In case you didn't catch this story from Jim Brunner in the Seattle Times over the weekend: State Rep. Graham Hunt—a Republican from Orting who's behind a couple of terrible bills this session—is facing questions about whether he has exaggerated his record of military service. The issues include a doctored photo, the list of medals Hunt claims he received, and a question of whether Hunt was really "wounded in combat"—and where.
Until recently, in his official and campaign biographies Hunt listed three medals that a military personnel center has no record of him receiving — though a military spokeswoman cautioned that its records are sometimes incomplete.
Hunt has described himself as having been “wounded in combat” but grows vague when asked for details. He said he was knocked down by explosions but cannot remember where. He also says he cannot remember the names of units he deployed with to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Late last month, after being interviewed by The Seattle Times, Hunt altered several details about his military service on his online biographies.
He deleted references to the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal and the Afghanistan Campaign Medal — awards a military personnel office says do not appear on his service record.
Also removed was a reference to Hunt being a “combat veteran” of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Brunner reports that Hunt refused the Times' requests to sign a waver allowing more disclosure of his military records, including his complete discharge papers. In response to the story, Hunt released a short statement saying which medals he has records to prove he received. Yesterday, Hunt tweeted images he says are those records.
If Hunt's name sounds familiar, it may be because he's the lead proponent of a bullshit bill currently circulating in Olympia that would require transgender people to use public bathrooms and locker rooms associated with their birth sex instead of their gender identity, as the state's Human Rights Commission has said they have the right to do. Hunt is also one of the sponsors of the troubling bill I wrote about last week that would restrict poor women's access to abortions in Washington state, even in cases of rape and incest.
A self-described “conservative constitutionalist,” Hunt is the Washington state chairman for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign. He was one of two Washington state lawmakers who recently visited armed protesters who have seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.
More details about the questions around Hunt's record and how he explains them in the Times' full story.