Politics
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A giant rabbit with a political committee wants to bug California lawmaker

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), get ready to meet Duncan Thumper, a giant rabbit.

With two cute ears, a pair of beady eyes and a little white tail, Thumper is the anthropomorphic personification of Hunter’s pet rabbit — the one that took a cross-country flight paid for by the congressman’s political campaign.

Thumper will be the image of a political action committee, Bunny PAC, dedicated to focusing on the campaign finance issues that have dogged Hunter for the last year. Thumper also has a Facebook page, Twitter account and website.

The guerrilla project is the work of Shawn VanDiver, a San Diego political activist, consultant and adjunct professor in San Diego State University’s national security program.

“Its an androgynous rabbit. He’ll be making an appearance at some point in the future,” VanDiver said. “The bunny won’t speak. I’ll probably be the bunny’s translator.”

Hunter’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment about this new adversary.

VanDiver created Bunny PAC amid questions about Hunter’s campaign spending that triggered a federal criminal investigation.

About $60,000 of the lawmaker’s campaign funds were used to pay for personal expenses — including tuition at his children’s schools, a purchase at a jewelry store during trip to Italy, and $600 to bring his family’s pet rabbit on the cross-country flight.

Hunter said the charges were honest mistakes that happened when his campaign credit card was mixed up with his a personal credit card. He said he has done nothing intentionally wrong and has paid back any misspent campaign funds. The Justice Department is investigating.

Federal Election Commission documents show the Bunny PAC was created in late March and can accept contributions. VanDiver declined to say how much it has raised so far.

joshua.stewart@sduniontribune.com

Stewart writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune

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