Always and forever Elton Gallegly

Always and forever Elton Gallegly

By The Spotter 01/24/2013

Retired Ventura County Congressman Elton Gallegly, R-Simi Valley, never was known for putting the Republican Party ahead of his own interests. But now in retirement, he is rubbing salt in the open wound that county Republicans are still nursing.

A little history first: To begin with, Gallegly never was much of a campaigner for fellow local Republicans. He went to Washington and let them worry about themselves. Many congressmen show up locally and stump for fellow party members in local elections. Not Gallegly. Second, he was never one to share the credit with fellow Republicans on local successes either. Gallegly wanted the lion’s share of the credit for any and all pork barrel projects. Third, he indicated he was grooming a replacement a time or two, only to have the replacement fall from grace for unknown reasons.

But the Republicans put up with it, until the 2006 “I’m in, I’m out, I’m in” routine in which he indicated he would run for re-election, pulled out for health reasons, and then got back in again. That stunt was the last straw with Republican leaders such as Mike Bradbury who just refused to deal with Gallegly after that.

Even in the 2012 election, when he finally decided not to run, he waited until January to make an announcement, thereby destroying the chance for any GOP candidate to get an early start on building a campaign war chest. The Republicans nominated then-Sen. Tony Strickland, R-Thousand Oaks, after a bitter primary, and he wound up losing to Democrat Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, Oak Park. Republicans are still bellyaching about that one, especially because Gallegly sat on his $800,000 campaign fund, which he directed but refused to spend. Federal election law allows candidates fairly broad discretion in determining how to spend leftover campaign money. Many politicians choose to direct all or some of it to the candidates trying to take their places. Not Gallegly.

Word out on the street now is that Gallegly is going to donate a lot of that money to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library to build a center with his name on it.

So let’s review. He refused to help the party during his time in office. He announced his retirement late. He wouldn’t give a dime of his money to the person trying to replace him. But he is spending that money on a legacy for himself.

The Spotter wonders how many Republicans are going to show up for the dedication of the Elton Gallegly Whatever Center at the library.


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