Facepalm: When you think of the hobbies that US politicians might pursue, gaming is probably not at the top of your list. However, it seems that’s precisely what US congressmen Duncan Hunter chose to spend part of his money on after swiping a sizable chunk of his campaign funds for personal purchases.
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