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Ruben Gallego denies ties to lobbyists, yet supports bills backed by his lobbyist spouse

Democratic⁢ Rep. Ruben Gallego’s Ties to‍ Lobbyists Raise Questions

Rep. Ruben Gallego⁤ (D., Ariz.) and Sidney​ Barron Gallego / @RubenGallego Twitter

When​ it comes⁢ to lobbyists⁣ and special interests, Democratic Rep. Ruben⁤ Gallego (Ariz.) wants voters to believe he won’t be influenced. However, there’s⁢ an interesting twist‌ – his wife happens to be a self-proclaimed‍ “Democratic lobbyist” for ⁢a powerful real estate trade group that ranks as ​the top-spending lobbyist group in the ⁢country.

Since 2019, Gallego has consistently ⁣voted‌ in ⁤favor ​of bills ​that his wife,⁢ Sydney Barron, has lobbied for as the director of government ‌advocacy at the National Association of Realtors. In‌ fact, Barron has lobbied for 17 bills ​that Gallego either sponsored or cosponsored, according to congressional ​records.

The National Association‍ of Realtors has also been ‍a⁣ significant contributor to Gallego’s campaign, ⁤donating $34,000 since 2014. Additionally, the association treated Gallego and ‍Barron ‍to an all-expenses-paid trip to a luxurious resort in West Virginia.

While Gallego has not been accused ⁤of any wrongdoing, the House​ Committee on Ethics has cautioned members about​ potential conflicts ⁤of ​interest when married to ​lobbyists. The committee advises that officials should not allow ⁤their spouses to lobby them or their subordinates.

It remains unclear ⁢if Gallego‌ has ever voted against legislation that his wife ​lobbied for. Neither Gallego nor Barron have responded to requests for comment on⁢ this matter.

Interestingly, Barron’s employer has publicly‍ praised many of the bills that Gallego has ⁢sponsored ⁤or supported.

For​ instance,⁤ Gallego sponsored the Neighborhood ⁤Homes Investment Act of 2020, a bill endorsed ‌by the National Association of Realtors. He ​also cosponsored the SAFE Banking Act of 2023, which provides federal protections‌ to landlords and banks involved in state-approved marijuana businesses.

In 2019, ​the same year Gallego began dating Barron, he voted for a bill that increased‍ state and local tax deductions, a measure criticized as favoring wealthy homeowners. The National Association of Realtors strongly ⁢advocated for its ​passage.

Gallego’s criticism⁢ of his ‌political opponents’ lobbyist‍ ties is now undermined by his own apparent conflict of interest. He has claimed to be free from the influence of ‍corporations and lobbyists, but his⁤ financial support includes donations from wealthy individuals ‌and lobbyist-funded trips.

Furthermore,​ Gallego’s personal life has faced scrutiny. His relationship with Barron began two years after filing for‍ divorce ‌from his pregnant ex-wife.⁣ Gallego has ​attributed the divorce to PTSD-induced “extreme outbursts” and⁢ excessive drinking, denying any involvement of his ​ex-wife. ⁢He has opposed the unsealing of his divorce ​records, citing privacy and ⁢security concerns.

How​ can elected officials address concerns about their connections to lobbyists and special interest groups to⁢ regain​ the trust of their constituents

Association has spent more than $7.5 million on lobbying efforts in 2021 alone, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

These ties between ⁢Gallego and the real estate trade group raise questions ​about potential conflicts of⁤ interest and the ​influence of lobbyists ⁣in Washington. While Gallego claims to ⁢prioritize the needs ⁢of his constituents, his voting record and ‌financial support from the National Association of Realtors suggest otherwise.

It is important for elected officials to​ separate personal interests from their legislative decisions. When politicians⁣ have close ⁣ties to lobbyists or special​ interest⁣ groups, it can ​create ​a perception that their actions are driven ⁢by outside influences rather than the best interests of the American public.

Gallego’s association with his wife’s lobbying work and the financial contributions from the National Association ​of Realtors undermine the trust​ voters have‌ placed in him. It ‍raises concerns about whether he is truly representing the people of Arizona or if he‍ is prioritizing the agenda of the real estate industry.

In⁤ a ⁣time when public trust in government is already low,‌ these connections only add fuel to the fire of skepticism and cynicism. The perception of corruption and undue influence⁢ erodes confidence in the democratic process ⁢and damages the credibility of elected officials.

If Gallego⁤ wants to regain the trust of his constituents and stand by his ⁣commitment to fighting for the interests⁢ of the American people, he should take steps to address these concerns. This could involve recusing himself ⁤from ‍voting on bills or issues directly related to the real estate industry, or actively working ⁢towards campaign‍ finance reform to reduce the influence of money in politics.

Furthermore, Gallego should be ‍transparent about his‍ relationship with lobbyists and disclose any potential ‍conflicts of interest. Voters have a right ⁣to know if their elected ‍representatives have personal connections that may impact their decision-making.

Ultimately, the issue here is⁣ not​ just about Gallego or his wife, but about the broader problem of⁢ the influence of lobbyists in our political system. It ​is essential for elected officials to prioritize the needs of their constituents⁤ and ensure that their decisions are⁢ driven ⁤by the common good, rather​ than personal gain ⁣or special interests.

As voters, we must hold our elected officials accountable and demand transparency and integrity in the ‍decisions they make. Only then ​can‌ we have faith in the democratic process and believe in the power of our votes to effect ‌meaningful change.

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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