The campaign of Democratic congressional challenger Andrew Janz has released a video and a statement saying someone claiming to be a family member of Rep. Devin Nunes harassed them Thursday during a video shoot for a new campaign advertisement.
Janz spokeswoman Clara Varner said the man began shouting at the crew and cursed at the team’s female production manager as they worked on a private farm south of Visalia. Two Tulare County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene south of Visalia.
The sheriff’s office said Tuesday that deputies were called by Gerald Nunes and were told the film crew refused to leave the banks of his irrigation ditch. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Ashley Ritchie said deputies were called around 8 a.m. Thursday by Gerald Nunes after he asked the film crew to leave the side of his drainage ditch, which can be seen in the video, on Road 100 just south of Avenue 264.
Ritchie said the crew eventually agreed to move across the street and finished filming.
Varner said her team told the deputies it had written permission to shoot on the farm, which is private property that doesn’t belong to Gerald Nunes, and that deputies eventually asked Nunes to leave. He is seen on the video raising his voice while speaking to one deputy as the Janz team spoke to the other.
When Heather Greven, Janz’s campaign manager, learned Tuesday afternoon that the sheriff’s report says the crew moved, she challenged the sheriff’s description. She said the video crew moved several trucks from Road 100 to a side road, but did not move the shoot’s location since the campaign had permission from the farm’s owners to stand exactly where they were standing.
Greven said that if it were true that the video crew was trespassing, “Why did (the deputies) leave while we continued to shoot for a six-hour day?”
Greven said the call delayed a $50,000 video shoot, and she agreed to move the trucks to appease the deputies and get the costly day rolling again. This concession caused some strain, as the crew had to be shuttled back and forth for equipment changes.
She added that Gerald Nunes had claimed his property also included the side of Road 100, which she said was “hilarious.”
The campaign showed The Bee a signed contract between it and the property owner to shoot a commercial at this location.
Varner said Gerald Nunes also used his truck to kick up dust; she said she believed it was an attempt to ruin the shoot. She said that her staff and its equipment were covered in dirt.
Footage from the shoot will be used with clips filmed at a Clovis deli on Friday for Janz’s latest campaign video.
Nunes’ campaign did not respond to a request for comment.