Duncan Hunter

TAKE OUR POLL: WHO WILL YOU VOTE FOR IN CONGRESSIONAL RACE?

 

 

With Rep. Duncan D. Hunter indicted on federal corruption charges, will you vote for Hunter, a Republican, his Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, or not vote?

50th Congressional District voters, please take our poll here:   http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/poll/rep-duncan-d-hunter-has-been-indi...

REP. HUNTER COULD LOSE HIS CONGRESSIONAL PENSION IF CONVICTED OF CORRUPTION CHARGES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 5, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Indicted Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) could lose his Congressional pension if convicted of felony corruption charges under federal reform laws. Those include the “Honest Leadership and Open Government Act” that his father, Duncan Hunter Sr., voted for in 2007.

REP. DUNCAN HUNTER AND WIFE INDICTED ON CORRUPTION CHARGES

 

 

Hunter stripped of committee assignments over "deeply serious charges", House Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledges

Update: August 23, 2018: Congressman Hunter and his wife have entered not guilty pleas. ECM news partner 10 News has details: https://www.10news.com/news/rep-duncan-hunter-set-to-be-arraigned-follow....

By Miriam Raftery

August 22, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter and his wife, Margaret, have been indicted on federal charges of conspiring to commit wire fraud and falsifying campaign records to take over a quarter of a million dollars in campaign funds and use them for personal expenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced yesterday.

The indictment alleges that the Hunters also falsely represented personal expenses as purchases made to help wounded veterans and other charitable causes. in addition, a letter from Hunter's attorney to the Justice Department reveals, prosecutors suggest campaign funds were spent on "extramarital infidenlities and excessive drinking."

POLL SHOWS CAMPA-NAJJAR AND REP. HUNTER IN CLOSE CONTENTION; DEMOCRAT BEATS HUNTER IN FUNDRAISING AND HIRES NATIONAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST JOE TRIPPI

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 1, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) — Republican Congressman Duncan D. Hunter may be facing the toughest challenge of his career. His Democratic opponent, Ammar Campa-Najjar, has raised over a million dollars, more than the $848,000 raised by Hunter as of  June 30th. 

Campa-Najjar has hired prominent national campaign strategist Joe Trippi, known for guiding upset wins even in conservative Congressional districts. Plus a new poll shows the two candidates in the 50th Congressional district in a dead heat among likely voters who reviewed ballot statements on both Campa-Najjar and Hunter.

CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS TOUR MIGRANT CHILDREN DETENTION FACIITY IN EL CAJON, DENOUNCE SEPARATION FROM PARENTS

 

 

Protest planned Saturday downtown

Story and photos by Miriam Raftery

Photo: Congressman Juan Vargas, right, and Congresswoman Susan Davis, left, arrive at child detention facility in El Cajon.

June 18, 2018 (El Cajon, CA) – San Diego Congressional members Susan Davis and Juan Vargas joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic members of the Hispanic Caucus in touring three local facilities holding child immigrants, including a fenced facility in EL Cajon with 65 migrant boys, 10 percent of whom were forcibly separated from their parents by the Trump administration’s new “zero tolerance” policy of prosecuting all undocumented parents.  In the past six weeks, the federal government has acknowledged taking away over 2,000 children from parents at the border, including infants and toddlers.

“The United States should have a zero tolerance policy for the immoral treatment of children,” said Rep. Davis (CA-53), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee whose district includes part of El Cajon. “We are a nation of values and we ask our men and women in uniform to defend those values every day. This policy is in no way consistent with those values.”

CAMPA-NAJJAR HEADS TO RUN-OFF AGAINST HUNTER

 

 

 

Update June 6, 2018 9 a.m. -- According to the California Secretary of State, with 100% of precincts counted but not late mail-ins or provisionals, the results are: Duncan Hunter 48.7%, Ammar Campa-Najjar 16.3%, Bill Wells 13.1%, Josh Butner 12.1%, Patrick Malloy 6.0%, Shamus Sayed 2.1%, and Richard Kahle 1.1%.  The finish order for candidates was the same in both San Diego and Riverside County, with only late mail-in and provisionals yet to be tallied.

Campa-Najjar, who appears headed to the November run-off against Hunter, previously did an interview with ECM . Hear the interview and read highlights here: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/hear-our-interview-ammar-campa-najjar-...

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Ammar Campa-Najjar supporters. by Jonathan Goetz

June 5, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Beleaguered Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter could be in trouble come the November election.  Currently under  criminal investigation for allegedly spending lavish amounts of campaign funds for personal use, he currently has less than half the vote in the primary race.

With 15.3% of precincts tallied, Hunter has 47.62% of the vote.  The big question is who will advance to the top-two run-off election in November. Presently, Democrats Ammar Campa-Najjar, a former Obama administration labor official, and retired Navy Seal Josh Butner are in second and third place with 15.45% and 13.79% respectively, followed closely by El Cajon Mayor  Bill Wells at 13.42%.  Democrat Patrick Malloy has a 6.36% and Shamus Sayed 2.04%.

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: MAYOR BILL WELLS, CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

May 25, 2018 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, candidate for the 50th Congressional district currently held by Rep. D. Duncan Hunter, sat down for an  interview with East County Magazine’s show on KNSJ radio. In his interview, he spoke about both conservative values and a need for compassion in addressing a broad range of issues, as well as how his experience heading up the city of El Cajon has prepared him for serving in Congress, if elected.

Hear the full interview by clicking the audio link and scroll down for highlights.

Asked why he decided to run, Wells says, “It really started with elected officials across the region worried about the Congressman being under criminal investigation.”  Both Wells and Hunter are conservative Republicans. 

To Wells, the race is primarily about character and integrity. In a thoughtful and in-depth interview, he also discussed some areas where his views differ, such as budget cutting priorities and restraint with nuclear weapons, as well as some initiatives of his own in healthcare and treatment of the mentally ill.

Audio: 

Interview with Mayor Bill Wells, candidate for Congress

TRUMP BLOCKS QUALCOMM TAKEOVER

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2018 (San Diego) – President Donald Trump has blocked a takeover of Qualcomm by Singapore-based Broadcom, which would have been the biggest technology merger in history.

In a a presidential order, Trump cited “credible evidence” that if Broadcom acquired Qualcomm, the foreign corporation “might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States.”

CARL DEMAIO CHANGES PLANS, WON'T RUN AGAINST HUNTER

 

 

Update March 9, 2018:  Carl DeMaio announced that he won't be turning in papers by the filing deadline today to run against Rep. Duncan Hunter. In an e-mail to supporters, he wrote, “While I, too, am frustrated with the lack of results and the double-standards for Washington politicians, I believe the Gas Tax Repeal Initiative campaign and our plans for subsequent reform initiatives in California are so much more important,” Times of San Diego reports.

By Miriam Raftery

March 8, 2018 (San Diego) – Former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio has pulled papers to run in the 50th Congressional District currently represented by fellow Republican Duncan D. Hunter. 

DeMaio served one term on the Council from 2008 to 2012.  He has previously run for mayor and lost to Bob Filner. He also ran for Congress previously but was defeated by Scott Peters, who currently serves in the 52nd District.

ZELT DROPS OUT, ENDORSES BILL WELLS IN RACE AGAINST HUNTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 8, 2018 (San Diego) – Andrew Zelt, a sergeant at the Sheriff’s Department, has withdrawn from the 50th Congressional District race and endorsed El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells.  On his Facebook page yesterday, Zelt posted this announcement:

REP. HUNTER GETS ENDORSEMENT OF STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 4, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Alpine) has received endorsement of the California Republican party.  The GOP chose the incumbent Hunter over Republican challengers including El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells, Sheriff’s sergeant Andrew Zelt, and businessman Shamus Sayed.  

REPS HUNTER AND PETERS SEEK TO BLOCK QUALCOMM TAKEOVER

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

March 1, 2018 (Washington D.C.) -- Following up on efforts last week to have the Trump Administration initiate a review of the proposed takeover of San Diego-based Qualcomm by Broadcom, Ltd, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-50) sent a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis requesting his personal and direct involvement before a shareholder meeting occurs on March 6.  Subsequently,  Congressman Scott Peters (D-52) joined the call to halt the merger.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE RESPONDS TO NEWS STORY ON ANCESTOR'S ALLEGED ACTIONS, AFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR PEACE IN MIDEAST

 

By Miriam Raftery

February 23, 2018 (San Diego) – Few family trees are without some bad apples.  But should the actions of an ancestor you never met haunt you if you decide to seek public office?

Ammar Campa-Najjar was born in America to a Catholic mother of Mexican descent and a Palestinian Muslim father. Now a Democratic candidate for Congress running for Rep. Duncan D. Hunter’s seat, his platform includes calling for a lasting peace in the Middle East that respects both Israelis and Palestinians.  

This week, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz ran a story headlined, Grandson of Munich Massacre Terrorist is Running For Congress – Sounding a Peaceful Tone on Israel. The story claims that Campa-Najjar’s grandfather was in the terrorist organization Black September that was responsible for killing Israeli Olympic competitors in Munich, and was later killed by Israeli security forces.

The newspaper also acknowledges that Campa-Najjar has rejected violence and won endorsements from San Diego rabbis,“winning praise from members of the local Jewish community for his moderate positions on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.”

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW WITH SHAMUS SAYED, MODERATE REPUBLICAN RUNNING AGAINST REP. DUNCAN HUNTER

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine

Hear our full in-depth interview, originally aired on KNSJ 89.1 FM radio, by clicking the audio link.

January 28, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Shamus Sayed, a Republican running in the 50th Congressional District for the seat currently held by Rep. Duncan Hunter, calls himself a fiscally conservative, socially moderate Republican.  He says he’s running, “because I want to make a change” and because he wants to bring “integrity and accountability” to the offices.

Rep. Hunter is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department for alleged use of campaign funds for lavish personal expenses.  A federal grand jury has recently been convened, raising the potential for an indictment, though Hunter has stated recently that he has no intentional of stepping down.

Audio: 

interview with Shamus Sayed, 50th Congressional District candidate

GRAND JURY ISSUES SUBPOENA IN CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OF CONGRESSMAN HUNTER, UNION-TRIBUNE REPORTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 11, 2018 (San Diego) – A federal grand jury has subpoenaed documents from a local business as part of a criminal investigation into Congressman Duncan Hunter’s campaign finances, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported yesterday.

The newspaper’s award-winning journalist Morgan  Cook reports that the grand jury will hear evidence and testimony from a witness also ordered to appear in San Diego later this month.  Potentially, the grand jury could issue one or more criminal indictments, casting a pall over Hunter’s effort to win a primary race in June and reelection to Congress in November.

53 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS PRESS FOR DISASTER AID FOR CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE SURVIVIVORS, INCLUDING ALL SAN DIEGO MEMBERS

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Smouldering remains of a mobile home park burned in the Tubbs Fire in October 2017;  CC by ATS

December 2, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Yesterday, 53 members of Congress including all five San Diego-area representatives signed a letter sent to House Appropriations Committee leaders urging that $4.4 billion to aid California wildfire survivors be added to a disaster relief fund. 

The action comes after President Donald Trump previously ignored pleas from California legislators and Governor Jerry Brown, sending a measure to Congress that included funds for hurricane survivors in Texas and Florida, but not a penny to help those who lost homes, businesses or family members in the October California firestorms.

TRUMP REFUSES DISASTER AID SUPPORT FOR CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE VICTIMS; FEDS PROVIDE NOT ONE PENNY

 

Update: An earlier version of this article stated that only one of California's Congressional Republicans joined with Democrats in signing a letter to President Trump asking for disaster aid for the fire victims.  The article has been updated to include a separate letter signed by Congressman Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa, both San Diego Republicans, asking Trump for the disaster aid.

By Miriam Raftery

November 23, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – Just in time for Thanksgiving, President Donald Trump’s White House sent Congress a skimpy disaster relief funding request that includes not one penny for survivors of the worst wildfires in California history, those that ravaged the wine region and other areas recently.  The measure provided only bare-bones funding for states that suffered hurricane damage.

CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CONVENES SESSION WITH GREEN 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: 

Interview with Andrew Zelt, candidate for 50th Congressional District

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: 

interview with Josh Butner, candidate, 50th Congressional District

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: 

Interview with Glenn Jensen, 50th Congressional District candidate

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: 

Interview with Morgan Cook, SPJ Journalist of the Year

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: 

Interview with Ammar Campa-Najjar, 50th Congressional district candidate

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