During the government shutdown that ended on Wednesday, many political advocate groups targeted politicians throughout the nation in an attempt to pressure members of Congress to find a solution to the 16-day standoff.
Congressman Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) was not exempt from such targets, and is continuing to be targeted after voting in opposition to the bill that reopened the government.
In an ad sponsored by Americans United for Change – a nonprofit liberal advocate group – Denham is portrayed as having a great amount of influence in the “tea-party shutdown.” The organization launched several television ads targeting politicians in a number of swing Republican congressional districts.
The ad targeting Denham focused on the consequences of the government shutdown, such as massive layoffs, delayed benefits for veterans, putting senior citizens and the disabled at risk, stalling food inspection processes, and even halting cancer treatment for children.
“Make no mistake: Congressman Denham and fellow Republicans’ refusal to support clean legislation to keep the government open at the 11th hour was the act of politicians that welcomed a shutdown,” said Brad Woodhouse, president of Americans United for Change. “Denham joined with the extortionist Tea Party crowd in Congress who demanded a ransom they knew they would never get: Killing the Affordable Care Act…It’s time Denham and fellow Republicans in Congress come to grips with reality that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, that it was upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court, and that it’s working.”
Denham’s campaign, however, seemed unfazed by the organizations advertisement, saying that it was merely a political maneuver that had no merit.
“We are not surprised that a liberal special interest group would decide to start negative campaigning so early and to exploit the situation in Washington. The ad is factually wrong,” said Dave Gilliard, Denham’s campaign consultant. “Rep. Denham did not vote to shut down the government. In fact, he voted numerous times to keep the government open; he requested his own pay be withheld during the shutdown; and he is working hard to find a compromise that will resolve the situation, protect taxpayers and get the government working again.”
Now that the 16-day government shutdown has ended following a House vote on Wednesday evening, the organization is still targeting Denham and reprimanding the congressman for voting ‘no’ on the bill that would reopen the government.
“Denham not only wanted to keep the government closed and see the GDP shrink even more, he wanted to take the economic sabotage to the next level by threatening the full faith and credit of the United States,” said Woodhouse. “Denham has clearly pledged total allegiance to the Tea Party economic arsonists in Congress, the consequences for the nation and his constituents be damned.”