Negative flyers seem to be coming out earlier this election season. With over a month to go before the election, both candidates have already sent out multiple glossy flyers. The earlier flyers exhorted the virtues of the two candidates, incumbent Republican Jeff Denham and Democrat challenger Michael Eggman. The latest flyers have turned negative and will probably discourage citizens from voting.
“I Won’t Vote For Either Clown”
In past elections, negative campaigning has generated so much mud that many voters would abstain than select what appears to be the lesser of two evils. If a voter is going to make the effort to go to the polls, he wants someone to vote FOR, not feel like either choice will result in a lesser quality of life.
The Denham Attack
The trademark of Jeff Denham’s past campaigns has been to smear the opposition with false and misleading allegations while exaggerating the value of his own political activities. In a previous article, we examined Mr. Denham’s role in shutting down the government and lack of accomplishment for his district.
In his latest slick campaign mailer, Mr. Denham accused Mr. Eggman of supporting the California Bullet Train. The $17.8 Trillion national debt was mentioned in the same sentence. Mr. Eggman had no part in the decision about the bullet train project as it is a California state project, originally approved by a majority of voters. Mr. Eggman also had nothing to do with the creation of the national debt.
In another mailer, Mr. Denham’s flyer begins with “17,100 Jobs Lost, $2.2 Billion In Economic Losses, and Farmer’s Losing Their Crops.” The flyer attributes all the problems to extreme environmentalists, a dubious claim at best, and then paints Mr. Eggman as one of the extremists.
On the reverse side of the attack ads, Mr. Denham inaccurately extols his own virtues. He claims to be “working to bring federal dollars to the Valley to improve water infrastructure,” but he hasn’t brought any money. He creates a straw man in saying that he is fighting “against the environmental extremists who want to deny our farms and communities access to water” because no one wants to deny water to farms and communities.
Eggman on the Attack
Michael Eggman’s attacks highlight Mr. Denham’s record and the Congressman is portrayed as hostile to women’s interests. The mailers refer to Mr. Denham’s vote to cut funding for family planning, limit medical choices, and allow medical insurers to continue the practice of charging women higher premiums. Mr. Denham also opposed the Paycheck Fairness Act to give women equal pay for equal work and the Violence Against Women Act. The flyer appears to be true as far as Mr. Denham’s voting record on women’s issues.
The other attack piece, entitled “Denham Betrays the Valley,” appears overly dramatic, but is effective in highlighting the Congressman’s voting record. Mr. Denham did indicate that he favors turning Social Security trust funds over to Wall Street for investment. Mr. Denham did vote to shut down the government. The flyer also quoted Modesto Bee and Fresno Bee editors’ criticism of some of Mr. Denham’s votes.
Negative Ads Affect the Race
Political experts agree that negative campaign ads tend to help the candidate on the attack and that failure to use attack ads may cause the loss of an election. Incumbent Denham and challenger Eggman are listening to the political experts. The only question is, after both candidates finish shredding each other to bits, will anyone vote?