Duncan Hunter has become the hunted. For the last 38 years, someone named Duncan Hunter has represented North and Inland San Diego in Congress. From 1981 to 2009, it was Duncan Lee Hunter, and from 2009 to the present day, it has been his son Duncan Dwayne Hunter. Apparently, in the Hunter household politics is the family business.
From a very early age, Duncan the elder taught Duncan the younger the fine arts of shaking down the rich for campaign cash, slandering your opponents to get reelected and climbing the ladder of seniority in DC. So, it came as no surprise when father passed this torch to son in January 2009. Duncan the younger’s first 10 years in Congress went by without controversy until a Thursday in August of 2018. On that day, Hunter and his wife were indicted by a federal grand jury for illegally spending more than a quarter million dollars in campaign funds to live a lavish lifestyle then concealing it all from federal authorities.
Hunter’s spending binge included a $14,000 vacation to Italy, over 1,300 dollars on video games, thousands more on beach trips, golf trips, and ski trips. $600 for the family’s pet rabbit to fly across the country in style. He was spending money even faster than he could raise it. At one point, Hunter’s wife, Margaret, had to call the campaign treasurer and complain that $1,000 a day was too low for the Hunter family. She needed 4000 or 5000 a day, minimum.
Remember where all this money came from, political donors who wanted favors from the congressman. How could he ever turn them down when his luxury lifestyle depended on them? In terms of influence, how could his constituents, offering nothing but honesty and feedback ever compete with these mega donors who could offer him the Ritz Carlton?
The irony is, Hunter didn’t need the money for reelection. He was reelected four times while squandering it away. He was reelected in 2018 while under indictment. As an incumbent, he could coast back into office with no real opposition. Just like 98% of congressional incumbents do every election cycle due to a lack of term limits. But what has emerged in the last week about Hunter is the most disturbing revelation of all. He wasn’t just spending campaign funds to wine and dine his wife, he was also carrying on sexual affairs with five different individuals, including staffers from his congressional office. He was also accused by a sixth staffer of groping her.
Hunter claims these charges are all a trumped up political witch hunt. Sighting his evidence that the prosecutor in the case is an admirer of Hillary Clinton. Really? I’m pretty sure that describes 90% of lawyers, big whoop. Duncan, you committed the crime, now, you’ve got to do the time. His trial begins November 24th. Despite this, despite all the mountains of evidence suggesting he is one of the most corrupt Congress critters of all time, Duncan Hunter Jr. is still an eight point favorite for reelection.
Still don’t think we need term limits? Hey, maybe after he gets out of prison, Hunter could publish one of those crappy political biographies we always see at the airport bookstores. He could call it, The Art Of The Steal, or maybe even The Audacity Of Grope. Possibilities like the terms for congressmen are endless.