Laura Galinson roots for Hillary, remembers Murray


Laura Galinson raises arms in triumph while watching Hillary Clinton accept Democratic presidential nomination. In front of her is Leslye Winkelman Lyons, a longtime Jewish community activist. (Photo: Ken Stone)


By Ken Stone

SAN DIEGO — Laura Galinson leaped to her feet 17 minutes into Hillary Clinton’s speech Thursday — the moment the former secretary of state accepted her party’s nomination for president.

She joined 140 other Democrats applauding and cheering at a convention watch party set in a dark, high-ceiling ballroom at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge in Hillcrest.

“Most of the LGBT stuff touched me most,” said Galinson, 53, who this year married Jody Diamond. She said she met then Sen. Clinton 10 years ago in San Diego and asked her when she thought gay marriage would be legal, “and she told me: About 10 years.”

Galinson had a special connection with the Clintons through her late father, Murray Galinson, one of the most influential Democrats in San Diego history.

“Whenever Bill Clinton would come to town, he would walk on the beach with my dad in Coronado,” she said.

Was Dad on her mind Thursday?

“Absolutely,” said Laura, the oldest of Murray and Elaine Galinson’s three children. “He would be … so proud of me for being at a Democratic event. And he would be rolling in his grave that Trump is running.”

She said her banker father would deem Donald Trump “an absolute loser.”

Would he loan to him?

“Never,” she said, adding: “My dad was the first person to loan Irwin Jacobs the money to build Qualcomm.”

Today Murray would be “gifting” Clinton’s PACs “big dollars, and we would have gone to every single [event],” Laura said. “He probably would have been on the inside of the campaign somehow.”

The former San Diego National Bank president would be telling Bernie Sanders backers to unite behind Hillary — “he would be convincing them that she’s incorporating all of his platform.”

Murray Galinson died in 2013 at age 75. Were he still here, he’d be at the DNC, and “I’d be in Philadelphia with him,” Laura said. “We were at Obama’s [2008 convention] in Denver. Flew home on Irwin and Joan’s plane. That was a great fun trip.”

A philanthropist like her father who worked 20 years with Sol Price, Laura Galinson also advises nonprofits. Thursday, she wore a dark longsleeved shirt that read: “A woman’s place is in the White House.”

The Solana Beach resident called Hillary Clinton’s speech “really good. She touched on everything she needed to touch on.”

“She was very fired up. She touched on ISIS, which was great. … What touched me was how she talked about children and [about] her passions for helping others. There’s no other choice. She’s just the right president.”

Murray Galinson also backed Republicans, including former Mayor Pete Wilson, and loved District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, another GOP luminary.

“He just always listened to everybody for who they were, and never lumped people together,” said his lone daughter. “Never assumed that because someone was a Democrat that they were just like somebody else. He was very much of a mentor to everyone. He always took someone for face value. … I think Hillary is very much that kind of a person, too.

“He would say she’s her own woman. She’s not Barack Obama.”

Elaine Galinson, now remarried to lawyer Herb Solomon, watched the convention from her La Jolla home Thursday, Laura said.

“She’s very, very happy,” Laura said. “I just had lunch with her today, and she’s a staunch Hillary supporter. We’re very big feminists, she and I.”

Stone is a contributing editor for Times of San Diego, with which San Diego Jewish World has a news sharing agreement under auspices of the San Diego Online News Association.  San Diego Jewish World’s eulogy series is sponsored by Marc and Margaret Cohen in memory of Molly Cohen, and by Inland Industries Group LP in memory of long-time San Diego Jewish community leader Marie (Mrs. Gabriel) Berg.  Comments intended for publication in the space below MUST be accompanied by the letter writer’s first and last name and by his/ her city and state of residence (city and country for those outside the United States.)

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