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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 18, 2018

Tom Steyer bringing impeachment push of president to Cedar Rapids

Billionaire faults Rep. Loebsack for not helping oust Trump
By James Q. Lynch, Gazette Des Moines Bureau | Apr 25, 2018

Democratic U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack is rejecting criticism from a leading advocate for the impeachment of Donald Trump that the congressman is disregarding a “clear mandate” from his constituents to oust the president.

Hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, who has bankrolled “Need to Impeach,” will be bringing his campaign to remove Trump from office and his criticism of Loebsack on May 10 to Cedar Rapids as part of his nationwide series of 30 town-hall style meetings.

In Cedar Rapids, the event will be 7-9 p.m. at the Shores Event Center, 700 16th St. NE. He also will do an event in Des Moines and speak at a May 9 Iowa Democratic fundraising dinner.

In making the case for impeachment, Steyer is questioning why elected leaders are ignoring what he says are voters’ wishes to see Trump impeached. Among his targets is Loebsack, an Iowa City Democrat.

Steyer told The Hill that Loebsack was the only Iowa Democrat in Congress to earlier this year vote against a Democratic resolution calling for impeachment.

Loebsack, representing the 2nd District, actually is Iowa’s only Democrat in Congress.

Steyer’s criticism is based on two procedural votes Loebsack took in December and January. In December, Loebsack voted with 125 other Democrats for a motion to table an impeachment resolution. In January, he voted with 120 Democrats on a similar motion.

“Those who condemn Trump but do not back their words with action are enabling the damage he is inflicting on our country,” Steyer told the Capitol Hill publication. “Rep. Loebsack should explain why he is acting against his constituents’ wishes by voting no on impeachment. The people of Iowa deserve elected leaders who refuse to back down on our shared principles.”

Loebsack shares some of the same concerns as Steyer and “Need to Impeach,” a spokesman said, but he believes Congress should let the investigation of Russia meddling in the 2016 election play out.

“Dave is troubled by some of the actions taken by the president and believes the independent investigation must continue without interference,” spokesman Joe Hand said. “As the investigation goes on, he is confident that the special counsel will follow the facts where they lead him.”

Loebsack’s votes for the procedural motions do not preclude a vote for impeachment in the future if the special counsel’s evidence supports it, Hand said.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 76 percent of Democrats nationwide support impeaching Trump.

Steyer launched the impeachment campaign in October through national television and social media ads. More than 5.1 million people since have signed on to support the campaign, creating a digital army that several political strategists call one of the most powerful political tools in the Democratic Party. So far, seven national commercials — including one in Spanish — have aired, reaching more than 2 billion television viewers and more than 454 million people through social media, according to the campaign.

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