52nd Congressional district
November 3, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – Four years after winning election to replace his father in the House of Representatives, what sort of record has Congressman Duncan D. Hunter amassed in Washington? To help voters assess Rep. Hunter’s two terms, ECM has taken a look at his voting record, legislation, campaign finances, campaign promises, and ratings from a variety of interest groups ranging from senior citizens, women and immigrant groups to business groups, educators, labor, gun rights, environmental, and veterans organizations.
Hunter refused to participate in any debates against his opponent, David Secor since the primary election. Secor interviewed with ECM and asserts that Hunter has ignored the needs of middle class voters and those who struggling in his district, also taking extreme stances on women's and senior's issues.
Hunter, a combat veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, failed to respond to interview requests from ECM and other prominent East County media. He also failed to provide information to the League of Women Voters for its nonpartisan SmartVoter site. He has not held a single live town hall meeting in his district . Locally, his appearances have been largely restricted to Chamber of Commerce and Tea Party events, as well as Republican fundraisers.
Below is the information on his record that we’ve compiled based on nonpartisan independent sources and his own legislative office.
September 9, 2012 (Alpine) – The Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber is hosting a lunch with Congressman Duncan D. Hunter on September 25 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd., Alpine. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at www.alpinechamber.com/membership/payments.html.
By Miriam Raftery
Taking a page from the independent expenditure playbook that torpedoed John Kerry’s presidential campaign, a San Diego-based PAC, Much Better Choices, is taking aim at corporate-backed candidates in a series of online video ads. Lacking the funding of corporate-backed campaigns, Much Better Choices has launched its scathing assault ads via social networking sites—swiftly going viral with efforts to “Swiftboat” local corporatist candidates.
The site offers online activists “instant –access technological arsenals” to send out videos such as one with pigs feeding at a trough, targeting “lobbyist turned Congressman Brian Bilbray."
CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE LORI SALDAÑA SHARES VIEWS ON JOBS, HEALTHCARE, ENERGY POLICIES, VETERANS AND SENIOR ISSUES, AND THE FIGHT FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS
May 17, 2012 (San Diego) -- Nine candidates are in the running for the redrawn 52nd Congressional district seat currently held by Republican Brian Bilbray. Eight of them answered a detailed questionnaire provided by the Pomerado News--all but Bilbray himself, who failed to respond to questions.
By Miriam Raftery
May 7, 2012 (San Diego) – In the hotly contested 52nd Congressional district race, Democrat Lori Saldaña has recently circulated a video in which her rival, Democrat Scott Peters, tells a KUSI reporter that he would support cuts to entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Today, in an interview with ECM, Peters sought to set the record straight. He now says by “cuts” he meant cuts to reduce cost of services to seniors-- not cuts in benefits.
Both Peters and Saldaña have pledged to strengthen these programs--in sharp contrast to incumbent Congressman Brian Bilbray, who has voted to slash funds and benefits and move toward privatization.
By Miriam Raftery
May 2, 2012 (San Diego) – The newly drawn 52nd Congressional district seat (formerly the 50th) currently held by Republican Brian Bilbray has attracted 10 candidates. Among those is Tea Party stalwart John Stahl, who is challenging Rep. Bilbray’s ethics and conservative credentials.
Host of the conservative talk show “Solutions for America” on KCBQ radio, Stahl has poured $300,000 of his own money into the race. A businessman with an MBA and a former Naval aviator, he pledges to offer “common sense solutions.” In an exclusive interview with ECM, Stahl shares his perspectives on a wide range of issues.
His views are not cookie-cutter political talking points—and some of his stances may surprise you.
By Nadin Abbott
February 23, 2012 (San Diego)--Four candidates running for the redrawn 52nd Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Brian Bilbray met Tuesday for a lively debate during a luncheon sponsored by the Conservative Order of Good Government Club in Rancho Bernardo. Participants included incumbent Brian Bilbray, Republican challenger John K. Stahl (a veteran and businessman), and two Democrats: former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña and former City Council president Scott Peters.
Issues discussed ranged from job creation to immigration to working across the aisle with the other party, as well as energy policy. While candidates clashed on views, an ECM fact-check on claims by all candidates reveals mostly—but not entirely—truthful statements.
“WORKING MAN” ENTERS RACE FOR CONGRESS: DAVID SECOR CHALLENGES HUNTER ON JOBS, SOCIAL SECURITY, EAST COUNTY POVERTY AND MORE
By Miriam Raftery
November 9, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – “I’ve been a working man for 40 years,” says David Secor, a military veteran and resident of Crest who has thrown his hat in the ring as a Democratic candidate for the Congressional seat held currently by Republican Duncan D. Hunter.
“I am running to support the working men and women of this district…to be the representative of all the people in the district and to restore the American dream for all of our citizens.” (View a video of Secor speaking on addressing joblessness: http://www.davidsecorforcongress.com/jobvid.html)
CUTS TO MEDICARE APPROVED BY GOP HOUSE WOULD HAVE MAJOR IMPACTS ON EAST COUNTY SENIORS AND DISABLED PEOPLE, ANALYSIS FINDS
In the 52nd Congressional District represented by Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon), a Democratic analysis estimates the plan would shift thousands of dollars in costs onto individuals --$182,000 to $287,000 per person for those ages 44-54--while sharply cutting benefits for those over age 54 and the disabled.
June 19, 2011 (Washington D.C.) – How will the bill passed in April by House Republicans’ to cut $1 trillion in Medicare costs impact people in East County and San Diego?
The plan would eliminate Medicare for those now under 55, making them use vouchers for private insurance instead. Some benefits for current Medicare beneficiaries and the disabled would be cut immediately. Seniors would pay more for prescriptions and government reimbursement to private insurers would not keep pace with the rising cost of medical care, resulting in seniors paying higher costs. That's based on numerous independen analyses, from the Wall Street Journal to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Now ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have posted a breakdown by Congressional districts that shows majorl impacts on seniors and even greater cuts to those currently under 55.
photo: left to right--Mike Benoit, Duncan Hunter, Ray Lutz
By Miriam Raftery
October 18, 2010 (El Cajon) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter, who served in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, is an experienced combat veteran. Friday night, he found himself under fire on two fronts, as he defended his record in Congress during a debate with two challengers. Democrat Ray Lutz, a businessman and founder of the Citizens Oversight Projects (COPS: http://www.citizensoversight.org/) and Libertarian Mike Benoit, a small business owner and Constitutional advocate, peppered Hunter with criticisms of his stances on issues ranging from war to civil liberties.
The debate among 52nd Congressional district candidates, held at Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, was sponsored by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce. Scroll down for our detailed coverage of each candidates' responses to questions posed by audience members, as well as a link to the full video and to our "fact check" on the debate.
By Miriam Raftery
Photos by Ron Logan and Miriam Raftery
October 18, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter squared off Friday night in a heated debate with Democrat Ray Lutz, a local businessman and community activist, and Libertarian Michael Benoit, also a businessman. View Two area publications described the challengers' assault on Hunter, a combat veteran. (See ECM's coverage of the challengers' assault on Hunter, a combat veteran. (View video of the full debate: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M1071.) The lively exchange, sponsored by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce, was held at Cuyamaca College.
East County Magazine ran a fact check on key points rasied in the debate. Scroll down to see which claims stood up to our fact-checking team’s research, which facts were fuzzy, and who told the biggest whopper.
East County Magazine Editor Miriam Raftery was interviewed on KPBS Radio’s “These Days” program today regarding several East County political races: 77th Assembly, La Mesa Mayor, El Cajon Mayor, Padre Dam Municipal Water District, and 52nd Congressional District. Here is a link to the program: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2010/oct/11/east-county-election-races-heating/
Here are links to recent ECM articles with in-depth coverage of the races discussed:
Congressional debate to follow Stop Powerlink events
September 25, 2010 (Lakeside) – A rally for San Diegans who oppose the Sunrise Powerlink will be held Saturday, September 25th in Lakeside. The rally will be held at Lindo Lake Park (by the pavilions near the playground) at 10 a.m., followed by a march through Main Street in downtown Lakeside.
“We have a chicken suit and we may have someone wear it to stand in for Duncan Hunter in debates.” – Ray Lutz, Democratic candidate, 52nd Congressional District
You Tube violates 1st Amendment, removes debate videos of Hunter in 2008
September 17, 2010 (Ramona) – The Ramona Forum will host a 52nd Congressional District candidates debate on Wednesday, September 22 at 6 p.m. in the Sizzler banquet room, 344 Main Street in Ramona. Democrat Ray Lutz and Libertarian Michael Benoit will appear, but incumbent Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter has declined, according to event organizers. Now his opponents are turning up the heat.
August 23, 2010 (El Cajon) – Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) has announced plans during the Congressional recess to tour over a dozen San Diego area businesses representing a wide variety of industries, in order to hear directly from local job creators about the challenges of today’s economy.
Candidates are “hungry for debate” with Rep. Duncan Hunter
East County News Service
August 22, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) –Ten days into a hunger strike, Democratic Congressional candidate Ray Lutz has become the topic of national news coverage, including an interview Thursday on CNN . Lutz and Libertarian candidate Michael Benoit are holding the hunger strike to draw attention to Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-El Cajon) refusing to debate them until after absentee ballot voting has begun. In San Diego, 60% of voters cast absentee ballots last election.
At Friday night’s “Politics in Paradise”, the two candidates joined dozens of supporters in a protest outside the event where Hunter and other elected officials participated in a public forum, but challenger candidates were not included. Hunter has claimed his legislative schedule precludes him from returning to his district for a debate prior to October.
Challenger accuses Rep. Hunter of dodging early debates; Hunter wants to wait until Congress is in recess--after absentee ballots have been mailed
By Miriam Raftery
August 12, 2010 (El Cajon) – In the 52nd Congressional District, Democratic candidate Ray Lutz is dishing up a new campaign tactic: a hunger strike. He hopes to convince Rep. Duncan D. Hunter to participate in a series of debates before absentee voting by mail begins. “Until Hunter steps up to the plate, I’ll be stepping away from the dinner plate,” Lutz said in a press release.
By Miriam Raftery
March 23, 2010 – President Barack Obama today signed into law historic healthcare reform legislation. Locally, the measure drew sharp criticism from Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) but praise from Hunter’s Democratic opponent, Raymond Lutz.
December 14, 2009 (Washington) – In a newsletter to his constituents, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) issued criticism of the Obama administration fiscal policies and called for changes to provide tax relief for Americans and help small businesses boost job creation.
“As 2009 comes to a close, we are all preparing and building hope for the future while still keeping in mind our shared experiences and lessons learned over the last year,” Hunter stated, noting that the economic decline has impacted millions of Americans.