Who Needs Comedy?

After years of lurching from one emergency to the next I have learned that my family is awash in serendipity. But maybe we all are. Maybe it’s called the election season.

Irrespective of your political stripe, it’s an opportunity to weigh in. It’s a duty.

So is writing this column. I have to call it as I see it. And here’s how it looks to me:

Some incumbents resort to chicanery–if not outright crookery–to retain their seats.

“How?” you might ask, quavering with anticipation. Like, for instance, this–

Our two Devs–Devon Mathis, (R26) of our State Assembly district, and Devin Nunes, (R22) of our United States House of Representatives–keep sending me mailers. To me. By name.

Keep in mind I’m not a registered Republican.

So that’s fiscally irresponsible right off the bat. All I do is roll across the floor in laughter. I wouldn’t cast a vote for either of them as dog catcher. Class Clown–maybe, although there sure as hell must have been funnier people who have cost us, collectively, less.

These fliers were not paid for by the campaigns to re-elect these fellows. Mathis’ makes no attribution whatsoever–except, where the postage is designated, to note that it was paid for by the State of California Assembly. Nunes’ leaflets are unambiguous: “This mailing was prepared, published, and mailed at taxpayer expense.”

Nunes won’t take a moment of his time to speak with me, but he’ll happily take my nickel to send me propaganda I don’t want to begin with.

Unless I’m very much mistaken, you’re not afforded this luxury if you’re not an incumbent.

Keep in mind that I only ever receive these things during election season.

Mathis’ leaflet is platitudinous, at best, and I’m using it now as a bookmark. But Nunes’ productions are a real piece of work.

The first purports to be a “Guide to Constituent Services.” Keep in mind that he won’t so much as put in an appearance here.

The second touts the benefits of tax reform. Paid for, of course–however unwittingly (you don’t discover you’ve helped pay for it until you actually receive it in the mail) and however unwillingly–by taxpayers.

Who needs comedy?

I don’t know what these mailers have thus far cost the taxpayers, but I do know Nunes could have bankrolled the effort himself; that is, his leadership political action committee, New PAC, could have. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, New PAC spent $181,850 on its top 10 “vendors/recipients” alone. That’s an average of $18,185 for each. These numbers are for the 2018 election cycle and based on Federal Election Commission data released electronically on June 21, 2018.

Who knows the true depth of this swamp?

Picture a sumptuous gravy boat concealing, beneath its delicious contents, a severed human finger–you know which one–lurking like some kind of u-boat at the bottom.

These PACs are designed to allow members of Congress to donate money amongst themselves. It’s a vast wheel of cash–without, so far as I can determine, much in the way of accountability.

So–nothing illegal, apparently, in Nunes’ shenanigans.

But why soak your constituents–some of the poorest in the state–while you’re awash in cash?

Because you can. You’re an incumbent.

Forget comedy. What we need is honor.

After our son, Alex, passed in March last year Devin Nunes sent us a hand-signed condolence card. It was a very decent, if unnecessary, gesture–and the Chief and I appreciated it very much.

Devin Nunes even gave us one of the Valley Voice’s first big interviews after we resuscitated it five years ago.
Where has that guy gone?

I’d hate to think he’s been co-opted by Trump and that his better angels have been corrupted by the comforting circumference of so many coins of the realm.

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