Spending Campaign Cash: Congressman Duncan Hunter

After reading about Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter’s spending habits of his donors money I thought “There are over 200 more republicans to look at….”.

Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter and his wife were indicted for misuse of their donors money. According to the 47 page indictment reported by CNN:

“The Hunters illegally used Campaign funds, among other things, to purchase the following: Hotel rooms, airline tickets and upgrades, meals and food, and entertainment expenses for vacations for themselves and their friends and family, including more than $14,000 for a family Thanksgiving vacation in Italy in November 2015; more than $6,500 for a family vacation to Hawaii in April 2015; more than $3,700 for a family vacation to Las Vegas and Boise in July 2015; more than $2,400 for a Las Vegas couples vacation in August 2011; and more vacations to destinations such as Lake Tahoe, Pittsburgh, London, and Washington.”

It’s staggering to think Hunter and his wife used $250,000 of his donors money on personal items. His treasurer must have turned on him because finding these abuses are extremely hard by just reading financial reports. I should know, I have filed many ethics complaints on the state level. It’s not easy. 

Ten years ago a small group of activists found major abuses with republican lawmakers in Texas. These abuses included using donors money to buy a condo, hiding personal purchases behind a credit card, and much more. Over 50 complaints were filed with about 48 accepted. Fines ranged from $1000-$75,000. Here are some of the more interesting complaints:

  • The $75,000 fine was against Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole. The complaint alleged using nearly $250,000 for personal items including antique western wear, antique books, golf, and Starbucks to name just a few.
  • Senator Jane Nelson hid $2000/month behind a fictitious company called Twin Star when in fact the payment was to her husband to buy a condo. The Ethics Commission, after a year, dismissed the complaint and sealed the investigation.
  • Former State Representative John Davis purchased a pair of $1500 cowboy boots using his donors money. It had the State seal on the front.
  • A state representative from Lubbock paid his wife over $30,000/year for accounting services. He only raised $75,000. He was told to stop by the TEC. A year later he was paying an accounting firm $36,000/year for accounting services. The firm was newly created and was owned by his wife. He did not seek re-election.
Maybe it is time to start looking again……

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