Republican Duncan Hunter’s brazen corruption represents a casual disregard for his voters, campaign finance laws, and the most basic values of representative democracy. He’s in it for himself, and no one else. He looted his own campaign funds to pay for everything from petty expenses to luxury trips, and now finds himself under federal indictment with his trial set to begin next year. Taking corruption to the point of near absurdity with a mind-boggling sense of entitlement is the Hunter brand, and for that he more than earns an anti-endorsement.
A 48-page federal indictment detailed the spending of campaign funds by Hunter and his wife. From food, alcohol, restaurants, tequila shots, dentistry, and crafts to hotels, ski trips, flying family abroad, and vacations to Italy, Hawaii, Disneyland, Virginia Beach, and more, the spending binge by the couple seems to have practically no end. Perhaps most notoriously, Hunter spent $600 in campaign funds on a plane ticket to have the family pet bunny flown across the country.
And Hunter didn’t stop there. The Department of Justice accused him of spending funds on “intimate encounters” with multiple women and campaign staffers. According to Hunter, expenses for hotels, drinks, and trips should be considered legitimate because the women involved included lobbyists – a defense that was rejected by the courts.
Hunter didn’t just misuse campaign funds, he repeatedly lied and committed fraud to cover his tracks. He tried to justify a vacation to Italy as a visit to a Naval base and with the help of his wife lied about buying clothing at a golf store in Florida, shamelessly claiming the campaign was purchasing golf balls for wounded warriors.
Yet, when federal prosecutors brought their indictment against Hunter his first response was to throw his wife under the bus. Hunter had in fact instructed campaign staff to make a credit card for funds under her name in order to abuse funds. Hunter’s wife finally agreed to cooperate with prosecutors earlier this year, and the couple admitted to misusing $250,000 in funds.
Beyond his front-page corruption scandals, Hunter has elicited complaints about conflicts of interest with the vaping industry, and tried to gut the House’s independent ethics watchdog. He also openly admits to killing innocent civilians during his tour in Iraq.
Hunter’s trial for misuse of campaign funds is set to begin in January of next year.