Missouri Senate Hopeful's $50K Magic Card Collection Earns Him an Ethics Complaint

'Lucas Kunce has made it clear that he does not respect the ethics laws that Congress has passed'

June 7, 2023

Missouri Democrat Lucas Kunce is the subject of an ethics complaint about the value of his Magic: The Gathering card collection, which the Washington Free Beacon reported could be worth upwards of $50,000.

Liberty Alliance USA, a Missouri-based conservative advocacy group, says Kunce violated federal law by repeatedly omitting the pricey card collection from financial disclosures. The complaint, which Liberty Alliance sent on Tuesday to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, also notes that Kunce missed the May 15 deadline to file his 2023 Personal Financial Disclosure Form. Failure to file, or knowingly lying, on the required financial disclosure forms carries a civil penalty of up to $50,000.

The complaint is the latest hurdle in the Democrat's long-shot bid to unseat Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.). Kunce, who says he is a populist, progressive alternative to Hawley, has been dogged by accusations of inauthenticity.

A leading expert in North American linguistics suggested that Kunce—a former college cheerleader who graduated from Yale and Columbia Law School—adopted a phony Missouri accent for his campaign. The value of Kunce's Magic: The Gathering cards is larger than what the average American has saved for retirement.

Kunce's Magic: The Gathering card collection was described by one expert as "rare and expensive." Some of his individual cards are worth as much as $5,000.

But the Senate hopeful never reported the value of his collection on his 2021 Personal Financial Disclosure Form, which, according to the Senate Ethics Manual and federal law, requires that candidates list any asset or property for "investment purposes" worth over $1,000. A spokesman for Kunce told the Free Beacon that Kunce once sold off some of his collection when his "car died" in 2006.

"Lucas Kunce has made it clear that he does not respect the ethics laws that Congress has passed," Liberty Alliance executive director Spencer Bone said in a statement. "Kunce lied on his personal financial disclosure from 2021, and then flat-out refused to file in 2022. Kunce has broken the public's trust, and we look forward to a full investigation by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics, and subsequent enforcement by Attorney General Merrick Garland."

Time magazine described Magic: The Gathering, which is recommended for children ages 13 and up, as an "integral part of [Kunce's] life for three decades." In an interview with the magazine, Kunce said Hawley was "completely netdecked," an apparent insult in Magic: The Gathering slang.

Kunce lost Missouri's Democratic Senate primary in 2022. He also failed to submit a Personal Financial Disclosure in that cycle, the Liberty Alliance complaint says.