Liberal ad dings Jeff Denham for shutdown

A Northern California congressman is one of 10 House Republicans being hammered with a new TV ad over the federal government shutdown.

The liberal/labor-backed Americans United for Change told Politico it’s a six-figure ad buy for the 10 swing districts across the nation, but wouldn’t provide a breakdown showing how much of that is for the ad against Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Modesto.

“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 that welcomed a shutdown,” AUFC President Brad Woodhouse, who formerly was the Democratic National Committee’s communications director, said in a news release.

“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,” Woodhouse said. “With local stories pouring in each day of the very real ways the Tea Party shutdown is hurting the middle class, 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 office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Daniel Scarpinato insisted this shutdown is Democrats’ fault.

“Voters in these districts aren’t going to buy these laughable attacks from an extremist group,” he said via email. “Republicans have passed bipartisan resolutions to keep the government open, but President Obama and Harry Reid won’t compromise one inch. It’s time to end the political games and stop putting families, seniors and our economy at risk.”

The House Republicans’ continuing resolutions were predicated upon defunding or delaying the nation’s new health insurance law; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has refused to allow a vote on a “clean” continuing resolution, even though a bipartisan majority of the House now seems to support one.

UPDATE @ 1:37 P.M.: “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.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    Of course it’s all the Republicans’ fault. The intransigence of the Dimmiecrat Senate and our Feckless Leader have nothing to do with it.

  • JohnW

    As Daily Show host Jon Stewart expressed it, speaking of the GOP, if you want to shut down the government, then “own it.” “Don’t fart and point at the dog!”

    On the ABC Sunday morning show, Boehner, when pushed, finally acknowledged that, in July, he offered Harry Reid a clean continuing resolution in exchange for the Democrats accepting the Republican spending number. The Democrats agreed. The Republicans reneged, because they decided to follow Pied Piper Ted Cruz and go big for Obamacare defunding.

    So, Elwood, what exactly are “the Dimmiecrat Senate and our Feckless Leader” intransigent about?

  • Elwood


    Both the Dimmiecrat Senate and our Feckless Leader are currently on record as refusing to negotiate about anything whatsoever. What may have happened in July is completely irrelevant.

  • JohnW

    Elwood — Negotiate about what?

    Short of Obama submitting his resignation, what concession by Democrats do you think would result in Republicans voting for a CR to re-open the government and leaving it open and raising or suspending the debt ceiling through at least the mid-term elections? You know, so that the country doesn’t have to go through this herky-jerky crap every three months.

    What happened in July is irrelevant? Then, I assume you will apply that reasoning to everything Obama said between when he first announced running for President and July 2013.

    As of today, Congress has a 5 percent approval rating, 83 percent disapproval and 11 percent who aren’t sure whether they approve or disapprove. I’m not sure which I worry about more — the 5 percent who approve or the 11 percent who can’t make up their minds.

  • Elwood

    Ann Coulter explains Obamacare to you. This should be clear even for lip reading liberals.


  • JohnW

    Come now, Elwood!

    By now, all but the hardest of the hardliners understand that ObamaCare is not going to be on the chopping block in exchange for funding the government or raising the debt ceiling. So, my question remains, “negotiate over what?” Paul Ryan wrote an Op-ed for Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal about what a “deal” might look like. It didn’t even mention ObamaCare. He was quickly denounced by the Tea Partiers.

    As for Ann Coulter’s rant on ObamaCare, that was pretty outrageous even for her. So many distortions and outright lies that I don’t know where to begin. Don’t believe me? Let’s examine just one of her statements:

    “No doctors who went to an American medical school will be accepting ObamaCare.” I don’t know what the hell she is talking about. But the problem with that claim is that there is no such thing as “ObamaCare” (under that or any other special name) for doctors to accept or not accept.

    People who get coverage through ObamaCare will either be on expanded Medicaid if they are low income or will have private insurance they purchase from Blue Cross, Blue Shield, HealthNet, Kaiser or several other plans participating in the California exchange.

    There are already doctors who don’t accept Medicaid. So, the low income people who get coverage due to expanded Medicaid eligibility will have to find doctors who do accept it. However, the people who purchase private insurance through the exchanges will be no different than anybody else who has insurance from those companies.

  • Elwood

    For those of you still having problems understanding the shutdown, Thomas Sowell explains it all to you:


  • Elwood

    And now, for those of you having trouble understanding Obamacare, Debra Saunders explains it all to you:


  • Elwood
  • JohnW

    Saunders is full of it. I wrote to her yesterday.

    She made quite a big deal out of how Obama supposedly promised that ObamaCare would cause the average cost of family coverage to decrease by $2,500. Then she cited a number of examples of people who currently have coverage through the individual insurance market and are seeing premium increases. That whole line of argument was full of holes.

    First, it’s pretty early in the game to see what the ultimate effect of ObamaCare on premiums will be. It remains to be seen. However, when Obama made that prediction, he wasn’t even talking about people who already buy insurance through the individual market. He was talking about people who get group coverage through their employer. He was talking about the fact that part of what employers and employees pay for that coverage now subsidizes the uninsured who show up in the emergency room and get uncompensated care. The theory is that, if the hospitals no longer have to find money to pay for care they provide to the uninsured, they won’t have to charge insurance companies as much to make up the difference. We’ll see about that.

    Then, Saunders wrote about the architect who is seeing a 79%, $200 premium increase for a Kaiser individual plan — presumably from $253 to $453. As Saunders and Kaiser explained, that gentleman was the beneficiary of being part of what Kaiser called a “medically screened population.” That’s insurance-speak for cherry picking. Now, he’ll be part of a pool where everybody pays the same — which is the way employer group insurance works. That $453 is still probably less than what the combined employee/employer costs would be for similar coverage in an employer plan. He pays more, but people who have conditions and either paid more or were denied coverage altogether will pay less. Even Saunders acknowledges that.

    Then, there was the case of the 51-year old couple who decided to pass on coverage that would cost $7,200 — or $300 per person per month. I defy even a healthy 51-year old to find coverage for $300 in the pre-Obama individual insurance market. I paid the Kaiser “healthy” rate of $268 at age 58, and that was 9 years ago. By the time I switched to Medicare, I was paying Kaiser $476. The couple said, “we’re healthy.” Great. Hope they stay that way until they reach Medicare age. But if they don’t, and if not for ObamaCare, good luck getting any coverage when they need it, or avoiding bankruptcy if they pay out of pocket for care. Emergency rooms don’t do chemo.

  • Elwood

    “Saunders is full of it. I wrote to her yesterday.”

    So, would you say that that makes her more or less full of it, John?

  • JohnW

    “So, would you say…?”

    I would say I don’t understand the question. But I’m sure it must be very witty.