Vasilia Times Delta, December 3 2019
A billboard on Highway 198 is turning heads as thousands of motorists zoom into Rep. Devin Nunes' district, CA-22, from Hanford into Visalia.
The political ad reads: "Devin Nunes: Fake Farmer, Real Manure," an apparent reference to a dismissed lawsuit challenging the congressman's farmer designation on the ballot.
While Nunes did not return requests for comment, the congressman previously told the Times-Delta that he welcomes Democrats' attacks.
"The stronger the attack, the more support we had," the Tulare native said following last year's primary.
With Nunes leading the defense of President Trump in the House Intelligence Committee's impeachment hearing, the 2020 race for the congressional seat which encompasses portions of Tulare and Fresno counties is once more sure to be under a national microscope.
The Highway 198 ad says it's paid for by Mad Dog PAC, which "engages in high-impact, high-visibility, non-violent activities to help bring about the impeachment and removal of Donald Trump," according to its website.
The Washington, DC-based PAC has made its name across the country through the use of similarly controversial messaging, attracting widespread local media coverage.
The PAC's founder, Claude Taylor, was described by the far-right conspiracy show Infowars as a "liberal nutjob" after he allegedly ate their reporter's mic cover.
It's unclear how much the billboard cost or for how long it will remain posted along the highway. The PAC could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile and separately, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it is launching an advertising campaign in Nunes' backyard.
The ads will focus on recent media reports alleging that Nunes used taxpayer funds to travel to Europe in an attempt to dig up political dirt on former Vice President and current 2020 Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden.
"It’s become abundantly clear that Nunes is doing the absolute most to make himself more and more vulnerable while he ignores the hardworking folks of the Central Valley in order to do Trump’s political bidding," said Andy Orellana, DCCC spokesperson.
Nunes fired back that he is suing CNN and The Daily Beast, which first reported on the congressman's alleged ties to the Ukrainian scandal.
"From the Russia hoax to the Ukraine hoax, this is the mother of all fake news stories," Nunes told conservative pundit Sean Hannity on his Fox News show.
The DCCC's ads are running on Facebook in English. The ads are targeted across California including Tulare County, "ensuring that Central Valley voters are aware of Nunes’ utter lack of service to the working families of his district," Orellana said.
Central Valley voters have consistently handed the eight-term incumbent Nunes the congressional seat. Last year, he faced his toughest challenge in Fresno prosecutor Andrew Janz. Nunes still defeated Janz by 5 percentage points.
Nunes' newest Democratic challenger, Phil Arballo, a small business owner from Fresno, announced that he has raised $300,000 since the impeachment hearings — a drop in the bucket compared to Nunes' nearly $7 million war chest, according to FEC filings.
"This campaign will show that regular people can create the change we want to see when we stand together," Arballo tweeted.
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