When it comes to utter shamelessness, move over Donald Trump, we got Duncan Hunter.
One would think being caught with his hand in the ultimate cookie jar, indicted on 60 felony counts of criminally spending over $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses, trips, gifts and booze/cigars/girlfriends, starting almost from the day he first took office in 2009 to 2016 would chasten the Republican from Vape Hut.
One would think being removed from all committee assignments by House Republican leadership due to that indictment along with fellow grifters Chris Collins, indicted for insider stock trading and Steve King, the well know Nazi, er white nationalist, would chasten the guy who took the most ruby red congressional district in the state down to a razor-thin win last November,
One would be wrong.
Now relieved from probably his most time-consuming and important task in Congress, committee assignments, Hunter seems to have a lot of time on his hands. As you may have heard, per a little book calle the Bible, idle hands are the devil’s workshop.
Hunter has been spending time fighting for the rights of a war criminal now being tried in San Diego military court for crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including shooting unarmed men, women and children for sport and dismembering their bodies. He’s been promoting vaping and giving off ignorant fact-free opinions on the only media outlets that would have him, right-wing KUSI-TV, Fox News and this thing called San Diego Rostra.
The San Diego Union Tribune last week reported that believe-it-or-not — believe it — in the last five weeks of 2018, Rep. Duncan Hunter’s campaign reported spending hundreds of dollars at a local amusement park and made $2,000 in charges — now disputed — to a technology company that flies drones.
The spending at Belmont Park in Mission Beach and the disputed charges at Bytesignal, a Missouri-based technology company, are among $119,861 in expenditures Hunter’s campaign disclosed to the Federal Election Commission on Thursday, in a financial report covering Nov. 27 through Dec. 31. During the same weeks, the campaign reported raising $2,376.
As an aside, The Union Tribune’s examination of Hunter’s latest fundraising came up with the fact that $2,000 of $2,376 his campaign committee raised in the latest filing period, came from what the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors activities of hate groups and extremists, calls an anti-immigration hate group.
That $2,000 came from Keller4America, the principal campaign committee for Craig Keller, a Republican candidate from Washington who ran for Congress in 2018 and was defeated in the November elections.
Keller founded a Seattle-based group called Respect Washington, which has fought against “sanctuary” cities that decline to cooperate with federal immigration officials, according to the Seattle Times.
Leave it to Duncan
Oh the humanity, that pesky UT story set off Hunter’s inner beast. This week he took them on with a bylined story — categorized appropriately as “undesignated” — in San Diego Rostra, an amateurish arm of some San Diego County Republican Party flacks.
“The latest story by the UT continues to reveal that their priority is furthering a political agenda rather than providing professional journalism,” Hunter said in “The UT Lies. End of Story.”
“On October 8, 2018, I had a working campaign lunch with my staff off-site and on our own time, totaling $146.29 at a restaurant named Cannonball, which happens to be owned by Belmont Park Entertainment.”
OK, stop right there. A lie? Yeah, that working campaign lunch with my staff off-site sounds pretty much right out of the Hunter playbook.
Need “Hawaii shorts,” but out of money. His wife, Margaret, also under federal indictment, told him to buy them at a golf pro shop, so they could claim the expense later as “some (golf) balls for wounded warriors,” prosecutors allege.
Need running shoes. There goes $200 at Dick’s Sporting Goods on personal items, attributing the expense as a donation to an unspecified wounded warriors organization.
While Hunter may have used campaign funds for a theoretical 2020 campaign run — that will never be — staff meeting, he just as easily may not have. Or whatever.
Hunter then posted a photo of the invoice from that Belmont Park luncheon, showing he paid $146.29, including a gracious $30 tip. Which proves what exactly? As Hunter repeats to the point of ad nauseam “fake news.” Proves he spent money on lunch. He also, for some reason, did not report the $30 tip.
Hunter continued: “Rather than taking the time to determine if Belmont Park Entertainment actually included restaurants, they have at least three, the UT chose to run a story with the headline Hunter Report Spending Hundreds at Amusement Park with a picture of people riding a roller coaster. This story was then carried by another LA news outlet, this time with the headline Hunter Campaign Reports Spending $2K at Amusement Park. Fake news at its finest.”
Shamelessness aside, this guy has another character trait in common with Trump. No sense of humor. It was a funny photo and it’s NOT “fake news at its finest” that the amusement park is known for its iconic roller coaster rides and amusements along with three beachfront eateries. Lighten up, dude.
Yada yada. Hunter went on for a while, concluding the journalists questioning his continued use of campaign funds for personal expense were at fault because they didn’t ask him for comments until the “11th hour” otherwise known as when they were appropriately ready to get comments.
“There is an agenda,” Hunter said. “It is not imagined, it is #FakeNews for all to see. There are plenty of areas on which to report, both in DC and here in my district. I have no problem with differing views on policy or politics, but professional journalists have a public mandate to report facts and to make the effort to verify these facts before reporting. ”
Come to think of it, there are plenty of areas to report on in the 50th Congressional District and in Washington. Like how Hunter has zero political clout, and he had little even before his indictment. Like how Hunter refuses to appear before his constituents in a public, open-to-all town hall. Like how Hunter hasn’t resigned already.
Hunter lies a lot. But sometimes, the truth comes out, if only inadvertently.