"I find it disgusting that Hunter would vote against the disaster relief bill to bring relief to those families caught in recent disasters, like the Camp fire that devastated Paradise. My sister and her husband lost their house and everything in it due to that fire..." -- Ray Lutz, El Cajon
By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Lutz family's home in flames
June 5, 2019 (San Diego) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter was one of only two California Republicans who voted against a $19.1 billion federal disaster relief bill that includes an estimated $12.6 billion to help survivors of devastating wildfires in our state.
The bill passed the House of Representative by a 354-58 margin and is now awaiting action by President Donald Trump.
A prior version of the bill had included funds for processing migrants at the border, but that was removed from the final version. Hunter, along with Rep.Tom McClintock of Elk Grove, still voted against the measure despite removal of that language and the plight of people in numerous California counties devastated by recent wildfires.
Rep. Doug LaMalfa, whose district includes the ravaged town of Paradise where 80 people died in the 2018 Camp Fire, praised the measure as an “important stepping stone towards recovery.” The bill also included funds to help hurricane survivors in other states and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
El Cajon resident Ray Lutz's relatives lost their home to the Camp Fire in Paradise. He told ECM, "I find it disgusting that Hunter would vote against the disaster relief bill to bring relief to those families caught in recent disasters, like the Camp fire that devastated Paradise. My sister and her husband lost their house and everything in it due to that fire, and only barely escaped with their lives but they were not alone and many families are still in emergency shelters. These people did nothing wrong. The fire that devastated the community was set by sparking on PG&E lines into brush that was not adequately maintained. The high winds drove it in just a few hours to burn virtually everything in its path."
Lutz, who once ran against Hunter in the 50th Congressional district, adds,"I honestly can't imagine why Hunter would not approve this bill. It certainly can't be due to any concern about balancing the budget -- he can't even balance his own check book and incurred more than $35,000 in bank service charges for over drawing his account. So he has no sense at all about finances." More recently, Hunter is under federal indictment, charged with looting $250,000 in campaign expenses to pay for personal expenses including overseas vacations, jewelry, oral surgery and chlidren's tuition bills. Lutz conclues that having Hunter representing our region is "certainly counter-productive."
Hunter’s 50th Congressional district has suffered some of the worst wildfires in California including the 2007 firestorms and that 2003 Cedar fire that burned down the Alpine residence of then-Congressman Duncan Hunter, the current Congressman’s father.