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Hunter Has No Clothes . . . ahem . . . Conservatism

Thursday, December 19, 2013
posted by Guest Column

Guest Commentary
by Eric Andersen

On February 12th, 2012, I signed an oath in which I solemnly swore to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

I happen to believe that document still provides a valid road map to prosperity and happiness.

I also believe Congressman Duncan Hunter has been negligent in his duty to uphold it and it is my responsibility to stand up and say so.

I believe his votes have done more harm to our unalienable rights and limited form of government than any foreign invader.

I know that is a pretty strong statement, but before you blow me out of the water please allow me a moment to explain.

I believe the Congressman is well intentioned and has a sincere love for our nation. I believe he is passionate about creating a bright future for our children, but let us not confuse passion and rhetoric with action. Let’s not confuse military service with conservatism as we are so prone to do.

I have included a number of votes that I think demonstrate that while Hunter’s rhetoric is conservative, his voting record is not – even by Reagan’s standard of considering someone a friend and ally who votes with us 80 percent of the time. You may define it differently, but in my book a conservative is someone who conserves the ideals embodied in our founding documents, not someone who conserves the status quo. Congressman Hunter’s voting record does not reflect such loyalty and has steadily declined since his first term in the 112th Congress.

As you can see I am not alone.

Heritage Action Scorecard
Duncan Hunter 75% “C”
Tom McClintock 91% “A”

Freedom Works
Duncan Hunter 53% “F”
Tom McClintock 100% “A”

Club for Growth
Duncan Hunter 77% “C”
Tom McClintock 96% “A”

Freedom Index
Duncan Hunter 70% “C”
Tom McClintock 100% “A”

What’s puzzling is that Duncan Hunter’s seat is in a safe district. The 50th is 46 percent R and 27 percent D.

Our Reps in the Congress have the role of protecting the people from the tyranny of an ever expanding government but Republicans in the House of Representatives, with help from Hunter, have put on a dismal performance in 2013.

Despite having a majority in the House they did not come together to defund the disastrous Obamacare law.  No progress was made tackling entitlement or eliminating programs and the Republicans joined with Congress to move forward with the wasteful farm bill.

Change starts here at home. Hunter was elected with our consent and overwhelming Tea Party support.

He will not change until we do.

Let me be the first in the 50th Congressional District to say, “The Emperor has no clothes . . . ahem . . . conservatism.”

Hunter votes:

Feb 2011 – Voted to restrict our rights to free speech (First Amendment), H.R. 347.
Mar 2011 – Told Fox News military can attack without a Congressional declaration of war.
Dec 2011 – Voted for indefinite detention of American citizens.
Jul 2012 – Voted 1.6B in funding for the U.N. in violation of our national sovereignty, H.R. 6018.
Jan 2013 – Voted for the Sandy Relief wealth redistribution bill, H.R. 152.
Jan 2013 – Voted to kick the debt can down the road, H.R. 325.
Mar 2013 – Voted to fully fund Obama Care, H.R. 933.
Apr 2013 – Voted to CISPA internet sharing with government, H.R. 624.
Jul 2013 – Voted for package of subsidies for farmers worth 195B. H.R. 2642.
Jul 2013 – Voted against Amendment to end NSA surveillance of phone conversations.
Jul 2013 – Voted for farm subsidies worth 195B. H.R. 2642.
Jul 2013 – While at a fundraiser in his parent’s home tells those gathered the Heritage Foundation is no longer welcome in is Washington office.
Dec 2013 – Voted to overturn the Budget Control Act of 2011 reducing sequester cuts and spending caps, increasing user fees and taxes and spending.

# # #

Eric Andersen is a co-founder of the San Diego County Republican Liberty Caucus


32 Responses to “Hunter Has No Clothes . . . ahem . . . Conservatism”

  1. John K Stahl says:


    Primary him, we need to shake this thing up. Status quo will not save the Republic.

  2. Steve Rider Steve Rider says:

    Very well said Eric. Good intentions and commendable military service does not give one a license to shred the Constitution.

  3. Rob Morse says:

    Well said. Many politicians give lip service to smaller government and need to feel the “cold”. Issa is among them.

  4. Richard Rider says:

    I can at least UNDERSTAND a GOP wuss politician’s weak voting record when they are elected from a “competitive” district. I don’t like it, but I understand it.

    But Hunter has lifetime job security in his deep-red gerrymandered district. He can do whatever he thinks is best without political repercussions.

    Which brings us to what, indeed, he thinks is best. Sad.

  5. Michael A. Schwartz says:

    Although he appears to be a good man, father, husband, etc, I am not a fan of him in his role as my congressman. As you say, he is in a safe district. He’s not pandering to anyone. So what’s going on?

  6. Dave Rankin says:

    I would gladly trade you my Susan Davis for your Duncan Hunter.

  7. Richard Rider says:

    Dave Rankin, that’s a LOW standard to employ. I’d rather take a random name from the phone book instead of Susan Davis.

    Sadly, the Davis district USED to be competitive, but now it’s unlikely she can be removed by a challenger — from either party.

  8. Dave Rankin says:

    I take your point, Richard Rider. The lottery system worked well enough for Athens but that was a city-state. Anyway, my point is, I’d rather have a squishy Republican represent me than any Democrat.

  9. Steve Hunyar says:

    I emailed him with my disdain for his budget vote. Suggest you all do the same.

  10. Hector Gastelum says:

    It is up to us as Conservatives to train our politicians, they are not perfect but we should work with them and their staffers to get our point across. Some votes can be disappointing but if we don’t complain directly to them, nothing happens.

    BTW Susan Davis’ seat will be competitive soon… but we should never give up, and take the fight to them. Our conservative principles sell, we just need to market them better and out-smart, out-work and you know the rest :)

    Merry Xmas, and best wishes for 2014.

  11. Melory says:

    Hunter has shown his commitment to conservative principles and always votes along those lines. The American Conservative Union rates Hunter at 98 percent. For those who consider themselves aligned with the TEA Party, Hunter has all the right qualities and more. Even compared to former Congressman Allen West, a TEA Party favorite, Hunter has higher ratings for the groups cited. Would you argue Eric, that Allen West in not conservative?

    Heritage West 70/ Hunter 73

    Freedom Works West 73/ Hunter 79

    Club For Growth West 70/ Hunter 82

    New American Freedom Index West 72/ Hunter 76

    Hunter’s record is reliably conservative—a fact that must be recognized. To deal with the issue of national debt is Congressman Hunter’s top priority, but for that we must win elections after which we can get rid of Obamacare and meaningfully tackle the debt issue. That is precisely what Congressman Hunter wants and that is why I believe he voted for the last budget. Not because it is perfect by any means, but because we should not throw lifeline to the democrats by shutting down the government, especially when they are drowning themselves with Obamacare. If there’s anybody who knows what it means to defend freedom, it’s Duncan Hunter and he will continue to do just that, God willing.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  12. Thor's Assistant Thor's Assistant says:

    Some other comments on the FB page…

  13. Brian Brady Brian Brady says:

    “Would you argue Eric, that Allen West in not conservative?”

    I think you just proved that he wasn’t, Mel. He talked a great game at tea party rallies in 2010 but, in 2012, his record proved him to be otherwise. Hence, he lost.

    Meanwhile, in the Establishment GOP HQ, two tea party Congressmen are being primaried for having these voting constitutional l voting records:

    Justin Amash:

    Club for Growth– 100% (A+)
    Heritage for Action– 100% (A+)
    FreedomWorks- 100% (A+)

    Thomas Massie:

    Freedomworks: 95% (A)
    Heritage for Action: 81% (B-)

    Amash’s Republican opponent made fun of the idea that any congressman should explain his votes by determining whether they were in line with the Constitution. He said the courts were there to sort that out.

    Oh, and while we’re at it, let’s look at Darrell Issa:

    Freedomworks– 50% (F)
    Heritage For Action– 61% (D-)
    Club for Growth– 79% (C+)

    There ain’t no constitutional honor rolls awards being handed out in San Diego County.

  14. Leah Dutra says:

    Good Lord, could we please focus energy on gaining seats instead of wasting resources on trying to take down one we have, even at a “C” level? The goal of politics is power. Winning a seat from a dem gives conservatism far more power than replacing a 70 with a 90+ rep. Play the game people, don’t get so caught up in ideology you forget that the action to implement it requires us to WIN.

  15. Lee J. DeMeo says:

    While I am not directly commenting on either Hunter or Issa in the following comments, I do want to make a few points:

    1) The question of whether or not Incumbent Republicans have actually performed by voting Conservative/Constitutional is something that is extremely important to consider. It serves Republican Conservative values no real good if we actually won elections, and those Republican winners do not actually serve, vote and act on Conservative Principles. To me, to be Republican means to be Conservative (and to be conservative means to be Constitutional).

    2) So therefore, when it comes time for re-election of those Republican Incumbents, automatic re-endorsement by the Republican Party should not be the way we operate. Those Incumbent Candidates need to be re-vetted and their voting record and conduct in office re-visited before re-endorsement is made.

    3) There are ways that this re-vetting and re-visiting can be done.

    4) And finally, there are those Republicans who operate at a “C” level or worse (John Boehner comes to mind) that absolute should be replaced. We currently have a House of Representatives which is “controlled” by the our Republican Party which has even some very conservative members But way too many “C” and “D” republicans. What has our Republican Controlled House actually got done with those included “C” and “D” members? If they win those seats, what have we really won? What will we really accomplish and win when it comes to implementing policy and Legislation? So ideology (read that Conservative/Constitutional Principles) matters.

    I want “A” (90%’ers) and at least “B” (Reagan definition 80%’ers) Republican Candidates and Officeholders. The “squish” we have is not getting the job done and is harmful to our country, our lives and personal freedoms.

  16. Eric Andersen Eric says:

    I don’t think the Tea Party should be our litmus test.

    Many who have followed the movement from its origin see it as being co-opted by the Party. Many are rallied against Obama when in my opinion they should be rallied around the U.S. Constitution. Doing so would enable them to take more thoughtful stands on a number of issues they presently can’t articulate.

    Allen West is a wonderful example of my point. CPAC Keynote in 2011 and Tea Party favorite but look at the scores you share. Worse than Hunter.

    Make no mistake, the greatest threat to “our great nation” is not Afghanistan, Iraq, China, North Korea, Venezuela, Russia, or Iran.

    The greatest threat to the freedoms of Americans is not some country thousands of miles away; it is our own government.

    And as Founding Father James Madison said:
    “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.”

    West voted in February three times in the affirmative on H.R. 514 to extend the PATRIOT Act. This is the nefarious legislation hurriedly passed soon after 9/11 with no debate in the House and only minimal debate in the Senate that Judge Napolitano called “the most abominable, unconstitutional governmental assaults on personal freedom since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798”

    In my opinion the greatest attack on our natural rights is not coming from Muslim terrorists but from well meaning congressman who are shredding the U.S. Constitution.

  17. Eric Andersen Eric says:

    “Good Lord, could we please focus energy on gaining seats instead of wasting resources on trying to take down one we have, even at a “C” level? The goal of politics is power.”

    I have often thought of that point but here is why I disagree.

    My goal is not power. If elected King I would abdicate.

    My goal is happiness and prosperity for our families. I believe the Republican party should be the party of happiness but pardon me, I don’t believe we get there with more Rs.

    We get there with more Rs who understand and appreciate the ideals that made us the most free and prosperous nation in 5000 years of human history.

    Sometimes our memories are so short. Didn’t we have control of both houses and the Executive under George W.? How did you like the results?

    Let’s review…
    He let the Budget Enforcement Act of 1990 expire.

    Pork spending icreased five fold over Clinton and he used his Veto less than every President since Nixon.

    He asked budget hawk Treasury Secretary to resign (great biography by the way)

    Bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac placing 5.5T of debt on the back of the American Taxpayer

    Bailed out Chrysler and General Motors

    When Bush took over from Clinton our “Debt to GDP” ratio was 57.8. At the end of his term . . . 74.1%

    Signed the 250B Farm Subsidy Bill

    Signed the 500B Prescription Drug Act

    Should I bring up the “Repeal the 4th Amendent Act” ? (i.e. The “Patriot” Act?

    Many who are trying to lead our party back to it’s founding principles are reacting to just that – that is the few of us who haven’t gone decline to state or independent.

  18. Leah Dutra, you argue that first we need to win, and THEN Republicans can start voting for Constitutional government. As I said before, one MIGHT make that squish argument in a competitive district, but SURELY you are not defending Hunter Jr. on this basis, right?

    Hunter represents a ROCK SOLID GOP district. There the GOP winners (the GOP ALWAYS wins) NEVER win with less than 60% of the vote — and I believe that often it’s over 70%. Indeed, half the time the Democrats put up no candidate at all in that district, or at least put up only an banner-carrying token candidate without funding.

    There is NO EXCUSE for Hunter’s RINO votes. NONE!

  19. Brian Brady Brian Brady says:

    “The goal of politics is power.”

    That is a scary statement on its face. Power, left unchecked by the Constitution, but in the hands of “more competent rulers” is a recipe for tyranny.

    Regimes change–power arrogated by regimes is never relinquished. The Tenth Amendment actually matters

  20. John K Stahl says:

    The goal of politics should be improving the standard of living for your citizens, maintaining adequate foreign relations, while governing within the confines of your constitution.

  21. Steve Rider Steve Rider says:

    Let’s also point out that Allen West was in an extremely competitive district. I think most of us can tolerate a C- Republican in such a district, because as was pointed out above, usually an R is better than a D.

    To Dutra’s argument, the only race in play in San Diego is the DeMaio race. During his first month, I wrote a hefty check to his campaign, and I know several others in this thread have dedicated their resources to that effort as well. But we also want to advance our causes when possible. Hunter should be leading the charge of fiscal conservative votes, not being part of the problem.

  22. “The difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is that, if the Democrats proposed burning down the White House, the Republicans would immediately counter with a measure to phase it in over three years.”

    Crustly Senator Malcolm Wallop (R-Wyoming) 1933 – 2011

  23. falcon says:

    Basically I agree with Eric Andersen on his point about Hunter’s voting record. That being said as Mr. Andersen is a sitting member of the San Diego Center Committee and lives in Mr. Hunters district, why hasn’t Mr. Andersen established a coalition with his other Central Committee members from the Hunters district and start holding a citizen town hall meetings gaining input from the voters of the district. And start informing them of Hunters voting record. And once the citizens are informed then they can write letters to Hunter expressing their displeasure’s with his voting record. This is called “leadership 101” Eric.

  24. Spin Zone says:

    Let’s criticize the messenger because he IS doing something to inform, as well as holding Hunter’s feet to the fire. Lame.

    Is Falcon going to pay the costs to inform the thousands of people that it would take for 20 to turn out to a town hall? Funny.

    This venue is low cost compared to the pie in the sky.

    There’s Leadership 101, then there’s spelling, grammar and punctuation 101. Please start with the latter.

  25. Richard Rider says:

    So, anonymous falcon — how many “town hall meetings” have YOU organized? For free, of course.

    And should you not be running for the central committee of a political party? Once elected, you can carry out your ideas!

    It’s easy to tell others what to do, isn’t it? Even fun!

    falcon, you belong to the “what you should do” school of political armchair quarterbacking. The world is full of people with “helpful” advice. Mostly they do little or nothing.

    Actually such advice just MIGHT be occasionally helpful, but you present it as if Eric has somehow done something wrong by not doing what you want.

    Rather common, actually. In more ways than one.

  26. Leah Dutra says:

    My statement on the goal of politics comes from Max Weber, amongst others, it is defined as the struggle for power in theory. It is the ideology that drives the participation in politics that determines the use of the power and resulting actions, good or bad. A democratic republic is designed to keep the power from becoming tyrannical, but when the culture is being engineered to accept liberalism as the paradigm for good government, power will become tyranny as fewer and fewer conservatives exist to keep the up the struggle and vie for power. This is where we are headed and I fear nothing more in this world than one party rule.

    My contention that our focus needs to be on gaining power stands, because I know conservative government best serves humanity and the realities of mankind (we are a pack animal, not a herd, socialism is best left to the sheep). A modern cultural reality is that we have lost ground to the progressive movement. One only need to spend a short time in a university, watch popular media, or see a damn movie to know we are surrounded and the kids are eating it up. It has been a long, premeditated injection of liberal ideals into our culture that has lead us to where Republicans are today. Cultural change is painfully slow and making it happen is a strategic task where resources must be well managed, and plans well laid. Going after an R, even in a safe district will be a waste and divide the party, the gain is not worth the cost. As much as we would like to see conservatism just catch the prevailing wind, we are facing a formidable challenge. I feel that there needs to be more focus on taking power where we can get it, then demonstrating that power in our hands makes life better.
    I’m beat down by holiday chores, I hope half was coherent…

  27. Michael A. Schwartz says:

    Many who are commenting on this are over thinking this. Eric listed some specific votes. The way Hunter voted is recorded fact. If you like his bad votes, support him. If not, support someone else.
    It’s not one vote. It’s a trend. A trend is enough to write an article. So Eric did.

    Hunter told me once that he doesn’t care what the Constitution says, he does what is “right”. That’s almost a direct quote. I don’t know why you can’t do both, but ok. It was one comment and clearly it is his stance based on these votes. So I didn’t write an article about it. There was no trend yet.

    If we have to spend time training, disagreeing, and campaigning against Republicans (especially Republicans in a safe district), it takes time away from gaining power (beating Democrats). There is no question he made those votes. Nobody is defending the votes. So Leah, Mel, falcon…why isn’t your frustration pointed at Hunter for taking his constituents away from the fight with Democrats over these bad votes?

  28. Eric says:


    I understand where you are coming from. We have lost ground and I believe it is because of the lack of bold color and abundance of pale pastel that is our current congressman.

    If the Republican Party desires to be influential it must have a message that is inspiring and intellectually robust. It must have a message that rallies Reagan Dems, Decline to States and Independents and the youth.

    Whom to do we have a better chance of moving to this position a Dem or a moderate Republican?

    We should be going after all seats with this message not just the 50th.

  29. Dan says:

    Well written.

    Hunter is safe in this district, so what we are seeing is what he really believes, or possibly he wants to move up in the GOP ranks so he will vote against liberty along with the leadership. Either way, I would support a true liberty candidate over him barring a mea culpa on his part.

  30. Whale says:

    Aside from his voting record, I simply found him and his office to not care about people including myself who resided in his district. When the districts realigned he was not longer in my district. Good riddance!

  31. Founding Father says:

    Hunter’s inability or unwillingness to back a true conservative in the 52nd even when his father gave a full and unequivocal endorsement of that conservative tells me everything I need to know about and where young Hunter is headed.

    His “journey toward the dark-side is nearly complete….”

  32. Ed Towers says:

    R or D has been the voting criteria and barrier to many too long. Mr. Hunter represents the status quo politician that sits on these barriers confusing the citizens with family name. It is time the 50th district to make a change and be truly led. Being a conservative does not mean you are against progress.

    China for example sets up 5 year plans and then implements them successfully while we continually have scorched earth politics. As an Independent, I want the 50th to be the bedrock and birth of true prioritization of our nations best interest and these to me include:

    1. Protecting our key industries and technologies from being given away unprotected in joint-ventures that cause the finished products to be sold back us or industries and technologies lost forever.
    2. Tax incentives for jobs creation, manufactures who return or invest in American enterprises.
    3. Protection of our constitutional rights and free internet with
    4. Review and modification of Obamacare not the elimination because many of our R,D,I citizens need help but realistic with tax incentives benefits and not financial punishment, cost controls, tort laws, and tax incentives for employers.
    5. Reduction in government sectors and allowing states consensus votes on regulation and policies and not Washington bureaucrats.
    6. Eliminate special interest lobbying in government.
    7. Eliminate revolving doors for insiders transition to private industry.
    8. Negotiate and make public unfair trade agreements and create incentives for creation of localized grouped trade companies to assist small to medium companies, the majority of US employers, to participate in foreign trade agreements.
    10. Creation of State technical schools and apprentice programs for those not going to college and thus incentivize entry to full employment.
    11. Fight for laws that make it illegal for foreign nations to influence in any manner politicians, think-tanks, universities, media and members.
    12. Enforce and strengthen laws that protect jobs going to undocumented workers.
    13. Work with local government to create economic incentive zones within district for new business and industries.
    14. In cooperation with local business and government create priorities for Washington.
    15. Create proactive web based citizen and business interface with district office for citizen participation.
    16. Create local economic councils.
    17. Create specialized training and recruiting programs for locals exiting military services.

    The list goes on but the space to do it does not.

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