By DWiesman/Escondido Grapevine
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50th Congressional District) has been a walking horror show for years, and generations if one harkens back to his dad from whom he “inherited” the once-safe Republican congressional seat.
Hunter and his mentor, President Trump, actually have a lot in common. They’re blowhards. They’re caught somewhere between ineffective and impotent. They shill. They lie. They’re under federal investigation and probable indictment.
Every day Trump says and does horrible and disconcerting stuff. Monday, it was Pocahontas slurs in front of Navajo code talkers and a portrait of Indian-killer Andrew Jackson, along with the appointment of a guy who wants to destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as its director.
Meanwhile, Hunter spent a busy few months calling for nuclear weapons to be used in a pre-emptive North Korea strike, voting AGAINST his constituent’s interests by voting for the Republican tax transfer of wealth from lower and middle-class Americans to the wealthiest few thousand of his party’s donors and the 1 percent.
Trump and Hunter each face significant criminal liability and are under multiple active federal justice investigations.
Trump, as we all know, and his family and associates are subject to numerous investigations into criminal and civil wrongdoing along with Russian collaboration and collusion.
Hunter’s self-confessed illegal use of campaign funds for personal spending has brought him, his wife, and several staff members under FBI investigation with the expectation of multiple Department of Justice indictments at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Coincidentally, that’s where the Trump team’s indictments have been sealed and unsealed.
That federal court, according to reports, has a dozen, or so, unsealed indictments waiting in the hopper. How many of those are Trump’s? How many are Hunter’s?
Criminal wrongdoing and general loutishness aside, the dynamic duo has something else in common. Neither can pass any legislation.
After messing up health care, Trump and his kakistocracy has managed no legislative achievements as they struggle like Sisyphus to push an over-bloated tax scam bill up a steep and rocky legislative hill.
Practically the only legislation Hunter has passed on his “own” was an amendment to a Department of Defense spending bill calling for girls to register for the draft. Hunter said he offered it as a “sarcastic” amendment. He voted against it. Democrats thanked him for his service, and along with enough Republicans, passed the amendment and bill into law.
Hunter’s only apparent solo effort this session appears to be a bill calling vaping and e-cigarettes better for you than tobacco — medical experts say otherwise — and basically deregulating their use. Hunter also boasts online about his frequent, if not daily, vaping and the places he has vaped, including the halls of Congress and airports.
Hunter even has a special brand that he has promoted, hawked and advertised in the past implying he received some kind of benefits in return. While constituents begged him to hold a town hall meeting to discuss pressing current events like — you know — the tax bill he voted for, Hunter made several appearances at Texas vaping conventions. He didn’t publicly reveal that either, it had to be discovered through social media postings.
Just as Trump appears on the precipice of saying what should have been the long goodbye on short order, Hunter appears poised to face the music.
The once “safe” Republican district has been added to numerous toss-up lists in the last few months with Hunter spending more money on legal defense fees than he has been able to take in from donors. Paying personal legal defense from campaign funds, believe it or not, is legal.
While Hunter has no effective campaign on the ground, little enthusiasm, and no volunteers, opponents have been organizing, canvassing, knocking on doors and working hard.
With the right candidate, Hunter is toast.
The bad news for Hunter this week was the coalescing of local opposition efforts in selecting the best candidate to take him down if the Department of Justice doesn’t do it first.
Indivisible CA50 began Saturday a 3-week series of meetings at various district locations during which participants will vote for their preferred Hunter challenger. Should a candidate receive two-thirds of the votes, that person will be endorsed by Indivisible CA50 on Dec. 21.
The Sunday, Nov. 26 meeting at Ramona drew about 50 Indivisible members and a Monday night meeting at Escondido drew about 100 people, according to organizers. “Later, some of us dropped by the Democratic Woman’s Club of San Diego, which coincidentally was also voting tonight on an endorsement in 50,” an Indivisible CA50 organizer said. “Ammar Campa-Najjar won that one.”
“Indivisible’s grassroots base across the region is committed to defeating Duncan Hunter, who voted to raise our taxes and take our health care,” said Kathy Steel of San Marcos, a leader of Indivisible CA50.
“We are recruiting, and uniting, an army of Indivisible activists to not only endorse a candidate but to work our hearts out for him in 2018,” Steel said. “We intend to both flip the 50th and strengthen progressive support for down-ballot races across our district.”
In early January, a billboard will go up at Fallbrook, according to Indivisible CA50, informing 455,00 voters per week that Duncan Hunter remains under FBI investigation. Nearly 200 donors contributed $7,700 in 10 days to fund the billboard.
Meetings have been held at Ramona and Escondido. They are scheduled to continue Saturday, Dec. 2 at Bonsall; Sunday, Dec. 3 at La Mesa; Thursday, Dec. 7 at Temecula, and Sunday, Dec. 10 at San Marcos.
Interested voters may email IndivisibleCA50Endorsement@