The political poster boy for the vaping industry, Rep. Duncan Hunter, otherwise known as The Vaping Congressman, is under fire once again by the FEC. New allegations are surfacing regarding illegal use of campaign funds for everything from Steam Game video purchases to school tuition and family dental costs. The spotlight is shining so brightly on the California legislator that he was forced to cut short a fact-finding visit to Israel this week to manage the aftermath.
New Tally climbs to $5,339 in 'mistaken charges.'
Late last week, Vapes.com reported that Mr. Hunter was caught spending some $1,302 of campaign funds on video games from the Steam Game website. The FEC immediately began an investigation, and Hunter initially responded by claiming that the charges were due to his teenage son accidentally using the wrong credit card. As Hunter headed off to Israel, the FEC continued looking into the matter more deeply. Within days, a surge of new and unwarranted expenditures came to light, including:
- $1,650 for his child’s school tuition, paid to Christian Unified Schools in El Cajon, California
- $1,137 in dental costs for oral and facial surgeries
- $1,128 in personal travel expenses
- A new total of $1,424 spent on over 60 video transactions from the website Steam Games
Now that the FEC has made public that Hunter made over sixty different transactions for video games, even his supporters are finding it difficult to believe that his son is to blame. With the new personal expenses now being questioned, Rep. Hunter initially stated that both he and his wife have use of the credit card in question, which led to much of the confusion. He also stated that the Hunters had every intention of paying back the “accidental” credit card charges, as well.
Duncan Hunter adjusts his response.
When asked on Thursday about the escalating overages, Hunter changed his initial story by declaring that only he had access to the government credit card and his wife was not involved. He also re-stated that he had purposefully noted on the report that the video expenses would be paid back at some point in the future. However, many of his detractors are now demanding repayment immediately.
Duncan Hunter is no stranger to controversy. In 2013 shortly after the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Hunter wrote a controversial article for Politico Magazine. According to Hunter, the surge in school shootings since Columbine are more likely a result of poor parenting rather than violent video games.
Then, in February of 2016, Rep. Hunter added to his rebellious reputation by pulling out a vape mod during a congressional hearing on airplane vaping while blowing huge plumes of vapor across the room repeatedly. Now and forever labeled as The Vaping Congressman, many in the vaping community were quick to sing his praises. With these new allegations of fraudulent use of campaign funds, it will be interesting to see how things pan out. Is Duncan Hunter just a bad bookkeeper? Or is he as unseemly as the rest of his political brood on Capitol Hill?
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