Opponents of Rep. Devin Nunes are taking their “Where is Rep. Devin Nunes?” campaign to Orange County, where he is scheduled to speak at a Republican fundraiser.
Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is the main speaker Saturday night at the Republican Party of Orange County 18th Annual Flag Day Salute in Irvine.
A protest by the anti-Donald Trump activist group Indivisible OC will be held near the event.
An organizer said the protest expected to draw opponents of four Republican members of Congress from the area – Ed Royce, Dana Rohrabacher, Darrell Issa and Mimi Walters – as well as Nunes.
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But just as Nunes is the main draw for the Republican event, Nunes is apparently the main draw for the protesters as his name is in capital letters on the flyer announcing the protest.
Earlier this year, Nunes was the subject of intense scrutiny and criticism at the national level after he allegedly revealed classified information related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and a complaint was filed with the House Ethics Committee
Under pressure from House Speaker Paul Ryan, Nunes stepped aside from the committee’s investigation into Russian interference but remains chairman.
It’s unclear how many people from Nunes’ district will go to Irvine to join the protest, but Dave Derby of Fresno, a retired educator, said he will be there.
Derby, who lives in Nunes’ district, is the organizer of Every Tuesday Vigil – Clovis in which protesters show up at Nunes’ district office. Nunes’ 2nd Congressional District includes Clovis, Visalia, Tulare and part of Fresno.
Derby said his gripe is that the congressman won’t hold a town hall meeting or talk with groups that oppose him.
“He’ll go to his own big fundraisers but he wouldn’t come see us,” Derby said. “His last town hall was in 2010.”
Andy Lewandowski is a member of Indivisible Orange County.
He said he arranged the protest in Irvine after a member of a group in Fresno learned that Nunes was to be the headliner at the Republican event and contacted him.
There are five loosely aligned group in Fresno and Visalia opposing Nunes, said Nancy Gilmore of Clovis, who has been sending out news releases for the groups. They are Speak Up CD22, Together We Will - Central Valley, Every Tuesday Vigil – Clovis, South Valley Civics and Central Valley Indivisible.
She said the Nunes campaign dismisses them as “the radical left trying to have their Facebook moments.”
“We’re just normal people in our living rooms wanting to have a normal, civil conversation with our congress member,” she said.
The Nunes campaign did not answer a message seeking comment, and Nunes’ chief of staff Anthony Ratekin did not reply to an email message.
Nunes will surely face a Democratic challenger in the 2018 election. Andrew Janz, a Fresno County prosecutor, already has said he’s running.
There could be others. Friday in Visalia, a group calling itself Progressives United for Social Justice and Human Rights said it was hosting a “candidate forum featuring several local Democratic candidates who are vying for Congressman Devin Nunes’ seat in the House of Representatives.”
It identified Tulare City Councilman Jose Sigala, Dr. Mallory Kremer of Fresno and Janz as the candidates.