By Doug Porter
The following analysis represents my opinion. The SD Free Press editorial board may or may not agree with me. For all our articles on the upcoming election, check out our 2014 Progressive Voter’s Guide.
I’m sure the residents of San Diego’s 50th Congressional District would be proud to know about their Congressman Duncan D. Hunter making the positive side of Washingtonian Magazine’s Best & Worst of Congress list this year.
That’s right, Hunter came in first in the polling of Congressional staffers as “Best Party Animal” in the House of Representatives.
He was among those singled out in 2010 by the GOP leadership, according to a story appearing in Roll Call, for private conversations asking them to curb their inappropriate behavior.
Hunter recently took a break from his busy social schedule to appear on Fox host Greta van Susteren’s program to announce the Border Patrol had told him about “At least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the border in Texas.”
Danny Vinik over at New Republic was intrigued enough by this claim to ask Homeland Security for verification.
“The suggestion that individuals who have ties to ISIL have been apprehended at the Southwest border is categorically false, and not supported by any credible intelligence or the facts on the ground,” said DHS spokesperson Marsha Catron. “DHS continues to have no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border.”
Hunter’s response to DHS’s statement was to double down.
Again, from New Republic:
UPDATE: Hunter isn’t backing off his comments, claiming they came from a “high-level source” at DHS.”The Congressman was conveying what he knows—and what he was told,” Hunter’s spokesperson told The Huffington Post. “And as for DHS’ statement, it makes sense that the left hand of DHS doesn’t know what the right hand is doing—it’s been that way for a long time and we don’t expect that to change. No surprise there.”
Here are three of Duncan D. Hunter’s notable achievements during his current term:
Shut It Down: He was the only Representative from San Diego County to vote against ending the 16-day partial government shutdown in October 2013, explaining that he voted against it because it did not reduce spending or the national debt.
Bomb, Baby Bomb: Last December he told CSPAN that if war with Iran becomes inevitable, which he “sure as hell” hoped wouldn’t happen, the American response should be a “massive aerial bombing campaign” including “tactical nuclear devices”. He also said that the culture of Middle Easterners made them unreliable negotiating partners.
Smoke ‘em if You Got ‘em: In May he added language to a defense authorization bill blocking a plan by the military to ban sales of tobacco products on bases and ships, indicating that he believes servicemembers should be able to make their own choices regarding use of tobacco.
The 50th congressional district covers almost all of San Diego County except for the coastal and border areas. Hunter’s district includes Fallbrook, San Marcos, Valley Center, Escondido, Santee, Lakeside, and mountain and desert areas stretching to the Imperial County line.
A (Much) Saner Alternative
The backwoods of San Diego County are solidly Republican these days, but that isn’t stopping James Kimber from fighting the good fight for the Democrats.
Kimber comes from a long line of medical practitioners. Both his father and grandfather were Navy doctors during World War II. He currently works as a Physician Assistant at Palomar Medical Center, Pomerado Hospital, Tri-City Medical Center and Sharp Memorial Hospital.
Here’s a snippet from a debate between Hunter and Kimber at Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, via KPBS:
“We live in a relatively cool time on earth right now, if you look back millions of years,” Hunter said. “The temperatures on earth before there were humans have both been much higher and much lower than they are now. So the main question is, is there human-caused climate change? That, I do not buy.”
Kimber responded, “So despite all the scientists that say to the contrary, you want to dispute what they have to say. I work in neurosurgery, I’m a physician’s assistant, and I have to say if 98 doctors tell you you have a brain tumor and need surgery, you don’t want to listen to the two that say don’t.”
He’s no La Jolla liberal, but he’s be a big improvement over the right-wing nut job currently occupying the 50th District Congressional seat.
From an interview at Examiner.com:
Kimber self-describes as being a former republican who became a “conservative democrat” and now wants to make healthcare, veterans’ issues and immigration reform among his top priorities. He says he is getting into good conversations with Republican and Independent voters who like what he has to say.
He addressed his top priorities, starting with the healthcare issue and rattling off the rest of his ideas in the afternoon after seeing patients as part of a team of medical professionals where he works. “So military and healthcare are two things … those are big issues with me. Others also include reform for immigration, which includes border protection, jobs and the economy, because there are several industries within the district that could use some help or somebody championing them.” He adds later there are people struggling with job insecurities as well.
With thirty years overall in the healthcare field and twenty years in the Navy, he seems to have a “no-more-nonsense” sensibility about him.