Congress

Rep. Duncan Hunter Uses Campaign Funds for Steam Games and Hawaiian Shorts

"Of course they are all campaign. Why else would I charge them to the campaign [credit] card."

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|||John R. Mccutchen/ZUMA Press/Newscom
John R. Mccutchen/ZUMA Press/Newscom

The Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and his wife, Margaret, were being indicted for misusing at least $250,000 worth of campaign funds.

According to the 47-page indictment, the Hunters often spent more money than they had. Their accounts were overdrawn over 1,100 times between 2009 and 2016, accumulating $37,761 in overdraft fees. The couple's credit cards were often maxed out, and for seven years they maintained less than $1,000 in reportable assets. Facing mounds of debt and overdue payments, the Hunters decided to dip into their campaign funds—and dip, and dip, and dip some more.

Here are some of the purchases the Hunters made, all of them allegedly campaign-related:

A Ring Pop from Target for "teacher/parent and supporter events"

Hawaiian shorts for "the wounded warriors"

Multiple games on STEAM

Plus a gaming keyboard and mouse

30 Tequila shots and a steak for a friend's Bachelor party

Since 2009, the Hunters' spending on international travel, doctor's appointments, and their children's tuition were all mischaracterized as campaign travel and other campaign-related expenses. Hunter's campaign treasurer repeatedly asked for confirmation that the various expenses were accumulated for their intended purpose. Once in 2011, Hunter told his treasurer, "Of course they are all campaign. Why else would I charge them to the campaign [credit] card." The conversation came a month after Hunter spent $169.24 for golf and sushi with an acquaintance.

Hunter will be up for reelection in three months, and state spokesperson Sam Mahood tells The Hill that there is "no process in California Elections Code for Duncan Hunter to remove his name from the November ballot."

The full indictment is available below:

NEXT: San Francisco Man Prevented from Turning His 'Historic Laundromat' Into Apartment Building Is Suing the City for $17 Million

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  1. Really, how many of us haven’t padded the expense account to grab the ring pops, Hawaii shorts, and steam games that make being successful worth while?

  2. Their accounts were overdrawn over 1,100 times between 2009 and 2016, accumulating $37,761 in overdraft fees.

    “We learned it from *Congress*, OK?!”

    1. ^this.
      the Hunters often spent more money than they had. Their accounts were overdrawn over 1,100 times between 2009 and 2016, accumulating $37,761 in overdraft fees. The couple’s credit cards were often maxed out, and for seven years they maintained less than $1,000 in reportable assets. Facing mounds of debt and overdue payments, the Hunters decided to dip into their campaign funds

      And we wonder why the U.S. budget is such a mess?

    2. What did Trump call it??? OPM?other people’s money. If someone else is footing the bill and they never say anything you don’t care how much it costs.

      1. Milton Friedman said essentially the same thing.

  3. How does anyone rack up that many overdrafts and keep their accounts?
    I guess it’s down to “if you owe the bank 10 grand, you have a problem. If you owe the bank 10 million, the bank has a problem.”

    1. Leverage on bank regulations legislation?

    2. If they kept paying the overdrafts, what’s not to like?

  4. >>>a white duck

    my Target doesn’t sell livestock

    1. Rubber Ducky?

      1. maybe? to me rubber duck is “rubber duck” not “white duck” … also mostly yellow

        1. Obviously he’s a duck racist on top of everything else…

  5. The sad thing is, even with the indictment, this guy will still be reelected by clueless voters.

    1. You should see the other guy though.

  6. Hunter was stupid. He should have hired his wife or relative as a campaign “consultant,” then paid her or him for “services rendered.”

    Vile Maxine Waters funneled $700,000 to her daughter in this manner. This crone and harridan is ugly within and without, but, she does know how to be more surreptitious about funneling campaign contributions into her family’s pockets.

    1. Rep. Chaka Fatta (D) wasn’t so lucky. Some voters are more picky than others. Several years ago, Rep. Curt Weldon (R) lost his seat because his daughter’s office was raided by the FBI just before the election. Later, nothing came of the investigation but his seat was lost. Republicans got it back next election but will lose it in 2018 due to illegal court redistricting and pissed off anti-Trump soccer moms.

      1. To be clear, I oppose any kind of misappropriation of campaign contributions for personal use. What amazes me, though, is that the rules and penalties aren’t more clear-cut, here, in terms of establishing blanket prohibitions on this behavior, whether carried out clumsily (as with Hunter), or, cannily. I mean, pols such as Waters are able to effectively divert campaign contributions into their relatives’ pockets, under the ruse of non-existent services rendered, and, they get away with this chicanery completely scott-free.

        Other pols who are less sophisticated, such as Hunter, get caught with their hand in the cookie jar. There needs to be some tightening of the law and Congressional ethics rules to make this conduct illegal and criminal, no matter how it is carried out.

    2. Hunter’s wife is his campaign manager.

  7. Now, see, this is a clear cut case of breaking campaign finance law. Notice the differences between this and the Trump allegations? The lack of clear and damning proof.

  8. $1500 in one month on Steam makes me almost believe their story about it being fraudulent. That is a silly amount of money for video games. Either that or he must have the best collection of hats in TF2 ever.

    1. Ditto. At an average of $30 a game, that comes out to 50 games a month. Fifty games a month. Not even the addicted of the video game addicts play fifty games a month. And who the hell puts a ring pop on a credit card? This whole thing smells. Not that I’m sticking up for Duncan Hunter, but the indictment is fishier than a crabby patty.

  9. Now, now.
    Let’s not get too angry at Mr. Hunter.
    Nobody here wants to see him without Hawaiian shorts.
    We all might go blind.

  10. No cocaine and hookers?

    What kind of politician are you?

  11. Can we bring back tar and feathering, and riding them out on a rail?

  12. Remember, folks, these are the brilliant minds that presume to run your life for you, because you’re too stupid to do it yourself.

  13. When my kid was little, a ring pop was candy. It was sort of a gem-shaped lollipop on a plastic ring worn on a finger. It cost something like $1.99.

    If we are talking about the same thing, it sounds like someone just pulled out the wrong card to use. If you’re going to try to cheat the system, are you really going to go for a $2 candy or a $30 video game?

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