“Josh Harder is deeply rooted in the Central Valley, and understands the challenges facing its families today. Josh Harder has already shown that he knows what it takes to grow a 21st century economy and invest in better jobs and wages. Harder will also fight for the Valley’s water rights and to secure and protect affordable, quality healthcare for hardworking families. Josh is building a campaign that will flip this seat in November,” said DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján.
To: Interested Parties
From: Drew Godinich, DCCC Regional Press Secretary
Date: June 19, 2018
RE: The Case Against Jeff Denham
After squeaking by with a 3-point win in 2016, Jeff Denham is up for re-election in a national environment that has proven punishing for Republicans. With a long record of personally profiting during his political career, a voting record in line with Washington Republican orthodoxy, and a reputation as a go-to Congressman for DC lobbyists, Jeff Denham finds himself in the toughest race of his career.
Denham is one of the most reliable votes for the Republican agenda in Washington, voting with Donald Trump 97% of the time. On the most critical votes – the disastrous Republican healthcare repeal that would have devastated the Central Valley and the GOP Tax Scam – Jeff Denham was more than happy to vote to rip away healthcare and increase costs for millions of Californians and raise taxes on working people.
Healthcare will be central to this race – 35% of the residents of California’s 10th Congressional District are enrolled in Medi-Cal, and Denham’s vote for the repeal of the ACA would’ve ripped healthcare away from 50,000 of his own constituents. And Jeff Denham cannot escape the fact that he will profit handsomely – by as much as $100,000 a year – from his vote to pass the GOP Tax Scam, which will increase everyday costs and healthcare premiums on Californians.
Meanwhile, Democrats have a compelling candidate in Josh Harder. He has proven he can build an aggressive and competitive campaign, and by leveraging deep roots in the Central Valley, Harder beat a number of other, better-known challengers on primary night. Moreover, Josh’s record as an educator and of investing in jobs provides a compelling contrast to Jeff Denham’s record in Washington, willing to compromise his values to further his own career.
Jeff Denham’s weak showing in the June primary — a nearly double-digit decline from his 2016 primary result — further puts into doubt Denham’s re-election prospects. Harder is well-positioned to take up this fight again and win this seat.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
ENDORSEMENT: “If Democrats want a real choice in November, a candidate who is smart, will grow with the job and has a chance to actually win, they should choose Harder in June.” [Modesto Bee, 05/12/2018]
HEADLINE: “Public records show how much House Republican will gain from the tax law he repeatedly lied about” [ThinkProgress, 1/22/18]
Cook Political Report: CA-10 is a Toss-Up [Cook Political Report, 5/2/18]
“The industry has rewarded Denham handsomely. Since he first ran for Congress in 2010, Denham has taken $38,500 from political action committees associated with the American Trucking Association, one of the biggest groups lobbying for changing the meal and rest rules. In all, he’s received more than $193,000 from the trucking industry, according to data from OpenSecrets, a campaign finance website.” [San Jose Mercury News, 7/20/17]
“A majority of voters, 54%, said they would be less likely to reelect their representative if that member of Congress voted to repeal the healthcare law… Nearly half of voters, 47%, said they opposed the federal tax overhaul signed by Trump in December. It had support of 27% of voters surveyed, and 26% weren’t sure or had no opinion. A slim majority of voters, 52%, said they would be less likely to vote to reelect their member of Congress if he or she supported the bill.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/18]
EDITORIAL: “As we said then, if Trump won, having Denham in office would only make things worse. How much worse? How about losing healthcare coverage for 100,000 of Denham’s constituents? How about losing 7,000 healthcare jobs in his district? How about losing funding for clinics and programs aimed at the poor – in a district with thousands of poor people. This is exactly what Jeff Denham’s vote to repeal the ACA could deliver.” [Modesto Bee, 5/04/17]
HEADLINE: “Here’s why Trump’s tax plan will hit Californians especially hard” [LA Times, 9/27/17]
JEFF DENHAM: PROFITS BEFORE PEOPLE
Votes and Priorities Are Out of Touch with a Swing District
Jeff Denham has made clear where his priorities lie – with his Washington bosses and lobbyists. No wonder he’s voted with Donald Trump 97% of the time. Denham’s record does not match his district, which voted for Hillary Clinton by three points. Vote after vote, even when other Republicans showed independence and voted with Democratic colleagues, Denham was a reliable vote for Paul Ryan’s far-right Washington agenda.
Voted for Giveaways to Corporations While Increasing Taxes on Californians, Make Home Ownership More Expensive
Denham voted for the GOP Tax Scam that hits Californians with “double taxation” and is slated to increase taxes on Californians by $12 billion. He campaigns against our country’s debt, but the Tax Scam is slated to increase the deficit by $1.9 trillion. Worse, it’ll give 83% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of Americans and increases incentives for companies to move jobs overseas — all while millions of middle class families pay more over time.
Housing in California is expensive, but Denham’s vote for the Tax Scam makes it worse. Denham’s bill will be a “hit to home shoppers” and puts “home ownership even further out of reach for families”.
Went Back On His Promise – Caused Healthcare Premiums to Skyrocket in California, Jeopardized Constituents’ Health Care
Jeff Denham initially claimed he would vote against any health care bill that didn’t protect people with pre-existing conditions and maintain the Medi-Cal expansion, but unsurprisingly he went back on his promise . Denham has repeatedly voted to increase health care premiums – which are expected to increase by nearly 18% in California – in addition to gutting pre-existing condition protections and jeopardizing health insurance for a whopping 50,000 people in his district. In the 10th Congressional District, 1 in 3 residents are enrolled in Medicaid. Additionally, he voted to impose an age tax on seniors and did nothing to lower the price of prescription drugs.
Now, Jeff Denham and Washington politicians have their sights set on slashing Social Security and Medicare.
Lining His Pockets, Protecting Lobbyists
Jeff Denham “repeatedly lied about” the GOP Tax Scam and the fact that he stood to profit by more than $100,000 per year from it – while nearly a million Californians are set to see tax hikes because of the law. Also, Jeff Denham’s soft spot for lobbyists is well known – he spearheaded the effort to cut down on paid breaks for truckers after taking nearly $200,000 from the industry.
Denham has profited handsomely throughout his career as a politician. He’s voted to increase his own pay twice, taking in $1.8 million in taxpayer-funded salaries. Also, his net worth has increased by millions during his time in office.
THE PATH TO VICTORY
Jeff Denham posted an extremely weak primary showing in 2018, a nearly double-digit decline from his 2016 primary result. This year, Jeff Denham will face a fresh challenger who is running a top-tier campaign that can hold him accountable for his devastating Washington agenda. Josh Harder has shown that he can run an insurgent, grassroots-driven campaign that will continue to November. Meanwhile, Denham has found himself in a toxic Republican environment that will haunt him until November.
Harder won the endorsement of the Modesto Bee because he’s put himself “in a strong position” to beat Denham in November… if Democrats want a real choice in November, a candidate who is smart, will grow with the job and has a chance to actually win, they should choose Harder in June. Because it’s going to be harder to beat Denham than most now think.”
Among his many endorsements, Harder has secured the support of the California Labor Federation, the National Education Association, and the Brady Campaign. These endorsements, among the many other labor and progressive endorsements he has secured, have provided the foundation for the future of Harder’s hard-fought campaign that’ll take down Denham.
California’s 10th Congressional District is a suburban and rural district with a sizeable Latino population (28%). In the heart of California’s Central Valley, agriculture employs a huge swath of the district’s residents, and healthcare access and affordability remain key voting concerns. The district voted for Hillary Clinton by 3 points in 2016. In this swing district, Jeff Denham’s lack of bipartisan bona fides puts his re-election chances in jeopardy – and Josh Harder’s proven track record as a businessman and educator provides a compelling contrast for Democrats.