The hometown newspaper of Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA) has demanded he resign over charges that he misspent more than $250,000 in campaign donations in a scathing editorial.
The San Diego Union-Tribune penned an editorial that opens with the "golden opportunity" Hunter had to be "a successful, influential national politician for the rest of his life."
That starts with the fact that Hunter was gifted a conservative east San Diego County district by his father, who held the seat for 25 years before retiring and endorsing his son who has the same name, minus a middle initial.
The younger Hunter also impressed with his record as a Marine, having enlisted after 9/11 and becoming the first congressperson to have served in a direct combat role in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But Hunter has, the paper writes, "badly lost his way," and become "corrupt to the point of caricature."
"After serious questions first arose about his use of campaign funds for video games, private school tuition, dental surgery and a garage door in early 2016, Hunter initially depicted this spending as a result of mistaken purchases by his young son or sloppy campaign paperwork," the paper writes. "But the indictment demolishes that craven lie."
Hunter was warned about his allegedly illegal use of campaign funds and "repeatedly tried to create cover stories that they could use to justify their expenses as somehow related to campaigning."
The paper was especially outraged by the incident in 2015, where Hunter booked an Italian vacation as a campaign expense and then became upset when the Navy could not accommodate his cover story, telling an aide to “tell the Navy to go f*ck themselves.”
"If he had any honor at all, Hunter would resign," the editorial board wrote. "He has disgraced himself more thoroughly than his critics ever could. He doesn’t deserve the privilege of representing Californians in Congress."
Read the piece here.