Judging from the political gyrations reported below, Rep. Denham is running scared this year. His Democratic Party opponents are alternatively baying at his heels and trying to rip each others' throats. But is Denham slyly trying to suggest that Democrats in his district eat their pets?
The silly season has begun. -- blj
Democratic Poll Shows Competitive Race in California’s 10th District
Michael Eggman is challenging GOP incumbent Jeff Denham for third time
Democrat Michael Eggman is arguing that he is best positioned to take on Republican Rep. Jeff Denham in California’s 10th District, and his campaign has released an internal poll showing a potentially competitive race between Eggman and the four-term congressman.
But Democratic investor Josh Harder, who is also running, released new polling to make the case that he would be the strongest challenger.
Eggman, a beekeeper and a businessman, is challenging Denham for the third straight time, having lost to him in 2014 and 2016. An internal Eggman poll conducted by Anazlone Liszt Research and shared with Roll Call showed Denham ahead by 4 points in a head-to-head matchup. Forty-five percent of those surveyed backed the incumbent, while 41 percent supported Eggman. Thirteen percent were undecided.
Democrats are targeting the 10th District, which Democrat Hillary Clinton carried by 3 points in 2016 while Denham was besting Eggman by a similar margin.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also released polling this week that showed Denham leading a “named” Democratic candidate by 3 points, 46 percent to 43 percent. The DCCC declined to disclose which Democratic candidate was named in its poll.
A total of six Democrats qualified for the June 5 primary ballot, including Eggman, Harder, nurse Sue Zwahlen and former Riverbank Mayor Virginia Madueño, who has been endorsed by EMILY’s List.
Under California’s open primary system, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation. The crowded fields have raised concerns among Democrats that they could be shut out of the November ballot.
Eggman’s poll also tested the incumbent against Harder, who had raised the most money — $927,000 — among the challengers by the end of last year, according to Federal Election Commission documents. Harder ended 2017 with $675,000 in the bank.
The poll showed Harder trailing Denham by 11 points in a head-to-head matchup. Thirty-seven percent of respondents backed Harder, compared to 48 percent who said they would support Denham.
The Eggman poll was conducted March 13-15 by live telephone interviews, 45 percent of which were via cell phone. The interviews were conducted in both English and Spanish. The poll surveyed 400 likely general election voters and 471 likely primary voters. The margin of error was 4.9 percentage points.
Eggman led Denham by 1 point, 46 percent to 45 percent, after respondents were read positive information about Eggman, Denham and Harder. After the positive statements, Harder trailed the incumbent by 7 points, garnering 42 percent to Denham’s 49 percent.
The positive statements for Eggman highlighted his ties to the district, and that he would “fight to level the playing field, and work for more good jobs, affordable health care, and water policies that are fair for the Valley.”
Harder’s positive statement said he was a “true progressive” and supported “Medicare for all” and a $15 minimum wage. Denham’s statement noted his military service and his focus on the economy and job creation.
Respondents were also read negative statements about each of the candidates. After the negative statements, Eggman lead Denham 46 percent to 45 percent. Denham led Harder 47 percent to 42 percent.
The negative statement about Eggman noted he has run for this seat twice and lost, and that he went on to run a super PAC, Red to Blue California, and “now he is running for Congress again to advance his career and make money.”
Harder’s negative statement noted he moved to the district from San Francisco. And the negative statement about Denham tied him to President Donald Trump, and his vote for the GOP health care plan.
Harder said Friday that the energy in the 10th district is on his side, and ready for a change.
“I’m incredibly excited and humbled by the outpouring of support,” Josh Harder in a press release touting his first 2018 fundraising numbers. “The energy in the district is ripe for change and I’m honored to be the choice of so many to defeat Denham.”
He released new fundraising numbers on Friday announcing that he raised more than $350,000 in the first fundraising quarter of 2018, brining his fundraising total to $1.3 million. He has $800,000 in cash on hand.
Harder's campaign also released a poll that conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group in mid-February. The campaign declined to release the initial head-to-head polling numbers.
The campaign did release the results after positive and negative statements were read about all of the candidates, which showed Harder closer to Denham than Eggman.
After hearing information on the candidates, Denham led Harder by one point -- 47 percent compared to 46 percent. Denham led Eggman 52 percent to 41 percent after positive and negative information was read to respondents.
The poll surveyed 577 likely general election voters via landline and cell phones from Feb. 12 - 15. The poll's margin of error was 4.1.
Harder's positive statement highlighted his work creating jobs and teaching at Modesto Junior College and that he is "tired of seeing the Valley get left behind by Washington." The negative statement on Harder described him as a San Francisco investor who sent jobs overseas and who worked in San Francisco for a venture capital fund that invested in companies that sent American jobs overseas and brought in foreign workers to take American jobs.
The positive statement about Eggman described him as a beekeeper who knows what working families need and who "will fight to protect the Valley’s agriculture and water, expand access to health care, and pass comprehensive immigration reform." The negative statement said Eggman's SuperPAC was "collecting big donations from San Francisco liberals in exchange for promises to advance Nancy Pelosi’s agenda" and that he kept thousands of dollars in donations for himself.
Making a meal out of a dog or a cat may soon land you in jail
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An amendment adopted on a voice vote Wednesday by the House Agriculture Committee would change the Animal Welfare Act to bar people from "knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption," as well as transporting or participating in other commercial activity related to eating pet meat.
Dog and cat slaughter is extremely rare in the U.S. and already prohibited in commercial slaughterhouses. But consumption of animals commonly considered as pets and companions in American culture still takes place among some immigrant groups. Only a handful of states, including New York, New Jersey and California, ban such small-scale butchering.
Violators would be subject to up to a year of imprisonment, a fine, or both. The proposal would be part of a reauthorization of all U.S. Department of Agriculture programs.
The proposal prompted light, awkward laughter as some members questioned whether Americans are really putting Fido or Whiskers on their dinner plates.
“I’ve never heard of any human being sitting down to a barn cat or an alley cat and eating that cat,” Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said. “I’ve heard a lot of stories sitting around the campfire but that one never came up. So I don’t know why we’re burning our time here in this committee.”
King said some ethnic groups in the country might have dog consumption as a practice but thought it was not a pervasive issue.
He and other opponents said they weren’t endorsing the eating of pets but just questioning whether it’s really a problem that merited a new felony on the books and locking people up in a federal prison.
The amendment’s sponsor cited several cases over the years, one in 1995.
“1995?” King quickly rejoined. “I’m glad we’re getting around to this then. It doesn’t still seem to me to be a current situation, a current problem. We have enough people in prison for real crimes.”
Organizations including the Humane Society of the United States have been crusading against dog-and-cat slaughter worldwide, with acting President Kitty Block calling the farm bill an "ideal vehicle" for advancing the ban. The amendment by Republican Rep. Jeff Denham of California is similar to a bill introduced by Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida that has 239 co-sponsors.
With support for “queen-of-the-hill” rule, Denham-Hurd Dreamer bill edges closer to House floor
Joined by U.S. Reps. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Denham and Hurd announced on April 18 that 240 bipartisan cosponsors supported using the rule to advance legislation to help Dreamers, individuals who were brought to the United States without documents as children. Under the queen-of-the-hill rule, the bill that receives the highest number of votes above the mandatory majority-vote threshold would pass the House and move to the Senate for consideration, according to the lawmakers’ offices.
Rep. Denham lead sponsored the measure to invoke the rule, H.Res. 774, on March 13, and the support from 190 Democrats and 50 Republicans far exceeds the 218 votes needed to approve the measure in the House, a written statement from the offices of the congressmen said.
The Uniting and Securing America (USA) Act of 2018, H.R. 4796, which Reps. Denham and Hurd introduced on Jan. 16 with Reps. Aguilar and Lujan Grisham, would advance to the House floor under the rule. H.R. 4796 would provide recipients of DACA protections, or Dreamers, pathways to earn permanent U.S. resident status by meeting educational, military or employment conditions.
“We cannot avoid action any longer,” said Rep. Hurd, whose congressional district spans 800 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. “We must secure our border and create a permanent legislative fix for DACA recipients. I am proud to continue my bipartisan work to advance the narrowly focused USA Act through the queen-of-the-hill rule offered by Rep. Denham. The support of so many Republicans and Democrats proves that we can solve these problems in a bipartisan way.”
H.R. 4796 also outlines a comprehensive plan to secure the southern border. Security requirements for technology would be enhanced and physical barriers would be constructed where needed. Additionally, more immigration judges would be added to address the current backlog in immigration courts.
“It’s time that Congress does its job and moves forward with one unified, bipartisan strategy for our Dreamers,” Rep. Denham said. “We have the support for an open debate and a vote; no more excuses, no more delays.”
Rep. Aguilar noted it has been more than seven months since President Donald Trump announced that the DACA program would end.
“Despite multiple bipartisan attempts to solve this problem and create long-term certainty for Dreamers with bills like the USA Act, we still have not been allowed to take a vote on the House floor,” Rep. Aguilar said. “I’m proud to support this rule because it would truly let the House work its will and give Dreamers the vote on a pathway to citizenship that they deserve.”
Other DACA measures under the rule that would be allowed to proceed to a vote include the Securing America’s Future Act of 2018, H.R. 4760, introduced by U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who serves as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. A plan from the House Republican leadership and the Dream Act of 2017 from lead sponsor U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), H.R. 3440, are the two other measures.
Neil Bradley, the executive vice president and chief policy officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, voiced support for efforts of Reps. Hurd, Denham, Aguilar and Lujan Grisham to push a “long-overdue” immigration debate in the House. “We hope their work on House Resolution 774 leads to a serious debate on bipartisan legislation that addresses the plight of Dreamers and implements much-needed improvements to our nation’s border security efforts.”
Jeremy Robbins, the executive director of New American Economy, said people want their leaders to lead on immigration reform. “A deal to secure the border and protect Dreamers makes sense to both sides of the aisle, and we applaud Rep. Denham for taking the initiative and creating a path through the gridlock,” Robbins said.