Editor, Manteca Bulletin:
It appears that the voters of District 10 have retired Jeff Denham. I think the majority of us figured out that Denham failed us by failing the VoteSmart’s Political Courage Test by refusing to answer questions such as “Campaign Finance: Do you support the regulation of indirect campaign contributions from corporations and unions?” (11/4/18) Denham also failed us by voting for what Trump stands for 98% of the time which is 36% more frequently than someone who legislated CA 10’s preferences would be expected to vote (fivethirtyeight, 11/4/18). The disparity between the needs of his constituents and his subservience to Trump has caught up with Denham.
Our 2016 popular vote losing President made it clear that this election was about his popularity: “A vote for (Republicans) is really a vote for me and everything that we stand for.” (10/18/18) Denham showed he did not stand with us through his votes for ‘Smoggy Skies Act’ though 53% of us support a stronger Clean Air Act. (International Business, 5/29/18), for the American Health Care Act though only 33% of us supported it (fivethirtyeight, 3/22/17), and against a Path to Legalization for All even though 83% of us support this for our undocumented neighbors. (Fox News, 9/28/17)
George Will has provided the principle by which to judge what Trump stands for: “… independents and temperate Republicans — these are probably expanding and contracting cohorts, respectively — … should vote (by) the principle: The congressional Republican caucuses must be substantially reduced. In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, he is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him.” (6/22/18)
I would like to thank our local independents and temperate Republicans for their support of Democrat Josh Harder. By joining together we all stood against Trump’s stands for decreasing protection for 130 million citizens with preexisting health conditions (Vox, 10/29/18), for increasing Federal deficits by trillions plus (USA Today, 8/20/18), for permanently damaging our agricultural sector through tariffs by over 12 billion annually (The Conversation, 7/31/18) and for being liar-in-chief with “… 6,420 false or misleading claims over 649 days.” (Washington Post FactChecker, 11/2/18)
In contrast Harder supports more effective legislation to improve our air quality, increasing protections for preexisting conditions, ensuring affordable health care for all, and a path to legalization for all those contributing to our country and economy.
I was able to speak to both Harder and Denham, the former in person at his Manteca Town Hall and the latter by phone by at a Phone In Town Hall. I appreciated both opportunities but much preferred Harder’s approach of holding 16 Town Halls. Denham’s less grass roots approach did not allow me much time and no opportunity to ask a hard question. Harder’s approach gave me more time and allowed hard questions.
I disagree with Harder about the morality of abortion. He clarified that he supports California’s current law which states “The performance of an abortion is unauthorized if … (t)he abortion is performed on a viable fetus … .” (Health and Safety Code 123468) The same code also protects the conscience of a provider and the life of a born alive baby.
As a right to life activist for over 50 years I evaluate candidates on this issue based on a seamless approach which includes minimizing the need to choose abortion, joining the 70% of countries which do not use the death penalty, and maximizing providing all citizens health care, education and basic needs. Josh Harder meets these criteria based on my conversation with him.
Harder also meets my needs as a senior citizen by pledging to protect Medicare rather than cutting half a trillion from its budget as proposed by Trump (2018 budget vote) and by opposing raising the retirement age to 70 as proposed by Trump. (Republican Study Committee 2019 budget vote)
Denham is a Virginia millionaire who cowered to a New York tax evading billionaire. Harder is of the Valley and will be for the Valley. As Max Boot, conservative author of ‘Corrosion of Conservatives’, wrote: “Today we are locked in a bitter custody battle over the future of the Republican Party: Will it return to its previous principles or will it remain forever a populist, white-nationalist movement in the image of Donald Trump?” (10/11/18)
I am so proud of the voters of District 10 for helping return the Republican party to the principles of Abraham Lincoln and Bob Dole: “With malice toward none, with charity for all … .” (Lincoln, 3/4/1865) “… if there’s anyone who has mistakenly attached themselves to our party in the belief that we are not open to citizens of every race and religion, then let me remind you -- tonight this hall belongs to the party of Lincoln. And the exits, which are clearly marked, are for you to walk out of as I stand this ground without compromise.” (Dole, 8/15/1996)