Congressional Rep Questioned Over Steam Charges

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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Congressional Rep Questioned Over Steam Charges

The idea of a Steam bill for $1,302 sounds unnerving enough, but when it comes from a U.S. Congressman, that's one to raise an eyebrow or two. That's the setup for a recent inquiry from the Federal Election Commission, who recently began questioning Duncan Hunter about said Steam bill, which may have been paid with campaign funds.

The $1,302 bill--the result of 68 separate charges--was the result of a mistake made by Hunter's son, and Hunter subsequently registered the charges as "personal expense -- to be paid back." It began when Hunter's son used Hunter's credit card to buy a game on Steam, but it didn't take long for several charges to show up afterward that weren't authorized. Hunter started out trying to get the charges reversed, and as such hasn't paid back the campaign. After all, why pay back charges that weren't really made and as such will be reversed anyway?

The FEC is seeking reimbursement itself, and is giving Hunter until May 9 to respond to an initial letter seeking said reimbursement. Hunter himself is known as a defender in the video game arenas, calling video games "often, but wrongly...a catalyst for violence." Hunter further notes that people should " parenting, not video games."

The whole thing sounds like a misunderstanding, essentially; a very small system breach, potentially, that got worse when a kid used the wrong credit card, or potentially used a card that shouldn't have been used. It could even have been that younger Hunter went overboard with the card he was allowed to use. There are plenty of possibilities here, though given that we're talking about around $1,300, this is hardly a case of grand theft walking.

The matter should fix itself, but it's an important point for all of us--from senators to plumbers and most everyone in between--to bear in mind. Watch your credit cards, watch your bills, and be careful about who borrows what card.

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