Political Fix (21 June, 2018)

How’s that Blue Wave Workin’ for Ya?

Remember the Blue Wave that was going to take over Washington D.C. but was dependent on California flipping seven Republican congressional districts?

Well it’s hard to have a Blue Wave if no one shows up. For all the hype and excitement this Primary stirred up, voter turnout was marginal and even worse in Tulare County.

Reports of increased turnout only happened in five counties where everyone received their ballot in the mail.

According to Ruben Macareno, who ran for Assembly District 26 in 2016, 8000 fewer people voted in Tulare County this election than in the last Primary, and I don’t think it was the Republicans who stayed home.

California has 53 seats in the House of Representative and of the 14 seats held by Republicans, seven were targeted by Democrats to be flipped.

Because these are seven very entrenched Republican districts, Democrats were not going for a win, but for second place to get on the November ballot.

That didn’t turn out to be so easy.

So many Democrats ran in six of the seven districts that even coming in second was a battle. Multiple Democrats split the vote, and the fear was that none of them would make it to the General Election. With California’s top two Primary, it could have been two Republicans competing for the House seat.

Though it was close, that didn’t happen. In every congressional district a Republican and Democrat will be facing each other. But that is about as good as it gets for the Democrats.

Only one congressional district looks like it will flip from Republican to Democrat in November.

Two of the targeted seven districts are in the Central Valley, Congressional District 10 held by Jeff Denham, and District 21 held by David Valadao. Both incumbents won by a large margin and will easily win in November.

The remaining five districts are in Southern California. District 49 in Orange and San Diego Counties is the one likely to flip. The district is currently held by Darrell Issa who is retiring thus leaving the seat open. Four Democrats received a combined 51% of the vote on June 5, while the eight Republicans got 47.6%.

The only other district that is considered a toss-up is District 48 held by Dana Rohrabacher, a 15-term incumbent. He has been implicated as colluding with Wikileaks and Russia in the 2016 election and has been challenged, not only by the Democrats, but by his own party. Even though five Republicans ran against him, Mr. Rohrbacher came in first by a wide margin.

If the Democrats still plan on taking the House this November, it’s not going to be by way of California.

What’s Devin’s Beef?

Congressional District 22 represented by Devin Nunes was never seriously part of the list targeted by Democrats, that is, unless a political pundit was in the mood to poke the bear – which seems exceedingly easy to do lately.

Yes, Mr. Nunes has been the most talked about congressman in the country, and everyone who was obsessed with California’s Primary was watching our district. But no pollster or pundit ever predicted Mr. Nunes would lose or that his long shot, unknown challenger, Andrew Janz , ever had a chance.

Unlike the seven targeted Republican held congressional districts where Ms. Clinton won in 2016, President Trump won by a large margin in District 22, and Mr. Nunes did better than Mr. Trump by 15 points.

The Fresno Bee has endorsed him in every election since he won in 2002, he has raised millions more campaign dollars than Mr. Janz, and he has won every election since 2004 by a margin of 30 points or more.

In fact, Mr. Nunes received more votes this primary than his five challengers combined.

So why is Mr. Nunes so angry?

Mr. Nunes responded to his primary victory by giving a sarcastic “Thank you” to those who criticized him, mainly focusing on the media. In an interview with the Visalia Times-Delta he said, “…. these fake news stories leading up to the primary were nothing but attacks. I enjoyed it. The stronger the attack, the more support we had,” he said.

“The media has no shame. Do they live in ‘The Twilight Zone’? (Democrats) got had.”

Democrats got had by who?

One internal poll conducted by Mr. Janz’ campaign said they were within a five percent margin of error to break even with Mr. Nunes, which is still a long shot. I wrote in my Primary Predictions that Mr. Nunes’ margin of victory would be reduced from his average of 30 points to ten.

Hardly a scathing assessment.

What actually did happen June 5 was that his five challengers came within 15 points of Mr. Nunes. His challengers received approximately 42% of the vote combined and Mr. Nunes received 58%. One of them was a conservative so those votes in the general election will most likely go to Mr. Nunes. Mr. Janz received 32% of the vote.

This all means that Mr. Nunes didn’t do as well as in primaries past, but he is still going to enjoy a decisive win in the General Election.

The goal was for the challengers to pull off a combined 45% to 50% so Mr. Nunes might actually have to campaign and mingle amongst the regular folk.

Seeing as Mr. Nunes works for us, and that we pay his salary, it would be nice to see his face again.

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

I’m still mulling over the term “fake news.”

How many times have you said under your breath, “You can’t make this stuff up?”

That’s a common refrain in the life of a reporter.

I remember sitting at a Tulare Public Cemetery meeting when someone in the audience wanted to know why the cemetery put their loved one in the wrong grave.

I thought this was pretty shocking – until the next meeting when three more grieving families asked the same question, some of whom did not even know where their loved one was buried.

How do you lose four bodies – at a cemetery?

With stories like these who needs fake news? And what newspaper would want to print it?

Congressman Devin Nunes has been obsessing of late over the subject of fake news.

He told the Visalia Times-Delta, “It’s scary what the media will do to create a massive fake news story,”

Mr. Nunes recently put out a searing campaign ad criticizing the Fresno Bee saying, “The Fresno Bee has worked closely with radical left-wing groups to promote fake news stories about me.”

In February he told the Fresno Bee in response to a question about his next Town Hall meeting,

“Your paper is a joke to even bring these issues up or raise these issues. You know – it’s actually sad. I actually feel bad for the people who work at The Bee, because sadly it’s become just a left-wing rag.”

I lived in the Socialist Republic of Berkeley for seven years and know a radical left wing group when I see one, and I assure you there are none here, nor are there any left wing rags.

Who would read them if there were?

Writing a story about lawsuits, voting records, forums, town halls or the Russian investigation is not “radical.” It’s called journalism.

The Valley Voice has been accused of the same, albeit mostly by the gospel quoting Mayor of Tulare, Carlton Jones. He said concerning the Valley Voice during a KTIP interview,

“I don’t call it a newspaper. I just call it an op-ed. So people can make fake profiles and give their opinion…… They print whatever they want. It couldn’t be further from the truth.”

He continued later in the interview, “my grandma taught me to please three people, my God, my wife, and myself.”

Funny thing though, when his grandma’s words slipped his mind, he almost strangled his wife to death in front of his daughter, stole credit cards, physically threatened a Tulare business woman in her shop, had an affair with a friend’s wife then filed a restraining order against him, and called the Tulare Outlet Mall manager and yelled at him using a string of profanities the likes of which the man had never heard.

Mr. Jones has had his wages garnered, been pursued by bill collectors, gone through foreclosure, and has been involved in multiple lawsuits. He is such a menacing public figure that several people have told me they fear for their safety.

Of course, Mr. Jones referred to all of this as “fake news.”

For the cherry on top, he recently released a litany of criticisms against the agriculture industry, all the while being mayor of the most productive agricultural region in the world and home to the World Ag Expo.

Then there is President Donald Trump, who made “fake news” a household term.

While paying off porn stars and alienating our closest allies, he has been showering praise on the world’s most brutal dictators from Turkey, China, Russia, and North Korea. (Yes, I know some of them were “elected.”)

Journalists can’t make this stuff up nor would we want to.

I actually have an example of fake news that no one ever called out.

That was when Mr. Mathis’ former Chief of Staff, Sean Doherty, played Joseph Turner of American Families First like a fiddle. Mr. Doherty fed him a story about a night of partying that ended in Mr. Mathis allegedly committing sexual assault. Now that the dust has settled it looks like Mr. Doherty either committed the assault and/or was out for revenge on his former employer because he is a vindictive, bitter man.

Because Mr. Mathis is not as pure as the driven snow, the story was in the realm of possibilities. But there is a huge moral gap between an assemblyman partying and an assemblyman committing sexual assault.

Mr. Turner should have vetted his source just a little before publishing the story on his blog.

The Fresno Bee, Visalia Times-Delta and Valley Voice did reprint Mr. Turner’s blog but by then the allegations were headed to the Sacramento Police and had become a real story.

I do remember Mr. Mathis hiring a special public relations firm to handle the accusations and the Sacramento Police closing the case because of lack of evidence.

What I do not remember is Mr. Mathis crying “fake news.”

12 thoughts on “Political Fix (21 June, 2018)

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  1. Devin Nunes is a Komplete Klown. I can’t believe Tulare and Fresno counties would even consider allowing this Trumplicking traitor to continue to represent them.

    • Believe it. The majority of voters here in Tulare and Fresno counties ARE Trumplicans.

      • @ Saul and Barbara

        What exactly is your point? You both have to resort to name calling and degrading comments because your candidates did not win. Truly pathetic…move on. Trump is President and Nunes will be likely be reelected. If you do not like it, get your fellow ideologist and go vote at greater numbers than 20 percent. It is so sad certain populous of this nation desire enmity of our elected Congressman and President. I do not care whether your Democratic or Republican, I do not wish any elected official any kind of failure, even if I do not share their political ideology. This is the United States of America quit all the divisiveness, be grateful, humbled, and blessed for what we have.

        • My point is that Nunes is ineffective, and an arrogant boob who won’t meet with his constituents. He hasn’t supported and worked with the one part of water infrastructure that actually matters – the ability to move water from the north where it exists to the south where it doesn’t. Instead, he stirs up culture war bullshit and pretends that it might actually be an option to ruin the Delta or completely dry up rivers in violation of laws that are older than electric pumps. His lame Intelligence Committee report can’t find any evidence of Russian interference when every intelligence agency can find it. Nunes, as a House Member, has brought us a completely irresponsible budget that will add over a trillion dollars to the debt this year alone.
          I am grateful for a great nation with competent leaders. It’s time to get rid of Nunes and Trump and let the competent leaders lead.

  2. Most of all, I am tired of being lied to by jerks. An electorate that re-elects liars gets lied to.

  3. What would Martin Niemöller write today?

    First Trump came for the women
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a woman.

    Then Trump came for the people with disabilities
    And I did not speak out
    Because I did not have a disability.

    Then Trump came for the African Americans
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not African American.

    Then Trump came for the Mexicans
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not Mexican.

    Then Trump came for the Muslims
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not Muslim.

    Then Trump came for the gay, bi, and trans people
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not gay, bi or trans.

    Then Trump came for the Jews
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then Trump came for the journalists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a journalist.

    Then Trump came for the judges
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a judge.

    And now Trump is coming for the Constitution of the United States
    And if I do not speak out, what am I?

    You can keep silent DBugnag but I choose to exercise my responsibility as a citizen of the United States and speak out against those who are hell bent on destroying our government….even if that includes the person occupying the oval office in the White House and the Congressional District 22 Representative.

    • Here is a epiphany; All politician are
      liars. To make my point, as Catherine asked in her article, hows is the blue wave working? You do realize both of you were in the minority based on the last elections. Our fellow constituents thought Nunes and Trump were the better candidates. Majority wins Congress, Electoral College wins Presidency no matter badly you spin it. No need to be bitter about it. No need to be a hater. As I said in the previous post, if do not like it, go vote. The 20 percent turnout is a joke.

      @ Saul, Interesting how Nunes was so effective in the eyes of the media until he aligned with Trump, then refuses interviews as a result of erroneous okarticles, the media retaliates and goes on attacks against him, coincidence, I think not. Prepare for another 2 years to be represented by Nunes. Janz does not stand a chance. I appreciate Nunes balance he brings to our area!

      @ Barbara if you believe what you write, I pity you. Quoting a hypocritrical self proclaimed pastor while comparing Trump to Hitler is pathetic. It is desperation in an attempt to solidify your failed point. More importantly, It is disrespectful to all who lived, died, and escaped Germany during the Holocaust. Not to mention, it is the fascist left whom desires dictatorships. I took you for a self thinker, not someone who regurgitated a ridiculous old tired Nazi reference which began in 2016 from leftist in an attempt to scare people from voting for Trump. I see your still hellbent on Trump winning, that shines in your comment. How that working for you? Is all the anger eating you up daily? I return to pose the question to you: how is the blue wave working in your world? In my world, I have watched 3.5 million people who have exited this state from 2010-2015, and another 143,000 last year alone. Is that the result of good government representation in California Barbara and Saul, I think not? I have witnessed politicians steal our water, place 17 gallon per person water limits without anyone crying foul, proceed with a train to nowhere at who the hell knows what cost, only to tax, tax, and tax again. This states representation is death by a thousand cuts, one legislative bill and tax at a time. Look who has the super majority in both state assembly and house. Look at the party in the governorship. Go to San Fransisco. Is this what you desire; the weathly – living in million dollars homes, turning a blind eye to their local riddled streets lined with homeless and homeless camps, all while the smell of urine and feces fills the blue utopian air. It is hypocrisy at it finest, better yet it fascism at its finest. Yet you dare to compare Trump to Hitler and a Nazism, really? It is sad you possess zero tolerance for those who have different views and ideologies, then cry foul, all while spewing false disrespectful hateful propaganda to make a lame argument. Sounds like you desire a mono-ideological utopia, led by elites democratics from LA and SF. The same elites who take our money only to turn there backs on the SJV. Turn their nose up to our way of life, and tax the crap out of us for living here. Barbara why do you live in Tulare and complain, when what you desire is only three hours away? The two governmental parties left me a long time ago. I only desire the return of a state who has checks and balances, a state who has equal representation from whatever party affiliation, and a state which allows me to keep a good portion of my hard earned money…plain and simple. Like the 3.5 million before me, one day I too will leave with my tax contributions, my business, my jobs which my business creates, my money, and become a statistic. I wish all those left in the blue utopia State of California well. As a native of this state and someone who works hard for ever penny, I am sick and tired of idiots in LA and SF voting to tax everything I do. To quote Ronald Reagan “Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” I bet you, Saul, and I could sit down and we would agree on more items than not. That is basis of my point, but no one can do that anymore. Instead you compare Trump to Hitler, yet I do not recall you complaining when Obama was signing 277 executive orders and eliminating our civil liberties? This is not a left or right, red or blue, Democrat or Republican, issue. It is about all elected officials making a career out of screwing those of us in the middle class. Go right ahead belittle the President of the United States, belittle a congressman because you disagree with their actions. Get hellbent, that is your right. But do not expect me to sit back and not call you out for wanting representation from those who have destroyed a state and stole my money all in the name taxation. Agree or disagree, Trump is moving forward with campaign promises. I find it refreshing to finally have a elected official do what he promised to do. Coupled with I got a tax cut, Thank you Trump!

      So with that said Barbara and Saul, go ahead and knock yourself out, align yourself with exactly what is wrong with this state, desire ill fate on our district 22 official, and the President for anything and everything. Drink the media coolaid. Hope that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy. To quote Kahlil Gibran, ” I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.” Ponder on that. We will end it there and agree to disagree.

      In parting, congratulations on your mayoral removal, that is a democracy at its FINEST….the great people of Tulare spoke, the residents were heard, and action was taken. 👏

      • I was born in Tulare, raised and educated in Tulare, raised my children in Tulare, worked and retired in Tulare and I will no doubt die in Tulare. I have no plans on moving away. Thank you for solidifying my belief in what I wrote. You couldn’t have proven my point better. Have a good day.

      • No, you didn’t get a tax cut. You got a $1 trillion dollar deficit. They just rearranged the deck chairs on the SpendTanic. A true tax cut is accomplished by cutting spending on the bloated federal government. That money will get collected in the higher interest rates needed to contain inflation cause by deficit spending. Add more inflation caused by stupid tariffs, and you will be worse off.
        Nunes used to be merely ineffective, but now he has added Trumpian arrogance and lying to his resume. I don’t want anything bad for Nunes, I want something good for the constituents of the 22nd. The people have a rogue employee who refuses to represent them. They should fire him.

  4. Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee quietly released a report in which they confirmed that Russia influenced the election on behalf of Trump. For some reason, House Intel Committee Charman Devin Nunes couldn’t find any evidence to report on. Klown.

  5. Definition of Devin Nunes and his fellow Trump supporters: “There is no lie about Clinton/Obama they won’t believe and no truth about Trump they will accept.” At a minimum they will downplay the importance is the Senate Intelligence Committee but more than likely they will outright refute it. Crazy Trumplicans ….. they don’t know whether to wind their butts or scratch their watches.

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