Turlock City News

Turlock City News

Harder Campaign Denies Alleged Slander Against Howze, But There’s a Recording

Josh Harder Cease and Desist Due to Slander watermark

Congressman Josh Harder’s campaign caught in a lie? Congressional Candidate Ted Howze believes so and is working to stop the slander. Howze has been facing a barrage of incoming attacks from Josh Harder’s campaign, despite being the incumbent and having millions of dollars more funding. The attacks have been questionable. Howze sees this as Harder’s campaign unravelling now that they’ve been caught red-handed. Whether or not Howze will contact a California defamation lawyer is yet to be seen.

In recent months Josh Harder and his fellow Democrats have thrown around some pretty incendiary charges against Republican Congressional Candidate Ted Howze. Howze for his part has stayed above the fray continuing to say “desperate candidates go negative” and that he “won’t be bullied into a destructive campaign mirroring Josh Harder’s.” Late last Friday, Howze proved to be serious about not being bullied when he served the Harder campaign with a cease and desist notice for lies that Harder’s phone bank team were caught telling local voters.

Turlock City News was tipped off by two local groups supporting Dr. Howze and we began investigating. TCN contacted several members of the Howze campaign team who provided copies of emails and audio recordings between a woman named Maria, who received a call from the Harder campaign, a former Harder campaign volunteer named Grayson, and his supervisor Willow, who has been verified as a Harder campaign staffer.

Maria identifies herself in an email as an individual whom received a call from a Josh Harder team member named Grayson who makes a claim that Howze, a local veterinarian, has had “several suits of veterinary malpractice”. Maria describes how she questioned the claim and asked to speak with Grayson’s supervisor. Maria is directed by Grayson to his Harder campaign supervisor Willow. A suspicious Maria records her call to Willow who is heard eagerly verifying the slanderous claim. When questioned further about no such records existing on the California Veterinary Medical Board website, Willow backs off the claim and deflects by saying “it’s something she’s heard from other voters.”

TCN contacted Josh Harder to ask if the claims of his campaign staff were telling people there are several suits of veterinary malpractice against Dr. Ted Howze. TCN also asked for confirmation of the Harder campaign receiving a cease and desist notice from the Howze campaign.

The Harder Campaign emailed a response stating, “These allegations are simply false. Harder for Congress has not authorized our staff or volunteers to disseminate malpractice allegations about Mr. Howze.” 

There was no comment on the Harder campaign being served a cease and desist notice, however, TCN has obtained a photo of a copy posted on the Harder campaign office window and it’s on Twitter as well.

A staff member with the Howze campaign confirmed to TCN that their legal team has possession of emails and audio recordings of the Harder team spreading the false claims of veterinary malpractice. In addition, the Howze legal team claims it secured cooperation from Grayson who agreed to turn over screenshots of texts between himself and his Harder for Congress Supervisor, Willow. In one text Willow tells Grayson “Ted [Howze] is a pretty bad character-there are some suits of veterinary malpractice against him along with some other unofficial anecdotes that cast a bad light on him.”

TCN has verified with the California Department of Consumer Affairs Veterinary Medical Board that Ted Howze has had no complaints filed against him during his 26-year veterinary career. The claim by the Harder campaign team we have evidence of is a lie and does rise to the level of slander, according to two attorneys TCN spoke with. This follows in the wake of recent pictures of Howze being clearly photo-shopped and audios from Howze interviews that the Harder campaign deceptively edited for hit-piece attack ads.

These last two political campaign incidences that have been exposed appear to show concern by Josh Harder and outside-money Democrats associated with his multi-million dollar campaign, and that the Harder camp has clearly stepped on their own toes with these recent blunders.

Asked to comment, a Howze campaign spokesman responded, “There is the truth, and then there is Josh Harder, voters in the District know that Ted Howze is the real deal and that’s why the Harder campaign is hitting below the belt.”

A YouTube video we have included below plays the audio of this incident.


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