Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor | The cases for Harder and Denham

Editor’s note: The letters below met The Bee’s requirements as letters to the editor, but we did not have room to run them in print or with the usual posted letters. They are posted online but will not appear in print.

Check your facts, Bee. Water bill wasn’t Denham’s

Re “Trump signs Denham’s water projects bill” (Front Page, Oct. 24): What the heck is wrong with your fact-checking people? Check facts before printing a false headline. I can’t believe you are so lazy as to give Jeff Denham credit for a water bill that is not his! Did you just take the headline from Denham’s press release? Talk about Fake News!

Fact: Denham did not write the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018, aka HR-8. It was sponsored by Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, not Jeff Denham!

Fact: It’s worthless to us because it doesn’t help us get more water. It provides loans for water projects, but no funds – i.e., actual money – for California. So if Denham had any input on this bill, he did a lousy job helping the Central Valley, as usual. This bill is not anything new, only a reworking of a series of similar water infrastructure bills passed roughly every other year going back to 1988.

To summarize, The Bee printed a fake headline – the water act of 2018 is not Denham’s, and it does nothing to help the people of his district. Vote for Josh Harder.

James Peck, Modesto

I’m conservative and Denham, Trump sicken me

Jeff Denham voted to strip health coverage for over 100,000 of his constituents. He voted for huge tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires and corporations but eliminated important tax deductions for Californians. He voted to fast-track the twin tunnels for the theft of our water for his south Valley donors. He supports eliminating the preexisting conditions clause for health insurance companies and cutting Social Security and Medicare to pay for the tax cuts for the super-rich. He supports eliminating regulations that protect us from air and water pollution so his corporate donors can rake in record profits. Denham votes for Trump’s agenda 98 percent of the time and not once has he ever denounced Trump’s disgusting behavior, blatant lies, divisive rhetoric and despicable actions – including his boot licking of Vladimir Putin.

A vote for Denham is a vote for the incompetence of Trump.

This is not the rant of a liberal. I am a conservative. I was a registered Republican for four decades. I became sick of what Denham and the GOP have become and now have no party affiliation. I am ashamed I voted for Denham in the last election. Josh Harder has my vote.

Tom Cardwell, Oakdale

I’m voting a straight Republican ticket

I still have distinct memories growing up of my dad calling Democrats the party of the little guy. Coming from left-leaning, politically active families, it is really disappointing that is no longer the case. By striving for power, Democrat leaders have abandoned any resemblance of decorum and resort to classic last-minute dirty tricks. They exhibit “projection” by accusing others of the very offensive things they do. They say or do anything for the power they crave.

When I researched Josh Harder using a non-partisan guide, I wondered why his campaign is primarily bankrolled by San Francisco and Boston money with no ties to the Central Valley. On the other hand, Jeff Denham is being supported by individuals and industries that build our basic local economy. The answer is clear: Josh Harder is just another political “chameleon” trying to blend into the Valley surroundings in a quest for power. Rather than a demonstrated awareness of our local needs, he has become indebted to the coastal elites and will do their bidding. I have given up on Democrats and become very weary of their tactics; I will vote a straight Republican ticket.

Stephen Sampayan, Manteca

Rhyming my reasons for voting for Harder

His name is Josh Harder,

he’s putting the Valley first.

As a starter

he’s helped small businesses

grow and succeed.

He needs your vote

To impede Washington greed.

Frieda Rector, Modesto

Let’s send Denham back to Salinas

Over the past six months, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Josh Harder several times in Modesto and Oakdale. Josh has been consistent and passionate in supporting access to affordable healthcare for all, protecting water for agriculture in the Valley, for increased educational and vocational opportunities in our region and for a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.

It is great to see one of our own come back home to help make our region better; it gives many of us hope our children will go out into the world to live and learn, but have opportunities to be successful back here in the Valley.

In contrast, in the 20 years since Jeff Denham moved here to run for office, I have never seen him in person. My daughter spent a summer as an intern in his district office and never met him. Rep. Denham has made promises in public that he betrayed with his voting record. I will be voting to send Josh Harder. I will be voting to send Denham back to Salinas.

John Lane, Oakdale

Denham has our interest at heart; no Trump lackey

I moved from Modesto to work in Washington, D.C., last December. One thing for certain is that Jeff Denham is not Donald Trump. Jeff angered the White House and Republican Party leadership this year when he led a bipartisan effort to discharge a fix for the DACA kids onto the floor of the House. Remember what bipartisanship looked like?

He brought the two parties together to do the right thing. Sadly, the effort fell 2 votes short. Leadership is needed on both sides of the aisle to bridge our political divide, and Jeff provides leadership from his side. He has always represented the District’s well beginning during his days in the state legislature. I hope the district returns him to Congress to continue that representation.

Michael Marsh, Arlington, VA

Did Denham learn his facts at Trump University?

Re “Real news, fake news and news of dumb tricks” (Page 8A, Oct. 27): Jeff Denham and his campaign are spending millions on negative campaign ads that include everything but the truth. Both he and his campaign manager must have attended Trump University to get their masters in alternative fact telling.

Last week they accused Josh Harder of voter fraud during the 2016 election. The allegation was such an outright lie that even Breitbart News refuted the story. Jeff Denham and his Super PAC are worried because for the first time they have an opponent who is actually running a real campaign. Josh Harder know the issues, is not afraid to go out in public and has thousands of volunteers knocking on doors every day. He and his family have lived here in the valley 150 years. His opponent claims to represent the Valley but no longer lives here, claims to be a farmer but does not farm. Jeff Denham claims to represent the people but won’t hold a town hall meeting to answer questions – like why he supports a president who constantly hurts working people.

James Nelson, Tracy

Harder’s agenda is all about the Valley

Josh Harder graduated from Modesto High School. His family has been here for five generations. He has had 16 town meetings. He answers all questions. He wants healthcare for all, fair immigration reform, good education and jobs to come to the Valley. He is honest and compassionate and wants all people to join in making the Valley a really good place to live. He is the person to represent us in congress.

Shelly Scribner, Modesto

Denham only one who tried to help Kamran

Democratic challenger Josh Harder has repeatedly called Rep. Jeff Denham a “do-nothing,” but Congressman Denham has actually done more than anyone in Congress to help my family save an Afghan U.S. military interpreter, Muhammad Kamran, and his family from the Taliban.

Kamran faithfully served the U.S. mission in Afghanistan for 10 years before fleeing to Pakistan to live in hiding with his wife and daughters. Kamran’s refugee case was denied by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for unstated discretionary “security concerns,” so his only hope was for a member of Congress to take a personal interest in his case.

My dad and I traveled to Washington, D.C., and met with 44 Congressional offices, both Democrats and Republicans. Several expressed support at first, but none was willing to lead an effort. As soon as our own congressman declined to help, Rep. Denham stepped up without hesitation to lead 38 members of Congress in sending a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen requesting a review of the reason the case was denied. His staff is still working tirelessly on the case. Rep. Denham’s leadership on the Kamran family’s case and other bipartisan, humanitarian initiatives shows he cares about problem-solving and working across the aisle.

Kristy Perano, Jackson

Denham won’t stand up to racist Trump

At a time when the president is inflaming fears of refugees, immigrants and Muslims, is disrespecting women, is praising violence against journalists, is removing rights for LGBT people and is failing to disavow white nationalists who attack Jews and African Americans, we need a courageous response from our U.S. representative. Instead, what we get from Rep. Jeff Denham is silence. Vote for Josh Harder for Congress so we can have a representative who will stand up for the rights of all of us.

Ken Schroeder, Modesto

Someone who actually will do what he says

Josh Harder will represent the constituents of District 10 and keep his promises.

Jeff Denham claimed support for DACA and healthcare for all. In Washington his DACA failed, he voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act and rubber-stamped legislation opposing the health and well being of millions. A self-proclaimed farmer, he voted to make it easier to send water south, ultimately threatening our agricultural economy.

Voters can trust Harder’s commitment to comprehensive healthcare, his educational vision, including high school technology and industrial training programs. He will fight to keep our water here, advocate for local infrastructure upgrades and related jobs, and explore real answers to help the homeless and mentally ill.

Harder is not given to lying, is approachable, will admit his mistakes and considers any ideas that can help him be a better citizen and candidate. He will represent all constituents, no matter their political, financial, career, ethnic or other status, and remains consistent, open and respectful to the concerns of all. Communication with Denham has been difficult, and may, at best, yield a form letter.

Tina Arnopole Driskill, Modesto

Harder is what we want for our young people

Josh Harder is exactly what our Congressional district needs. He’s smart, energetic and committed to the Central Valley. He grew up here, went away to school and started his career, then came back. I wish more of our bright and talented young people would do the same. The current representative does not live here, broke promises, avoids meeting with his constituents and is aligned with a president whose sole purpose is making himself and his friends richer and more powerful.

It’s time for a change. Josh Harder will be an effective member of Congress. I’m voting for Josh.

Jane Manley, Modesto

Denham belongs to Trump; vote Harder

Re “Real news, fake news and news of dumb tricks” (Page 8A, Oct. 27): It appears The Bee has been receiving more than usual “fake letters” endorsing or Jeff Deham or falsely attacking Josh Harder. I observed Denham supporters in the neighborhood going into yards and placing their fliers over Josh Harder signs. All I seem to hear and see are Denham’s attack on Harder with no Denham accomplisments for the people he is supposed to represent. Denham has turned over his backbone, and what little integrity he had, over to Trump. He no longer represents us. The only clear choice for someone to represent us “all” is Josh Harder.

Mike Casares, Modesto

Harder is a carpetbagger; vote for Denham

The last thing Tracy and the Central Valley need is a congressman brought and owned by Bay Area liberals. As someone who has lived in Tracy more than 35 years, I was outraged to read that Democratic candidate Josh Harder has received more than $3 million from outside the 10th congressional district.

More than $1 million of Harder’s campaign donations have come from one city alone – San Francisco, home of Bay Area leftist Nancy Pelosi. Another $200,000 has been dumped here by Berkeley residents and more than $182,000 has come from Oakland. This is outrageous. If we were to have the misfortune of having Harder in Congress, who would he represent – Tracy, Manteca and Oakdale or San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley?

If you want to know how unpopular Harder apparently is, only 21 individuals (including family members) have given him donations from his claimed hometown of Turlock.

There’s a term for a politician who can’t raise money from the people he wants to represent – carpetbagger. I’m voting for Jeff Denham.

Dave Kerst, Tracy

Denham shouldn’t resort to lying

Jeff Denham’s campaign has attacked Josh Harder for being pro-choice, suggesting he supports abortion through nine terms. I asked Josh about this ad; saying Josh supports 9-month abortion is completely false. Josh misunderstood the question. He was simply pointing out the important distinction in this race that Josh believes in a woman’s right to choose and Jeff Denham does not.

He was affirming his support for a woman’s right to choose based on existing California law, which states women have the right to get an abortion up to 24 weeks in consultation with their doctors. Josh only supports an abortion beyond this point if the pregnancy threatens the mother’s life or health, and believes that decision should be made between a woman and her doctor.

If Denham had integrity, he wouldn’t resort to lies to try to win this election. Between Denham’s lie on how he would vote on healthcare and his lies around Dreamers, and now Denham’s dirty campaigning, I am proud to vote for Harder.

Ramtin Zamiri, Modesto

Harder’s return actually a success story

Josh Harder has come home!

What more can we hope for? What more can we ask for, than to educate our children, send them off to college, or to venture forth into the greater world and have them be successful, then return home to enrich our lives? Isn’t that the hero’s journey? Isn’t that the continual quandary we deal with in the Central Valley?

We understand intuitively that, “the return” benefits us and our community! The benefit we gain is a conscientious regard and appreciation for what is best and what is needed here. Josh offers us that. He has returned to his roots, raised in Turlock, a proud graduate of Modesto High, he earned degrees at Stanford and Harvard and returned to teach at Modesto Community College. He does understand the critical issues we face, like health care, education, meaningful employment, environmental well-being and our dependence on immigration. He is not shackled by super-PAC loyalty. We need him to help us stabilize our community and secure a vibrant future for our children and their children. He is of the Valley, for the Valley. He deserves your vote! We deserve him!

Timothy Buchanan, Modesto

It’s our choice. We must choose well

Tuesday is a day of reckoning for our entire county. It is a time for the people to have their say. You will vote to show what kind of person you want to represent you in CD-10. Will it be someone whom you can trust with your healthcare, Medicare and Social Security? Someone who will advocate for high quality education, jobs and fair immigration laws? Someone who has American values of honor, decency and truth?

If you want such a person, you will vote for our local candidate – Josh Harder. During his hard fought campaign he has shown himself to be intelligent, truthful, energetic and caring toward constituents. He will work to represent your interests, not his own. Now is the time to act. Now is the time to cast your vote to show what kind of country you want to live in. It is the people’s power. Use it well.

Patricia Lima, Modesto

Lapdog Denham won’t bark at his master

On Oct. 29, Donald Trump, president, stated he planned to sign an order to end the citizenship of some American citizens born in the United States. The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution states, in part, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States.” The 14th Amendment does not limit birthright citizenship to people approved by Donald Trump. It applies to all people born on American soil.

Will Jeff Denham, the Trump lapdog, stand up to the president and say the president does not have the authority to amend the Constitution by executive order? Of course not. Denham just wants his belly rubbed. We need a congressman who will stand up to the President’s unconstitutional delusions and exercise Congress’ role in the checks and balances system. We need Josh Harder in Congress. Now.

Clay Bedford, Oakdale

We can no longer tolerate a Trump lackey

As an independent, I will vote for the candidate I feel can be trusted to work for the interests of where I live. This year, the election as truly one of the most important in our lifetimes as we have all three branches of government under the control of one party.

Our national government is simply dysfunctional and lacking of the constitutionally mandated checks and balances we so sorely need to hold the executive to account. The GOP majority seems to be in lock-step with Donald Trump and his recklessly disastrous policies, which includes the current incumbent, Jeff Denham. This can’t go on any longer; we must change the government, bringing back global respect, accountability and common decency to our national politics.

Ultimately, the truth must be respected and allowed once again to provide the foundation on which this republic is supposed to stand. This starts by electing Josh Harder to congress!

David S. Hartman, Tracy

Harder, not Denham, embodies my values

It time to choose the direction we want our country to go. This choice should not be taken lightly. I want my representative to value all individuals regardless of race, religion or socioeconomic status. I want him to celebrate diversity and what we can learn from differences to enrich our culture. I want my representative to maintain moral values and not put party politics or PAC interests above those values. I want someone who will check the current administration’s hateful and destructive rhetoric both personally and publicly. I want my representative to show up in the community and keep in touch with our wants and needs. I want him to stand behind his decisions and right or wrong convey his reasoning for these decisions. I believe Josh Harder has these moral and ethical attributes.

I believe he will served the interests of this Valley and be of voice for the values this country was built on.

Dona Kerkvliet-Varin, Turlock

A better voice for my Valley

Josh Harder spoke to Mantecans at Woodbridge and I was favorably impressed. He only made a couple of short references to his opponent and spent almost all of his time speaking about the issues in our district. He has done 16 town halls. His opponent has done one.

Josh has a fervor for the office as well as the standards which will make him a good representative. He insists he will be accessible to constituents regardless of their political views and will work to promote economic growth that includes higher paying technical jobs that help keep our young adults in our communities instead of having to move to find higher paying careers.

Josh’s opponent has tried every smear tactic possible to keep his seat. Do not believe the TV and computer ads. If sources are listed, check them out, they are probably false or flimsy at best. I am voting for Josh Harder because I want a better voice for the Valley.

Mike Killingsworth, Manteca

Wish Denham had more to brag about

I am voting for Josh Harder for Congress. I like the policies he supports, the energy and enthusiasm he exudes, and I am sorely disappointed in Jeff Denham’s performance for the last 10 years.

Denham tries to look like he is watching out for us, but it smacks of theater. The timing of this water storage bill is pure performance. Not that it isn’t needed, but where was this bill during the first few years of the drought? He has perhaps tried to bring supportive legislation for Dreamers, but this effort seems contrived when it is not combined with some serious verbal push back on the outrageous, racist behavior of President Trump – particularly when 40 percent of his constituents are Hispanic.

Jeff Denham is a go-along to get-along representative in this amoral Republican Washington morass, and I don’t expect much more if he is sent back to Congress. Maybe I am being unfair because I am not aware of Rep. Denham’s accomplishments. Maybe that is because he has few and is not running on them.

Phil Swearingen, Modesto