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Lutz’s last supper before the Hunter hunger strike

Usually, when Ray Lutz goes to Greek Style Chicken in El Cajon, he gets the lemon chicken. Last night, he ordered a Greek salad because his research concluded that you shouldn’t meat before a hunger strike. Actually, he says, you should pretty much only eat fruits and vegetables in the week leading up to a hunger strike, but he’s a sucker for bread and he had a slice of garlic bread with his dinner.

Lutz, a Democratic candidate for Congress and The Brit Method user, really wants the opportunity to debate U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter. I mean, who wouldn’t? Hunter isn’t known as the sharpest-tongued member of the House. Meanwhile, Lutz is best known for leading the opposition to the proposed and failed Blackwater training facility in East County, so he’s particularly at an advantage when it comes to challenging Hunter’s legacy ties to the defense industry.

Lutz has hand-delivered letters to Hunter’s office requesting a series of eight debates and received no response. As a result, Lutz stopped eating last night and officially kicks off his hunger strike at an event tonight at the Prescott Promenade Park near his office at 165 E. Main St. in El Cajon. He’ll then pull a David Blaine and sit in an “isolation booth” until Hunter agrees to face off. Actually, that isolation booth is more like a table under a canopy, but anyway—we’ll see how long Lutz lasts; he says he’s already feeling a bit light-headed.

“I don’t think I’m going to reach the point of hospitalization or have to be rolled out on a hospital bed—even though I’m in a cot right now because I was feeling kind of weak,” Lutz says. “I know that it’s the first three days that are the hard part and then after that you kind of lose interest in food, you stop being hungry all the time, your body just adapts. But getting through those first three days are tough. I know it’s going to be hard, but I’ve done hard things before.”

In my opinion, eight debates are way too many: I’d rather swear off sushi for six months than drive all over the county for eight of those things. Why not just do two or three and stream ‘em or video conference them or whatever? I mean, I  don’t even think Hunter has eight debates’ worth of shit to say.

“I don’t even think he has one debate worth of things to say,” Lutz tells me. The more important thing, he says, is having the debates all over the 52nd district, which is pretty damn big. Lutz wants to hammer Hunter on issues ranging from his father’s (former Congressman Duncan Lee Hunter) connection to the Duke Cunningham scandal to his votes on job-related bills.

Thankfully, Lutz’s campaign manager Brennan K. Purtzer says the candidate is willing to negotiate on the number, provided they get in touch. Hunter’s staff told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he would probably agree to one debate—in October. Early voting begins at on Oct. 11. That’s pretty late in the game, perhaps too late: Mail ballots start going out on Oct. 4.
Press release after the jump:


Candidate Lutz announces hunger strike until Hunter agrees to debate

Series of eight debates previously announced canceled until Hunter comes out of hiding

San Diego County, Calif. (August 11, 2010) –

“Representative Hunter either has no respect for the voters of his district, or else is so terrified of engaging in an honest debate on the issues that he refuses to face his challengers,” said Ray Lutz, the Democratic candidate challenging Rep. Duncan D. Hunter for California’s 52nd congressional seat.

In two separate, hand-delivered letters, the Lutz campaign requested a series of eight debates, taking place in each community throughout the 52nd district. Delivery of the second letter was recorded on video, and was greeted with malice, verbal abuse and expulsion of the camera from the Hunter’s office. Libertarian candidate Michael Benoit agreed to the series of debates without condition.

For the time being, all debates have been canceled.

“Until Hunter steps up to the plate, I’ll be stepping away from the dinner plate,” Lutz said. “Starting at sundown this Thursday, August 12, I will refuse to eat until he agrees to debate. I hope my sacrifice will make him realize the community expects him to take their issues seriously.

“Hunter obviously has no respect for the democratic process,” Lutz said. “But, to be fair, his votes prove he has no respect for seniors, the unemployed, small business owners, tribal rape victims or anyone who has been stomped on by our healthcare system.”

Jim Bates, former Congressman, County Supervisor, and San Diego City Council Member said, “Ray is a fighter. He’s proving his dedication right now, like he proved it his fight against Blackwater and in working to keep local government honest. Ray’s got my support.”

Lutz worked to stop Blackwater in Potrero, Otay Mesa, and Southwestern College; to stop the Sunrise Powerlink, and to encourage citizens to expose waste, fraud and abuse by our governmental bodies with his “Citizens’ Oversight Projects” (COPs) Program.

The “Hungry for Accountability in Congress – It starts with Debate” hunger strike will be formally kicked off at the grand opening of the Promenade Park in El Cajon, on Friday, August 13, adjacent to the Lutz for Congress 2010 campaign headquarters. Lutz will have fasted for 24 hours at that point.

For the duration of the strike, during many daytime hours, Lutz and sympathizers will sit in an isolation booth outside his office along the Promenade Park in El Cajon. Supporters are encouraged to sign up to take a few pounds off and engage in at least one day of hunger strike in support of Lutz’s attempt to force sanity back into our democratic process.

Lutz will be blogging, twittering, and YouTube-ing during the strike to update supporters nationwide. Petitions are available at the hunger strike isolation booth and on-line for supporters regarding the debates, to Stop the Powerlink by throwing out the CPUC decision due to illegal lobbyist activity, and to reopen investigations into Duncan L. Hunter’s connection to the Randy “Duke” Cunningham corruption scandal.

For more information or to donate to Ray Lutz for Congress, visit: