US Representative Duncan Hunter is currently under federal indictment for campaign finance violations, including using campaign funds to pay his children’s private school tuition.
By Bill Tarrant | Forward & Reuters | Sep 30, 2018
“I think he’s trying to tap into dark emotions and I don’t think people will rise to that,”
— Ammar Campa-Najjar, candidate for the House of Representatives
When a Democrat with Palestinian-Mexican ancestry who had never before run for office was elected to challenge a Republican incumbent in a staunchly conservative southern California congressional district, few gave him much of a chance.
But five-term US Representative Duncan Hunter, who has been criminally charged with misusing campaign funds, is concerned enough about Ammar Campa-Najjar to issue a YouTube ad accusing his Democratic rival of trying “to hide his family’s ties to terrorism.” It was a reference to his Palestinian grandfather, who was involved in a 1972 plot to kill Israeli athletes at the Olympics and was killed the following year by Israeli commandos.
The ad, released on Wednesday, shows Hunter, a former US Marine who followed his father into Congress, dressed in camouflage and saying he approved the message.
Campa-Najjar told Reuters on Saturday Hunter’s ad was “racist, xenophobic and rooted in lies.” He noted he had security clearances to work in the White House and the Labor Department under former President Barack Obama.
“If Hunter applied for that clearance under indictment, he would be denied, which is why (House of Representatives Speaker) Paul Ryan stripped him of his seat on the Armed Services Committee, because he would have access to confidential materials. That’s the irony of this,” Campa-Najjar said.