The Super PAC “Need to Impeach” is not well known to most Orange County voters, but it may prove to be one of the most influential political forces for the County’s new Democrats serving in Congress. Complicating matters, this Super PAC has one divisive mission: Impeach the President of the United States even if that requires coercing reluctant Democrats in the process.
Funded almost entirely by San Francisco-based billionaire, Tom Steyer, the Super PAC was opened almost immediately after President Trump’s inauguration and has since spent $14.5 million on advertisements attacking the President and ads meant to pressure Democrats to demand impeachment in lieu of bipartisanship. The Need to Impeach Super PAC has maintained its mission even in the face of the outcome of the Mueller Investigation, that ultimately failed to prove President Trump’s supposed impeachable offenses.
While Speaker Pelosi, a majority of Congressional Democrats, and nearly every Republican in Washington are anxious to get back to the issues and focus on governing, there still remains the well-funded few that think they can convince enough members of Congress to support impeachment.
Here in Orange County, Tom Steyer’s money has long-been a temptation for the newly elected Democrats in Congress, like Rep. Katie Porter, who just last week joined her party’s far-left flank by supporting an impeachment inquiry – a move that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi vehemently opposes. The Speaker has issued numerous public statements where she admonishes and at times pleads with other House Democrats to focus on the issues and avoid the divisiveness that an impeachment inquiry would bring.
However, in the case of Rep. Harley Rouda (D-Laguna Beach), things get a little more complicated because Rouda’s position on this issue is either partly motivated by money or he has repeatedly changed his mind on the topic at what seem to be politically expedient times.
Faced with a decision whether to join the cabal of far-left Democrats calling for impeachment, Rep. Harley Rouda has lately been flirting with the notion in multiple television, radio and print news interviews, but each time has stopped just short. The most notable being a New York Times interview in which he set a June 30th deadline when he would make his decision.
While Rouda’s June 30th, 2019 deadline is less than four days away, we may have some insight into which way he will go from his last campaign in 2018.
While campaigning in 2018, Rep. Harley Rouda faced a tough primary in California’s 48th Congressional District. Running as a Democrat, that had only recently switched parties from Republican, he faced nearly constant criticism from his self-proclaimed more liberal opponents that he was not sincere in his political beliefs.
In an effort to win over the more liberal Democratic Primary voters, Rouda took to Twitter and made his feelings on impeachment abundantly clear.
Donald Trump is unfit to be President.
Red states, blue states, the United States must all work together to protect America and preserve our democracy that was established hundreds of years ago.
— Harley Rouda (@HarleyRouda) February 18, 2018
Rouda went on to win the primary and with it was the beneficiary of very large contributions from Tom Steyer and his friends.
Post primary however, in an effort to now win over more conservative voters, Rouda went back to not supporting impeachment. A move that played a major contributing factor in flipping the conservative district.
While 2018 may prove insightful, there is one other factor that may determine which way Rouda will go on June 30th: polling.
On June 17th, Harley Rouda’s Washington, DC office sent the following email to voters in his district, checking first to see where they stood on the topic.
While the most recent UC Berkeley poll shows only 35% of California voters support impeachment, stay tuned for Rep. Harley Rouda’s announcement on June 30th, to get an idea how his residents polled and how much Rouda may need Steyer support to keep this historically Republican seat in 2020.
Perhaps the representative who said politicians shouldn’t be influenced by money will be influenced by campaign donations after all.