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Duncan Hunter’s Missive --a Card to Be Dealt With

The congressional Christmas card has become a tradition in recent years. It’s a homey touch, and it’s been ruled an acceptable use of campaign funds.

Mostly it’s standard stuff: wife, kids and politician in front of a roaring fire (the Bates model), or wife, kids and politician with Capitol dome in the background (the Lowery model).

Duncan Hunter, the conservative Republican from Coronado, has tried to be different. One year, he posed his two sons at Sea World with Shamu (in pre-trainer- crushing days).

Last year, Hunter went staid: official seal of the House of Representatives on the outside, best wishes on the inside. This year, he has gone military mod with the boys.

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The card shows Duncan Duane, 12, and Sam, 6, up a dogwood tree at the Hunter spread (called Hunter’s Hill) in Chantilly, Va. Duncan Duane is in camouflage and Sam is wearing a Marine Corps T-shirt.

Dad, after all, is a former Army paratrooper and member of the House Armed Services Committee. The boys’ paternal grandfather, Robert O. Hunter, was a Marine captain.

Mideast Fallout

To celebrate the decision of the U. S. government to open talks with the Palestine Liberation Organization, businessman Fozi Khouri invited to his Del Cerro home last Sunday several local Arab-Americans and others who have been willing to listen to the Palestinian side of the Middle East conflict.

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A PLO flag stood beside an American flag, and the talk was upbeat.

In attendance were San Diego Councilman Wes Pratt, Channel 10 anchor Mike Tuck, Black Federation leader Vernon Sukumu and Mexican & American Foundation leader Tony Valencia. Rep. Jim Bates and Supervisor Leon Williams sent stand-ins.

Khouri, 45, the owner of a commercial bindery in San Diego and a leader in the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, said none of San Diego’s Jewish leaders was invited because relations between Jewish-Americans and Arab-Americans have not yet progressed to that point in San Diego.

But he added that tentative contacts have been made between the two communities and that he hopes in January to announce an unprecedented series of meetings with both sides represented. He declined to name his contacts.

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“I think we can learn to disagree without antagonism,” Khouri said.

Morris Casuto, director of the local Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith, said he has not been contacted. He was guarded in his assessment of whether such meetings would be possible.

For starters, Casuto said, Khouri’s group, both locally and nationally, should drop its anti-Israel rhetoric. In his comments to the 130-plus people on Sunday, Khouri referred to “the renegade state of Israel.”

Casuto said any meetings should deal with local issues, not the Middle East. Khouri wants all issues discussed.

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Gov. Pete Wilson??

When he was mayor of San Diego, Pete Wilson made two unsuccessful attempts at becoming governor.

He was a loser in the Republican gubernatorial primary in 1978 and was facing defeat in the primary of 1982 before switching to the U. S. Senate race and going on to defeat former Gov. Jerry Brown.

Now, Wilson has gone from unwelcome party-crasher to potential guest of honor, as Republican leaders search for a candidate in case Gov. George Deukmejian decides not to seek reelection in 1990. His decision is expected next month.

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Wilson, reelected last month, has urged Deukmejian to seek a third term. But, faced with the “what-if he doesn’t” question, Wilson advisers are neither breaking down the door nor closing it completely.

“Pete’s interests lie in Washington,” said longtime Wilson adviser Otto Bos, “but it’s very flattering to have people say he’s done such a good job that he would be a good governor.”


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