Republican Laura Perry will never forget how Jeff Denham campaigned in the 2000 California Assembly Primary. Denham’s campaign achieved new lows even then: “They told out-and-out lies,” said Perry, who later became a Gavilan College Trustee. “It was a very dirty primary. He had no experience. He didn’t even know that a bond wasn’t a tax.”
Denham’s dirty tactics surfaced again in his 2002 campaign for the 12th District’s California State Senate Seat against Rusty Areias. That October, Denham sent out a blizzard of full-color mailers claiming Areias had been charged with sexual harassment.
In fact, the sexual harassment incident had occurred some twenty years previously and involved two of Areias’s staff members, one of whom Areias fired.
Denham’s more recent lies on health care prompted Dr. Charles (CV) Van Allen to submit a detailed rebuttal to the Modesto Bee. Dr. Allen noted on September 27 that every campaign season includes hyperbole, stretching the truth, and distortions. But he added, “Occasionally someone stretches the truth beyond belief into actual lies that need reply.”
Denham’s lies about health care in District 10 include the time he lied publicly to hundreds of constituents about his vote on the Affordable Care Act.
Denham’s latest lies are about Josh Harder. Probably because he himself is a professional politician who was born in Los Angeles and whose Salinas business is outside his own district, Denham is desperate to tag Turlock native Harder as an outsider.
But Denham’s claim to be a “local farmer” is based on his ownership of twenty acres he currently leases to an almond farmer in Atwater, which is not even in his district. He recently bought a warehouse in Turlock with a sign reading, “Denham Plastics,” but frequent observers say the warehouse appears to be empty.
In a recent mailer, Jeff Denham claims Harder invested in a health care company that raised rates on its patients thirty percent. The source cited is the Congressional Leadership Fund, a partisan PAC for which the major funding is provided by Sheldon Adelson, who is also a huge contributor to Donald Trump.
The PAC’s website has several blurbs about “Jason” Harder and cites a Denver Post story about health care increases. The Post story never mentions Harder and says health care rates are rising due to uncertainty about the future of health care under the Trump presidency and Republican Congress. Just one more lie about health care from Jeff Denham.
In a recent television ad, Denham claims Josh Harder supports the proposal for a “Bullet Train” from Sacramento to Los Angeles. In fact, as far back as last April, Harder said the Bullet Train is “too far behind schedule and over budget.” He added that we should be exploring rail solutions to and from the Bay Area because, “the jobs are over there and the houses are over here.”
One of the earliest targets for Jeff Denham’s lies, Laura Perry was also one of the first to predict Jeff Denham would become a pawn for the Republican Party. Way back in 2002, Perry said,
“Jeff will forever be indebted to the Republican Party…I believe a candidate should represent his or her district. A candidate like Jeff, that’s a danger — your county be damned. And in San Benito County, especially, you need all the representation you can get.”
Today, it’s not, “your county be damned,” for Jeff Denham, it’s, “your district be damned.” Jeff Denham votes with his Republican Party 97.8% of the time, including when his party supports fast tracking the Delta Twin Tunnels and sending his own district’s water south to Big Ag.
For almost twenty years, Jeff Denham has put party before people. The next time he makes a claim about Josh Harder, check the facts. If Jeff Denham were truly of the Valley, he would have learned long ago not to lie to his friends and neighbors. But then, it’s Josh Harder who grew up with local friends and neighbors, not Salinas businessman Jeff Denham.
*Formerly, “Denham’s Lies Go Way, Way Back”