Hunter: Arrest protesters for trespassing

Mike Harrison of Hunter's El Cajon office meets with a crowd of around 250 constituents on Tuesday, Feb. 21 asking for his boss to come out and meet them in-person.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50th District) on his website says: “I value all feedback from residents of the 50th Congressional District of California.”

Just not at his El Cajon or Temecula district offices.

When it comes to tearing down high school art from the Capitol, Hunter seems fearless, but when it comes to constituents visiting his El Cajon or Temecula office or holding an in-person town hall, that gumption apparently turns to fear.

Hunter’s deputy director Wednesday sent an email to Indivisible North San Diego County constituents saying that anybody going to his district offices to ask for an in-person town hall or to address issues will be charged with trespassing.

CBS News 8 – San Diego, CA News Station – KFMB Channel 8

Michael Harrison sent Indivisible leaders an email time-stamped 2:57 p.m. Wednesday under the subject heading: “Per Congressman Hunter regarding future meetings….”

Harrison said: “Congressman Hunter has made the decision that his office will no longer be accepting meeting requests with these groups or their representatives and, while protests are obviously allowed on public areas in accordance with local code, it should be noted that visitors who do not leave the congressional office when asked to do so are trespassing.”

For the past few weeks, Harrison said, “Hunter’s offices in El Cajon and Temecula has accepted meetings with protest groups to discuss their concerns on a variety of issues including health care, immigration reform, the Trump Administration and the request for Congressman Hunter to hold a town hall meeting.  We have accommodated every request, regardless of size, and the subject of these discussions has been directly conveyed to Congressman Hunter on a regular basis. ”

Harrison added: “Despite repeated requests to the leaders of these groups for cooperation, our office has consistently experienced protest participants filming in the office against our policy.  Constituents visiting the office for assistance, including refugees and immigrants, found their way impeded and were in some cases intimidated to enter.  Our neighbors have had their businesses disrupted and we have witnessed local law enforcement being disrespected, which is unacceptable.”

Without setting a date or format, Harrison concluded his missive by saying Hunter would hold an in-person town hall meeting “in the coming weeks, details will be provided very soon to ensure those who wish to participate will have the information to do so.”

Sheryl Brown, an Indivisible North San Diego County spokesperson said: “I was shocked and surprised by Mike’s comments, especially because he had just been interviewed the week prior and he had commented on camera that he had had a good meeting with us and we were civil and decent in our meeting with him.

“As far as his allegations that we disrespected law enforcement, intimidated constituents coming to his office, video or filmed in is office, all I can say, is ‘not on my watch.’  I can’t account for all of Hunter’s constituents that are unhappy with him, but I can account for the meetings I have had with Mike Harrison,” Brown said.

“And when have you ever heard of a Congressman telling his constituents that we will be trespassing if we don’t leave their office?” Brown added. “Really?”

Said Indivisible’s Richard Nyles, a small businessman from Santee who has attended the El Cajon protests: “We will not be silenced. Duncan Hunter works for all of us, not just the voters and donors that agree with him. Rather than issue threats, Hunter should man up and hold a town hall to hear what we have to say. Rep. Hunter, do your job so we can go back to ours.”

Hunter office contact info:

1611 N Magnolia Ave, Suite 310

El Cajon, CA 92020

(619) 448-5201

Meanwhile, back to the Office of Congressional Ethics

Washington dysfunction under the Trump era has resulted in the indefinite postponement of action by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) against Hunter for campaign finance law violations.

Hunter already has repaid over $60,000 he and his wife who doubles as campaign manager spent on personal expenses, thereby violating campaign ethics rules.

Federal law forbids spending of campaign funds for personal purposes or benefit, to guard against corrupting influences by donors. In Hunter’s case, defense contractors and others with interests before committees on which he serves are his primary contributors.

A quarterly report released by the OCE on Feb. 8 said the Ethics Committee was required to release its referral of the Hunter matter or announce an investigation of Hunter by Jan. 29. However, the Ethics Committee hasn’t yet held an organizational meeting or taken any action in the 115th Congress. Only nine of its required 10 members—five Republicans and four Democrats—have been named by House leaders

OCE staffers this week said no action could take place without a full committee. This comes on the heels of a vote behind closed doors last month by the House Republican Caucus to abolish the ethics office. When word became public, public outcry caused Republican House members to walk back that vote. Hunter voted to abolish the office that is investigating him.

Partial list of admitted illegal campaign spending, not including a recently revealed $600 to pay for plane rides by Hunter’s pet bunny rabbit:

  • 106 fill-ups at gas stations, totaling $5,660.

  • 16 trips to Jack in the Box totaling $297.

  • Forty trips to Albertson’s, Trader Joe’s or another grocery store, spending $6,819 total.

  • An expense for $229 at a Disneyland gift shop for “food/beverages.” A spokesman for the park told the Union-Tribune the only edible items the store sells are Pez candy and a Star Wars-themed Rice Krispy treat.

  • Utilities — $1,269 for San Diego Gas & Electric and $300 to the Padre Dam Municipal Water District.

  • More than $2,000 on restaurants, hotels and train travel in the Italian cities of Rome, Florence and Positano during the Thanksgiving holiday week in 2015.

  • A payment for $216 to Gioielleria Manetti in Florence, listed on a disclosure report as “food/beverages.” The store makes and customizes jewelry and watches, according to its website. A store representative said it offers no food or drinks.

  • $1,300 spent at the Cardiff-by-the-Sea restaurant that provides lunches to Hunter’s children’s El Cajon private school.

In case you were wondering: Hunter staff salaries

Say what one will about Hunter and his ethics violations, he has shown himself to be a generous spender of taxpayer dollars when it comes to paying office staff. His staff salaries are consistently 50 percent greater than the congressional average, according to InsideGov.com.

Cassandra E Roper

Current Staffer
House
Legislative Assistant
Cassandra E Roper
Republican, California

Since Q4 ’13

2 years and 4 months

$36,500

Donald L Burgett

Current Staffer
House
Part-Time Employee
Donald L Burgett
Republican, California

Since Q1 ’13

3 years and 1 month

$16,000

Elizabeth M Argo

Current Staffer
House
Executive Assistant
Elizabeth M Argo
Republican, California

Since Q1 ’15

1 year and 1 month

$42,000

Holly E Hough

Current Staffer
House
Staff Assistant
Holly E Hough
Republican, California

Since Q3 ’09

At least 6 years and 7 months

$65,250

Joe Browning

Current Staffer
House
Field Representative
Joe Browning
Republican, California

Since Q3 ’09

At least 6 years and 7 months

$81,542

Joseph R Kasper

Current Staffer
House
Chief of Staff
Joseph R Kasper
Republican, California

Since Q3 ’09

At least 6 years and 7 months

$145,000

Meghan A Badame

Current Staffer
House
Legislative Correspondent
Meghan A Badame
Republican, California

Since Q1 ’15

1 year and 1 month

$34,208

Michael Harrison

Current Staffer
House
Deputy District Director
Michael Harrison
Republican, California

Since Q3 ’09

At least 6 years and 7 months

$101,667

Peter R Davidson

Current Staffer
House
Military Legislative Assistant
Peter R Davidson
Republican, California

Since Q3 ’13

2 years and 7 months

$54,000

Reed W Linsk

Current Staffer
House
Legislative Director
Reed W Linsk
Republican, California

Since Q3 ’09

At least 6 years and 7 months

$60,500

Ricardo Terrazas

Current Staffer
House
District Director
Ricardo Terrazas
Republican, California

Since Q3 ’09

At least 6 years and 7 months

$145,000

Rita M Sporleder

Current Staffer
House
Community Representative
Rita M Sporleder
Republican, California

Since Q3 ’14

1 year and 7 months

$37,000

Ronda Rayzor

Current Staffer
House
Office Manager
Ronda Rayzor
Republican, California

Since Q3 ’10

5 years and 7 months

$39,650

Thomas Marquez

Current Staffer
House
Caseworker
Thomas Marquez
Republican, California

Since Q2 ’12

3 years and 10 months

$42,208

Timothy A Carlton

Current Staffer
House
Legislative Assistant
Timothy A Carlton
Republican, California

Since Q2 ’14

1 year and 10 months

$39,917

Wesley H Schermann Jr

$Current Staffer
House
Special Projects Coordinator
Wesley H Schermann Jr
Republican, California

Since Q3 ’09

At least 6 years and 7 months… $13,000

For more, visit http://congressional-staff.insidegov.com/d/a/House/Rep.-Duncan-Hunter-%28R-.-CA50%29.

4 Comments on "Hunter: Arrest protesters for trespassing"

  1. Clearly, it is time to work on voting him out of office. That needs to be our main focus. Time to scrape the scum off the pond.

  2. I voted for you, I think I’m entitled to share . views and you’re INDEBTED to listen!

  3. His office et al, forgets they work for us. It’s time to wipe him out next year. He’s only in it for the money and he doesn’t care whose money it is, he takes it all for himself. What a disgrace to our district and to his fellow Marines who he once belonged with.

  4. Steven Kloppenburg | February 25, 2017 at 10:21 am | Reply

    It’s not his office, it belongs to the people in his district. He’s there to serve them not to discourage them from their rights to meet with their congress person.

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