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Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito, Stanislaus Counties, CA November 7, 2006 Election
Smart Voter Political Philosophy for Jeff Denham

Candidate for
State Senator; District 12

This information is provided by the candidate


As a Central Valley farmer who has been involved in agriculture nearly his entire life, Senator Jeff Denham understands California agriculture first-hand. He currently owns and operates Denham Plastics, an agricultural container supply business in Salinas. His firm is a pioneer in the field of plastics recycling and container logistics.

In his first three years in office, Senator Denham has become a leader in the Senate on agricultural issues. His leadership was formally recognized last year when Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata appointed Senator Denham as the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. The appointment marked the first time in the last three decades that a minority party member was appointed to chair the Committee.

Senator Denham is involved in a number of agricultural issues. Just after being elected in 2002, he authored legislation that created a Rural Crime Prevention Task Force which set the framework for Central Coast counties to combat agricultural crime. As another example, in 2003, Senator Denham successfully led the Senate Floor fight against a proposed tractor tax.


As a product of California's Community College and Cal State school systems, Senator Jeff Denham has made education one of his highest priorities. He's served as a member of the Senate Education Committee for the last three years and has kept his campaign promise to oppose cuts in education funding. In fact, in the last three years, Senator Denham has been the only Senator who has consistently voted against all funding cuts for education. Senator Denham also strongly supports preserving Proposition 98's education funding guarantee.

Senator Denham has long been a voice in the Legislature against raising student tuition fees at community colleges and universities. He's authored legislation to stop "surprise" tuition increases, and in 2004, forged a bi-partisan agreement on the Governor's Long-term Student Fee Proposal. He's worked tirelessly to obtain more funding for the newest University of California campus in Merced, and was instrumental in ensuring that the 2004-05 Budget included the $10 million in supplemental funding the University needed to open on time in the Fall 2005. In 2005, Senator Denham also worked with the State Office of Public School Construction to secure badly needed school construction funds for Stanislaus County.

His efforts on behalf of California's students have been recognized by numerous members of the education community. The California Teachers Association recognized Senator Denham's commitment to education and presented him with their highest honor, the "Gold Award." Plus, the San Joaquin UC Alumni Network named Senator Denham their "Legislator of the Year" for his unwavering service and commitment to UC Merced.

Government Reform

During his tenure in office, Senator Jeff Denham has worked diligently to identify waste in government, sell-off excess state assets and reduce the millions of dollars in fines the state pays to the federal government for non-compliance on various issues.

Senator Denham has championed the sale of surplus state assets so state government reduces its billion dollar budget deficits. He authored and co-authored a 10-bill Comprehensive State Asset Reform package that resulted in the creation + for the first time + of an inventory of all state property. Senator Denham has also led the effort to reform the way the State oversees and operates its vehicle fleet.

As a small business owner who understands the challenges of running your own business, Senator Denham has been a strong proponent of workers' compensation reform. He co-authored landmark workers' compensation reform legislation that drastically reduced workers' compensation premiums for small business owners. In an effort to control skyrocketing workers' compensation costs paid by local governments, Senator Denham also authored legislation to cut workers' compensation claims made by prison inmates.

Public Safety

Senator Jeff Denham has quickly been recognized as a leader on public safety issues in the State Senate. He's authored numerous pieces of legislation cracking down on sex offenders by requiring these criminals to wear GPS satellite tracking devices upon their release from prison. He's led the effort to ensure molesters aren't dumped in Madera, Merced, Monterey, San Benito or Stanislaus counties. In 2003, he was a leader in the fight to block the placement of a highly dangerous sexual predator, Brian DeVries, in Soledad. In 2004, Senator Denham successfully battled to prevent dangerous sex predator, Cary Verse, from being dumped into the Merced community.

As a strong proponent of longer prison sentences and the death penalty, Senator Denham has repeatedly urged the last two Governors NOT to grant clemency to convicted murderers.

In 2005, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Senator Denham's Senate Bill 723, a measure that created a "Kid Safe Zone" around schools by prohibiting the state from placing sexually violent predators near schools. Working with the Democrat legislative leadership, Senator Denham was also able to secure funding for the Monterey County Rural Crime Task Force.

Senator Denham was recognized by the California State Sheriffs' Association + for the second time in the last three years + as their "Outstanding Senator."


As a strong fiscal conservative, Senator Jeff Denham has vowed to oppose tax hikes on already overtaxed Californians. So it's no surprise that during his first three years in office, Senator Denham has consistently voted against tax increases. This steadfast approach has repeatedly earned him high marks for anti-tax advocacy, including an "A+" rating from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers' Association and "A" rating from the California Taxpayers Association.

Senator Denham has also strongly supported enterprise zone programs, which through tax incentives, bring local communities new jobs, increased economic development and improved quality of life. He helped write legislation that would continue to expand and lengthen California's enterprise zone program. Senator Denham was proud to work with Stanislaus County to successfully designate it as one of the state's last enterprise zones.

Senator Denham has made it clear that he thinks state government has a spending problem, not a funding problem. Therefore, he has led by example by not only taking a five percent pay cut the day he was sworn into office, but he's also the only Senator to refuse the recent twelve percent legislative pay raise.

Transportation & Infrastructure

Senator Jeff Denham has been a strong advocate for improving California's infrastructure + particularly, its roads and highways. He's been a strong supporter of California's Proposition 42, which amended the State Constitution to require that gasoline sales tax revenues be used strictly for state and local transportation projects. He's consistently opposed attempts to use Proposition 42 funds for anything other than transportation projects.

Throughout his first three years in office, Senator Denham has been involved in numerous transportation infrastructure projects throughout the 12th Senate District. In Merced County, he was one of the leaders in getting the Mission Avenue/Highway 99 Interchange project approved and funded. The interchange will serve as a vital transportation hub for the area and the nearby business park. Senator Denham was also instrumental in cutting through the bureaucratic red tape and having life saving crosswalks installed near Highway 152 and Highway 165 in Los Banos.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: September 24, 2006 13:55
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