US politician pleads guilty to using campaign funds for personal purchases, including...

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

The congressman has been under investigation for these allegations for a couple of years, but now, he's officially pled guilty to them. According to the Department of Justice, Hunter "illegally" converted over $150,000 in campaign funds to pay for miscellaneous goods and services for himself and his family between 2010 and 2016.

"Congressman Duncan D. Hunter violated the trust of his supporters by diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars they donated in good faith to his reelection campaign for personal expenditures," Assistant US Attorney David Leshner said in a statement. "Congressman Hunter used the power of his position to fund a lifestyle out of his reach, unwittingly financed by those who put him there."

"His guilty plea entered today acknowledges and accepts responsibility for his conduct," Leshner continues.

For those who are unfamiliar with US campaign finance laws, there are statutes and regulations designed to prevent politicians from using donated funds for anything other than campaign-related purposes (in most circumstances, that is). Lawmakers are supposed to keep their personal and professional lives separate; at least in the realm of finances.

Though the DoJ's announcement of Hunter's decision does not explicitly state how much of the $150,000 figure went toward gaming-related purchases, previous reports suggested that he spent as much as $1,302 on Steam content during 2015 alone.

Hunter also spent his illegally-siphoned money on things like fast food, movie tickets, new sneakers, Lego sets, luxury hotels, and even plane tickets for his pet rabbits: Eggburt and Cadbury (yes, really).

While we certainly aren't supporting Hunter's misdeeds, we at least hope he was wise enough to wait for one of Steam's many sales before splurging.

Update: A previous version of this article's title implied a significant portion of Hunter's siphoned funds went toward Steam games. This is not the case, and we've tweaked the title to better reflect the article's contents.

Lead image credit: Rolling Stone

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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
So he stole over $150,000 and spent just over $1,000 on Steam games... perhaps... just perhaps... the headline of this article is a bit misleading?

Cough *Clickbait * Cough
 

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member
So he stole over $150,000 and spent just over $1,000 on Steam games... perhaps... just perhaps... the headline of this article is a bit misleading?

Cough *Clickbait * Cough
I didn't say he spent $150,000 on Steam games in the title, I said that was one of the things he spent the money on. I also said "other personal purchases," and detailed some of them in the article.

The Steam part is fitting because it's not exactly the sort of thing you'd expect a shady politician to spend their ill-gotten funds on, so it was amusing and relevant to our audience. I personally just wanted to draw attention to it, I'm not trying to boost clicks.
 

Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
I didn't say he spent $150,000 on Steam games in the title, I said that was one of the things he spent the money on. I also said "other personal purchases," and detailed some of them in the article.

The Steam part is fitting because it's not exactly the sort of thing you'd expect a shady politician to spend their ill-gotten funds on, so it was amusing and relevant to our audience. I personally just wanted to draw attention to it, I'm not trying to boost clicks.
You put "Steam games" first in the title.... That implies that a large portion of the stolen funds were used on it.... I agree with the interest - but your title is still misleading.

A more accurate title:
US politician pleads guilty to using campaign funds for personal purchases, such as Steam Games...
 
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Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member
You put "Steam games" first in the title.... That implies that a large portion of the stolen funds were used on it.... I agree with the interest - but your title is still misleading.
Ok, fair enough. That wasn't my intent but I can see how it would be read that way. What do you think would make for a better title?

EDIT: I see you've included one. Let me see about updating the article, it seems we had the same idea. :)

EDIT 2: Ok, I've updated it now with a note explaining the situation. Thanks for your candid feedback.
 

p51d007

TS Evangelist
HE got caught...wonder how many don't get caught!
It's a big game up in DC. How do you think those "in power" become millionaires, on less than
200K salary per year?
 
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theruck

TS Addict
I didn't say he spent $150,000 on Steam games in the title, I said that was one of the things he spent the money on. I also said "other personal purchases," and detailed some of them in the article.

The Steam part is fitting because it's not exactly the sort of thing you'd expect a shady politician to spend their ill-gotten funds on, so it was amusing and relevant to our audience. I personally just wanted to draw attention to it, I'm not trying to boost clicks.
so in what universe is this news TECH?
 

KingAlistair

TS Member
This is a perfect warning about nepotism in politics. He literally just succeeded his father in the position. About time for someone new in the area for the first time in decades.
 

KingAlistair

TS Member
This is a perfect warning about nepotism in politics. He literally just succeeded his father in the position. About time for someone new in the area for the first time in decades.
From wikipedia:

The indictment also alleges that Hunter spent campaign money on "personal relationships" with five women in Washington DC, listed as Individuals 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18 in the indictment.[144] The women were said to have included lobbyists and one of his own congressional staffers.[6] "Throughout the relevant period, the Hunters spent substantially more than they earned," according to the indictment. "They overdrew their bank account more than 1,100 times in a seven-year period, resulting in approximately $37,761 in 'overdraft' and 'insufficient funds' bank fees."[136]

"$37,761 in 'overdraft' fees" it sounds like he went completely bonkers awhile before his misuse of funds.

It never ceases to amaze me how much money people spend to try and keep themselves happy. He already had a huge salary as a former marine and congressman, and his father is obviously wealthy.
 

gamerk2

TS Evangelist
This is a perfect warning about nepotism in politics. He literally just succeeded his father in the position. About time for someone new in the area for the first time in decades.
The *real* problem is that around 70% of all house seats are non-competitive; certain seats are guaranteed to be won by a specific party, even if the national trend is upwards of 10% in the other direction. That is also what is driving the current radicalization of politics, as the party primaries matter far more then the general election.

I'm fast coming around to something that hasn't been tried since Athens: Appoint Congressmen at random from among the populace. It can't possibly be worse then what we've ended up with...
 

KingAlistair

TS Member
The *real* problem is that around 70% of all house seats are non-competitive; certain seats are guaranteed to be won by a specific party, even if the national trend is upwards of 10% in the other direction. That is also what is driving the current radicalization of politics, as the party primaries matter far more then the general election.

I'm fast coming around to something that hasn't been tried since Athens: Appoint Congressmen at random from among the populace. It can't possibly be worse then what we've ended up with...
He didn't misappropriate funds because he needed income. He was making 180,000 USD per year in salary as a congressman! I think they are so well paid, many random people would love the opportunity. I also think that technically it is already competitive through the primaries, but people just didn't know what he was doing, clearly spiraling out of control with affairs and no financial control whatsoever. Most sane people avoid politics for a reason. If you have gifts there are much better things you could be doing. I'll vote for Elon Musk for president however haha.

Maybe we could cut down on the number of representatives (California has more than 50 alone) and make half of them random.

It kind of shows how hard it is to raise a child to be as good as the parent. It takes a lot of effort.
 

tkabou

TS Addict
AND he and one other were the 1st to endorse Trump (followed by Linsay Graham) ..... kind of tells all .......
Kinda tells nothing other than anyone with the name "Hunter" in their name should be scrutinized for corruption.

No matter how you slice it, the country is well off under Trump -Unemployment lowest ever, wages rising faster than ever, job hirings continue in the 100s thousands, stock market is up 40% since his election (if you're invested)...and you got a personal problem with Trump? Don't like his tweets, don't like his hair? Don't let your TDS ruin your day.
 

gamerk2

TS Evangelist
Maybe we could cut down on the number of representatives (California has more than 50 alone) and make half of them random
Cutting the number of reps down causes other problems, mainly that low population states become even more over-represented then they currently are. If anything, the 435 Representative limit that was instituted a few decades back should be revoked so larger states get their *proper* representation relative to their total population.
 

gamerk2

TS Evangelist
Kinda tells nothing other than anyone with the name "Hunter" in their name should be scrutinized for corruption.

No matter how you slice it, the country is well off under Trump -Unemployment lowest ever, wages rising faster than ever, job hirings continue in the 100s thousands, stock market is up 40% since his election (if you're invested)...and you got a personal problem with Trump? Don't like his tweets, don't like his hair? Don't let your TDS ruin your day.
Except, unemployment excepted (and there's problems with that statistic), everything you quote was better under Obama. It's also worth noting Trump is running deficits close to $1 Trillion when not dealing with a recession and the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue. In short, he's borrowing money he does not have to stimulate the economy.

Job hirings aren't any better then they were under Obama, and certain segments (especially farming and manufacturing) are shedding jobs. The stock market has been stuck at around 25k-28k since early 2017, and I note 40% growth over four years is less then Obama's 60% over the same length of time in office, and significantly less then his total gains of just over 200% over his 8 years in office.

And that's before you consider how things could be going without the weight of tariffs dragging down the world economy.

Point being, there's plenty to criticize about Trumps economic management. And more then likely, he will be largely responsible for the coming recession, which looks to be hitting *very* soon (and quite possibly right before a national election).
 

KingAlistair

TS Member
Except, unemployment excepted (and there's problems with that statistic), everything you quote was better under Obama. It's also worth noting Trump is running deficits close to $1 Trillion when not dealing with a recession and the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue. In short, he's borrowing money he does not have to stimulate the economy.

Job hirings aren't any better then they were under Obama, and certain segments (especially farming and manufacturing) are shedding jobs. The stock market has been stuck at around 25k-28k since early 2017, and I note 40% growth over four years is less then Obama's 60% over the same length of time in office, and significantly less then his total gains of just over 200% over his 8 years in office.

And that's before you consider how things could be going without the weight of tariffs dragging down the world economy.

Point being, there's plenty to criticize about Trumps economic management. And more then likely, he will be largely responsible for the coming recession, which looks to be hitting *very* soon (and quite possibly right before a national election).
There are no tariffs dragging down the world economy. There are some tariffs against China, and only because China's tariffs against the U.S. have been much larger than the other way around for decades.
 
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gusticles41

TS Evangelist
No matter how you slice it, the country is well off under Trump -Unemployment lowest ever, wages rising faster than ever, job hirings continue in the 100s thousands, stock market is up 40% since his election (if you're invested)...and you got a personal problem with Trump? Don't like his tweets, don't like his hair? Don't let your TDS ruin your day.
"He didn't allow the economy to tank yet" is basically the best thing he's done. I'll give you that.
 
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gamerk2

TS Evangelist
There are no tariffs dragging down the world economy. There are some tariffs against China, and only because China's tariffs against the U.S. have been much larger than the other way around for decades.
Absolutely not true. Trump has raised tariffs against the EU, South Korea, most of the rest of SE Asia, and is now planning on putting tariffs on the previously excluded Brazil and Argentina. Here in the US, manufacturing output has dropped significantly which has been explicitly blamed on tariffs on China reducing demand for US exports, and US farming is in a state of collapse, even with Billions of dollars in subsidies, again, due to dropping exports to China.

The global slowdown in trade is starting to have an effect elsewhere. Germany is in recession, and most of the EU is heading in that direction. China's growth is slowing, and even the US is barely hovering around the low 2% growth mark. There's a reason why most economists are predicting a 2020 recession at this point, because pretty much every forward indicator is heading in that direction.

So yes, it's perfectly fair to say Trumps tariffs is not only hurting US growth, but is starting to filter down to the rest of the world. Just because you don't like that fact doesn't make it false.
 

scavengerspc

TS Addict
TechSpot Elite
You are wasting your time people. You are talking to Trumps bend over boys.
You can throw all those facts at them and they won't care. Truth and facts are a CONServatives biggest enemy.

Hell, I could go into the fact that many families have had to add a second wage earner or get a second job to make ends meet, helping the unemployment figures greatly. They won't care.
 
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KingAlistair

TS Member
Absolutely not true. Trump has raised tariffs against the EU, South Korea, most of the rest of SE Asia, and is now planning on putting tariffs on the previously excluded Brazil and Argentina. Here in the US, manufacturing output has dropped significantly which has been explicitly blamed on tariffs on China reducing demand for US exports, and US farming is in a state of collapse, even with Billions of dollars in subsidies, again, due to dropping exports to China.

The global slowdown in trade is starting to have an effect elsewhere. Germany is in recession, and most of the EU is heading in that direction. China's growth is slowing, and even the US is barely hovering around the low 2% growth mark. There's a reason why most economists are predicting a 2020 recession at this point, because pretty much every forward indicator is heading in that direction.

So yes, it's perfectly fair to say Trumps tariffs is not only hurting US growth, but is starting to filter down to the rest of the world. Just because you don't like that fact doesn't make it false.
You're exaggerating badly. He raised some tariffs on South Korean washing machines, that's not a big deal: That's not economic depression level. As you know the trade deficit is ever increasing despite anything, so most importantly there's been no decline in American imports at all. You can't worry about tariffs that have already been removed, like the temporary ones, steel for example. "US farming is in a state of collapse" is the kind of hyperbole not worth responding to. Any global slowdown in trade has absolutely not been primarily caused by tariffs. The internet is full of laughable "business news" reports that love to mention the tariffs, but if you were to read all the articles before Trump was elected, they all said the same thing then about slowing trade and global growth. Not sure if I can link within Techspot but here goes:


Notice it's before Trump but has all the same concerns as today. Don't believe what you read today, business people love nonsensical explanations for economic indicators, like somehow tariffs are important. Sure we could have decline and a recession soon, but the tariffs aren't the cause since decline has been happening since 2012 already.
 
Very well said! Perfect example is Obama.
We know where Obama's money came from as there are plenty of articles about it. Most of it is from his booksales/book royalties, not his 400k presidential salary. (his salary over 8 years would amount to ~3.2 million). Then add in 200k pension per year. Obama got a 65 million dollar advance for his new books according to Vox. From 2005 to 2016, he got ~16 million from his other books.