Empower Wisconsin | Oct. 13, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Richard A. Gallun’s “reluctant divorce” from the Republican Party has been a long separation — long before he joined the bitter ranks of the Never Trumpers — and the Democrats.
What Gallun and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel failed to note in the longtime Wisconsin businessman’s column last week is that the Walkaway Republican has been one of the Democratic Party’s bigger backers over the past several years.
Gallun lays out his conservative pedigree. Born in the Great Depression to a Milwaukee family that owned a tannery and was very Republican, he defended the causes espoused in the John Birch Society. He says he even supported Republican U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin’s long-passed crusader against the communist scare of the late 1940s and ‘50s.
Gallun was, according to his Republican resume, Wisconsin campaign finance chairman of Ronald Reagan’s first run for president in 1976, as well as finance chairman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin between 1989-91.
He wasn’t fond of President George W. Bush, but he wrote that he lost all respect for the Republican Party after President Donald Trump won. He thought Republicans would reject him “as they observed his foolish and often criminal acts.”
“Having replaced honesty and integrity with hypocrisy, the Republicans have only one remaining value, that of staying in power,” Gallun wrote.
Despite his clear loathing for Trump, the retired independent financial services professional did not go through a “reluctant divorce from the Republican Party,” as the Journal Sentinel headline suggests.
A review of Gallun’s campaign contributions shows he’s been dumping money into the Democratic Party and Dem causes for years. He’s donated more than $80,000 to Democrats since 2014, including tens of thousands of dollars to the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. He backed then-Gov. Scott Walker’s Dem opponent, Mary Burke, in 2014.
He has been most generous to extreme liberals, maxing individual contributions to Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison) and former Sen. Russ Feingold.
The Republican-hating Journal Sentinel, of course, disingenuously presents the op-ed like Gallun suddenly had an epiphany that a Republican Party that supported Donald Trump could no longer be trusted to do the right thing. He doesn’t seem to think much of all the “deplorables” who support the president and his re-election, including members of the U.S. Senate who wouldn’t go along with the left’s impeachment games.
Gallun may have been a John Birch Society/Ronald Reagan Republican a long time ago, but his politics have clearly veered left. Tammy Baldwin and the Democratic Party are no saviors of political integrity, and they certainly have nothing to do with conservative values.