Sunday, January 28, 2018

How Do We Get Rid Of Devin Nunes?


Devin Nunes' Central Valley congressional district (CA-22) begins north of Clovis and Fresno and it's northern and eastern suburbs beyond the airport. The district meanders down through Dinuba and Visalia and ends just south of Tulare. It's a pretty red district-- McCain and Romney both beat Obama (respectively 56-43% and 57-42%) and in 2016 Trump beat Clinton 52.1% to 42.6%. Nunes won his first race in 2002 and his Democratic opponents have been lucky if they even get to a third of the vote. In 2016 Nunes beat Louie Campos 158,755 (67.6%) to 76,211 (32.4%). The PVI is R+8, a daunting challenge for a Democrat but, in a wave election, not impossible, especially when the incumbent has some special circumstances to confront, the way Nines does this cycle. Did I mention that the ethnic makeup of the district is 46% Latino, 42% white, 7% Asian and 2.5% black?

The most widely read newspaper in the district is the Fresno Bee. It's a fairly conservative paper and they've endorsed Nunes more than a few times. In 2016, for example they endorsed 4 arch-conservatives for Congress: Nunes, Kevin McCathy (R), David Valadao (R) and Jim Costa (Blue Dog). Judging what they had to say about Nunes on Friday, I wouldn't bet on another endorsement for him this year. Referring to him as "Trump's stooge" in the headline was just the beginning. "What, pray tell," asked the editors, "does Rep. Devin Nunes think he’s doing by waving around a secret memo attacking the FBI, the nation’s premier law enforcement agency? He certainly isn’t representing his Central Valley constituents or Californians, who care much more about health care, jobs and, yes, protecting Dreamers than about the latest conspiracy theory. Instead, he’s doing dirty work for House Republican leaders trying to protect President Donald Trump in the Russia investigation. It’s no accident that this latest attempt to discredit the FBI and distract the public is happening at the same time special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe appears to be picking up steam-- and focusing on possible obstruction of justice by the president."
Nunes of Tulare is sheltered in a relatively safe Republican district, and may believe he will pay no political price for unfairly attacking law enforcement and protecting Trump. But his performance as chairman of the highly sensitive House Intelligence Committee has been nothing short of embarrassing.

Instead of taking Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election seriously and leading an impartial and bipartisan inquiry, Nunes has colluded with the White House. Last March, Nunes said he’d seen secret intelligence reports backing Trump’s claims that President Barack Obama had “wiretapped” his offices, but it turned out the documents came from the administration.

The blowback forced Nunes to step away from the Russia investigation. But he never fully recused himself and after the Republican-controlled House Ethics Committee in December cleared him of disclosing classified information, he raised his profile again.

Now, he’s being celebrated in Trumpworld with the four-page memo that accuses the FBI of political bias and misdeeds. Drafted by Nunes staffers, it apparently summarizes classified material and alleges abuse of the surveillance process by the FBI and Justice Department to target the Trump campaign. Conservative media and some Republicans in Congress are calling for it to be released publicly and using it to call for Mueller’s investigation to be shut down.

There are reasons to be very skeptical of this memo. The FBI hasn’t been sent a copy or given a chance to respond. Democrats who have seen it, including Rep. Adam Schiff of Burbank, say it’s full of inaccuracies and innuendo. And the social media campaign #ReleaseTheMemo may be promoted by Russian-linked bots, just as during the 2016 campaign.

Nunes’s office did not respond Wednesday to our questions about the memo. But the Justice Department wrote to him, warning that it would be “extraordinarily reckless” to release the memo without any review for possible risk to national security or ongoing investigations.

...[N]ow we’re supposed to believe some Republicans that there’s some kind of anti-Trump “secret society” within the FBI? It’s ridiculous.

Everyone-- Republicans, Democrats, advocacy groups on all sides and the media-- should do our democracy a favor: Stop with the hyperventilating and let Mueller finish his investigation and get to the truth.
So what's this crazy secret memo that Nunes wrote? No one knows for sure. It's still secret. He wouldn't even show it to Richard Burr (R-NC), head of the Senate Intelligence Committee! Crackpot Republicans who have seen it-- Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows (3 ofd Congress' most crazy and extremist members) say it provides "hard evidence" of senior Department of Justice officials-- including FBI executives-- making politically motivated decisions. Supposedly this is the proof that Mueller's investigation into Trump's coordination with the Kremlin is politically motivated. presumably because they used the Steele pee-pee dossier. Adam Schiff, who has seen it, has gotten word out that the memo is filled with lies. Publicly, Schiff says he thinks "the whole political purpose of this is to make a misleading case to the public, perpetuate the president’s political narrative, but not let the public see the underlying materials that would show just how distorted it is-- I think that’s by design." It appears to center around how the FBI persuaded a court to allow it to surveil Trump campaign staffer and Kremlin go-between Carter Page. The memo may be released next week-- unless Trump objects.

So... can a Democrat beat Nunes in November. The party establishment wants to settle on conservative Democrat, Deputy District attorney Andrew Janz. Before Janz hired some consultants to clue him in a little I spoke with him on the phone about his campaign. When I asked him about Mediare-for-All and single payer, he didn't seem to even know what either one was. Even today, his website touts the preferred DCCC healthcare message: "fix Obamacare." After Janz said he didn't know what single payer is, he said he'd like to tell me what his motivations were for running. I said that would be perfect. Bit when he started talking, my jaw dropped. First he talked about how the death penalty isn't used enough in this country and that he'd like to make sure its used more frequently but before I could follow up, he was bailing about how the 2nd Amendment needs to be protected. I was dumbfounded and asked him if he was running as a Democrat at which point he said Central Valley Democrats are different. Yeah, I guess so.

Goal ThermometerThe progressive in the race is from a family that's been living in the central valley for generations. He got an Ivy League education and has been working in the private sector in the Central Valley since he graduated. His website's issues page goes right to single payer: "I fully support Medicare for All and pledge to cosponsor it if elected to Congress. I believe that healthcare is a human right, and will ensure that we maintain access to emergency, preventative, and reproductive healthcare." Very clear difference between the two candidates. Now it will be up the the voters of Fresno and Tulare counties, not the Establishment to decide who goes up against Nunes in November. If you want to help make sure it's Franco, please click on the Blue America California congressional thermometer on the right and contribute what you can to his campaign.

So let's hear directly from Rico. I asked him if he had read the Fresno Bee editorial. You bet he had:
"Nunes has long been missing-in-action for his constituents. Frankly, he's been an embarrassment to the region for a long while. Now, he's an embarrassment to the entire country.

The Democratic establishment, however, hasn't done any better. Otherwise, they would have taken this seat a long time ago. They just don't seem to learn their lesson. Even today at the pre-endorsement conference a party delegate was accused of forging a nomination ballot... for a second time! I was utterly shocked when people 'in the know' tell me that it's not surprising to them and that it's just 'business as usual.'

No. This cannot be business as usual. No respectable voter would tolerate this level of ignorance from their employees, employers, colleagues, etc. It becomes very obvious why the Democratic establishment continues to fail to support a winning candidate that can win: incompetence. They are more concerned with funneling money into the corporate democratic campaign machine than actually winning an election.

Our canvassers have been out for a few weeks now meeting with voters in the district. This type of outreach is crucial in our area as air-time and social media does not turn out the vote like it does in other areas of the country. When you have motivated, passionate volunteers to help you canvass it also becomes extraordinarily cost-effective. It's the only way you can take down Nunes, the most prolific fundraiser in the Republican Party.

The Fresno Bee is spot-on when they mention the district is more concerned about jobs and water than Nunes playing Inspector Clouseau. Nunes is a disgrace to the country, but you must still have a message and platform to lift up the constituents if you want to win. I am the only candidate that offers progressive, viable solutions to lift up our community. I'm also the only candidate that speaks Spanish and that is Latino. So while the establishment continues to deliberate who their next loser to Nunes will be our campaign is drawing out the progressive, liberal base to defeat Nunes. Our candid, no-nonsense message is resonating so well with voters that we are even turning republicans. The Fresno Bee has got the message while the Democratic party hasn't. Rest assured that there will be a Blue Wave across the country, and it will start with a major swell here in the forgotten land of California's Central Valley where grass-root progressive campaigning will elect real people to represent them in Washington."

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At 4:54 PM, Blogger Joe in contra costa said...

I'm a Bay Area resident who's appalled by the pro-Trump antics of Nunes. What can I do to get him defeated in 2018?

At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the maximum amount of money an individual can legally donate. Also it not clear if donation is going to the candidate (who is not named) or Act Blue.

At 1:04 AM, Blogger BoomAration said...

I'm in Los Angeles and Nunes is an embarrassment period. What can I do to get him defeated in 2018, I just filed an ethics complaint against him although I realize he got out of one already if we all file one maybe we can gain some traction. Look up Office of Congressional Ethics and submit a claim. Also in NJ they chased their congressman out by showing up at his office every Friday demanding a town hall. He never had one and the crowds just kept growing every week. Maybe something like that can be planned at his office. Also McCarthy has to go in Bakersfield.

At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can we help? If you would send out a message asking for volunteer canvassers, phone-bankers, poll watchers, etc., you would be flooded with offers to help from around the state. Nunes is an embarrassment to California. Make a YouTube video requesting volunteers to “Dump Nunes,” get it on local media and it will be picked up by Bay Area and L.A TV stations. If you do that, you’ll find out how desperate most Californians are to show the nation that Nunes does not speak for us.


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