California

Rep. Devin Nunes Sends Out 38-Page Mailer Knocking Local Newspaper

The congressman does not have a good relationship with his local paper.

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|||CARLOS BARRIA/REUTERS/Newscom
CARLOS BARRIA/REUTERS/Newscom

The war between Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Calif.) and his local paper took a bizarre turn when he sent a 38-page mailer to his supporters. Fresno County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Janz is challenging Nunes for his seat, but the mailer may give you the impression that his opponent is the Fresno Bee.

Tension between Nunes and the Bee have been high since June, when the paper ran a report tying Nunes to a controversial incident. The congressman had invested in a friend's Napa winery called Alpha Omega. When the friend auctioned off a trip aboard the winery's yacht in 2015 to raise money for charity, the winning bidders brought sex workers on board. An employee who was tasked with serving the ride has claimed that a number of the sex workers were underaged; she also says she witnessed sex acts and drug use between the guests and the sex workers. After she sued for sexual harassment and a violation of fair employment laws, the winery reportedly settled.

In June, Nunes released an ad criticizing the paper for the reporting. He accused the paper of working with "radical left-wing groups to promote fake news stories." Though Nunes' campaign ad admitted that the guests "abused the use of the boat," his mailer accused the paper of "slandering" a family-owned business. In fact, the ad largely reads like an extended hit piece on the paper's reporting, and accuses it, among several other things, of being "fake news." Another part of the mailer accuses the Bee of staging a "political stunt" to benefit an interview with Vice News over the report.

Nunes has spent a great deal of time focusing on the press, even going so far as to decry reporting about potential campaign finance violations. In July, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) found that in 2017 Nunes used money raised by NEW PAC, the political action committee he created, for questionable travel, lodging, dining, and entertainment expenses. Though the funds are meant to be used for campaigning, Nunes spent nearly $15,000 to see the Celtics play home games at TD Garden. He also spent thousands on winery tours and tens of thousands on catering, meals, and hotels in Las Vegas. After McClatchy brought light to the FEC report, Nunes told The Hill that the news source was engaged in "yet another baseless attack."

NEXT: New Low: Beto O'Rourke Apologizes for Denouncing T&A in College Theater Review

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  1. Haha

    I love the back-to-back articles. You guys aren’t even pretending anymore

    1. Aren’t even pretending [what] anymore?

      1. Acknowledging facts that make Republicans look bad means you’re a liberal.

    2. Oh yeah. Nunes is one of the few Non Lefties in Commifornia able to carry a House seat, so every Lefty resourse is after him.

      Reason cannot help themselves.

      There was a big article done about how much of the MSM was lying about Nunes family farming and dairy farming between CA and Iowa. Someone in the comments cited it too.

      1. Nunes is corrupt garbage.

        Calling Reason “liberal” for having a story about his idiotic, Trumpian attacks on the Bee is just stupid.

      2. Reason is not Liberal. There is no such thing as ‘Liberal’ anymore. Being ‘Liberal’ means being pro-Rights and ‘Liberals’ have not bee pro-rights since they were ‘Classic Liberals’.

  2. When the friend auctioned off a trip aboard the winery’s yacht in 2015 to raise money for charity, the winning bidders brought sex workers on board.

    Do any of y’all remember when this kind of stuff would have made Nunes the ‘cool’ candidate?

    1. That was different

      1. Nunes doesn’t buy into Russia fever dreams and you must believe

      2. Yup, women are no fun any more.

    2. Given the fact that he had nothing at all to do with it? It shouldn’t have affected him at all

    3. Like it helped President Gary Hart?

    4. The post doesn’t seem to be criticizing the winery’s actions regarding the “entertainment” on the cruise. It’s criticizing Nunes’ attack on the paper for reporting on the winery’s actions.

  3. >>>a number of the sex workers were underaged

    for drinkin’ or hookin’?

    1. Was this yacht on a lake in Napa or, say 12.01 mi. off the low tide California coast?

      1. Is that where jailbait turns legal and only federal fishing regulations apply?

    2. for drinkin’ or hookin’?

      Turns out, it’s bullshit.

      Anase alleges that on the Aug. 12, 2015 cruise she could hear sexual activity happening in the yacht’s bedrooms and witnessed men “fondling and suckling” sex workers’ breasts ? some who appeared to be “too young to consent.”

      She’s not claiming the sex workers *were* underaged; she didn’t chat with any of them or check IDs or anything. She just thinks they were underage. Because you can tell when a woman does and doesn’t have agency just by looking.

      1. And hiring underaged strippers is just so easy. I mean it is totally likely they were underaged and not legal ones of age that you can hire anywhere.

        Reason is just sorry these days. They only reason they are doing this is Nunes is going after the FBI. So, Reason is now running hit pieces on Congressman because they attacked the fucking FBI. The magazine is running interference for the FBI. Think about that.

        1. And hiring underaged strippers is just so easy. I mean it is totally likely they were underaged and not legal ones of age that you can hire anywhere.

          And a stripper pushing 30 or even just a psychologist pushing 55 would never act like a (pre-)teen girl for effect.

          1. And of age stippers would never pretend to be younger than they are. That is against the California Stripper Oath of Ethics.

        2. “”And hiring underaged strippers is just so easy.”‘

          Check with the Secret Service on that one. I hear they have some experience.

          1. Yeah. Some people have a lot of experience and connections doing that.

        3. >>>And hiring underaged strippers is just so easy.

          Bob Menendez on line 2

          1. Funny how Reason never talks about that yet clutches its pearls over this.

            1. connecting Reason to FBI clever ^^^

        4. That and Nunes is an American consevative of hispanic origin and does not follow the Lefty narrative.

          ENEMY #1

  4. Only slightly off topic: the latest in efforts by the Houston City Council to prevent a sex doll “brothel” from opening.

    Greg Travis, the councilman of District G where a so-called “robot brothel” would be located in Houston, said on Tuesday that patrons visiting the adult business would be recorded by cameras directed at the location.
    “I’ve already got cameras lined up that whenever, if ever (this occurs), I’ll be after (it) 24/7 with cameras filming everybody who goes in and everybody who goes out, (and) we will post it on social media so people can see who is using this,” Travis said at a City Council meeting where community members, mostly from religious groups, expressed opposition to the business.
    –Houston Chronicle

    1. I don’t know if it’s improving anything if this leads to the area being populated solely with people who don’t care if everyone knows they fuck communal real dolls.

      1. Could there be anything more disgusting than a prevously used sex doll?

        1. A previously used sex doll that thinks it’s really a man?

          1. Hahahahahahaha

        2. Hmm, a previously used sex human? At least the dolls can be dipped in alcohol or steam-cleaned or whatever.

      2. I suppose it wouldn’t work that way, for just such reasons. Maybe disposable orifices?

        1. “Disposable orifices” might be the most disturbing term I have heard this year.

        2. “Disposable Orifices” Worst Band Name EVER!!

          1. I disagree, that is a DAMN fine Riot Grrl band name.

    2. Never heard of hats, sunglasses, masks I guess.
      Deep thinker.

      1. I wonder how cheaply a business could get 1000 Greg Travis masks printed up. Wouldn’t have to be great, just good enough for a CCTV camera across the street.

  5. What is wrong with using PAC money, from a PAC that you created yourself, to see the Celtics play – and on winery tours – and on catering, meals, and hotels in Las Vegas?

    This does seem like a baseless attack. Does the Fresno Bee have something against the Celtics and winery tours?

    Nunes is completely justified in being outraged by this baseless attack on his legitimate spending on cool stuff.

    The spending was clearly on the up-and-up.

    1. From the linked reason article

      The expenditures on basketball games, wineries, Las Vegas trips, and other travel were all described as related to fundraising. The House Ethics Committee prohibits “personal use” of PAC money, but the rule is rarely enforced. The FEC says money that public officials raise for their own campaigns cannot be used for personal expenses, but that rule does not apply to leadership PACs like Nunes’, which are supposed to support other people’s campaigns. “For many officeholders,” the Campaign Legal Center notes, “leadership PACs have become little more than slush funds, used to subsidize an officeholder’s luxury lifestyle.”

      It is not illegal and is pretty much SOP by everyone in Congress. And don’t Libertarians object to campaign finance laws in the first place? So what exactly is so bad about this? If the donors to the PAC don’t like him going to Celtics’ games, they shouldn’t give him money. If they do, that is their business.

      1. I love how the Trumpoid cry of “drain the swamp” switched to “hey, everyone does it” in November of 2016. 🙂

        1. No you fucking retard. It is not everyone does it, it is who cares if they do. Come back when you can explain why this is bad. Sorry but clever words you spent hours thinking up like “Trumptard” really don’t cut it around here dipshit.

      2. I don’t see what is wrong with that. If you want to get money from rich people show them a good time and get them a little drunk it will pay off. Just went to a charity event last week at a local tavern. There were plenty of drinks, food, lots of fun. Gave them a nice donation. This is just on a bigger scale.

  6. The congressman had invested in a friend’s Napa winery called Alpha Omega. When the friend auctioned off a trip aboard the winery’s yacht in 2015 to raise money for charity, the winning bidders brought sex workers on board.

    So he invests in a business that auctions off a trip on yaht and the people who won the auction, who have no connection to Nunnes whatsoever, brought hookers on the yahcht. How is the controversial? How is Nunes in any way responsible for that? What exactly is going through Zuri’s head when this was writen? This complete dishonest crap.

    1. Read the statements by the witness to the supposed debauchery. She heard sexy-type things happening and thinks some of the women were underaged. At the end of the cruise, she hear prices listed for services rendered. Those men should be grateful she didn’t wait 35 yrs. to come forward. She actually witnessed some nipple licking.

      If a vice squad had busted up this cruise and taken the allegedly supposedly underaged sex workers to jail, ENB would’ve been ‘find and replacing’ the names and details into her usual ‘sex workers have agency’ spiel.

      1. I should say, she only actually witnessed some nipple licking, the rest is circumstantial and/or hearsay.

        1. Hearsay = truth

          Accusation = guilt

      2. A magazine that runs like ten articles a week on the evils of arresting hookers is now clutching its pearls that someone took hookers on a rented Yacht. And all in the service of slandering a Congressman who has offended the FBI. There are so many levels of derp and hypocrisy in this article it is hard ot know where to begin in describing it.

        1. And he wasn’t on the boat.

            1. +1 pack of lips. Now!

    2. I don’t blame him for being kind of upset. It’s a newsworthy story, but once they get past the interesting stuff, they spend the latter half of the article discussing Nunes and lobbing allegations at him. “This guys is one of many investors who wasn’t present, took no part, and wasn’t a witness to these events, but we’re going to talk about him in depth for this story.”

  7. Did he threaten to sue the newspaper? Threaten to “loosen up” the libel laws? He at least called it a witch hunt, I hope. And “Sad!”

    1. This is a free country Jerry. We can’t have people criticizing newspapers.

  8. The only thing more embarassing than the California Democratic Party is the California Republican Party.

    1. Shut up Hihn.

  9. Huh. Alpha Omega is a troubling name. At least, it is if you watch Beneath the Planet of the Apes.

    1. There’s a lot going on in that article. I would agree, that is some more weirdness.

    2. Counterpoint

      After admitting that Devin Nunes has “no financial interest in his parents’ Iowa dairy operation,” Lizza says, without evidence, “he and his parents seemed to have concealed basic facts about the family’s move to Iowa. It was suspicious.” Even if the rather outlandish theories floated in the article were not riddled with errors, his only evidence of concealment is they don’t talk about it quite as much as Lizza wishes they would.

      Just another shitlib gossip queen (aka, “journalist”) trying to find a conspiracy where none exists.

      1. Why would dairy farmers move to Iowa?

        Maybe the taxes, land, labor and feed prices are lower in Iowa. Also the cows are better looking.

      2. Talented writer, but sloppy and clearly psychotic

  10. Might not be the smartest move for him to call more attention to it.

    The whole thing is ridiculous. He had nothing to do with the stripper trip. So there was some champagne room action. Who cares?

  11. Why are there so many moronic Trump supporters reading Reason?

    1. To be scrupulously fair, most of the moronic Trump supporters here were also moronic George W. Bush supporters first. (“loveconstitution1789” is a Russian troll though.)

  12. Poor Nunes, again the victim. Waah waah waah!
    Funny how so many of these rugged individualist conservatives are always whining and complaining about being victims.
    He’s just doing the same thing Trump does, stirring up hate against the media in order to rile up his supporters.

  13. And this is all part of the DC Swap sleaze racket.
    1. Start a “leadership PAC”
    2. Spend the PAC money on enhancing your own lifestyle.
    3. Rile up your supporters with indignation in order to drive donations to your PAC
    4. Go to Step 2

    This isn’t about some newspaper article. It is about Nunes fleecing his supporters into subsidizing his swampy behavior.

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