Rubén Gallego Rakes in Lobbyist Cash as He Blasts Sinema Over Ties to 'Deep-Pocketed Lobbyists'

Rep. Ruben Gallego (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
July 18, 2023

Democratic Rep. Rubén Gallego has criticized Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an independent whom he will potentially challenge next year, over her ties to "deep-pocketed lobbyists." But the progressive Arizona Democrat has his own financial ties inside the Beltway, campaign finance records show.

Sixteen lobbyists contributed $9,635 to Gallego in the most recent fundraising quarter, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Two lobbyists from Ogilvy Government Relations contributed $3,500 to Gallego. Lobbyists from Cornerstone Government Affairs, Thorn Run Partners, and the telecom industry also contributed to Gallego's campaign, which reported receipts of $3.1 million over the past three months. Gallego's lobbyist donors represent corporations with significant business before the federal government, including AT&T, Pfizer, Meta, and Wells Fargo.

Gallego accepted the lobbyist cash while fighting to make Sinema's apparent coziness with lobbyists a centerpiece of his campaign. Gallego accused the incumbent earlier this year of choosing "to side with the lobbyists and special interests" over Arizonans. He also took aim at the "deep-pocketed lobbyists funding [Sinema's] campaign."

It's not the only example of Gallego being in bed with lobbyists. Gallego is married to the director of government relations at the National Association of Realtors, one of largest lobbying organizations in the country, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Gallego and his wife, Sydney Barron, attended an all-expenses-paid event hosted by the National Association of Realtors held at a resort in West Virginia.

Gallego in April 2021 took an all-expenses-paid trip to Qatar funded by the U.S.-Qatar Business Council, a trade group that supports stronger ties between the United States and the oil-rich Gulf nation, known for sponsoring Islamic terrorist organizations. The trade group paid $22,000 for Gallego and his wife's flights, meals, and lodging. The junket gained national attention after Gallego was photographed riding shirtless on a camel in the Qatari desert with fellow congressman Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.).

Gallego's latest campaign filing shows he paid $7,500 to Solidarity Strategies, the consulting firm led by his campaign adviser, Chuck Rocha. Rocha was convicted of felony charges a decade ago for embezzling money from the United Steelworkers union, where he served as political director.

Two of the union's sister organizations, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and International Association of Sheet Metal Workers, contributed $12,500 to Gallego's campaign this quarter.

Gallego's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.