Politics

Duderino! Hunter Makes New Friends On Steam

Son's charges to campaign credit card for online gaming service gets attention from gamers

Rep. Duncan Hunter's son gained the congressman some friends in the gaming and vaping communities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Republican Duncan Hunter is one of the most popular people on Steam right now. But he's also cleaning up a mess after his 12-year-old son used his campaign credit card to join the internet gaming platform.  

After news broke of the FEC looking into $1,302 worth of entries on his fourth quarter 2015 campaign finance report, gamers started tweeting at his congressional Twitter account, asking him to come out and play.  

"dude, just read about you, what's your steamID?" one tweeted.  

"Not even being ironic or rude or anything, you actually seem like a rad guy," another said.  

"Ey, duderino, I hear you vape and play sick PC games. Want to join our Steam group?" another asked, referring to Hunter taking a puff off of a vaporizer during a committee hearing over a measure to ban vaping on airliners.  

Hunter's office explained the charges this way:  

On Oct. 13, Hunter's then-12 year old son, Duncan III, used his father’s campaign credit card to make $19.83, $5 and $24.90 charges to Steam then about 15 more days later.  

After Rep. Hunter saw the charges to Steam later that month, he realized his son was using a campaign card to pay for the gaming service. He contacted the company to cancel the account, but about 50 charges were put on the card between the time the account was closed and Dec. 16.  

The campaign then contacted the Federal Elections Commission and the bank, and a fraud alert was put on the card.  

The FEC wrote to campaign treasurer Chris Marston on April 4 listing the charges and saying the issue had to be corrected by May 9.  

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

Chief of Staff Joe Kasper said the matter will be resolved soon but the campaign is fighting the credit card company over some of the charges.  

The FEC letter also questioned another charge on the card — a $1,650 tuition payment to Christian Unified Schools on Sept. 21. That charge was an accounting error, also to be resolved, Kasper said.  

Rep. Hunter is currently traveling and wasn't available for comment.  

Will the younger Hunter help pay back the charges?  

“There aren’t enough lawns in Southern California for his son to mow to make up for this,” Kasper said.  

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