Kindred spirits

Rep. Doug LaMalfa is reportedly bringing Trump stooge Devin Nunes to town for a big-dollar fundraiser

Surprise, surprise. I didn’t get an invitation to Rep. Doug LaMalfa’s upcoming fundraiser—a big-dollar event reportedly featuring not only the man in the cowboy hat but also one of his Republican colleagues, Devin Nunes of Tulare.

At this point you might be wondering: Where the hell is Tulare and who the hell is Devin Nunes? Good questions. No offense to Tulare, but it’s situated in what I call the armpit of California— between Fresno and Bakersfield.

As for Nunes, his name should ring a bell if you keep up on national political news, especially the scandals on Capitol Hill. He is the chair of the House Intelligence Committee. He’s also the guy Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, among others, called on to recuse himself from that committee’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 general election.

That’s because Nunes is one of President Trump’s chief sycophants, and he got caught last year meeting secretly on the White House grounds with members of POTUS’ team to view documents allegedly confirming the president’s claim he’d been wiretapped by the Obama administration during the presidential campaign—a conspiracy theory debunked by U.S. intelligence officials.

There’s way too much to unpack about Nunes. The short of it is that the guy not only buys into the president’s “witch hunt” rhetoric, but also has gone out of his way to propagate that narrative.

Nunes and his Republican colleagues on the GOP-controlled House Intelligence Committee ultimately absolved Trump and his team of any wrongdoing. That was the outcome despite the fact that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe—the real investigation into possible collusion with the Kremlin—is ongoing.

That committee also determined that Russia didn’t attempt to elect Trump. That’s interesting considering President Vladimir Putin, during the now-infamous press conference with Trump in Helsinki just last week, explicitly said he had directed Russian officials to help Trump take the White House. Of course, U.S. intelligence operatives already had determined as much.

Nunes is largely viewed as a snake in the grass, so it’s interesting that LaMalfa has invited him to slither his way up to Chico next Monday, July 30, for a reported roundtable discussion, VIP photo op and dinner. The cost for attendees: $1,000 per table sponsor. Folks also can pony up $5,400 to become an event chair or $2,700 to co-chair the shindig.

That’s a hefty pricetag for a humble newspaper editor—maybe the reason LaMalfa’s team didn’t reach out to the CN&R.

Of course, this isn’t the first time our local congressman has snubbed this publication. We also didn’t make the guest list for his so-called “community coffee” gathering in Chico during his run for a second term back in 2016. That’s the time LaMalfa duped city leaders into allowing him to hold an event gratis at Chico Fire Station 5 (see “Hoodwinked,” Second & Flume, Aug. 25, 2016).

Why would LaMalfa bring such a controversial Trump stooge to Chico? Shared interests, perhaps. Both were born into farming families, grew up in deep-red districts, went to college for agriculture and vote in line with 45. Indeed, they’re kindred spirits.