Duncan Hunter: A Personal Story


If you ask reporters in San Diego, I suppose we all have our own personal Duncan Hunter story. They are all revealing, if at times a bit funny. They also explain, to a point, why Hunter finds himself in this legal hole. Perhaps this is why he has gone after the local and national news media for “fake news.” Or why he called the Department of Justice an arm of the Democrats. Those are also Trumpian techniques, but I digress.

First off, the DOJ is currently led by a Republican and the people in appointed senior posts are Republicans. But the local prosecutors went to a Hillary Clinton fundraiser, he protests. And this is why this complaint did not fly. And I will point some relevant info, because his media and the DOJ are after me are part of a pattern for Congressman Hunter.

Hunter’s team asked DOJ to recuse two prosecutors who they say attended a Clinton campaign event in La Jolla. According to letters to DOJ released by Hunter’s team, US Attorney Adam Braverman determined recusal was not necessary.

A letter to US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein accuses DOJ of a truncated process and timing that will “hand” Democrats a victory in Hunter’s Republican district.

Multiple sources familiar with the case tell CNN that the decision to indict was made by Braverman, **who was appointed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last year.** Assistant US attorneys act at Braverman’s direction and there’s no connection between this case and the 2016 presidential election.

Moreover, the two career prosecutors that went to the La Jolla fundraiser were there at the request of the secret service.

But back to my story. Congressman Hunter fears the media that could ask compromising questions, but not KOGO which tends to be the only media he speaks to. This is hardly new. You should not even politely ask about the weather.

There is nothing funnier in life than witnessing a United States Congressman, who is a combat veteran, running away from local media at a Fourth of July parade in Alpine. And he did not just just run away, but did so at full speed. Less we actually, gasp, ask questions.

Yup, that happened to me. I can honestly say that my tape recorder, my pen and my notebook are far more dangerous to Congressman Hunter than a full metal jacket round fired in anger in his general direction. That was the only conclusion I could reach at the time. Now, it makes sense. My pen is damn dangerous.

We have others. Like the time his staff expelled a cameraman from a town hall meeting, oh just last year. Did I mention that this cameraman was taken out of the venue under sheriff escort and yes, some of the rest of the media chased after that story? It could, and probably should, have become the lead story for that town hall. Suffice it to say, that town hall in Ramona was held after a lot of pressure from his constituents. Hunter is not quite known for meeting with those he represents, or holding those town hall meetings. Hell, protests outside his office became the thing. One common gripe from his constituents was…the fact the Congressman avoided his constituents.

Yes, the issue that now dogs the congressman, and has seen his conviction, reared it ugly heard during that town hall. The congressman danced around it when directly asked by a constituent, and claimed that he had made amends. Realize, the district that Hunter represents is not quite rural anymore, though wide areas still are. But it is also not high income. So these high jinx games with donor money should not go well with many. Some of his voters will vote red no matter what. they are not unlike the yellow dog Democrats, so there is that. To some party is always more important than accountability.

A few years back he also avoided a candidate debate at the then new Public Library in yes, you guessed it, Ramona. This small town sits as near as you can get to the center of his district, CA-50. However, he was well represented by an empty chair. He is not the fastest person on his feet, and people suspect this is why he avoids these settings.

So when I learned that among other things the congressman allegedly paid for a first class ticket for the family bunny, lets just say I was not surprised. The rest of the saga is hardly unforeseen either. This man lived high on the hog, and used money from small contributors to do it. It was more out of disdain for the little people he had the honor to represent, and he did not do it well either.

Now we are at the end of the saga for the Congressman and his wife. They head to court today. Perhaps all that is left is a crying apology before the cameras after a trial. I suspect the alleged crimes will be proven beyond reasonable doubt. There is way too smoke, heat and flames, and this court circuit has a fairly high conviction rate. The last San Diego congressman to do that was Randy “Duke” Cunningham. He also denied, denied, denied, until well… he resigned, in tears. He went to prison, and currently lives in Los Angeles.

What Hunter should do is apply what he learned in the Marines. He should step down as a matter of personal honor. Do I expect him to do so? No.

However, there is indeed pride before the fall.

August 23, 2018

Written by

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store