Fighting Washington corruption in Ventura County

My representative in Congress, Elton Gallegly (R-CA24), is a useless backbencher.  He works to oppose animal “crush” videos, which is a minor positive, while voting in lockstep with Republicans the rest of the time. And he’s been questioning the Fourteenth Amendment, trying to end automatic citizenship for children born in the United States, since 1991.  But this year, he’s considering joining the House Tea Party Caucus.

Enough is enough.  So when MoveOn asked me to host a rally outside Gallegly’s office tomorrow afternoon, I agreed.  What have I gotten myself into?  

Every two years, I vote against Gallegly, but every two years, I’m outnumbered.  In 2008, the normally red district turned purple, voting for Obama and Gallegly.  This year, Gallegly may have a serious threat in Tim Allison.  So he’s taken to local newspapers claiming he “fights for people.”

But does he really fight for people, or is he simply corrupt? Karoli, of Crooks & Liars, sums up his voting record:

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 doubt Rep. Gallegly will agree with me that obstructionism and corruption are among Washington’s biggest problems.  MoveOn has some no-nonsense, common sense ideas to fight Washington corruption:

Amend the Constitution to protect America from unlimited corporate spending on our elections by overturning the Supreme Court’s decision giving corporations the same First Amendment rights as people.

Pass the Fair Elections Now Act, providing public financing to candidates who are supported by small donors so they can compete with corporate-backed and self-funded candidates.

Pass legislation to end the overwhelming influence of corporate lobbyists by: prohibiting individuals from switching from corporate lobbying to government service, or vice-versa, within a 5-year period; stopping corporate lobbyists from giving gifts and providing free travel to government officials; and posting online the attendees and content of all meetings between lobbyists and government officials.

I have no problem signing that.  Somehow I doubt Rep. Gallegly will agree.  We’ll see tomorrow.  

If you’re in or near Rep. Gallegly’s district, stop by:

Rep. Elton Gallegly’s District Office, 2829 Townsgate Road, Suite 315

Thousand Oaks, CA 91361

Tuesday, August 10th, 5:00 PM