It’s a crappy day to be Republican Duncan Hunter. It’s bad enough that his wife has been flipped by federal prosecutors. Now it’s clear his own political party wants him gone. And there are more questions about his most recent campaign finance report.
This morning former 49th District Congressman Darrell Issa held a news conference to announce his candidacy for 50th District seat held by Rep. Duncan Hunter, who is running for a seventh term while facing charges of siphoning campaign funds for personal use.
“I believe that I have the history, the skills, the seniority and the capability to hit the ground running, not just for this district but for California — to help Republicans compete in what has become a very treacherous and difficult Congress, and to retake the majority,” Issa told the assembled media.
- Issa, a former nine-term congressman who made his fortune through a car-alarm company, formed an exploratory committee last month. He retired before the 2018 election from a district divided between San Diego and Orange counties that he narrowly won two years earlier. Democrat Mike Levin won the seat last November.
- Issa’s decision comes after his Senate confirmation hearing to be director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency was delayed indefinitely after Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Bob Menendez insisted on the release of an FBI background file that sources say shows Issa used a fake ID when he was 17.
- The focus on the fake ID he allegedly used as a 17-year-old Army private raised eyebrows, considering Issa had a well-known history of run-ins with the law when he was a teenager involving more serious accusations.
Issa was flanked by Republicans who’d previously announced they were running for the congressional seat. Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn, former Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells and retired Navy SEAL Larry Wilsk are bowing out and endorsing Issa.
State Senator Brian Jones announced he’s running for Hunter’s seat earlier this week, and former radio talk show host Carl DeMaio threw his hat in the ring weeks ago.
Sources told Capitol reporter Scott Lay that the National Republican Congressional Committee wanted Issa, who has significant personal wealth rather than someone that needs to rely on DC-raised money. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) likely also leaned heavily in favor of Issa.
Suggested (via Twitter) campaign slogan for Issa: “So I can’t pass a background check. But I’m a way smarter crook than Duncan Hunter!”
DeMaio’s not going anywhere; he’ll simply run as the anti-establishment GOP candidate.
Look for some fireworks between DeMaio & Issa. Both these challengers have financial means to compete in the 50th; Jones has won in elections in the district going back to 2002 as a Santee councilman.
The question now is ‘will incumbent Congressman Duncan Hunter resign?’ Issa’s entry is a clear signal that the indicted incumbent is no longer welcome. Hunter isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and may believe his family’s long record of service in the district will save the day.
In addition to the 60 count indictment Rep. Duncan Hunter will be facing at trial in January, the Federal Election Commission would like a few words with him about why $345,000 in campaign contributions went unitemized in the campaign’s last quarterly report.
The Union-Tribune quotes Hunter campaign manager Chris Marston saying the monies came from donations of less than $200 as the result of a direct mail program. That would add up to 1700 individual less than reportable contributions, according to their calculations.
- However, the amount of unitemized donations reported in Hunter’s most recent filing is notably higher than in prior quarters, according to his previous quarterly disclosures.
- In the report Hunter’s committee submitted to the FEC for the three months ending March 31, for example, the period just prior to this filing, Hunter reported collecting $48,000 in unitemized donations, a little more than half of his $84,000 or so in total revenue.
- In the third quarter of 2018, the committee reported just over $13,000 in unitemized contributions, about 10 percent of the $132,000 raised.
Four Republicans with significant name recognition are running for the 50th District seat in the primary versus Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar. The top two vote getters will move on to the general election.
I’d advise laying in some extra popcorn for the next few months.
Those Republicans won’t get much attention for slobbering all over Donald Trump’s shoes. A debate arguing about who loves the Dear Leader the most would be boring even by MAGA standards. Plus, they all have skeletons in their closets; DeMaio and Issa are also in contention for the San Diego County Nastiest Republican of the Decade Award.
That didn’t take long…
Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35-year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He’s won numerous awards for his columns from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.