If you’re not, you should start following Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), his chief of staff, Johnny Amaral, and Fresno Bee reporter John Ellis on Twitter.
The three have known each other for years and sure do tweet like they have. Late into Tuesday’s California primary night, Ellis was live-tweeting returns, using the percentages from the official California secretary of state website.
Nunes, and later Amaral, started giving Ellis guff over ... um, we’re not entirely sure because the guy was saying that Republican State Assemblyman David Valadao (Amaral’s cousin) was leading the primary with 47.4 percent of the vote with just less than 14 percent of precincts reporting.
“You need to look at better websites or get better sources,” Nunes tweeted at the reporter. “Valadao big winner tonight.”
“You mean better [sources] then the official reporting mechanism of the state of [California] — the [secretary of state] website? The official word?” Ellis asked.
“I’m not the official word,” Nunes responded. “[But] Valadao is the big winner tonight.”
“I’m just reporting the news as it comes in,” Ellis replied. “If you know better, by all means speak up. Give me percentages.”
Amaral eventually jumped aboard.
“You need to learn how to use a computer, Ellis,” Amaral tweeted. He also made a crack about the reporter consulting with Fidel Castro, which is an inside joke between the two men, and being “high on news ink.”
Eventually, Ellis, who was up against deadlines, snapped: “I’m finished on this front — for good.”
“Love you honey,” Amaral tweeted at him.
“We have fun,” Amaral tells HOH. “We’ve all been friends for about 15 years. We go after each other all the time. I wouldn’t read too much into our Twitter barbs.”
“Normally, it is good-natured ribbing,” Ellis agrees. “But last night [Nunes and Amaral] annoyed me.”
On the other hand, Amaral, who is new to Twitter, is kind of pleased by the fallout of the exchange.
“It must have been entertaining,” he says. “Because I woke up this morning with more followers.”