Duncan Hunter

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CONVENES SESSION WITH GREEEN BUILDING INDUSTRY LEADERS TO BRING MANUFACTURING JOBS TO EAST COUNTY

 

“We can create at least 6,000 jobs here.” – Pete Beauregard

By Miriam Raftery

November 17, 2017 (Ramona) – Out of the ashes of the 2007 firestorm in Ramona, Casa Aguilar arose.  The home of Pete  Beauregard and his wife, Amy McQuillan, just won the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 Innovation Award for zero net energy use. It’s also built to withstand wildfires. 

On October 24, Beauregard, a rancher, veteran, ex-rodeo bullrider and candidate for Congress in the 50th Congressional district took the bull by the horns and convened a think tank meeting at his visionary home. The event brought together top green industry leaders to brainstorm ideas for bringing green manufacturing and building jobs to East County.

CAMPA-NAJJAR LEADS IN FUNDRAISING AMONG HUNTER CHALLENGERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Rep. Duncan Hunter and challengers Ammar Campa-Najjar and Josh Butner

October 17, 2017 (San Diego) -- The latest campaign fundraising data available through the Federal Elections Commission revealsthat  two strong Democratic challengers to Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, at least from a financial standpoint, have emerged in the 50th Congressional district: Ammar Campa-Najjar and Josh Butner.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH ANDREW ZELT, 50TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT CANDIDATE

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

October 17, 2017 (San  Diego’s East County) -- Recently we sat down with Andrew Zelt, a Republican challenger running against Rep. Duncan D. Hunter in the 50th Congressional District. He’s a sergeant in the Sheriff’s Department, where he’s spent his career, and a resident of Rancho San Diego.

Zelt says he’s running because he can no longer support Hunter, who is under investigation by the Justice Department for  allegedly using campaign donations for personal use. (Hunter has denied wrongdoing but did repay his campaign around $60,000 for vacations, payments to his child's school, oral surgery, jewelry and other expenses.)

“My top priority is listening to the people, finding out what are some of the things that affect you, your day to day lives, and then expand on that to the nation," he says, adding, "What are some of your concerns about the way our nation is going?”

  Hear our in-depth interview at the audio link, which originally aired late this summer on KNSJ radio, or scroll down for highlights.

Audio: 

READER’S EDITORIAL: HUNTER’S RECKLESS DISREGARD FOR LIFE

 

By Tom Iarossi

October 8, 2017 (San Diego) -- As an Army veteran and constituent of Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA-50), I was shocked by Hunter’s recent calls for preemptive war with North Korea. I spent twenty-seven years in uniformed service to my country, and I expect a combat veteran like him to be far more cautious about committing us to actions that we all know would result in the death of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of innocent civilians. It would also put tens of thousands of Americans in uniform in mortal danger.

HUNTER CALLS FOR FIRST STRIKE AGAINST NORTH KOREA: DRAWS BLASTS FROM BOTH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC OPPONENTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 22, 2017 (San Diego) – In an interview aired on KUSI this week, Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) repeatedly called for the U.S. to launch an attack on North Korea in response to nuclear threats.

HUNTER OPPONENTS STAGED “EMPTY CHAIR” TOWN HALL

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photo, left:  Volunteers, photo by Ariele Brooke

September 5, 2017 (El Cajon) -- Hundreds of people showed up for a rally and empty chair town hall hosted by Indivisible at Cuyamaca Community College, in Congressman Duncan Hunter Jr.’s Congressional District on August 26th  The event was organized  by Indivisible, a group opposed to Hunter, after the Congressman failed to host a second town hall in his district following a contentious town hall back in March in Ramona where hundreds lined up and could not get into the packed venue.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: JOSH BUTNER, EX- NAVY SEAL OFFICER AND SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEE RUNNING FOR CONGRESS

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

 

September 4, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Josh Butner says he’s running for Congress against Representative Duncan Hunter in the 50th Congressional District to “put people first, not personal profit or special interest politics.” 

A former Navy Seal Lieutenant Commander and current trustee on the Jamul-Dulzura Union School District board, he wants to champion a strong public education, restore integrity, and provide strong leadership on issues ranging from foreign policy to helping military families to combating climate change.

East County Magazine’s Show recently sat down with Butner for an in-depth interview originally aired July 21 on KNSJ radio. Hear the full 42-minute interview by clicking the orange audio link, and scroll down for highlights. He is one of five Democrats in the race; two Republican challengers to Hunter have also announced intentions to run. With Hunter under a federal criminal probem, this race is drawing national attention.

Audio: 

FBI WARRANTS SECURED IN HUNTER PROBE SOUGHT EVIDENCE OF FRAUD, CONSPIRACY AND DOCUMENT FALISIFICATION

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 10, 2017 (San Diego) – Fraud, falsified documents and conspiracy to defraud a bank are among the crimes for which FBI investigators obtained a warrant and sought evidence during a February raid at offices of the treasurer for Congressman Duncan Hunter’s campaign, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports

TRANSGENDERS OUT OF MILITARY? NOT SO FAST

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Congressman Scott Peters

July 27, 2017 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump’s tweets yesterday stating that he is reinstating a ban on transgender people in the U.S. military do not have the force of law.

Now, the Chairman of the Joint Chief’s of Staff says the military won’t take action until Trump sends directives to the Pentagon. In addition, San Diego Congressman Scott Peters has proposed an amendment to a major defense appropriations bill that would block discrimination against transgender people in the military--and even many staunch conservatives are voicing support for transgender troops.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: GLENN JENSEN, CANDIDATE RUNNING AGAINST DUNCAN HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Recently, Glenn Jensen joined us on the East County Magazine Show on KNSJ to talk about his candidacy against Rep. Duncan Hunter in the 50th Congressional District.  A Democrat who calls himself a “recovering Republican”, he’s a lifelong resident of the district,  a graduate of Helix High School who raised his family in East County, helped save homes in the Cedar Fire, and works in information technology sales.  You can hear his full interview

Jensen says he’s running to “set this country back on track” with integrity and a progressive but fiscally responsible agenda.  He’s also concerned about the criminal F.B.I. and Justice Department investigations against Hunter. 

“It’s obvious to me he’s been enriching himself …but has not introduced any legislation to benefit his district,” says Jensen, who calls Hunter's lavish spending of campaign funds on personal uses "pretty damn close to embezzlement." Those expenses included a family vacations to Europe, jewelry, dental bills and airfare for the Hunter family's pet rabbit.  (Hunter has denied wrongdoing, but did borrow money to repay $62,000 to his campaign. Hunter has since spent nearly all of his recent campaign contributions on his legal defense.)

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: MORGAN COOK, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST, ON HER INVESTIGATION INTO REP. HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our interview by clicking the audio link above.

June 25, 2017 (San Diego) – East County Magazine sat down for an interview with Morgan,  the San Diego Union-Tribune reporter who has been named “Journalist of the Year” by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in San Diego. 

In our exclusive interview, aired earlier this month on KNSJ radio, we asked what led her to investigate Congressman Duncan D. Hunter’s campaign finances, how his office responded, and what challenges she faced in her investigation.  Cook’s findings helped lead to an ongoing U.S. Justice Department criminal probe of allegations that Hunter spent lavish sums on personal expenditures and charged them to his campaign, including a family vacation to Italy , expensive jewelry, resort visits, money paid to his children’s school, first-class airfare for his son’s pet rabbit, and more. 

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: AMMAR CAMPA NAJJAR, CANDIDATE RUNNING AGAINST DUNCAN HUNTER, WITH BACKGROUND IN CREATING JOBS FOR BOTH LABOR DEPT. AND CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

 

 

 “This campaign is about solving economic injustice, regardless of your views or hues. Regardless of whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, pain is pain.”—Ammar Campa-Najjar

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

May  29, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Earlier this month, we sat down for an in-depth interview with Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Democrat running for the 50th Congressional  district seat held by Republican Duncan Hunter.  (Hear the full interview, which aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audio link and scroll down for highlights.)

 He has a rare combination of qualifications, with  background in helping promote job creation both as public affairs officer for the Labor Department under President Obama and as director of communications for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

A native San Diegan of Hispanic and Arab descent, he’s also  the son of immigrants and a Christian who’s worked with his church to help working people and  deported veterans.   Now he says he’s running to listen to the problems faced by all people in the district,  use his experience in Washington to bring good-paying jobs to East County including rural areas, and bring “national pride, not national shame” as our region’s representative in Congress.

Audio: 

HUNTER SUGGESTS ASSAULTING A REPORTER COULD BE JUSTIFIABLE IF REPORTER ‘DESERVED IT’

 

Photo:  Suggested attire for reporters asking tough questions of government officials

Media Watch column by Miriam Raftery

May 25, 2017 (San Diego) – Congressman Duncan Hunter, asked by capitol reporters what he thought about Montana Congressional Candidate Greg Gianforte bodyslamming a reporter, replied that is’ “not appropriate behavior” then clarified, “unless the reporter deserved it,” the Hill reports.

Gianforte was charged with assault against a reporter from the Guardian last night who asked his views on a Congressional Budget Office report on the GOP healthcare bill.  

The violent assault was caught on tape by Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs. The attack was also witnessed by a Fox News crew, who confirmed that Gianforte “grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground,” then began punching him. Three newspapers revoked their endorsements of Gianforte over the brutal incident, which broke the reporter’s glasses. On tape, Gianforte can be heard shouting at Jacobs to "get the hell out" after smashing him to the ground.

HOW SAN DIEGO’S REPRESENTATIVES RESPONDED TO FIRING OF FBI DIRECTOR AND REPORTS THAT TRUMP PUSHED COMEY TO BACK OFF INVESTIGATION INTO FLYNN’S RUSSIA TIES

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 17, 2017 (San Diego) -- San Diego’s Congressional delegate and California’s Senators are voicing diverse views – and in one case, a crude response to  the firing of FBI director James Comey and a startling report by the New York Times indicating that notes by fired FBI Director James Comey reveal that President Donald Trump  first asked Comey to shut down a federal investigation into fired national security advisor Michael Flynn over his Russian connections, but Comey refused to do so.  (See ECM special report.)

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: NURSE GLORIA CHADWICK SEEKS TO UNSEAT DUNCAN HUNTER TO REMEDY HEALTHCARE AND MORE

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our interview, originally aired on KNSJ radio, by clicking the audio link, or scroll down for highlights.

April 27, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Gloria Chadwick is a registered nurse who has worked in the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital. She's been elected to serve five terms on the Grossmont Healthcare District Board.  The first woman elected nearly 20 years ago, she's currently Vice President of the healthcare district serving East County. 

At a town hall meeting held by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), she announced plans to challenge him for  his seat – and passed out a pill bottle with her remedy to fix Congress:  “restoring integrity, providing affordable healthcare, creating more jobs, and protecting Medicare and the rights of Veterans.”

Voters couldn’t ask for a greater contrast.  Hunter, at his town hall, said he doesn’t believe healthcare is a right, but merely believes in “access” for those with the ability to pay for it. Chadwick describes herself as a “nurse warrior” who has been a fierce advocate for her patients – and now wants to do battle for constituents across the 50th Congressional District.  In an exclusive interview with East County Magazine aired on KNSJ, she shared her vision for reforming healthcare, strengthening services for veterans and military families, and protecting a clean, healthy environment.

Audio: 

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: PIERRE “PETE” BEAUREGARD, RAMONA RANCHER AND EX-MARINE CORPS MEDIC RUNNING AGAINST DUNCAN HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Hear our complete interview by clicking the audio link,  and scroll down for highlights

April 22, 2017 (Ramona) – In an exclusive interview with East County Magazine aired on KNSJ Radio April 3rd,  Pierre “Pete” Beauregard talked about his candidacy challenging Republican Duncan Hunter in the 50th Congressional district.

“My motto is `country over politics,’” says Beauregard, a Ramona rancher,  and formerMarine Corp medic who later helped start a medical clinic to help low-income people.  He’s worked as a cowboy, enjoys hunting and fishing,  and  is  ex-rodeo bull rider who believes  he’s tough enough to take on Hunter and stand up against Washington lobbyists if elected.  ““Once you ride a 2,000 pound bull,” he reflects, “Why in the hell should I be afraid of you?”

Audio: 

VIEW OUR VIDEOS: 7 CANDIDATES SPEAK OUT IN FORUM ON RACE TO REPLACE DUNCAN HUNTER

 

 

Photo:  top left to right:  Ammar Campa-Najjar, Patrick Malloy, Hannah Gbeh, Josh Butner, Gloria Chadwick, Glenn Jensen, Pierre “Pete” Beauregard

By Miriam Raftery

View our videos and post your comments!  Which candidate(s) are strongest and why?  Which might you be most apt to consider voting for, and why?

Part 1: https://youtu.be/pOOQxhTDj5Q

Part 2:  https://youtu.be/kk4H7dNWTPQ

April 21, 2017 (San Diego’s East County)—Seven Democratic candidates running  for the seat currently held by Republican Duncan Hunter participated in a lively forum last night hosted by the East County Democratic Club.   After opening statements, by each candidate they fielded questions on women’s rights,  healthcare, public education, protecting minorities, digital privacy, as well as their backgrounds, financing and organizing strengths. Many other issues were also addressed by this diverse and articulate array of candidates seeking to represent the 50th Congressional district.

The field includes a former Navy Seal, a farmer, a nurse, an ex-Navy medic, rural planning board members,   a Hispanic and Arab-American activist in the Obama administration, a realtor, a computer data expert, an environmnetalist, and more -- with several candidates having background in multiple fields.

Watch for our detailed analysis of the forum coming later. 

HUNTER, DAVIS ANNOUNCE PLAN TO CUT TAXES AND BRING INNOVATIVE JOBS TO EL CAJON

 

By Star Wares

April 1, 2017 (El Cajon )—Congressional members Duncan Hunter and Susan Davis held a press conference today in El Cajon to unveil a new “replicator” technology to be headquartered near Gillespie Field.

“The era of high taxes is over,”  Rep. Hunter announced.  “What government needs, it can replicate. Now that  government only needs to fund payroll for vital services such as the military,  I will be introducing a bill to slash taxes by 50%.”

Rep. Davis explained, “Light years ahead of 3-D printer technology, the Vespuccia Replicator is capable of scanning, processing and instantaneously replicating objects ranging from bridge supports to tanks.”

HEALTHCARE VOTE TODAY ON REVISED BILL WITH LESS DEFICIT REDUCTION, ELIMINATION OF MANDATORY MATERNITY AND NEWBORN COVERAGE, OTHER CHANGES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo:  Tweet sent by ex-Bush White House lawyer Richard Painter, showing all-male White Hosue meeting at which vital healthcare benefits for women were stripped from the bill.  Painter says the bill made "Trumpcare even worse."  But Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) says it will "save America."

March 24, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – President Trump has demanded that the House of Representatives hold an up-or-down vote today on Republican’s American Health Care Act , stating that if it does not pass, the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) will remain in place and he will move on to other priorities such as trade reforms.

Lacking enough votes for passage,  Republicans held a closed-door meeting last night on a hastily-revised version of their original plan to woo conservatives with changes such as taking away healthcare coverage for pregnant women and repealing new taxes sooner. The new version  is still estimated to result in 24 million people losing healthcare, but would reduce the deficit by only $150 billion, not the $337 billion in the original bill, according to a revised Congressional Budget Office report.

Healthcare  amendments added to woo the most conservative members of Congress all weaken existing protections.  According to a Washington Post story those stories include:

JUSTICE DEPT. LAUNCHES CRIMINAL PROBE INTO REP. DUNCAN HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 23, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal probe into allegations that Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) illegally used campaign finance funds for personal gain, according to a statement issued today by House Committee on Ethics Chairwoman Susan Brooks. (R-Indiana) and Ranking Member Theodore Dutch(D-Florida.)

The statement indicated that the Dept. of Justice has asked  the committee to defer its investigation into potential ethics violations.  The Committee also released  the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE)  report on its findings.  That report reveals that the bipartisan OCE members voted unanimously, 5-0, to recommend that the House Committee on Ethics further review the allegations “because there is  “substantial reason to believe that Rep. Hunter converted campaign funds to personal use to pay expenses that were not legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes.”

READER’S EDITORIAL: HUNTER, AT TOWN HALL, SHOWS HE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT OUR HEALTH

 

By Barbara Cummings, El Cajon

March 13, 2017 (Ramona) - I attended the Duncan Hunter town hall in Ramona on SA. Imagine getting in line at 5:30 AM for a 10 AM event to have your congressional rep ridicule and berate you for 90 min. Mr Hunter chose a very small venue in territory that normally hosts Tea Party events. Nevertheless over one thousand constituents showed up.

CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS CAN’T BAN VIDEOTAPING BY CITIZENS AT TOWN HALLS, CALAWARE ATTORNEY SAYS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 10, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Terry Francke, General Counsel for Californians Aware (CALAWARE),  a nonprofit protecting citizens rights to open government, has informed East County Magazine that Congressmen Darrell Issa ‘s plan to ban citizens from videotaping his town hall meetings this Saturday is unconstitutional.

 By contast,  Rep. Duncan Hunter, who also has a town hall this weekend in Ramona, will allow videotaping by constituents, ECM has confirmed. Both Issa and Hunter are Republicans. 

REP. HUNTER BANS “INDIVISIBLE” MEMBERS FROM HIS OFFICE, HUNDREDS JOIN PROTEST OUTSIDE

 

Story and photos by Paul Kruze

February 23, 2017 (El Cajon) --Some 300 demonstrators staged a boisterous rally late Thursday afternoon near the El Cajon district office of 50th District U.S. Representative Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) on Magnolia and Bradley Avenue. Hunter’s office issued a release earlier stating that his staff would no longer meet with constituents from the group, then shut down the office today in response to the protest rally.

The protestors held up placards representing a mixed array of concerns over his stances on key issues, drawing attention during rush hour traffic, including demonstrators on an overpass visible to motorists on State Route 67.  Their concerns include repeal of the Affordable Care Act, President Trump’s immigration policies, defunding Planned Parenthood, Trump’s election, and an ongoing investigation of Hunter’s alleged improper use of campaign funds.

HUNTER BILL WOULD DEFUND SANCTUARY CITIES, STATES AND COLLEGES: HIS ACTION COULD MEAN HUGE LOSS OF FUNDS FOR CALIFORNIA

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 11, 2017 (San Diego) -- On Thursday,  San Diego Congressman Duncan Hunter issued a press release announced that for Fiscal Year 2018, he will not submit any federal appropriations requests on behalf of states, cities, universities or other entities that have an ordinance, policy or practice in place that undermines the enforcement of federal immigration laws.  

EAST COUNTY VOTERS ASK HUNTER TO HOLD TOWN HALL MEETING, PLAN WEEKLY PROTESTS AT HIS EL CAJON OFFICE

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 10, 2017 (El Cajon) – Across the nation,  members of Congress are drawing large overflow crowds at town hall meetings since the election of President Donald Trump, with many people voicing concerns over various policies.  But Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) has refused  a request from constituents who presented a petition Tuesday with 500 signatures asking for a town hall meeting with their Congressman.

HUNTER, ISSA VOTE TO ALLOW GIVEAWAYS OF FEDERAL LANDS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Cedar Creek Falls in Cleveland National Forest, located in San Diego’s East County

January 8, 2017 (San Diego) – San Diego Republicans Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa joined with the House Majority in voting for a rules change would allow giveaway of federal lands to states, local governments, or tribes.  Potentially, such giveaways could include national parks such as Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. It also encompasses all other public lands; here in San Diego these include Cleveland National Forest, federal recreation areas and national wildlife preserves.

DUNCAN HUNTER SAYS HE WILL REPAY $49,000 IN PERSONAL AND UNAUTHORIZED EXPENSES CHARGED TO HIS CAMPAIGN

 

Hunter opponent Patrick Malloy claims use of campaign funds for personal expenses was “corruption”

By Miriam Raftery

November 4, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) announced yesterday that he will repay nearly $49,000 in personal or unauthorized expenses charged to his campaign, the Riverside Press Enterprise reports.  The action comes months after revelations that Hunter charged up large sums for an Italian vacation with his family last Thanksgiving, as well as money paid to his children’s private school, a Hawaiian resort, an oral surgeon, as well as and purchases of jewelry, groceries, video games and more.

HUNTER STANDS BY TRUMP DESPITE CLAIMS BY 6 WOMEN OF SEXUAL ASSAULTS; LIKENS TRUMP BOASTS OF GROPING AND FORCING SELF ON WOMEN TO TALK IN MILITARY

By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2016 (San Diego’s East County) – After the release of a videotape last week on which Republican nominee Donald Trump boasted in crude terms about grabbing women’s genitals and forcing kisses on them in the workplace,  Trump dismissed those claims “as locker room talk” in a presidential debate. When pressed by  CNN’s  Anderson Cooper on whether he did those things,  he claimed he didn’t.  Six women have since come forward to state  he did sexually assault them, including a journalist  and others. In addition, a hearing on alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl by Trump heads to court in December. Dozens of past coworkers of  Trump have also corroborated sexually demeaning remarks in the workplace that amount to sexual harassment.

Many top Republicans have yanked support of Trump as a result.  GOP Chair Rance Priebus ordered the Republican National  Party to cut off all cash to the Trump campaign.  House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he is done defending Trump.  Condoleeza Rice, Secretary of State under Republican George W. Bush,  stated,”Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw.”  Former GOP nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney have said they will not support Trump’s candidacy.  Conservative commentator Glen Beck called opposing  Trump the “moral choice” even if Hillary Clinton is elected.

But Congressman Duncan Hunter, a Republican whose district includes  parts of San Diego and East County continues to support  Trump. “We’ve got to keep on fighting to the end,” he said, according to the Washington Post’s article titled “What it’s like to be on the shrinking island of Donald Trump backers.”

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