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constitutes an impeachable offense, calling impeachment “a political remedy for offenses against the body politic” and “obviously not limited to providing a remedy for criminal conduct alone.” He said of Madison’s statement, “Exactly. That’s why you have impeachment procedings. . . . The President is responsible for the action of zealots in his hire, and even Richard Nixon claims such responsibility. Claiming responsibility is one thing; impeachment is one way the system has of making it stick.” Gonzalez said he “can’t find many” people in his district who don’t feel strongly about impeachment, and gets “very few letters in support of the President.” He thinks that many people do not understand the impeachment mechanics but that they are learning “very rapidly.” He was reluctant to quantify his district’s opinions on impeachment: “Without a poll, it would be hard to say how many people feel one way or another, or are undecided,” and “hard to estimate” what people would like to see happen. Mahon unopposed this year. Mahon has been running unopposed for as long as anyone can remember. He’s got enough seniority to be chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which in turn makes him a pretty valuable representative. Like most powerful chairmen, he has a keen sense of what the House will do, and he predicts that its members will insist on evidence of an indictable offense before voting for impeachment. But he has “not yet made an adequate study” of Madison’s views on impeachment or of grounds for impeachment, and declined to express a personal opinion on questions one and two. In fact, Mahon answered only three questions directly. He thinks his constitutents understand the impeachment process. He “would judge that most people in my district have an opinion as to the matter of impeachment, though I have no way of knowing” if many are undecided. And, as of Feb. 24, “If there were a vote today on the question of impeachment, I would vote no.” Two questions are “too iffy,” one is answered “no response” and other answers say, “My letter responds to this question.” Mahon enclosed a copy of his form letter to constituents who write about Watergate. It notes that Mahon found \(during his visit to the district during the majority of people I talked to . . . didn’t think an impeachment proceeding at this time would be in the best interests of the country.” It points out that Mahon, like most congressmen, is “heavily involved each day in matters relating to government 6 The Texas Observer which have nothing whatsoever to do with Watergate,” but that he is “most anxious to be of maximum service to our country during this historic and significant time.” Milford the few incumbents directly challenged on the impeachment issue. His primary opponent, Martin Frost, used Milford’s record of voting with the Nixon administration on 60 percent of record votes as a central issue. As part of his anti-Nixon campaign, Frost pronounced himself ready to vote for impeachment in April. Milford has consistently said he would not decide how to vote until after all evidence is presented to the House. He has, also consistently, denounced the “grandstanding” and “trial by public opinion” he sees in the conduct and coverage of investigations so far. Milford answered a definite “yes” to the question of whether only indictable offenses are impeachable. He expressed qualified agreement with Madison’s view of the President’s responsibility for the actions of subordinates. Aside from opining that most of his constituents do not understand the impeachment process, he declined to give “yes” or “no” answers to questions about impeachment as an issue in his district. Milford rejected the multiple-choice approach of questions on the influence of constituent opinion and on how he will vote, saying that House members will have to vote on the basis of evidence and that he could not, predict his vote before the evidence was formally presented. He declined to answer the question of voting for impeachment solely to clear the President, saying, “This question is based on an assumption that I cannot, in good conscience, make at this time.” And he said he would prefer resignation to impeachment if the President were proven guilty. Pickle Jake Pickle is the other incumbent who ran head-on into the impeachment issue in his reelection effort. In part his problems with it stem from the presence in his district of the University of Texas at Austin. The support for impeachment there, and in the liberal Austin community at large, enabled challenger Larry Bales to keep Pickle on the defensive on the issue. Bales was running against “mistrust of government” in general, and essentially charged that he would have done more to speed impeachment than Pickle has. Pickle has been responding by explaining that he has supported the orderly progress of investigation and the general resistance to increases in presidential power. He has also stressed his role in investigation of ITT’s success in winning approval for its merger with Hartford Fire Insurance Co. And he has been persistently mentioning “due process.” When Pickle answered the Observer’s question on how he would vote on impeachment, he said he “would abstain without a report from the House Judiciary Committee.” His answers support a fairly broad definition of impeachable offense, proposing the general rule that “the offense should be one that shocks one’s sensibilities” about law and government. Impeachment, he said, should be “broad enough to curtail obvious abuses of power or dereliction of duties.” He agreed with Madison’s view, with the understanding that “a reading of the full debates” indicated that Madison was speaking of cases where “the President was in collusion with the appointees or refused to correct their excesses after they were proven guilty.” In early February, when Pickle responded, he felt that inflation and energy problems were more significant than impeachment as issues in the 10th District and that the impeachment process was not well-understood. He called his pro-impeachment constituents “more vocal and more organized” than the anti-impeachment folks, but felt that most people simply wanted the issue settled. At any rate, he did not intend to cast his vote on the basis of “popularity, political self-fulfillment or public opinion polls.” He would “lean toward” rejecting the idea of impeaching a President for any reason other than the existence of probable cause to believe him guilty. And he would leave a decision on resignation to the President, while personally preferring congressional action. Poage judgment on the impeachment of President Nixon because “no honest juror can state that he will find the accused either guilty or not guilty at some future time.” He thinks of impeachment, he says, as a “judicial role” for Congress, rejecting the idea of being swayed by public opinion or the notion that a President could be impeached for a non-indictable offense. Poage thinks the issue is a major one in his district, and that not many people there are undecided. He feels that most of his constituents would support Nixon’s removal from office, though most don’t have a good understanding of the process involved. Price he’ll vote, and won’t until he can “weigh charges and evidence, if any.” He thinks his constituents’ opinions will influence him as