California congressman repays campaign for personal expenses
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A congressman from Southern California took out a home loan to repay his campaign nearly $49,000 for personal expenses that included online video games, a stay at Hawaii resort and his children’s private school tuition.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Republican representing inland San Diego and Riverside counties, secured a third loan on their home in Alpine on Wednesday to repay expenses that he said were erroneously charged to his campaign.
Hunter announced the reimbursement to the Riverside Press-Enterprise on Thursday, saying he took full responsibility for the errors.
Questions about his campaign spending began with a Federal Election Commission inquiry in the spring and led Hunter to repay his campaign $12,000. The latest reimbursement came after Hunter launched an independent audit to identify other improper spending.
“While the charges were primarily authorized by the campaign, the buck stops with me and I take full responsibility — including the responsibility to determine and implement other structural changes to ensure errors are not repeated,” Hunter said in a statement.
Hunter had blamed the mix-ups on the color of his credit cards. His wife, Margaret, is paid $3,000 a month as campaign manager, and Hunter said in April she would no longer be using the campaign charge card.
Democrat Patrick Malloy, who is running against Hunter in Tuesday’s election for the 50th District seat, said his opponent’s announcement was an empty gesture. “Four days before the election, Hunter is trying to buy your sympathy with $49,000 in appeasement,” Malloy said Friday.