Denham means business
by Jon Mendelson / Tracy Press
Jan 17, 2012 | 6175 views | 3 3 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jeff Denham, a freshman in Congress, talks about his vision for the 10th Congressional District.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
Jeff Denham, a freshman in Congress, talks about his vision for the 10th Congressional District. Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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The race to represent Tracy in Congress added another heavyweight last week, when Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, formally announced his campaign for the 10th District of California.

Denham has represented the Central Valley south of Tracy for a decade — eight years in the State Senate and the past two as a congressman for Oakdale, Madera, the Yosemite Valley and the rest of the 19th District. But redistricting changed the lines, lumping Tracy south of Interstate 205 with Manteca and Stanislaus County.

Despite the new political boundaries, Denham touted his familiarity with the area and its “unique issues” as the reason he’s best-suited to represent the fighting 10th.

“I understand the issues,” he said. “I’ve farmed here; I’ve spent a lot of time here.”

In addition to farming an almond orchard outside Atwater, Denham is the owner and operator of Denham Plastics, a successful container company that got its start after Denham spent several years in the Air Force and graduated from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.

Denham said it’s his approach of looking at government from the perspective of a businessman that makes him a valuable representative for a district that’s historically lagged behind the rest of the state economically.

“I’m a businessman first. We have a lot of unique issues, but certainly we need someone who’s willing to take a stand and fight for our community rather than the political interests of a party,” he said.

He identified water, agriculture and the high number of foreclosures as some of the biggest concerns for the region.

Regarding the latter, Denham touted his partnership with a Modesto Democrat, the retiring Dennis Cardoza, for trying to bring presidential attention to the foreclosure problem plaguing the Central Valley.

“Congressman Cardoza and I continue to write a bipartisan letter to the president each time he comes to California,” he said, adding that the state shouldn’t be just “an ATM” for President Obama, who has yet to visit the Central Valley during his presidency.

Denham pointed to his work with Cardoza as evidence that he’s able to work outside party lines. But he said he’s not afraid to stand up to Republicans if the vote goes against his principles, and noted his refusal as a state senator to vote for a budget that wasn’t balanced.

Though he rejected the idea of labeling himself conservative or moderate overall in an interview, Denham did venture, “I’m certainly a fiscal conservative.”

That includes, he said, fighting for a balanced budget and a simplified tax code, which he said needs a large-scale revisit, not just here-and-there tweaks.

“I think we’re at a time in our nation when we can address the entire tax code.”

As part of that, he favors a flat tax in which everyone, regardless of income, pays the same percentage of their income.

Though a regressive form of taxation, Denham said it would bring more certainty to the economy and open the doors for investment.

“I think it also provides the upper income levels the opportunity to invest more. I think it also gives the incentive for an individual to try and prosper more, as well,” he said. “I wanted to start my own business. I think by having a one tax system … where everybody’s equal, (it)provides the competitiveness our country was founded on.”

Denham also said he’s in favor of shelving California’s high-speed rail project. While Denham volunteered that he voted in favor of it as a member of the state Legislature, the estimated cost of the project has ballooned since, and he thinks there are now more effective ways to spend limited resources for transportation.

He also favors greater water storage so high rainfall years can tide the state over in dry seasons, and he stressed the importance of protecting agriculture, San Joaquin County’s top industry.

As part of that, he helped move forward a bill that would exempt farmers from clean air standards when it comes to the dust kicked up by standard agriculture practice. Though Obama’s administration has promised to continue not enforcing those standards for agriculture, Denham wants it in writing.

“We hope that, either A, he’ll sign the bill, or B, he’ll stick to what he’s saying and not enforce the regulation on us,” he said.

Nationally, Denham said fully harnessing natural resources — including construction of a pipeline to bring petroleum from oil sands deposits in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico coast — is also important to the nation’s prosperity.

While sometimes “very frustrated with the rhetoric” of Washington, D.C., politics, Denham said he’s committed to working for his constituents as well as with those on both sides of the aisle to solve the nation’s problems.

“On issues, we have to work together, and we do,” he said. “… We have to have Republicans and Democrats work together to solve problems.”

Two Democrats have previously stated their intentions to run against Denham in the 10th District: Jose Hernandez, who once worked sugar beet fields and recently flew aboard the space shuttle; and Mike Barkley, whose biggest platform planks are job growth, a balanced budget and repeal of the 2nd Amendment.

• Look for more coverage of local candidates and campaigns in upcoming editions of the Tracy Press.

Comments
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RichBuckley
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January 17, 2012
On the issue of federal level financial accountability (the Black Hole to truth gathering) Mr Denham's well meaning goals are usually granted only sacrificial tokens to create a false image of congressional diligence, even with the noblest, heroic efforts .... while the truth always remains out of sight. As we change ages in 2012 from the old age into the new age, we need more than ever awakened souls of courage to face down the beast of government and endless wars of empirical maintenance that run the country. The good guys must win. The good guys will win. What we think will happen will most probably happen in this convergence of time lines of all probable events.

There exist significant impediments to open transparency in our government. Mr. Denham's sincere and well meaning intentions follows a well worn path fraught with imagery and illusions that eventually lead all such financial truth seekers astray.... leagues short of their intended goals, were they shamelessly settle for the status quo, perks of incumbency, and trivial enhancements of seductive power. This is the godless path his campaign must show he will rise above. There are symbolic campaign techniques to create
RichBuckley
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January 17, 2012
continue...such a challenge but require the hero to confront the ugly, powerful beast called "Party Caucus Power Mandate." Think Ron Paul, as such a symbolic campaign: Confronting the empire and its great imagery by directly confronting "Party Caucus Power Mandate" to cut 5 federal departments of government out of the beast. It's never been done. And it should be noted that those who rise to the challenge even when elected to office have been assassinated.



After reading Dr Michael Sallas’s several books on the subject of financial control of the beast, one little fact kept pounding itself into me: It is currently “illegal” (that's right, illegal under federal law) .... wait for it.... to implement any comprehensive, computerized, federal government financial accounting system accross all departments of government that would account for every dollar. Such accounting accuracy is a simple task to achieve under modern technology yet was orchestrated into law by CIA insistence to be illegal.



The hero must be prepared to win as nearly everyone will believe he will fail in the quest to escape the Black Hole to truth gathering. What this country needs are candidates and elected officials fearless in their determination, humble in attitude, loving in spirit, and committed to truth and not just another aspirant to "Party Caucus Power Mandate." I wish him well as is task is great. God Bless
sing4supper
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January 17, 2012
Even if he just shows up for coffee once a year, then I think he will do much better than Jerry.

Let's see, all he has to do to be on par with Jerry is cut a ribbon at the NUMI shutdown and then hit the delay party for the Vets in French Camp?

Oh, and don't forget the PHONEy meetings in support of NancyCare.


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