Denham, a 16-year U.S. Air Force veteran, demanded that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee immediately stop running an ad issued last week that accuses Denham of voting against continuing pay for military members and in favor of continuing pay for members of Congress during budgetary stand-offs.
The DCCC doesn’t work for individual candidates such as Denham’s opponent, former astronaut Jose Hernandez. Rather, it’s the official campaign arm of the Democrats in the House of Representatives.
According to its website, the DCCC is the only political committee in the country whose principal mission is to support Democratic House candidates but is not affiliated with individual campaigns.
Denham, who is in the midst of a heated battle with Hernandez for the newly drawn 10th Congressional district, said both accusations are false. District 10 takes in all of Stanislaus County and the southern parts of San Joaquin County.
“The Democrats got caught on this one,” he said. “I would never hold up the troops’ pay. (House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi) voted the same on these that I did.”
In the advertisement, it’s stated that: “With a government shutdown looming in Washington, Denham voted against a measure to guarantee our troops would still receive their pay. But Denham did vote to protect his own paycheck.”
DCCC Communications Director Jesse Ferguson said in a prepared statement that the facts speak for themselves.
“No matter how hard Congressman Denham tries to cover up his record and distract from his votes, he voted to protect his pay and not the pay of our troops,” he stated. “Given how out of step his record is with moderate middle-class families in this district, it’s no surprise he’s trying to cover it up.”
Denham’s Campaign Consultant Dave Gilliard said Denham filed the federal lawsuit on Friday regarding the ad.
“The ad is false and defamatory, especially to a proud veteran like Jeff Denham who has served his country and worked so hard to help our service members, their families and other veterans,” he said. “How the commercial says he voted is the exact opposite of what he did.”
Gilliard said Denham voted on two bills, to send them on to the next step and in a separate decision voted against sending them back to a committee where the bills could be changed.
“He voted to keep them as they were and move them on to the Senate,” he said.
Denham said the whole issue is close to his heart and the personal false attacks have to stop regardless of party affiliation.
That was the reason for the lawsuit, he said.
“It’s personal for me,” he said. “I fought for this country, and Nancy Pelosi is trying to win an election at any cost. I am confident that their lies will not sway people.”
• Contact Nick Rappley at 892-6187, ext. 31, or firstname.lastname@example.org.