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share save 120 16 Rep. Elton Gallegly and Friends Operation Toy Drop 2012 Edition

Elton Gallegly Rep. Elton Gallegly and Friends Operation Toy Drop 2012 Edition

Rep. Elton Gallegly lends a hand as the non-profit group For the Troops packs its 25,000th package for military men and women deployed overseas, October 2010.
Photo Credit Elton Gallegly’s Facebook.

My Congressman Elton Gallegly will be retiring from Congress in a number of weeks, but he is continuing spreading Christmas joy as he has for many, many years.

From the press release:

In a community thank you to military families at Naval Base Ventura County, the U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly and Friends Operation Toy Drop will once again present toys and food primarily to families who have a service member who has been deployed, is deployed or is scheduled to be deployed.

WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 16, 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Naval Base Ventura County, when Santa will arrive from the North Pole on an Air Force C-130 bearing gifts for the children.

WHO: Santa, Elton & Janice Gallegly and Friends

WHAT: Distribution of:

· Approximately 500 bicycles and small battery-operated cars

· Approximately 850 age- and gender-appropriate gift bags with toys and/or sporting goods

· 500 turkeys

WHY: To thank the families who also sacrifice when a loved one is deployed to defend the United States and all Americans.

Interested media are requested to contact Kimberly Gearhart, NBVC Public Affairs Officer at 805-989-9234 or kimberly.gearhart@navy.mil by 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14, for access instructions.

Thank you, Congressman and Mrs. Janice Gallegly for all that you have done for Ventura County in your many years of service.

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share save 120 16 CA 25: Was Rep. Buck McKeons Sweet Deal With Countrywide Financial a Bribe?
Last Friday at the California Republican Party’s spring convention in Burlingame, CA, Republic Report caught up with Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA), who has been leading the investigation into the massive Countrywide bribery scandal.

You remember the Flap and Rep. Darrel Issa’s involvement.

A leak to the media that identified three Republicans who are being investigated by the House Ethics Committee has lawmakers and staffers wondering who the source is, and his or her motive.

There are many theories on who, over a four-day period, forked over the names of GOP Reps. Pete Sessions (Texas), Buck McKeon (Calif.) and Elton Gallegly (Calif.) to media outlets in reference to an ongoing investigation into VIP loans given to lawmakers by Countrywide.

The leaks stunned the three legislators, who have all denied accepting special rates on the loans in exchange for political favors.

Some are pointing the finger at House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) for releasing the publicly sensitive information, though his office is pushing back at that notion.

And, you remember the details of the sweetheart deal Rep. Buck McKeon received which I covered here.

Four years after Countrywide Financial became a symbol of the mortgage meltdown, the company and its questionable dealings have become a potent political issue in the Santa Clarita congressional district held by Republican Howard “Buck” McKeon.

Congressional investigators allege that McKeon and Rep. Elton Gallegly, a Republican colleague whose neighboring district includes much of Ventura County, got cut-rate home loans under a Countrywide VIP program known as “Friends of Angelo,” named for the now-defunct Calabasas lender’s former chief executive, Angelo Mozilo.

McKeon received a $315,000 mortgage refinance in 1998 as his family-owned business, Howard & Phil’s Western Wear, was going through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to documents reviewed by The Times. McKeon was no longer involved in the daily operation of the business after his 1992 election to Congress, but he had retained a stake in it. He saw his income plummet in the years before refinancing his Stevenson Ranch home, financial disclosures and bankruptcy filings show.

In spite of that, McKeon received a favorable rate and wasn’t required to produce documentation proving he could repay the mortgage — terms ordered by Mozilo himself, according to documents subpoenaed for a House inquiry.

The McKeons bought the Stevenson Ranch property, a foreclosed home, in August 1997 for $261,000, putting down 10% and getting a loan of $234,900, property records show. In January 1998, they took out a home equity loan of $31,500 through Valencia National Bank, where McKeon had previously sat on the board.

That October, Countrywide approved the $315,000 refinance loan. The loan paid off McKeon’s original mortgage loan and the home equity loan and gave him $46,894 in cash.

Five months later, the couple took out another home equity loan through Valencia, in the amount of $30,000.

Clearly, there was an attempt by Countrywide Financial to influence Rep Buck McKeon and the others. But, why is Rep. Issa refusing to call it a bribe?

Why, because, silly, they are Republicans and they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

As I pointed out yesterday, this involvement of Rep Buck McKeon and his California Assembly candidate wife, Patricia McKeon in the Friends of Angelo Mozilo, Countrywide Financial scandal will be used in both McKeon’s upcoming campaigns.

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share save 120 16 SOPA: Why Rep. Elton Gallegly is Wrong on the Stop Online Piracy Act

What SOPA and PIPA are at face value and what they could end up enabling

Elton, my friend, watch the video above and rewrite SOPA.

I know you are a co-sponsor of the legislation.
However, it is a bad and fatally flawed piece of legislation.

Many Republicans, including conservatives have withdrawn their support for SOPA and its Senate companion bill PIPA.

Nobody wants or likes online piracy. But this law, as currently written, is not the way to go.

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share save 120 16 CA 26: California State Senator Tony Strickland Announces His Congressional Candidacy
Tony Strickland and family at announcement CA 26: California State Senator Tony Strickland Announces His Congressional Candidacy

Tony Strickland and his family, including former California Assemblywoman Audra Strickland

California State Senator Tony Strickland is in the race for CA-26.

From the press release:

Surrounded by family and supporters, State Senator Tony Strickland today announced his campaign for Congress in an event at the Commemorative Air Force Aviation Museum.

“I remember the most important lesson my father taught me: that it’s the duty for every generation to leave their community in a better place than they found it,” said Strickland. “And that’s why I’m asking to become your next Congressman.

I expect the campaign ahead to be spirited but I’m committed to uniting our community; Republicans, Democrats, and Independents behind policies that create jobs and economic opportunity for those struggling to make ends meet.”

Strickland also stressed the importance of maintaining a strong national defense and developing alternative energy sources.

“Send me to Congress, and I’ll stand up to those who want to weaken our military and threaten our defense related jobs,” he continued.

“Dependence on foreign energy sources makes our energy prices vulnerable and too reliant on unstable and sometimes hostile foreign regimes. We can no longer afford to fund both sides of a war. Energy independence is truly a national security issue,” he added.

Strickland announced at the Aviation Museum at the Camarillo Airport before a group of 100 or so supporters and Ventura County political activists. He joins previously announced candidates, Ventura County Supervisors Steve Bennett and Linda Parks, Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner Jess Herrera, Moorpark City Councilman David Pollock, retired longshoreman Zeke Ruelas of Oxnard and businessman David Cruz Thayne of Westlake Village.

The seat is being vacated by long-time incumbent Congressman Elton Gallegly who has announced his retirement.

I will have video of the announcement later in the afternoon.

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share save 120 16 CA 26: Rep Elton Gallegly to Retire   Tony Strickland, Steve Bennett and Linda Parks to Run

I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico at a funeral when I received notice that long-time Republican Congressman and friend, Elton Gallegly was releasing that he was retiring.

When I was at Elton’s home a few weeks ago, I received the impression that this would be Elton’s choice. He did outlay the scenarios of re-election strategy, but I could see that his interests were elsewhere. He wants to start a new phase of his life – outside the Congress.

And, who can blame him?

Now, who will seek the seat?

California State Senator Tony Strickland a conservative Republican has informally announced his candidacy, along with Democrat Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett (Ventura Ojai). Moderate Republican Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks who represents the Thousand Oaks and Oak Park area has also informally announced her candidacy.

Plus, there are some other lesser known Democrats: business man David Cruz-Thayne and Moorpark City Council member David Pollock.

Remember the June primary election will be a top two process – whether it be Democrats or Republicans. Therefore, it is possible that the two Republicans Linda Parks and Tony Strickland could be running in the November general election.

There will be a lot more later, since this seat will be one of the few contested California Congressional races this cycle.

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