Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and author of the infamous Nunes memo, made a brief appearance in his hometown of Tulare at the opening day of the World Ag Expo.
But not many people got to see him. Those who missed him included three protesters who stood across the street holding banners urging Donald Trump to release his tax returns and for Congress to pass DACA reform.
According to those who did see him, Nunes attended the VIP breakfast held before opening ceremonies.
“A lot of people lined up to take pictures with the politicians in the room,” including Nunes, said Carla Khal of Tulare, who attended the breakfast.
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Nunes didn’t stay for opening ceremonies or the town hall meeting featuring Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
“He (Nunes) got called away on business,” she said.
Nunes was on the list of several local members of Congress planning to attend the town hall meeting. Reps. Jim Costa, Jeff Denham and David Valadao were on hand.
The protest across the street was organized by the Tulare Democratic Club. By the time they arrived with their signs, Nunes had left the farm show.
“Devin Nunes, who has been doing President Trump’s business, should be doing our business,” said Suzanne Gundy of Visalia.
She held a large sign urging the government to allow so-called “Dreamers” to stay in the country and to reform immigration laws to be respectful of immigrant agricultural labor.
Protester Roberto Bustos of Tulare, president of the Tulare Democratic Club, said he walked with Cesar Chavez in the Delano-to- Sacramento march for farmworker rights in 1966.
He said he hasn’t seen his hometown congressman for so long, “I don’t know what he looks like anymore.”
Inside the Heritage Complex adjacent to the farm show grounds, Perdue, a former governor of Georgia, fielded questions from farmers.
Top concerns were too few farmworkers to harvest crops and water supply.
Perdue said he hopes Congress will devise a farmworker program and noted that there would be more water available in California if less went to the ocean.
World Ag Expo
Where: International Agri-Center, 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare
Admission: $15 for adults, children 6 and under are free
Hours: Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Parking: on the Agri-Center grounds and a park-and-ride is also available. Check the expo’s website for locations, www.worldagexpo.com