Rep. Devin Nunes wants me on his team. Where's my checkbook?

By Ed Martin, The Leader Editor
Rep. Devin Nunes wants me on his team. Where's my checkbook?

Congressman Devin Nunes wants me on his team. And all I have to do is send him a personal check.

The Tulare County congressman is asking for my money. In a fundraising email, delivered to my email mailbox, he asks that I take a few moments to write out a check, and before I can manage to utter the word “impeachment,” I can be the proud owner of a “Collusion Delusion” coffee mug, courtesy of Team Nunes – President Donald J. Trump’s most loyal and fanatical supporter.

Just what have I done to deserve this generous offer? Nothing, other than providing his campaign fundraising team with a little-used email.

I could use a new coffee mug. A “Collusion Delusion” coffee cup might spice up my meager coffee mug collection, a collection that includes a memento from the Lemoore High School NJROTC unit, a Starbucks mug, a U.S. Marine cup (nicely camouflaged in Marine green), and of course my treasured Marilyn Monroe cup that I use faithfully every morning. But it’s been showing signs of age recently, and I’m considering relegating Marilyn to a display case where it can silently guard my collection of Marilyn Monroe wines and other various mementos.

Why me? What have I done to deserve this singular honor from Mr. Nunes?

“We are reaching out because you are a top supporter of President Donald Trump,” stated Nunes in his missive to me. At least I think it was Nunes.  “We want to thank you for your loyalty by giving you access to our exclusive Collusion Delusion mug.”

I’m not exactly sure how he surmised that I’m a member of the Trump team.

“With this mug, you’ll show President Trump your support and acknowledge the cold hard truth that liberals are determined to deny: There was no collusion between President Trump and Russia.

“George, you can be one of the few people who have this limited-edition mug. Hurry before they run out.”

And while my first name is George, my real friends refer to me as anything but George.

Rep. Devin Nunes wants me on his team. Where's my checkbook?

I’m at a loss as to why yours truly was selected for this generous offer because I voted for neither Trump nor Nunes. But, according to the Tulare congressman, it takes only a $25 donation or any amount of money up to $2,800 – the maximum contribution for a Collusion Delusion coffee cup or a congressional campaign donation – to make him happy.

I wanted to send Mr. Nunes a “thank you” message, but due to the nature of his email – which surprisingly, easily allows for the transfer of my hard-earned money to the Nunes campaign account – but prohibited me from sending the Congressman a polite thank you or maybe just asking him a question – such as how did you get my email? The email he used is from an old  Apple account that I signed up for years ago; one I never used – even once?

On Tuesday, Steve Scalise, a Louisiana congressman, and a member of the Republican leadership team sent me an almost identical email, using the same email address. He didn't offer me a “Collusion Delusion” coffee mug. He just wanted the money. “There is so much at stake,” said Scalise. “We need you to rush in whatever you can to help us keep fighting.”

He continued: “The Radical Left is using every trick in the book to undermine our President and the Conservative agenda. But I refuse to let this continue any longer.”

These latest missives from Mr. Nunes and Mr. Scalise are just two of a long series of emails, and all – except for Scalise’s most recent request – originated with the Nunes campaign. I’d love to respond. I would tell him that I’d consider sending him a donation if he only promised to schedule a town hall in his district, which for the last few years has been nearly non-existent.

Unfortunately for the congressman’s constituents, political donations and town halls don’t seem to mix.

Based on what I read in The Fresno Bee, the Tulare congressman isn’t using any of the money for town halls or keeping his constituents informed, that is unless of course he’s been holding his town halls in Boston. According to The Bee, Mr. Nunes spends some of his campaign funds on private jets and Boston Celtics basketball tickets.

Boston Celtics? What is a California, San Joaquin Valley boy doing rooting for the Celtics? That’s like an Oakland boy rooting for the Raptors. What is he doing hopping on a jet, bound for a Boston Celtics game when he has four NBA teams from which to choose in California, including the Lakers? However, the last few years have left fans wondering if they still belong in the NBA.

Nunes doesn’t need a private jet to root for the Golden State Warriors, considered the best team in the league the past five years. He can take his car, an Uber, or an Amtrak train to the game.

The Federal Election Commission recently dismissed a complaint against Rep. Nunes that accused him of improperly using his leadership PAC to charter a private jet. Federal regulations bar House members from using the money they raise for elections on non-commercial flights so said The Bee. Nunes spent $5,518 to charter the jet in March 2018 and paid for it with money from a political fundraising committee.

The Bee reported that the four FEC members charged with reviewing the complaint voted 2-2 to dismiss the case. Democrats appointed two of the members, and Republicans nominated two.

Furthermore, The Bee reports that Nunes used thousands of dollars of campaign funds for Celtics tickets, winery tours, and Las Vegas meals and hotels. Maybe he should have used the money for a Las Vegas town hall meeting, and fly in his Tulare County constituents. I’m sure that between Cirque Du Soleil and the blackjack tables, his faithful voters certainly could have found time for a town hall.

Rep. Devin Nunes wants me on his team. Where's my checkbook?

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