Back in late January, Bill Maher announced that he was going to use his show to affect this year’s mid-term elections and do a little activism of his own. Over the next few weeks, he is running a segment known as ‘Flip A District’ where he will have viewers present him with members of Congress that need to be defeated in November. While it is open to any member of Congress, Maher is well aware that it is likely that Republicans will be the ones mostly highlighted, due to his viewership and own personal politics.
After Maher had made the initial announcement, I posted an article where I asked for readers’ picks and provided a list of names that Maher should potentially focus on. Of course, one of those names, Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA), has announced that he won’t run now and will retire at the end of his term. Miller had almost no chance of being reelected. However, one Congressman I am ashamed for not highlighting is Rep. Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA), who is running for reelection in California’s 50th District.
I have covered Hunter in the past. Back in November, I highlighted him in an article where I discussed the likeliness of his district going Blue. Shortly after that article was published, I connected with James Kimber, a Democrat who is looking to unseat Hunter in this election. (Kimber has since received 100% of the votes in a pre-endorsement conference in California and is a lock to be fully endorsed by the California Democratic Party next month.) At that time, Kimber pointed out many of the people in the 50th District actually believe that Hunter is his dad, retired Congressman Duncan L. Hunter. The elder Hunter represented the area until 2009, when he retired after a failed Presidential bid.
I had a chance to speak to Kimber again on Friday, and he once again pointed out that many people in the district think Duncan D. Hunter is his father, and that they are voting for Duncan L. Hunter. Another thing that Kimber helped bring to my attention, and something that didn’t get nearly enough national press at the time, was Rep. Hunter’s comments in December regarding Iran. While doing an interview with C-SPAN in early December, Hunter stated that he hoped we’d never have to go to war with Iran, but if we did, we should unleash a huge aerial bombing assault and utilize tactical nuclear devices.
So, in essence, Rep. Hunter feels that America should involve itself in a nuclear war. Besides calling for a full-on holocaust, Hunter also made sure to toss around stereotypes in the same interview. He stated that it is part of the Middle Eastern culture to do anything possible to get the best deal and that they are not honest and trustworthy partners in negotiations. Therefore, in one single interview, Hunter showed himself to be a sociopathic warmonger who also happens to be a bigot.
While speaking with Kimber on Friday, he also pointed out that after Hunter’s irresponsible and awful comments in December, the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote a scathing article contrasting Hunter with Nelson Mandela, who had just died around that time. This is especially noteworthy since the paper is known for its conservative stance. That C-SPAN interview made many engaged voters and members of the community quite wary of Rep. Hunter.
For his part, Kimber is pounding the pavement and connecting with all members of the community. During our call he discussed how he likes meeting with conservative voters and just talking with them. Kimber likes discussing things in real terms and connecting with these voters on a personal level. He’s noticed that many of these conservative voters are actually for immigration reform and would like Congress to stop pushing it aside and address it now.
As he said to me, “People just want real results.” That is why he has seen a lot of bipartisan support for his candidacy. His last fundraiser was held by a Republican business and he’s getting more Republican support across the board. Recently, while speaking at a restaurant, a country artist who was playing in a separate area and wasn’t associated with the event at all, listened to Kimber speak and decided that he supported Mr. Kimber’s campaign. Despite the musician stating he typically voted along Tea Party lines, he thought Kimber addressed the needs of the community best. In fact, he offered to record a campaign song for James Kimber and it should be available soon.
Another thing I got from speaking to James is that he isn’t afraid of discussing the ACA. While the common belief among pundits is that Democrats are worried about campaigning on Obamacare this cycle, it appears that may be unfounded. The fact of the matter is, that Republicans tried to run against the ACA in 2012 and lost across the board. They can’t just keep going to the same well again and again. Kimber asked during our chat, “What comes next after double down?” Rep. Hunter is still preaching repeal and defund on the campaign trail. Obviously, the well is dry for him and he has no real ideas, much like most of the Republican Party.
Personally, I think we should do our best to highlight Hunter and get him recognized by Bill Maher. Perhaps even get him to the top and be the ‘winner.’ The show has stated that to get noticed on Twitter, use the hashtag #flipadistrict. I’d ask as many of you as possible to tweet out, using that hashtag, that you’d like to see Rep. Duncan D. Hunter gone this November and it is time for California’s 50th to be one of those to Flip A District.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).