The focus Wednesday was clear, with suggested donations for Gallegos ranging from $250 to $2,500. The money will go to pay off the more than $40,000 in campaign debt Gallegos racked up last year -- the bulk of which is owed to his wife. Guests included representatives of the Humboldt Growers Association, members of the California Board of Equalization, medical marijuana dispensary owners and former Sacramento City Councilman Robbie Waters. The event was closed to reporters.
Del Real, who spoke to the Times-Standard about the fundraiser last week, said that he could not allow a Times-Standard journalist to attend the party because he would then have to let other members of the media, who also expressed interest in coming, to attend the event.
While Del Real later declined to provide the list of attendees and the total amount raised for Gallegos at the fundraiser, he said he would be happy to talk about the event afterward. Numerous phone messages left on Del Real's cell phone through the end of the week were not returned.
Gallegos said before the fundraiser that he had no problem with members of the media attending, adding that he supported the notion of openness for an industry that lives largely in the shadows.
”I'm an elected official, but at the same time, these people are not,” Gallegos said, adding that while he could not speak for Del Real, he thought the league stood to benefit from more exposure. “These are legitimate people that are trying to change the law -- why would they not want it to be out there?”
Matt Drange produced this story for the Times-Standard and California Watch, part of the Center for Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every single person in that room will be public information, every single person will have contributed more than the $99 threshold for anonymity. Every single related expense and the resultant income will have to be disclosed.
The fact remains that Gallegos couldn't get elected by telling the truth about who he is - he pretended to be 'law and order' - called himself a professor - and did NOT tell people the truth about his relationship with the growers.
At least now the mask is off.