"E-face, face deal, whatever that is"

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Representative Devin Nunes (R-Calif) is described as a "farmer" on the ballots that voters in his district use. Back before the 2018 election, a group of his constituents petitioned to get this label changed, on the grounds that his family farm is a dairy they own in Iowa, in which he plays no operational role. The petition was rejected, but now Nunes is suing the petitioners, on the grounds that they conspired with "dark money" organizations to injure his campaign.

Rep. Nunes previously sued Twitter and various satirical Twitter authors including Devin Nunes' cow and Devin Nunes' Mom. The main result so far was to give @DevinCow more than 600,000 followers, and to generate a set of other Nunes-related parody authors on Twitter, such as @DevinNunesDog and @nunes_goat.

The people he's suing this time include Hope Nisley, a librarian at Fresno Pacific University, and Paul Buxman, a retired tree-fruit farmer.  We learn more about Mr. Buxman from an 8/2/2019  Fresno Bee story by Brianna Calix, "This is the farmer Devin Nunes’ campaign is suing. He’s praying for his congressman", including the fact that he's unlikely to see comparable gains in social-media impact:

Buxman only three months ago saw the internet. He doesn’t own a computer. He doesn’t have an email address.

“I’ve never seen a Twitter, or e-face, face deal – whatever that is,” he said. “I’m not a conspirator. I’ve never read anything Devin has written. Only since seeing the internet, I see why people are tired of it, with the bad comments. You’re better off without it.”

You can see a bit of his interview here:




  1. Theophylact said,

    August 9, 2019 @ 8:43 am

    You'd think a Californian like Nunes would know about the Streisand Effect. Maybe he really is an Iowan at heart.

  2. Alyssa said,

    August 10, 2019 @ 8:44 am

    My understanding was that the "profession" listed for politicians is their former profession, before they got into politics. Surely it's a bit silly to expect someone to run a farm and run for Congress at the same time?

  3. Eli Bishop said,

    August 11, 2019 @ 12:41 pm

    Alyssa: If this were Nunes's first campaign in 2002, then yes. But no, it's not usual for politicians to keep reusing that former job description after they've been a full-time elected official for 17 years. Actually, even in 2002 it would've been a stretch since Nunes was working as a USDA administrator when he first ran for Congress.

    The only principle at work here is "'farmer' sounds better." I used to work as a nurse, and I liked being able to tell people that then, because it's a good profession. But I've been doing completely unrelated things since then, for many years, so it would be dishonest of me to portray myself that way now.

  4. Jon W said,

    August 12, 2019 @ 5:10 pm

    California law specifies that the ballot label should describe the "current principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate, or the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding." Nunes, though, isn't the only candidate or officeholder to read that language creatively.

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