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Duncan Hunter Indicted for Misuse of Campaign Funds

Feds say Republican blew $250K on personal expenses
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2018 1:00 AM CDT
Updated Aug 22, 2018 2:03 AM CDT
The closed offices of US Rep. Duncan Hunter are seen Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018, in El Cajon, Calif.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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(Newser) – California's Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife treated his campaign funds like their personal piggy bank, using the funds to pay for dental work, private school tuition, golf trips to Hawaii and Italy, fancy dinners, fast-food dinners, groceries, and even a $600 airline ticket for a pet bunny, according to an indictment from a federal grand jury released Tuesday. The Republican lawmaker and his wife, Margaret, are charged with using more than $250,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses and trying to conceal the spending with falsified campaign finance records, the New York Times reports. House Speaker Paul Ryan has now removed Hunter from his committee assignments.

The indictment states the alleged offenses happened between 2009 and 2016, a time when the free-spending Hunters overdrew their bank account more than 1,100 times, racking up over $37,000 in charges. They misrepresented their spending in various ways, with Margaret Hunter once telling her husband to claim new golf shorts as golf balls for "wounded warriors." Family dental bills were claimed as a donation to the "Smiles for Life" charity. Since the 41-year-old can't withdraw his name from the ballot and California does not allow write-in candidates, Democrats may now have a chance in the heavily Republican 50th District, which includes parts of San Diego and Riverside counties, the AP reports. (In 2015, $1,300 in video games were bought with Hunter's campaign credit card.)

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