AKA Duncan Lee Hunter
Birthplace: Riverside, CA
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Party Affiliation: Republican
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Congressman from California, 1981-2009
Military service: US Army (1969-1971, Lt., Vietnam War)
Duncan Hunter was a Republican Congressman who represented San Diego's eastside suburbs. An Army veteran, he won a Bronze Star in Vietnam, then used the GI Bill to attend law school. He ran for Congress only four years after getting his law degree, and has held his seat in the House since 1980. His initial victory was a minor upset, the district having long been considered safely Democratic, but Hunter rode to Washington on Ronald Reagan's coattails, and his district was promptly gerrymandered -- Democratic-leaning neighborhoods shunted to neighboring districts -- making his district solidly Republican. He has faced no serious challenges in being re-elected thirteen times. On October 30, 2006, he became the first announced candidate for US President in the 2008 election.
Hunter is politically conservative, but opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and granting Communist China most-favored-nation status. He has supported George W. Bush's tax cuts and greatly increased federal spending, and has been Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee since 2003. In 2005, responding to news that prisoners at Guantanamo had been abused, Hunter called a press conference and read a menu of food served at the prison, including oven-fried chicken, rice pilaf, fruit and pita bread, as proof that Guantanamo's prisoners are treated very well indeed.
He is especially enthusiastic about walling the Mexican border to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking. He claims responsibility for 59 miles of fencing that has been built, and he co-authored the 2006 Secure Fence Act, which announced 700 miles border wall across the Arizona, New Mexico and Texas borders, but provided no funding or timeline for constructing the wall.
In 2004, Hunter authored legislation that would have allowed parents to sue for damages from anyone who distributes "material that is harmful to minors" -- comic books, video games, R-rated movies, etc. -- if a minor possessing such material "is likely to suffer personal or emotional injury or injury to mental or moral welfare." In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, he supported a bill that would have allowed prayer in public schools during the duration of the War on Terror. He opposes abortion, stem cell research, and in 2005, he authored The Right to Life Act, which would "implement equal protection ... for the right to life of each born and pre-born human person."
Since the mid-1990s, Hunter has received more than $40,000 from Brent Wilkes, a California businessman alleged to have bribed now-imprisoned former Congressman Duke Cunningham. In 1997, working closely with Cunningham, Hunter earmarked $9.7-million of Defense appropriations to pay Wilkes' business to make electronic copies of Panamanian maps and blueprints. Why did the Defense Department need this? Because, Cunningham and Hunter argued, China was planning to invade Panama.
In 2006, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Hunter's six-bedroom, 6,200 square foot house was listed on the tax rolls as two bedrooms comprising about 3,000 square feet -- meaning that he had paid far less in property taxes than other owners of similar-sized homes. Duncan professed to have no knowledge of how the mistaken assessment came about.
Over his Congressional career, the top contributors to Hunter's campaigns have been Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Cubic Corp., Lockheed Martin, General Atomics, and the Carlyle Group. His greatest support comes from the defense industry, with about five times the funding of his second largest supporters, the shipping industry.
Father: Robert O. Hunter (owned construction business, b. 18-Dec-1915, d. 25-Aug-2006 heart attack)
Mother: Lola (d. 2004)
Brother: Robert Hunter, Jr.
Brother: Jim Hunter
Sister: Bonnie Kane
Wife: Lynne Layh (m. 1973, two sons)
Son: Duncan D. Hunter (US Congressman, b. 7-Dec-1976)
Son: Robert Samuel Hunter ("Sam")
High School: Rubidoux High School, Riverside, CA (1966)
University: University of Montana
University: University of California at Santa Barbara
University: BS, Western State University, San Diego, CA (1968)
Law School: JD, Western State University, San Diego, CA (1976)
US Congressman, California 52nd (1993-2009)
US Congressman, California 45th (1983-93)
US Congressman, California 42nd (1981-83)
American Conservative Union Board of Directors
Leadership Institute Bi-Partisan Congressional Advisory Board
State Bar of California 1976
Funeral: Richard Nixon (1994)
House Banking Scandal 399 overdrawn checks, totaling $128,378
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