Congressman's Credit Card Bought Over $1300 of Steam Games

Congressman's Credit Card Bought Over $1300 of Steam Games

duncan-hunter

We've all been there. We've spent a little more money on Steam than we intended, whether during a sale or not. But unlike US Representative Duncan Hunter, we are not typically investigated by the Federal Election Commission for it.

You might remember Congressman Hunter as the guy who became well-known on the internet for vaping in the Congressional hearing on vaping.

In a letter to the Congressman, the FEC lists the charges in question. It's not possible to see which games were purchased, but they amount to 68 purchases and a total of $1302. All of these purchases are marked as "Personal Expense - To be paid back," but Congressman Hunter contends that the vast majority of the charges are fraudulent.

A spokesman for Hunter said that the Congressman's teenage son had used his father's card to purchase one game. When his father tried to close access to the website, he states that several fraudulent charges were made to the card. Hunter is apparently trying to have the unauthorized charges reversed before paying out any reimbursement.

You can read the full letter from the FEC, as well as see a list of the charges (although game names are not listed), by clicking here.

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune

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So, that's $19 avarage per game or so? Dude isn't very good at Steam.

I would bet more on a korean F2P game with cashshop.

The good thing is it might force US lawyers to look into this business, and how it incites little kids to waste all their parents' money into virtual cockrings.

I'd wager that this is actually valve secretly and subtly impacting politics.
We must stop the Gaben (stop the gaben stop the gaben in addition)

At least it's not prostitutes.

I wonder if this might get politicians to look into and set boundaries in an industry that has largely been a wild west situation

If so this could be a blessing, or curse, in disguise

totheendofsin:
I wonder if this might get politicians to look into and set boundaries in an industry that has largely been a wild west situation

If so this could be a blessing, or curse, in disguise

You know that if a bill about this comes up, congressmen and women just going to stalemate each other right?

Though it'll be interesting if some sort of bill is unveiled.

1) Why is he using his Federally issues credit card to buy steam games instead of a personal one. (I'm assuming this because other why would the FEC be investigating his credit card usage)

2) Whether or not he is contesting the charges or not, it seems like he owes the card issuer the money. Why would he expect them to take the loss while he 'battles it out', all the while collecting interest on the charges. He should be paying the charges back then if (which is a big if) he gets the charges reversed then he gets a credit back to his account for the amount.

edit: Apparently it is Campaign dollars, not a Federally issued CC

Demagogue:
1) Why is he using his Federally issues credit card to buy steam games instead of a personal one. (I'm assuming this because other why would the FEC be investigating his credit card usage)

2) Whether or not he is contesting the charges or not, it seems like he owes the card issuer the money. Why would he expect them to take the loss while he 'battles it out', all the while collecting interest on the charges. He should be paying the charges back then if (which is a big if) he gets the charges reversed then he gets a credit back to his account for the amount.

I don't believe it's a federally issued credit card. When you run for office, you are supposed to create a new bank account for your campaign, and file reports of spending with the FEC. It's a credit card for that account, it's just the the expenditures are not approved campaign expenses.

If you really want to get into the weeds on it, you can see a lot of the rules in this booklet from the FEC: http://www.fec.gov/pdf/candgui.pdf

ffronw:

I don't believe it's a federally issued credit card. When you run for office, you are supposed to create a new bank account for your campaign, and file reports of spending with the FEC. It's a credit card for that account, it's just the the expenditures are not approved campaign expenses.

If you really want to get into the weeds on it, you can see a lot of the rules in this booklet from the FEC: http://www.fec.gov/pdf/candgui.pdf

Damn, you were faster than my edit, heh. Yeah I was reading the letter from the FEC. I am surprised that he would have let his kid use that card for a single purchase at all. That's like me using a company credit card to buy steam games. Sure I 'could' but that's not why they gave me the card.

Demagogue:

Damn, you were faster than my edit, heh. Yeah I was reading the letter from the FEC. I am surprised that he would have let his kid use that card for a single purchase at all. That's like me using a company credit card to buy steam games. Sure I 'could' but that's not why they gave me the card.

As a parent to an eleven-year-old kid, I can tell you that there is a non-zero chance that he didn't know that the kid even used the card. Not saying that happened, or that this guy didn't buy all the games. Just saying I could see it.

on the other hand this is a great PR stunt as most gaming websites will report on this and the guy is running in elections, and at worst hes going to get a steam account of his son banned for chargebacks.

ffronw:

Demagogue:

Damn, you were faster than my edit, heh. Yeah I was reading the letter from the FEC. I am surprised that he would have let his kid use that card for a single purchase at all. That's like me using a company credit card to buy steam games. Sure I 'could' but that's not why they gave me the card.

As a parent to an eleven-year-old kid, I can tell you that there is a non-zero chance that he didn't know that the kid even used the card. Not saying that happened, or that this guy didn't buy all the games. Just saying I could see it.

Considering all the stories we've had in the past about children getting ahold of their parents cards and the resulting kerfluffles, thats putting it mildly.

He spent $1,300 and hadn't gotten around to paying back the money. Taken in context, that's a rather small amount. It was spent on video games. Although given recent media portrayal of video games, it's likely perceived as worse than ten times that amount on prostitutes and gambling.

ffronw:
As a parent to an eleven-year-old kid, I can tell you that there is a non-zero chance that he didn't know that the kid even used the card. Not saying that happened, or that this guy didn't buy all the games. Just saying I could see it.

Not only that, but quite a lot of the charges are for $5, $10 or $25. In the UK at least, games almost exclusively have prices ending in .99 (or some other non-zero amount when discounted). This is also the case for things like in-game purchases. Seeing a bunch of identical small, round charges makes me find the claims of fraud quite believable; that's not really the sort of pattern you'd expect if someone was simply buying lots of games or if their kid went on a spending spree with their card.

Nergui:
He spent $1,300 and hadn't gotten around to paying back the money. Taken in context, that's a rather small amount. It was spent on video games. Although given recent media portrayal of video games, it's likely perceived as worse than ten times that amount on prostitutes and gambling.

I dont think it's seen as worse so much as more unusual, politicians going on benders in Vegas isn't all that notable comparatively. Most of the coverage i've seen of this has been on nerd interest sites

Alright, so here's what's bugging me the most. Despite it being a shitty front for laundering small amounts of money, he's a congressman. He makes tons. That's a smaller amount than he pays on his monthly house payment. Why not just pay out of pocket? Put it back into the campaign fund and make sure it never happens again. I hate politicians but if he fixed it I feel like I could look the other way on this one. Seems like some kind of mistake.

NPC009:
So, that's $19 avarage per game or so? Dude isn't very good at Steam.

It's 68 purchases, not 68 games. Those 68 purchases could (and probably did) include multiple games, DLC, etc in each purchase so the amount per game is likely lower than $19 a pop.

Kahani:

ffronw:
As a parent to an eleven-year-old kid, I can tell you that there is a non-zero chance that he didn't know that the kid even used the card. Not saying that happened, or that this guy didn't buy all the games. Just saying I could see it.

Not only that, but quite a lot of the charges are for $5, $10 or $25. In the UK at least, games almost exclusively have prices ending in .99 (or some other non-zero amount when discounted). This is also the case for things like in-game purchases. Seeing a bunch of identical small, round charges makes me find the claims of fraud quite believable; that's not really the sort of pattern you'd expect if someone was simply buying lots of games or if their kid went on a spending spree with their card.

Same in Canada, at least 99% of games end in either 49 or 99 cents. Those really don't look like Steam purchases.

I guess he was trying to buy all the the DLC for Train Simulator.

Someone needs to introduce him to Humble Bundle, then he could probably get a tax write off for making donations to a charity.

Zer0Saber:
I guess he was trying to buy all the the DLC for Train Simulator.

Beat me to it. It brings a tear of joy and horror to my eye to know that there is totally SOMEONE out there who has all of it.

Whether he actually used campaign dollars for this or not (and compared to the way some politicians have abused campaign money in the past, this is barely worth a glance), I'd vote for him just because he vapes. Be nice to have a few friends to the vaping industry in office to try to slap the FDA down when they get froggy.

This reminds me of the fact that Amazon is now on my totally-worse-than-Hitler list for saving all my billing information since I bought some E-books. I just know that I'll slip one of these days. I just know it. Go and have your feet cast in cement and then pay a visit to the ocean floor Amazon.

Fun fact: I know a guy whose child spent 1.300 on Fifa videogame dlc and other psn stuff. Because he figured he could give his 12 years old his credit card.

My God. There might be someone in Congress who has actually played a video game?

...Oh, wait, he says it was his son. Never mind. What were we talking about again?

$1,300 on a campaign-related credit card? Pfft. In the wake of the Panama Papers, you're going to have to do better than that to pique my interest, Congressman.

that guy must have bought the entire DLC packs for dead or alive 5. just the DLCs alone cost over 600$. which is insane. i have payed only 20$ for the main game which was on special. so i guess it has to be evolve, because thats literately "micro-transaction: the game".

 

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