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Congressman Blew Thousands in Campaign Money on In-N-Out and Tequila Shots, Indictment Reveals

Who pays $462.46 for 30 tequila shots and a single steak? Rep. Duncan Hunter, apparently.
Photo: Bill Clark / Contributor via Getty Images

Whew, it has been a week for white dudes with sketchy money habits. On the same day that President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen pled guilty to eight federal crimes and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, wondered how he might smuggle an ostrich-leather bomber jacket into a federal prison, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) was indicted for misusing more than $250,000 worth of campaign contributions and falsifying his campaign finance records.


Until this week, Hunter might’ve been best-known as the man who pulled a high school student’s award-winning painting off a wall because he found it offensive, but now he’ll be remembered as a guy who—along with his wife, Margaret—spent more than $5,000 at fast food restaurants, paid $600 for plane tickets for his pet rabbit, and once bought a pair of gloves at a Best Buy. The 47-page indictment is beyond damning—and it also makes for jaw-dropping reading. (It also might be the only legal document that details the purchase of a “white duck” at a California Target store.)

Screenshot via CNN

Despite Hunter’s $174,000 annual salary, he and Margaret were pretty much broke: according to the Washington Post, the Hunters overdrew their bank account more than 1,100 times—no, that’s not a typo—during a seven-year period. That meant that they relied on campaign contributions to fund their family’s lifestyle, allegedly using his Congressional campaign as a personal piggy-bank for extravagant vacations, everyday expenses like groceries and bills, and an endless list of… other shit, like dental work, dance competitions, zip-lining, video games, running shoes, holiday decorations, movie tickets, and that one white duck.

They also blew a lot of cash on food—and they weren’t exactly discerning in their restaurant choices. (In 2012, Margaret Hunter allegedly spent $105.28 in campaign funds to buy three meals at an Olive Garden.) The Hunters are also accused of using more than $3,300 in campaign cash for meals at a long list of fast food restaurants including Panda Express, In-N-Out Burger, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, La Salsa, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Menchies Frozen Yogurt.


Screenshot via CNN

In addition, Duncan also splashed cash on his own friends and family, like $462.46 for “30 shots of tequila and one steak” at a Washington, DC restaurant called El Tamarindo. ON THE SAME NIGHT, he spent another $354.25 on drinks at the Jack Rose Dining Saloon; Hunter and his brother were apparently attending a bachelor party for a man identified only as “Individual 8.” (A former Jack Rose employee described Hunter as “rowdy as fuck.”)

On another night, the Hunters dropped $869.26 on dinner and drinks at the Cowboy Star Restaurant in San Diego. He also allegedly spent $220.63 to eat, drink and watch a UFC Fight at an Irish pub in DC and—because he’s a Good Family Man—he also used $560.90 to buy dinner and drinks for his mother at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House.

According to the Los Angeles Times, during the seven-year time period covered by the indictment, Hunter was re-elected four times. His campaign has called this indictment “politically motivated,” connected to Hunter’s support for Donald Trump, and then they pointed out that some of the attorneys who prepared the document had attended a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton.

The campaign also said that Hunter has no plan to drop out of his race for re-election. His opponent, 29-year-old Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, has plenty to work with.