Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
California Alliance for Retired Citizens (CARA), a senior advocacy organization, held a California District Ten candidates forum at the Salida Branch of the Stanislaus County Library System on Monday morning from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The library Community Room was filled almost to capacity with seniors anxious to hear all candidates and to express their concerns. The only candidate who was invited but that did not attend was Jeff Denham. Unfortunately Jeff Denham has shown a strong disregard for his constituents when it comes to meeting with them and discussing the issues.
Most all of the candidates’ talk was about keeping programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid fully funded until Medicare for all can be enacted. Social Security issues were also discussed, especially keeping it fully funded and improving the way the COLA is determined. Concern was also expressed about the fact that a $1.5 trillion deficit tax bill was passed and worries that that deficit will then be used as an excuse to reduce funding for those programs.
In the recent past Congressman Jeff Denham expressed his belief that when the national deficit was $18 trillion that it was a serious threat to our democracy, yet he voted for another $1.5 trillion deficit tax bill that put a few dollars in the hands of the middle class and huge amounts into the hands of the corporations and super rich. He wasn’t there to explain his vote and defend it. He apparently isn’t interested in explaining his votes to his constituents. My question is: “Why is he hiding from members of District 10 and just attending meetings with favorable crowds, and just what does he have to hide?”
Ted Howze did not show either. He appears to simply be a Republican candidate who is designed to split the vote. His hope is simply to get the votes of Republicans who can’t in good conscience vote for Denham. This in an effort to keep those votes from going to a legitimate Democrat candidate. In that regard, it seems to me that the Democrats need to pare their candidates down to one or possibly two for the primary so that we don’t end up with Denham and Howze as the top two vote getters who would then go through the motions of running against one another in November’s election.
From my perspective, Josh Harder and perhaps Virginia Madueno are the two best candidates who are Democrats. Josh Harder is a graduate of Stanford and the Harvard School of Business where he got his master’s degree. He currently teaches at MJC in Modesto. Virginia Madueno was the mayor of Riverbank and has been a local business owner for 15 years. She is also on the State Recreational Water Board.