House Speaker Paul Ryan visited Fowler Thursday night to help raise funds for Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, and his re-election campaign.
Valadao spokesman Cole Rojewski released a statement on the visit:
“Congressman Valadao and Speaker Ryan enjoyed visiting National Raisin Co., where employees shared information about the production and packaging of California agriculture commodities. The speaker was also able to learn about the issues impacting our local economy and the agriculture industry directly from business owners, including Mr. Dennis Parnagian of Fowler Packing.”
Ryan, the Republican from Wisconsin, was also to attend a private fundraiser. Valadao charged donors $1,000 for dinner, and $2,700 got that plus entry to a VIP reception and a photo with Ryan.
Another Valley congressman was planned to highlight a special guest at two fundraisers this week. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, hosted Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who became a darling of the right for his work as chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which has been investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
Gowdy and other Republicans on the panel accuse the Obama administration of stonewalling important documents and witnesses, but Democrats say the panel’s primary goal is to undermine the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state during the attacks.
Valadao is in a competitive congressional district where opposition Democrats hold a 17-percentage point voter registration advantage, though he has easily dispatched his opponents in 2012 and 2014.
Nunes, on the other hand, isn’t. Republicans outnumber Democrats in his district and he has never had a competitive race since first being elected in 2002. That means he will be able to spend his cash haul pretty much as he pleases, including giving to other Republicans.