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Mon May 28, 2018, 11:17 AM

Endorsement 50th district: Anyone but Duncan Hunter

Residents of eastern San Diego County have elected men named Duncan Hunter to Congress every two years since 1980. In 2008, the first Hunter retired and cleared the way for son Duncan D. Hunter to replace him. For years, the former artillery officer in Iran and Afghanistan — who shares his father’s military background and gung-ho political conservatism — seemed a good fit for his district. No more. His call in September 2017 for a unilateral nuclear strike on North Korea, which would lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths in U.S. ally South Korea, was a moment of lunacy for a Marine veteran sitting on the House Armed Services Committee.

But the Alpine Republican’s campaign finance scandal — the subject of an FBI criminal probe now in its second year — and his pathetic attempts to depict himself as a victim in the mess are even stronger reasons to conclude he is unfit for another term representing the 50th Congressional District.

The scandal, which The San Diego Union-Tribune first reported on in April 2016, centers on the repeated use of campaign donations to Hunter to pay for all manner of the Hunter family’s bills, services and consumer goods — oral surgery, school tuition, vacations, video games, garage repairs and much more. From the start, Hunter has argued that these dozens of expenditures somehow amounted to an honest, inadvertent mistake. After he announced in November 2016 that he would repay his campaign, he seemed to think that everyone would move on. When that didn’t happen, Hunter took to Facebook the next month to trash the Union-Tribune’s allegedly “dishonest” reporting.

And when that didn’t quell scandal coverage, Hunter gave an extraordinary interview to Politico in March 2017 and pointed the finger at someone else — his wife. Duncan and Margaret Hunter were the only ones with access to a campaign credit card that was repeatedly used for their family expenses, $60,000 of which the congressman has now reimbursed. “I didn’t make any of those charges,” he told Politico. “None. None of those expenditures.” Who did? He wouldn’t say. He didn’t have to.

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/editorials/sd-anyone-but-duncan-hunter-50th-20180525-story.html

You have to be an exceptionally crooked Republican candidate when the historically Republican Union-Tribune doesn't like you.

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