Elton Gallegly’s (R-CA) recent confirmation that he’s toying with the possibility of joining the tea party caucus made me laugh aloud. First, it’s a joke because it would require him to actually do something. For 20+ years, he’s gone to Washington largely to do very little, and certainly nothing that would offend the party faithful.
Those of you who don’t live in California Congressional District 24 probably don’t know who Elton Gallegly is, beyond possibly hearing the name in a roll call or two. That’s because he doesn’t do much of anything other than vote against everything in Congress, write an animal protection bill or two, and collect a paycheck.
Gallegly also “think[s] the Constitution should be questioned“. Wow, those are loaded words coming from a conservative elected official. I guess the Tea Party’s bear hug of the Constitution is only important until it’s not. Or something.
Oh, and he has been seen hanging out at a couple of tea party events. One in Oxnard; the other out of his district in Santa Barbara, which is why I laughed at this quote:
The media, he said, has portrayed tea party members inaccurately.
“These are folks that are concerned about the future of this country,” he said. “They are not glassy-eyed, wild people. These are people that are not as afraid or concerned for themselves as they are for their children or grandchildren.”
Oh yes, cue that fear thing. Be afraid of the future while the here and now goes unnoticed. But he continues with this…
Many of the things tea party members are saying “are things I’ve been fighting for in Congress myself, particularly on the issue of immigration, spending, the deficit, on creating real jobs for the economy, expanding the voices of the people,” Gallegly said.
“That’s the thing that seems to be more prevalent than anything else. It’s that we the people have a voice that has been taken from us, and we think we should at least be heard whether you agree with us or not. That’s the thing I’m most sensitive to.”
Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2010/jul/27/gallegly-considers-joining-house-tea-party/#ixzz0w4ZQHXSP
Really? Expanding the voices of the people? Which people would those be? The ones who he represents or the ones who pay the big bucks for the fundraisers?
Let’s have a look at Elton Gallegly’s voting record and see what he’s “fighting for” in Congress. He’s pretty consistent on Agriculture, voting 100% for appropriations bills when Republicans are in the majority and mixed when Democrats are in the majority.
Agribusiness has given $352,000 to his campaigns over the years.
How about the unemployed? He voted against the unemployment benefits extensions in July, April, and December 2009. He voted for the emergency unemployment benefits in November, 2009 which were packaged with Business and Homebuyer Tax Credits, but voted against the June 2008 emergency unemployment extension. He voted against mortgage restructuring in bankruptcy, against the federal stimulus bill (ARRA), against sCHIP expansion, among others.
On the other hand, he voted for the Bush tax cuts and for their extension in 2006, voted to appropriate the funds for both Afghanistan and Iraq, voted against limiting those funds or requiring a withdrawal date from either one. He also voted to extend the homebuyer’s tax credit which benefited the real estate developers who contributed handsomely to his campaign.
Really, I could go on, but the bottom line is that he votes against things more than he votes for them, and it’s more or less the Republican party line. Fight is something he doesn’t really do much of.
I do want to point one more item out in his voting record. Despite the fact that so many in this district are unemployed and uninsured, he voted against all forms of health care reform, but voted for Medicare Part D and just about every Medicare bill up to the point where President Obama took office. He voted against drug reimportation but had no problem voting for an unfunded Medicare part D program. And I’m sure Amgen appreciates that.
All animal lovers, myself and the pug included, appreciate his bill banning animal crush videos. While they are reprehensible and should indeed be banned from interstate commerce, this does not rise to the level of significant legislation.
So, Tea Partiers, there you have it. A guy who follows the straight-line Republican platform, rarely speaks, doesn’t initiate much, and isn’t much of an activist either way. The Tea Party will do him a favor by bearhugging him, but he won’t do much for them, because he doesn’t really do much for anyone.
In this day and age, Elton Gallegly represents a small fraction of the district called CD-24. It’s really time for a change to someone who doesn’t just say they’ll fight for me, but actually will do it, with or without campaign donations.
I’ve lived in Elton Gallegly’s district for the same number of years he has represented it, and have yet to see him lift one finger for the middle class families in this area. Joining the tea party just gives him more visibility, but don’t look for him to be more effective.
I’m tired of not being represented. It’s time to send a new representative to Washington to do more than talk about fighting for us.