California congressman spends $1,300 from campaign on Steam Games

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) is having to do some explaining to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) after it found dozens of campaign charges marked as  “personal expense – to be paid back”.

There are 68 charges in total all listed as expenses from Steam Games and range from $5.00 to $50.00, totaling $1,302.  Hunter has yet to pay back any of these expenses.

The Steam Games charges all occurred in a two month period from October to December 2015.  To see the full-list of the Congressman’s expenses for 2015, see this document here.

According to Hunter’s spokesman, Joe Kasper, the charges were made by Hunter’s teenage son, who accidentally used his father’s campaign card to make the video game purchases.

Kasper says that Hunter wants to have the charges reversed rather than pay them back.

“There won’t be any paying anything back there, pending the outcome of the fraud investigation, depending on how long that takes,” Kasper said. “The idea that he was buying video games on the campaign knowing that he shouldn’t and he was hoping to pull a fast one on the FEC is absurd.”

The FEC sent a letter to Rep. Hunter concerning the expense claims and noted that any delay in repayment could result in legal action.

“If it is determined that the disbursement(s) constitutes the personal use of campaign funds, the Commission may consider taking further legal action,” the FEC letter says. “However, prompt action to obtain reimbursement of the funds in question will be taken into consideration.”

Regardless of whether Hunter knew or not whether these expenses were inappropriate, who spends $1,300 on video games in the space of two months?

Full disclosure, I am an avid video gamer and I haven’t spent $1,300 on games in my entire life. My parents also would never have allowed me to use their credit card to buy video games.

Hunter recently wrote an opinion piece in POLITICO where he argued against regulating video games, saying they do not lead to violent tendencies in children. 

Hunter’s assertion may be true, but the combination of video games and a lack of supervision apparently does lead to violence against a parent’s bank account.


[San Diego Union Tribune] [The Hill]