Jeff Denham Is The Koch Brothers’ Favorite California Tea Partier

An incumbent teabagger running for re-election and devoted to advancing the Koch brothers’ ideology and vision for America could not possibly wish for more optimum circumstances heading into a midterm election than a congressional district rife with religious-right, anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-science, and anti-education low-information voters. This particular teabag candidate also enjoys the endorsement and support of a fairly large regional newspaper so mesmerized by the Koch-candidate’s ideology that it gave the “local-boy” a prime spot on the opinion page over a week ago for an alleged “op/ed” that any first-grader easily identified as free campaign ad-space minus the ‘advertisement’ alert. Interestingly, the teabagger candidate is not seeking re-election to Congress in a deep-red former Confederate state, although the region of California he represents may as well be Mississippi, Oklahoma, or Texas due to the low intellect and mindset of the woefully uninformed citizens in the area.

Normally this column avoids regional congressional races primarily because issues can tend away from national interest. However, after seeing campaign ads on this page for teabagger Representative Jeff Denham (R-CA) criticizing his Democratic opponent for supporting an issue with national relevance, it was evident that Denham epitomizes everything perverse about the conservative movement at all levels of government. Jeff Denham is a typical teabagger-Republican in that his campaign rhetoric is dictated by the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity and founded on monumental lies meant to frighten his supporters into voting against their own best self-interests; which they do with great enthusiasm.

In Denham’s fallacy-filled, and completely free, “journalistic campaign article” disguised as an opinion piece, he made some typically Koch-teabagger statements that, frankly, defy reason and belief. In fact he offered up precisely the type of misinformation his cognition-challenged supporters accept as if uttered from the mouth of god, and since it appears the editors gave content approval to Americans for Prosperity, it is completely plausible the piece was written by either AFP or ALEC; not Denham.

Denham seems to be aware that voters in his district have heard that California, like the rest of the world, is feeling the devastating effects of climate change, so he claimed that dirty Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations are responsible for California’s historically severe drought and making it ridiculously prohibitive for local businesses to create jobs as well as “making planning impossible.” Whether one accepts that climate change is real or not, most people understand that over 97% of the world’s climate scientists contradict Denham’s claim and assert that California’s severe drought is a result of anthropogenic climate change, not the Environmental Protection Agency. Just for good measure, Denham said there are groups of people using the EPA to “choke off California’s water supply” because they are “not concerned with the local economy.” He may be right, but it is not the EPA choking off the water supply, it is the Koch brothers and the fracking industry paying Denham to frighten voters.

After claiming the Obama Administration is not interested in killing EPA regulations to miraculously end the historically severe drought and bring much needed rainfall, he boasted that he is waging an epic fight against the EPA’s proposed “Waters of the U.S. rule” still under consideration. The EPA proposal was “created to comply and clear up ambiguity in federal Clean Water Act regulations as a result of a series of Supreme Court decisions and orders. Denham lied and claimed the rule allows the EPA to “extend the definition of navigable waters” to “minuscule ponds and ditches” making them eligible as navigable waterways the EPA can seize and regulate under the Clean Water Act. It is why local hero Denham is adamant water regulations, state and federal, must be abolished permanently; for the benefit of the mining, oil, and logging industry and not to end the severe drought.

According to the Waters of the U.S. rule, the EPA is prohibited from including any “water features such as ditches, ephemeral drainages, ponds (natural or man-made), prairie potholes, seeps, flood plains, and other occasionally or seasonally wet areas under federal control; any agricultural water is particularly off-limits to EPA and Clean Waters Act regulations.” Denham knows he is lying as part of the Republican terror campaign that Supreme Court decisions affecting the CWA are an EPA land grab scheme.

The campaign ad that incited this screed is founded on another pack of Denham lies at the behest of the Koch brothers. It included an image of a modernistic locomotive with the caption; “Eggman (Denham’s Democrat opponent) Supports This Crazy Train; Pull the Brakes.” The so-called crazy train Denham has fought to stop is the California High Speed Rail (HSR) project, and like House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, he is an ardent foe of the job-creating bonanza in the HSR project. Denham first said instead of spending even a penny to create well over a million jobs with the California HSR project, the wealthy “job creators” should get tax cuts because they know how to “create jobs.”

Denham later shifted his attack on the HSR and asserted private businesses are better suited to build the HSR and create jobs, so any taxpayer dollars should go straight to private corporations and bypass the California High-Speed Rail Authority. In June California Republicans amended the House transportation bill forbidding one dollar going to the HSR project to curiously ensure “Valley dollars stay in the Valley.” Denham led California Republicans “working in concert with the other members from the Valley to stop this train wreck.” The board chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, Dan Richard, said “I think it’s unfortunate, because it continues the politicization of transportation policy. We go through this every year with these guys.”

The High-Speed Rail Authority chairman emphasized that killing the HSR program would wipe out existing contracts that include a number serving thousands veterans and will decimate the creation of over half-a-million new and permanent well-paying jobs besides over a half-a-million more downstream. The rail authority noted there are already 71 private companies working on the rail project that all have offices in the Central Valley represented by Denham.  All 71 of those companies are private employers of tens-of-thousands of California workers belying Denham’s claim that the HSR project is not keeping Valley dollars in the Valley, not a job creation bonanza, or that private businesses have been left out of the project. Denham claims his greatest asset is promoting job growth for Californians, but he has made stopping the HSR project and killing tens-of-thousands of existing and hundreds-of-thousands of potential jobs his primary goal; simply to guarantee a steady source of automobile fuel sales for the Koch brothers.

Many Americans may think California is a liberal paradise, but if that were true a Koch-teabagger like Denham would never see the inside of the House of Representatives. He is, by any measure, no different than teabagger Ted Cruz and votes consistently according to dictates of Texas Ted. He voted to shut down the government, voted to default on the nation’s debt, voted against re-opening the government, campaigns on abolishing the Affordable Care Act, voted to eliminate overtime pay, and does not support raising the minimum wage. About the only thing Denham does support is never-ending tax cuts for the rich and destroying the EPA he absurdly claims is exacerbating a historical drought like a typical Koch-fueled teabagger.

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