Impeachment will give you unencumbered access to the Grand Jury information that Robert Barr is withholding.
2) Senate: The argument is that impeachment won’t pass the Senate; then why are you passing legislation that also won’t pass Senate? The act of starting an impeachment inquiry is an accomplishment. If there are impeachment hearings, and as evidence comes out, it will become harder for senators to politically defend Trump without running the risk of losing re-election.
Remember, when Watergate started, no Republican senator was in favor of removal; that changed when it no longer served their political purpose. Put the Senate on record.
3) Divide: That impeachment will divide the country is a fallacy. The country is already divided by Trump’s actions. It is difficult to become more divided. Right now less than one-third of the people in the country are determining the fate of the two-thirds majority. An impeachment inquiry can only help to bring the country back together.
4) Precedent: Impeachment, if not now, then when, or ever? You will be negating your Constitutional duty and allowing for an Imperial Presidency to exist where an elected dictator will do whatever he/she wants without regard to his/her subjects. That is a terrible precedent to set.
We agree there are urgent needs facing the country, from the Russian interference to combating Climate Change, as well as dozens of other very important issues. You’ve already passed over 50 legislative acts to take us into future. I commend you. We now need you to immediately end the obstruction of justice by the criminals in office with an impeachment inquiry, otherwise no meaningful legislation will ever become law.
ONEONTA – Coming off a week of “Town Halls,” with students, small-business owners and farmers, U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19, said in a teleconference press briefing this morning that while there were “critically important” national issues, most people in his district want to know “how do we improve the area.”
In discussing how to improve the area, Delgado often framed his responses in big corporations/industry/Washington insiders versus the little guy: i.e., his constituents. He cited a poll published yesterday in the Washington Post that found 60 percent of Americans feel that way.