NAME: Devin Nunes
OCCUPATION: US Congress, 21st District of California
HOMETOWN: Tulare, California
Devin Nunes was elected to Congress in 2003 after being appointed California State Director for the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development section by President George W. Bush in 2001. He is a founding member of the Congressional Hispanic Conference, a caucus of Republican congressmen of Hispanic and Portuguese descent. Twice a year he writes a magazine in order to better communicate with his constituents, and was the first member of Congress to develop such a magazine. “It allows me to really dig down into issues and I believe it gives my constituents the kind of insight they need to evaluate my performance, ” he said.
What does “Conservatism” mean to you?
At its core, I believe conservatism is the belief that people should be able to live their lives in freedom and security. My office mission is to ensure my constituents and all Americans have opportunity for prosperity and are free to live in a healthy and safe environment.
What is at the top of your ‘I tunes’ play list right now?
Classic Rock; music from the 1970s.
Who was your influence in conservatism?
My grandparents inspired my conservative beliefs. My maternal and paternal grandparents cherished their freedom. They were immigrants and survivors of the Great Depression. Growing up on a farm and experiencing the destructive nature of taxes and government regulation also fueled my political conservatism.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
I love visiting the home of my ancestors. The Azores islands, which are part of Portugal, lie about 2,400 miles off the East Coast of the United States. Sitting on the island of St. George, with Pico in the distance and the ocean in-between, has always been relaxing. The simple pleasure of sipping good wine and enjoying excellent conversation with family and friends in that breathtaking place is probably the closest thing to heaven on Earth for me.
What is the first website you visit every morning? (Heritage.org excluded!)
I am a little old fashioned. I enjoy reading the print edition of the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. I also read print editions of local papers, when possible. If I don’t have a newspaper, I will go online and get my fix from a number of websites.
What is the last book you read, and do you recommend it?
Terrestrial Energy, by Bill Tucker. I highly recommend it.
What do you worry about?
I worry most about the people of California and the serious economic and governmental crisis they face. My home state is facing far more than a nationally induced recession. We have more than a $40 billion deficit and a legislature unable to confront economic realities. With unemployment in the Golden state far exceeding the national average, my district is now positioned to achieve 20% unemployment. The responsibility for this crisis rests largely on those in our state capitol who have driven financial capital out of California and discouraged anyone thinking of bringing capital in. Blame also rests on environmentalists and complicit lawmakers who have virtually starved of water the once rich farming economy of the Southern San Joaquin Valley.
Name your hidden talent.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
The Hubbard Act comes to mind. Thanks to a brave young man from my district, sole survivors who separate from the United States military now have certain benefits available to them. Those benefits, such as transitional health care, are available to other soldiers honorably separating from military service. However, they were being denied to sole survivors who left the military early due to the loss of one or more siblings. My constituent, Jason Hubbard, lost two brothers in the War on Terror. One of them died steps away from him as they were serving together in Iraq. This family tragedy was met with bureaucratic red tape but thanks to the Hubbard Act, that red tape has been cut. Sole survivors have benefits under the law.