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Republican Representative Devin Nunes is suing his constituents – and one of his 2020 challengers is helping pay their legal fees.




Devin Nunes arrives for the 2018 State of the Union address.

Devin Nunes arrives for the 2018 State of the Union address. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Phil Arballo, one of the Democrats challenging Nunes for his seat in 2020, said his campaign will help raise money for their legal defense fund.

“The central valley is my home. I am a constituent of this district so I am very troubled that a representative would sue his own constituents,” Arballo said in an interview.

In a press conference, the Democratic hopeful went further, calling Nunes “unhinged”. The decision to bring this lawsuit, Arballo said, was evidence that the Republican is “dishonest, unethical, lacks integrity, and is unfit to serve as a United States Congressman representing this District.”

Phil Arballo
(@PhilArballo2020)

I’d say it’s surprising, but it’s not. Nunes has sued more of his constituents than he has held town halls… I guess this is what years in DC will do, makes you think you’re above criticism, & can simply sue voters in your district who disagree with you. https://t.co/LvA1hziHL6


August 3, 2019

The suit – one of several Nunes has filed against his critics – stems from a 2018 effort to challenge the congressman’s designation as a “farmer” on his California ballot listing.

After Esquire magazine reported that the Nunes family dairy farm moved from California to Iowa in 2006, critics accused him of being a “fake farmer” and the Democratic group, Red to Blue, petitioned to change his designation. A judge ultimately ruled that the Republican could continue to call himself a farmer.

Among those named in the lawsuit, filed by Nunes’ campaign, is retired local fruit tree farmer Paul Buxman, one of the congressman’s constituents, and three other defendants. The suit accuses the defendants of conspiring with “dark money” groups to hurt his 2018 re-election campaign.

Nunes has become a lightening rod on the left for his unwavering loyalty to the president and his sharp attack on the intelligence community. In 2018, he narrowly held on to his seat as voters in Republican districts across the state elected Democrats.

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