Followers of the Twitter account for Andrew Janz’s campaign would think his campaign manager got into a knock-down, drag-out shouting match with a prominent Devin Nunes supporter.

Opinion

David Taub

But the reality failed to live up to the hype. Not only was the Democratic challenger for the 22nd congressional district not there, he doesn’t even write or review all of his own tweets.

It happened after the Republican incumbent Nunes met donors Wednesday (Feb. 21) for a luncheon at Vino Grille & Spirits, a north Fresno restaurant. Approximately 10 protesters also attended, encouraged by Janz after he leaked the location, which organizers tried to keep hush-hush.

Civil Confrontation with Prominent Conservative

Janz’s campaign account (@JanzforCongress) posted the obligatory video (above) of Nunes leaving the event without acknowledging some of his most ardent fans.

Then, the account re-tweeted a video of a prominent Nunes supporter and Valley conservative, Michael Der Manouel Jr., engaged in a civil conversation with his campaign manager, Heather Greven, as he left the event.

Der Manouel operates a successful insurance business and hosts a daily conservative commentary segment on KMJ radio.

“This is just weird. These people are strange. Why are you videotaping people? I decided to have a conversation with them. It was all kind of sarcastic,” Der Manouel told GV Wire on Thursday.

On the video, Der Manouel can be heard saying, off-camera: “You guys filming people? I’m totally available. Right here. Come on, let’s do it.”

Der Manouel, somewhat snarky, then says that he got his $2,700 worth out of the fundraiser.

“I want you guys to raise and spend $5 to $10 million, please.”

Greven retorts: “I’ll do my best. I can’t wait to see Devin (Nunes) have to spend his $4 (million), love it.”

Back to Der Manouel: “I’ve been doing this since you’re in short pants, kid.  I really appreciate the work you’ve been putting in, but you’ve got no shot.”

Janz’s Twitter Commentary

Janz tweeted strong opinions about the conversation. Or, did he? His analysis of the video borders on the absurd: “This Nunes supporter came out & got in the face of my #fierce #fighter of a Campaign Manager, called her kid and inched closer to her with every word. She stood her ground which is more than Nunes can say after he ran from the cameras after lunch.”

Inch closer with every word? The video doesn’t show that. Stood her ground? Der Manouel wasn’t invading her “ground.”

“I wouldn’t classify it as negative or a heated conservative. I did not feel physically threatened. He was a low talker,” Greven told GV Wire on Thursday.

Der Manouel heaped praise on Greven.

“She was cool. A lot of people wouldn’t know what to say. She was right there,” he said.

Janz’s Tweets Are Ghosted

I asked Janz for comment Thursday. He said it wasn’t his tweet and he wasn’t at the Nunes event.

“I’m not the only one who has access to the account. I have to take a look at them,” he said.

Greven says multiple campaign staffers have access to the Twitter account and they have an internal process of what gets posted. As to the Der Manouel video, she said all but the initial conversation made its way into the 45 seconds that was posted.

Janz praised Greven in another tweet: “She is a strong #LGBTQ woman who is the brains behind my operation. I don’t just support #women and the #LGBTQ community, I hire them and promote them into leadership roles. She stood her ground today and made us proud.”

What does her LGBT status have to do with anything?

Janz answered, again, that he didn’t make that tweet.

“We are proud of our diversity. We are proud of our team,” Greven said.

Just more “Janzstanding” and pandering.

Twitter Is the Medium

Nearly 200 replies followed the Der Manouel video.

Twitter is the medium for non-stop insult, where knowing what you’re talking about is not a prerequisite to posting.

The use of loaded words in tweets describing the conversation fanned the flames, eliciting many unflattering comments about Der Manouel regarding his personal and professional life. Many tweets couldn’t get past Der Manouel adjusting his pants at one point in the video.

“I didn’t even notice his pants. We were eye to eye,” Greven said.

In retrospect, Der Manouel admitted that he looked ridiculous.

“They attack you for your appearance. They say things about you with no information. They write unflattering reviews of your business just because they disagree with you politically,” Der Manouel said. “We are seeing a 15-month tantrum by radical leftists. I decided to answer every single comment. Ninety-five percent of the people don’t even live near the congressional district.”

 

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9 Responses

  1. Nancy Flynn

    Really? This is hardly newsworthy but it is does succeed in throwing fuel on the fire. Don’t you news guys get it? People are tired of this kind of ‘stirring it up’ reporting. This kind of drivel is a sure sign that, not unlike the mainstream media, GV Wire is not down the middle where you should be.

    Reply
  2. B.P.

    Looks to me like the tweet that was actually written by the Janz campaign was plenty reasonable, and consistent with Der Manouel’s account. The Janz campaign said Green stood her ground, and Der Manouel (to his rare credit) said she kept her wits about her where others would not. Pretty much the same thing, if you ask me. So why all this overblown non-analysis?

    And this is not a 15-month “tantrum.” This is the waking of a slumbering giant, namely the local electorate. Nobody has ever seriously challenged Nunes. Andrew Janz is the first. If I have anything to do with it, he will be the last—because Nunes will be back in Tulare with his cows.

    Those of us who support Janz against Nunes are not radicals. We are just ordinary citizens who are tired of being ignored by our Congressman. (And it does not help Nunes that he has been so cozy with the Trump administration while studiously ignoring us.) I for one am no harden partisan; I think every congressional district in the nation should be perpetually competitive. If Janz wins election and then fails to perform, well, let’s have somebody else give it a try. If the political work of our nation weren’t so important, it would be amusing the way Republicans talk a big talk about competitive markets for just about everything under the sun, but then do everything in their power to lock down congressional districts for years on end to avoid challengers from the Democratic Party and others. (And yes, I know that we have an allegedly non-partisan commission drawing the boundaries in California. That does not seem to have changed the fact that District 22 is ridiculously drawn so that it favors Republicans. We’ll be working to fix that after the 2020 census, too.)

    Reply
  3. B.B.

    That guy totally got in her space and was rude. He knows it. Now he’s seems to be acting all clueless because someone actually stood up to him and called him out.

    Reply
  4. R.F.B

    That guy totally got in her space and was rude. He knows it. Now he’s seems to be acting all clueless because someone actually stood up to him and called him out.

    Reply
  5. NG

    I was actually at the event. Standing just behind and to the right of the incident on film. Did they go ‘toe to toe’? Verbally, yes. Did Greven stand her ground? Absolutely. Was Der Manouel ‘in her face’? Absolutely. Watch again. He starts speaking at a reasonable distance, then takes a step in continuing to lower his voice – stepping in to one’s personal space is a typical intimidation tactic. It isn’t always about overt aggression and yelling. Women are tired of these actions being played off as ‘sarcastic’ or comments like ‘you would have KNOWN if I was being agressive’. You mention that that the ardent Nunes supporters weren’t covered. True. But what also wasn’t covered were those very supporters leaving the venue and yelling – yes yelling at peaceful protestors to ‘get a job’ or ‘being a disgrace to this country’ as they walked by. Yes, that wasn’t covered either. These protestors were mostly retired educators, engineers, and lawyers. Nor were the loud comments from the employee or owner of the sports store covered – his rallying cry behind the protestors – ‘I better make sure I have a lot of ammo – armor-piercing ammo’. Want to confirm? Call the Fresno PD. They were there and spoke to the man. And lastly – so Janz doesn’t write all of his tweets? This isn’t news and is an accepted practice for candidates and elected officials. Look on his Twitter bio
    – it clearly states that all tweets by Janz are signed AJ. This is just shoddy reporting because the majority of these details were provided to you before this was published Mr Taub. It obviously just did not fit your narrative.

    Reply
  6. D. J.

    I wonder if the author of this article also thinks catcalling a woman is just paying her a compliment?

    Reply

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