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The Case Against David Valadao

“David Valadao’s record is clear – he’s voted with Donald Trump 98% of the time, even when it meant eliminating health care for over 60,000 of his own constituents and stripping away vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions. While T.J. Cox has put working people in the Central Valley first, rejected Congressman David Valadao will once again have to answer to the voters for his strict allegiance to Trump over the needs of Central Valley families.” – DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos

To: Interested Parties

From: Andy Orellana, DCCC Regional Press Secretary

Date: March 4, 2020

Subject: The Case Against David Valadao

David Valadao’s strict allegiance to his party is front and center in this marquee race. Despite twisting himself into knots to claim moderate credentials, Valadao’s voting record shows he is anything but – voting with Donald Trump 98% of the time and standing with him as he campaigns for reelection.

Nowhere is Valadao’s allegiance to Trump more apparent than his vote to rip health care away from more than 60,000 of his own constituents. In a district where 50% of residents are enrolled in Medi-Cal, Valadao cruelly voted along with his party to slash Medicaid and hike health insurance premiums. And as for the Washington Republican Tax Scam, Valadao’s lobbyist and Washington friends could again count on him as an obedient supporter, even though the law raised taxes on millions of Californians  – but enriched Valadao in the process.

In contrast, Rep. TJ Cox not only has a two decade record of creating jobs and expanding access to health care for those in the Central Valley, but Cox has channeled those same efforts into his work in Congress championing greater investment in water infrastructure, boosting the farm industry by millions of dollars, and fighting for  health care resources needed for the Valley.

Donald Trump lost this district by 16 points in a district that is majority-minority with a 60% Latino electorate. As the son of immigrants and with a record of delivering for the Central Valley, TJ Cox is well positioned to contrast his own record of results with Valadao’s failures for the people of the district.


TRUMP: “He’s been successful all his life and he’s running for the 21st Congressional district, David Valadao. He is an incredible guy […] we really need him badly in Washington.” [KBAK, 2/19/20]

Headline: California Congressional Candidate’s Family Farm Walked Out On $325,000 Owed To Workers. [Fresno Bee, 9/26/19]

Headline: GOP Dairyman’s Family Farm Held Responsible For California Farmworker’s Amputation. [Fresno Bee, 2/11/20]

Headline: Rep. Cox Introduces Bill Providing $200 Million In Rural Water Infrastructure Funding. [FOX 26, 2/4/20]

Headline: Sun Gazette: Feds Allocate $11 Million For Friant-kern Canal Fix. [Sun Gazette, 2/12/20]

Headline: Reps. Cox And Harder Introduce Bill To Build First Medical School In Central Valley. [KSEE Fresno, 1/22/20]

Headline: Rep. TJ Cox Meets With Valley Advocacy Groups To Discuss Immigration Reform. [KFSN, 3/20/19]


Pursuing a Washington Republican Agenda in a Democratic District

Before being booted from office in 2018, David Valadao voted with Donald Trump 98% of the time. Their shared agenda in Congress endangered health care for tens of thousands of Central Valley families and raised taxes on a million Californians. Even as his district voted for Hillary Clinton by 16 points, Valadao showed little interest in moderating his positions to fit the best interests of his own community and in 2018 he paid the political price.

And because Valadao can’t hide from his record as a Trump loyalist, he’s going all in on the Trump Presidency in 2020, recently joining Trump at a political rally in the Central Valley where Trump gave him the endorsement he worked so loyally to earn.

Jeopardized Constituents’ Health Care, Allowed Healthcare Premiums to Skyrocket and Cut Protections for Thousands of Californians with Pre-Existing Conditions

In his final term in Congress, David Valadao told constituents he was “leaning no” on the Republican health care bill, citing his concern that constituents would lose Medicaid. Then Valadao turned around and voted for the bill anyway, putting at serious risk health care for some of the 412,000 Medi-Cal recipients in CA-21. That very same bill supported by Valadao kicked more than 60,000 of his own constituents off their health care, including those with pre-existing conditions. But as if that wasn’t bad enough, Valadao repeatedly voted to increase health care premiums – which have increased by nearly 18% in California.

Meanwhile in Congress, Rep. TJ Cox, has fought on behalf of the Central Valley and worked to secure health care resources the Valley needs from funding for a new medical school to getting rural veterans receive the care they deserve or combating local health problems like Valley Fever.

Voted for Giveaways to Corporations Including Big Pharma, While Increasing Taxes and Making Home Ownership More Expensive for Californians

Just because he lost his seat in Congress doesn’t mean David Valadao can shake off the most damaging parts of his record there.

When Valadao wasn’t risking the health care coverage of thousands of Central Valley families, Valadao was voting for the GOP Tax Scam that hit Californians with a “double taxation,” increasing taxes on Californians by $12 billion.

While Valadao campaigned years ago on a promise of not saddling future generations with a sizable Federal deficit, the tax scam Valadao voted for in Washington is projected to increase the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Worse, it’ll give 83% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of Americans and line the pockets of drug manufacturers — all while millions of middle class families pay more over time.

Housing in California is expensive, but Valadao’s vote for the Tax Scam made it even worse, putting “home ownership even further out of reach for families”.

While, Valadao spent his time in Congress making it more unaffordable for California homeowners and those seeking to own a home, Rep. TJ Cox has been working diligently to secure the needed funding in order to help combat the growing housing issues effecting the Central Valley.

Enriching Himself at the Expense of Taxpayers, Ripping Off Local Businesses, Shortchanging and Mistreating Farmworkers

Throughout his career as a politician, David Valadao repeatedly used his position to enrich himself while shortchanging those that have worked for or with him throughout his career. On the Republican Tax Scam alone, Valadao personally profited by as much as $1 million annually from tax code change he voted to pass, while millions of Californians saw a hike in their taxes because of the law.

But closer to home, it was revealed that Valadao was not only sued for denying his farm workers a minimum wage and overtime pay but Valadao had the audacity to settle with the workers on his farm to then turn around and walk out, not paying the $325,000 settlement owed to them and agreed upon by Valadao. To add insult to injury, when asked about the lawsuit and walking out on the settlement Valadao called the suit “frivolous”.

The alarming news of Valadao’s mistreatment of his farm workers was followed by recent revelations that Valadao was found personally responsible for one of his workers losing a portion of their arm in a manure separator due to a lack of safety protocols and proper training. Attempting to dodge responsibility for his negligence, Valadao pleaded ignorance when testifying on the stand and did not return request for comment when asked about the incident.

Rejected Congressman David Valadao’s history of mistreating and exploiting farm workers are not the only times Valadao has left others in the Central Valley out in the cold. In 2018, Valadao was sued for ripping off a local farm-supply business – allegedly receiving more than $1 million in products without paying the bill, and was accused in the lawsuit of “unjust enrichment”, “fraud”, and “intentional misrepresentation”. In a separate lawsuit, Valadao and his farm allegedly defaulted on $9 million in loans.

It has become increasingly clear to Central Valley voters that when Valadao isn’t shamelessly promoting the Trump agenda, he’s taking a page from the Trump playbook: abusing workers and shortchanging business partners, all the while disguising financial failures by filing for bankruptcy. The hardworking families and farmers of the Central Valley know better than to trust the Trump-Valadao Agenda in 2020.


California’s 21st Congressional District is a rural district that routinely votes for Democrats at every level, especially in Presidential years. Latinos make up 60% of the voting age population, and the district voted for Hillary Clinton by 16 points in 2016.

In 2018, Central Valley voters rejected David Valadao because he broke his promise to lower health care costs and protect coverage for 60,000 Californians in his district including those with pre-existing conditions. And when Valadao wasn’t risking the health care coverage for thousands of his constituents, he was voting with President Trump 98% of the time, even voting to line the pockets of drug manufacturers.

Valadao’s blind adherence to Trump and Washington Republican agenda, including his votes to eliminate healthcare and raise taxes on California homeowners, will be a liability and political anchor too heavy for Valadao to free himself from. With a deeply unpopular Republican president in the White House, a track record of disastrous votes for Californians, and a Democrat in Rep. TJ Cox who has shown he can deliver for the Central Valley, David Valadao is in for a second straight rejection by the voters come November 2020.


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