If you think that things are really nasty in the presidential race, take a look at what's going on in the local 10th Congressional District race.
The Democrats have been working overtime in an effort to take out Jeff Denham, a member of Congress since 2011.
The California Democratic Party sent out a mailer to select voters I'll call the "Trump train" piece. It shows a piece of Photoshopped fantasy art with Trump as a conductor and Denham hanging off a locomotive labeled "Trump Express." The art is titled, "Representative Jeff Denham is fully onboard the Trump Train." On the flip side is this verbiage: "Jeff Denham rode the Trump Train all the way to the Cleveland convention to celebrate the Republican nominee for president."
Any reference to a Trump train, of course, is figurative but voters should be remindful that Trump was not the first choice of Denham - who backed John McCain in 2008. Denham had endorsed Jeb Bush. But since Trump is Denham's party's nominee, he is supporting him. Just the same way Michael Eggman is supporting his party's nominee, the first female presidential nominee who won her nomination while being the subject of an FBI investigation.
The Eggman hit piece also notes that "Denham even helped Trump get a coveted government building contract." I delved into the claim and it's not as the Democrats say.
Denham's office sent out a Sept. 10, 2013 press release which explained how Denham was involved in the push for renovation of the Old Washington, D.C post office, which was eventually proposed to become a luxury hotel. Denham himself did not vote on Trump becoming the contractor, the General Services Administration oversaw the process.
So how was Denham involved? As chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management in the 112th Congress, Denham pushed the federal government to redevelop the Old Post Office. When the building was being used for federal offices, stores and restaurants, it had been losing more than $6 million annually. Hard times fell and the building became empty and in disrepair.
Wanting to see redevelopment across the land, Denham introduced a bill in the 112th Congress, the Civilian Property Realignment Act (CPRA), to improve the management of federal properties like the Post Office, shrink Uncle Sam's footprint and save taxpayers billions of dollars. Congress passed the bill with a wide margin of support.
"We chose the Old Post Office because it is a symbol of a larger national problem," said Denham. "Similar properties sit vacant or underutilized all across the country. Redeveloping these properties will create thousands of jobs and promote economic growth."
In August 2013, 18 months after the General Services Administration (GSA) tapped Trump as its preferred developer, the parties finally agreed on a 60-year lease. It was actually the Obama Administration who gave Trump the contract.
The final product was an elaborate Trump hotel, which created 700 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs.
As a state legislator, Denham made repeated attempts to to pare down on the state's ownership of dormant or unprofitable properties to produce revenue to balance its budget. In 2001, the state's Department of General Services looked at a potential sale of San Quentin and found that relocating inmates to two new facilities would cost $695 million. In 2005 and 2007 then state Senator Denham attempted to close San Quentin Prison on valuable Bay Area property and move inmates to less valuable lands never made it out of committee. Powerful Democrats in the Bay Area - the region hardly elects Republicans - quashed the idea. Even though the taxpayers would have saved money, Denham's idea was killed.
Another Eggman piece reads: "Donald Trump has disqualified himself for president by mocking a reporter's disability, insulting women and attacking veterans and a Gold Star family. But millionaire politician Jeff Denham still supports Donald Trump for President."
Trump may have made crude remarks about various women in the past (Megan Kelly and Rosie O'Donnell come to mind), but he's never been subject of criminal investigations. Being crude does not disqualify one from being president. If that were the case, JFK and LBJ and Bill Clinton never could have served as president. I guess I missed any piece from Denham that might have accurately read: "Hillary Clinton is disqualified from being president because she violated federal law about the handling of classified information and emails, destroyed 33,000 emails as a cover up, attacked half the country as a basket of deplorables, told Secret Service agents to go "f--- off!," failed to attack when the U.S. Embassy at Bengazi was attacked and smeared the victims of her husband's unwanted sexual advances. Even though Hillary Clinton said a vast right-wing conspiracy was creating lies about her husband, Bill Clinton did indeed come clean and admitted that he lied under oath and was impeached for it. But Michael Eggman still supports Hillary Clinton for President." Again, maybe the postal carrier missed dropping that on off at my house.
There's also the "Jeff Denham's Gone Washington" piece - ironic given how the piece is actually from the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) in Washington, D.C. It shows two buildings, one labeled $650,000 Washington Condo"; the other a "$1.5 million Virginia mansion" in front of a big pile of cash. Only problem is that the footnotes reveal the truth: "Pictured house is a representative property." Also, Denham does not and has not owned a mansion in Virginia. Democrats engaged in deceptive advertising? Say it isn't so!
Actually Denham owns a ranch in Atwater, a 2,000-square-foot house in Turlock and last year purchased a 950-square-foot condo for $650,000.
Okay, so Denham is a millionaire; but not because of politics. He worked an agricultural business before founding Denham Plastics of Salinas in 2000. Most people wouldn't mind being millionaires, after all, see how many play the Lotto to become one. Good for Denham for being successful and smart enough as a businessman to become a millionaire. Bringing up Denham's net worth is meant to be used as a tactic to create enmity against the congressman from the poor of the districts. Democrats truly like the wealthy for two reasons: 1) because there are so many of them, like the Clintons; and 2) they like to sock it to them with taxes.
The Eggman mailer gives scant information on Eggman himself, only that he is a third generation farmer and beekeeper on land he grew up on; that he "knows" what it takes to create good jobs (yes, a profit); and a stronger economy. And this valuable nugget: that he will "stand up" for Valley families and stand up to Donald Trump.
My "favorite" Eggman hit piece is the "He might not see the resemblance ... but we do." It shows Trump looking into the mirror to see a photoshopped image of Denham wearing Trump style hair. That's a low blow given how nobody thinks Trump's hair looks good.
"Rep. Denham supports Trump's radical, reckless, divisive agenda," the piece suggests. I suppose if you say something long enough people will believe it. I don't find anything radical about Trump's platform of protecting U.S. borders, vetting refugees to keep out those who believe in Sharia law and cutting off heads of Americans, bringing back American jobs by lowering the corporate tax rate (which drove them to other countries), and restoring sanity to Uncle Sam's spending habits. We were $10 trillion in debt when Obama took office and are now at $19.7 trillion. This all happened under a watch of a man who said in 2008 that Bush's debt spending was "irresponsible and unpatriotic."
We could end negative advertising in a simple way: Throwing all negative campaign flyers in the garbage and digging into facts after seeing negative attacks on the radio and TV.
An informed electorate will put an end to deceptive political advertising.
How do you feel? Let Jeff know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.