Tag Archives: Devin Nunes

Devin Nunes For Clean Continuing Resolution Before He Was Against It

Central Valley Congressman Shifts in the Political Winds

by Brian Leubitz

Rep. Devin Nunes(R-Tulare) occasionally likes to pretend that he’s somewhat “moderate”. Not like really moderate, but Tea Party moderate. So, he was seriously considering voting for a clean continuing funding resolution to end the government shutdown. In fact, he said he would support it on September 30 to the Huffington Post, and the audio is available online(right there->). That would be meaningful, as there is now a bare majority for such a clean “CR” as the DC lingo goes.

But, now he says he is totally not down for a clean “CR”.  Apparently the Tea Party folks got the memo about Nunes doubts and let him know of their displeasure. The Tea Party is using the so-called “Hastert Rule” to prevent the House from voting on a clean CR, and at the same time they are using outside grassroots pressure to threaten any wayward Republicans.

The interesting thing here in California is that given our Top-2 system, representatives are now less threatened by primary challenges. While the seat is solidly Republican at a Cook PVI of R+12, the top two means that Nunes doesn’t need to run in a nutty R-only election anymore. As incumbent, he is exceedingly likely to make it through to the general election, whether against another Republican or a Democratic challenger. And, for better or worse, you have to like his odds in a general election matchup however it ends up.

But apparently fighting for his ideological masters is more apparent than fighting for his constituents.

Rep. Devin Nunes Goes After Central Valley Legal Aid

devin nunes

Congressman with close dairy ties seeks to end “political agenda”

by Brian Leubitz

The California Report has a very interesting report on a case heading to a federal appellate court involving Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) and a Central Valley Legal Aid group. The audio report is short, and well worth a listen.

But long story short, California Rural Legal Assistance has been accused by Rep. Nunes of using tax money for political purposes.  CRLS seeks to help farmworkers, primarily by getting them back wages and fair working conditions.  As you might expect, these are not causes close to the hearts of the dairy farmers that operate in and around Rep. Nunes district.

Now the question at hand is whether CRLA should be required to hand over information regarding thousands of clients that they have helped, or whether that information is subject to attorney-client privilege. The issues is that for many of these workers, the fact that they even went to an attorney is an offense that could cost them dearly.

After the oral argument, the matter will be in the hand of the courts to decide the scope of the privilege, with dire results for farmworkers at stake.  

Is Devin Nunes Really This Stupid?

We’ve had several fights about spending cuts, and while progressives feel we should prioritize the stability of the economy over the deficit, reasonable minds can disagree.  And while much of the argument is being rehashed with regards to the debt ceiling, again you could understand conservatives fighting for spending cuts.  It is bad policy, and seriously misguided, but you can kind of see where they are coming from.

But this morsel from Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) is really something that nobody with an elementary understanding of economics, something that a member of Congress should posses, should ever even consider saying:

Nunes says the debt cap must be raised at some point but not necessarily before the point of default.

“By defaulting on the debt, in the short and long term, it could benefit us to go through a period of crisis that forces politicians to make decisions” on major policies that affect the budget, he told POLITICO. (Wonk Room)

Either Nunes is posturing based on his base’s obsession with ruining the economy, or he really is this stupid.  No, it would not benefit us to create a recession that would be as bad, if not worse than the one that began with the housing crash.  

If you thought that one was bad, imagine the scenario when there is no government to stop the backslide and the entire financial system creeps towards the abyss.  The dollar would be virtually worthless and we would have to essentially give up the majority of our military.  I don’t think Nunes understands where our spending really goes.  If the military that he wants to lavish money upon does not get a big portion of the cuts, then there are no substantive cuts.

For his sake and ours, I hope this is just outlandish posturing meant to get attention.  If not, well, redistricting is coming up, and perhaps somebody who doesn’t want an economic depression can take his job.

Why Bother? Central Valley Congressman Don’t Even Show up at UC-Merced’s First Graduation

UC Merced welcomed First Lady Michelle Obama to its first graduation.  The campus is still developing, with the first class fairly small. The whole campus is about one-tenth of its expected size, but this is already becoming an economic engine for the region, and holds promise to be an anchor in a region that desperately needs the development.

It wasn’t enough to make 5 of the 6 regional congressman to show up. The one who did? Democratic Representative Jerry McNerney. 4 of the 5 apparently had something better to do. Interestingly, Bush Dog Dennis Cardoza wrote the legislation that began UC Merced, but apparently has other commitments.  Devin Nunes had some big-time duties of being the idiot-in-chief:

A fifth, Visalia Republican Devin Nunes, says he is skipping the ceremony because he is unhappy with President Barack Obama and the majority Democrats in Congress.

“The president’s wife is coming to the Valley, and just five miles away you have tens of thousands of people out of work because of the policies of the Democrat Party,” he said. “I’m not going to go there and make nice.” (Fresno Bee 5/15/09

Shorter Nunes: I’m putting my political extremism over the people of my district.

Skipping right past the fact that he is unclear on English usage, let’s focus on the insanity of this statement. This is a major milestone for bringing some sustainable economic development to the region. Nunes is all up in arms regarding the water issues, but frankly Devin, it’s best we start getting used to low water.

In Nunes defense, he has already called on Schwarzenegger to resign over water issues too. He’s an equal opportunity idiot. But to pile on, he also goes ahead and says there is no drought to anybody who will listen, calling it “man-made” because we won’t exterminate the remaining fish in the Delta by turning on the pumps to divert the water. And oh, yeah, Devin, the coastal communities need water to drink too.

Using this event to make an unrelated political statement is offensive to the students who worked to build the community of UC-Merced. But, Nunes has never been one to avoid offense, has he?

No Exceptions to the Endangered Species Act

It was a compelling scene: Rep Dennis Cardoza and Rep. Devin Nunes brought in a bowl of 3″ long smelt and pictures of unemployed farm workers and their families to a House Natural Resources Committee meeting.  They were hoping to provide an effective contrast and convince their colleagues to make an emergency exemption to the Endangered Species Act.

The state is in the third year of a drought and it has gotten so bad that in order to protect a federally endangered species a federal judge in 2007 ordered the state and feds to cut down on the amount of water pumped through the delta to save the smelt.

This is not simply about a species of little fish.  The smelt, as Kevin Freking at the AP writes “a bellwether for the health of the delta, the heart of California’s water-delivery system.”  More from the article:

With that, he offered to submit a fishbowl filled with nine minnows for the Congressional Record. The fish were rainbow smelt, not the endangered delta smelt, which are illegal to possess without a permit.

Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-Norwalk, responded by asking him to take the plastic wrap off the bowl so the fish could get some air, which Nunes did. Napolitano served as chairwoman for Tuesday’s hearing.

I can’t just picture that scene in my head. Can’t you?

Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, said some of the lawmakers were “cherry picking history” and ignoring that water has been pumped into the valley at rates that exceeded what was appropriate.

That’s one of the reasons the judge ordered state and federal wildlife agencies to revise how much water should be pumped out of the delta. Most of the pumping occurs from late spring through summer.

“The judge had no choice because the system was run right down to the margins where in fact he did kick in the protections of the Endangered Species Act,” Miller said.

We have lacked a sensible water plan for decades.  To allow more pumping risks devastating the entire ecosystem.  It is not about just a couple of little fish in a bowl.

The farm workers are devastated right now with the cutbacks to water supplies, but we need long term solutions, not short term actions that cause irreconcilable harm.

The peak of stupidity

I have on more than one occasion lamented the fact that our shiny new Democratic Congress in Washington has a hard time getting much more done than renaming post office buidlings and declaring National Asparagus Week.

And, sometimes, I guess, they even have trouble with that.

A bill introduced by Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer would officially change the name of the fourth-highest peak in California to honor longtime Sierra Club leader and Friends of the Earth founder David Brower.

North Palisade, which at 14,242 feet ranks behind Mt. Whitney, Mt. Williamson and White Mountain among the state’s highest points, would be renamed Brower Palisade in recognition of Brower’s contributions to the preservation of much of America’s best-loved and most well-known wilderness areas.

Brower, the Sierra Club’s first executive director, died eight years ago at the age of 88. A tireless crusader who was frequently criticized as arrogant, he led the fight to keep dams out of the Grand Canyon, rallied support for Redwood National Park and the Point Reyes National Seashore, sounded warnings on nuclear energy and, over decades, became one of the nation’s most influential environmental warriors.

A no-brainer, right? Right – unless you, um, actually have no brain. From the same LA Times article:

“I most likely wouldn’t support it,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Visalia) said Thursday. “If you look at a lot of these radical groups that were formed, they’ve cost my district thousands of jobs. Take the timber industry: We let our forests burn up and meanwhile buy all our wood from Canada — it’s kind of a sad deal.”

Yes, he really said that. To a reporter. On the record.

Wonder if there might be a sewage treatment plant Rep. Nunes would like to have his name attached to?

Primary Turnout: Might Be A Good Year to Compete Everywhere

(bump cause I like congressional and numbers – promoted by Lucas O’Connor)

Turnout from Tuesday’s primary by party.  Every district with a Republican leaning PVI plus Barbara Lee just for fun and comparison’s sake. Of the Republican leaning districts, Dem turnout was higher in 8 and close in several others.  Might be an interesting November. Just sayin.

Numbers on the flip.

Update: I should have mentioned in the first place, there are still no Democratic candidates in CA-02, CA-19, CA-22, or CA-25.  Turnout was dead even in the 19th and higher for Dems in the 25th, just for starters.

CA-02; R+13

Wally Herger (R)

R 80,090

D 70,563

CA-03; R+7

Dan Lungren (R)

R 70,544

D 80,070

CA-04; R+11

Open (R)

R 107,757

D 89,717

CA-09; D+38

Barbara Lee (D)

R 13,384

D 124,070

CA-11; R+3

Jerry McNerney (D)

R 69,766

D 81,650

CA-19; R+10

George Radanovich (R)

R 63,766

D 62,331

CA-21; R+13

Devin Nunes (R)

R 51,272

D 44,053

CA-22; R+16

Kevin McCarthy (R)

R 86,234

D 61,123

CA-24; R+5

Elton Gallegly (R)

R 78,422

D 82,293

CA-25; R+7

Buck McKeon (R)

R 60,837

D 64,048

CA-26; R+4

David Dreier (R)

R 73,144

D 74,934

CA-40; R+8

Ed Royce (R)

R 66,027

D 59,372

CA-41; R+9

Jerry Lewis (R)

R 68,055

D 59,833

CA-42; R+10

Gary Miller (R)

R 79,622

D 63,182

CA-44; R+6

Ken Calvert (R)

R 57,083

D 57,317

CA-45; R+3

Mary Bono (R)

R 53,635

D 59,067

CA-46; R+6

Dana Rohrabacher (R)

R 81,427

D 74,084

CA-48; R+8

John Campbell (R)

R 92,187

D 75,845

CA-49; R+10

Darrell Issa (R)

R 62,658

D 53,493

CA-50; R+5

Brian Bilbray (R)

R 78,489

D 82,358

CA-52; R+9

Open (R)

R 74,593

D 67,849

Nunes, McCarthy want to facilitate big bucks for dirty tricks

Buried inside this Politico article about Rudy Giuliani’s many ties to the Dirty Tricks initiative is this nugget:

There are actually two potential ballot initiatives. One would allocate California’s Electoral College votes proportionally, as opposed to the current winner-take-all format. The other affects redistricting.

Where they connect? California Republican Reps. Devin Nunes and Kevin O. McCarthy have asked the Federal Election Commission for a legal opinion on whether they can raise unlimited donations to help the redistricting initiative. But a money-and-politics watchdog group argues that would blow a hole in the 2002 campaign finance reform law that bans federal officeholders from soliciting such big checks – and pave the way for presidential contenders to urge their supporters to shovel money into the proposed Electoral College initiative.

Nunes and McCarthy may be the safest two GoOPers in the state.  They are acting as the battering rams to knock down the walls of campaign finance reform, not just for the Dirty Tricks initiative but a whole host of pernicious ballot measures.

In a way, they’re trying to retroactively immunize people like Rudy and Darrell Issa for their already-questionable efforts.  It’s just a hop, skip and a jump from soliciting for signatures, which both campaigns have done, to soliciting for money.

As for the bait and switch techniques being employed to gather signatures, there’s going to be a LOT more on this to come.