April 6, 2017 News & Press Releases · Press Releases and Announcements

This Can’t Be Real: Former Big Money Lobbyist Ed Gillespie Feigns Interest in Cleaning Up Government

by Christina Freundlich

Ed Gillespie has made his millions by being a lobbyist in the DC swamp -- and now, he thinks he can clean up Richmond?

This can’t be real.

“Ed Gillespie implying that he has the experience to reform lobbying laws is like Donald Trump saying that he has the experience to prevent Russia from hacking future national elections,” said DPVA spokeswoman Christina Freundlich. “When an ultimate lobbyist like Ed Gillespie has made his fortune by DC lobbying, Virginians can’t afford to trust him to represent their best interests. This is laughable coming from Ed Gillespie.”

Here’s just a handful of examples from Ed Gillespie’s past from cashing out on the swamp:

Gillespie’s “Clout With The White House Grew” After Leaving Administration To Return To “Phenomenally Successful Lobbying Firm.” According to the New Republic, “In February he left the administration to return to the one-year-old, phenomenally successful lobbying firm he founded with Democrat Jack Quinn. But, if anything, his clout with the White House grew.” [New Republic, 7/30/01]

Gillespie “Is Washington’s Omnipresent GOP Operative” Who “Spins Through The Revolving Door Between The Bush World And K Street At A Dizzying Rate.” According to the New Republic, “The first name to come rolling off the tongues of reporters when it comes to scttwh [sources close to the White House] is Ed Gillespie. “He is the top guy I would put on that list,” says a newspaper correspondent. Gillespie is Washington’s omnipresent GOP operative. His core business is his multimillion-dollar lobbying firm, Quinn Gillespie, but he spins through the revolving door between the Bush world and K Street at a dizzying rate. Over the last few years, his lobbying career has been interrupted by stints on Bush’s first campaign, as party chair, and, most recently, as a strategist working out of the West Wing on the John Roberts nomination.” [New Republic, 8/15/05]

Gillespie Was “A Rich Man Now… Courtesy Of A Few Years Of Fabulously Lucrative Lobbying.” According to the Washington Post, “[Gillespie’s] a rich man now, at 42, courtesy of a few years of fabulously lucrative lobbying, but he started life as the son of a poor Irish immigrant, and he uses this biography, earnestly, in every party-expansion speech.” [Washington Post, 4/5/04]

Richmond Times Dispatch Column: “Washington Fixer with a Virginia Address, Gillespie Guides Muscular Corporations Through the Federal Labyrinth.” According to a Jeff Schapiro column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “A Washington fixer with a Virginia address, Gillespie guides muscular corporations through the federal labyrinth.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/18/16]

Richmond Times Dispatch: Gillespie “Made His Fortune” At Lobbying Firm That He Sold For $40 Million. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, “Gillespie made his fortune as a partner with Democrat Jack Quinn in a lobbying firm that they reportedly sold for $40 million in 2004. Among the company’s clients were Enron, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Microsoft, Tyson Foods, Viacom, PricewaterhouseCoopers and DaimlerChrysler, according to the watchdog group Public Citizen.” [Richmond Times Dispatch, 1/17/14] 

Gillespie a “Well-Fed Alligator” in Trump’s Swamp. According to a Jeff Schapiro column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Gillespie, who could charitably be described as aloof from Trump, is quite literally the practiced professional talker. He amassed millions of dollars hawking special interests in D.C., the Trump-labeled ‘swamp’ in which Gillespie qualifies as a well-fed alligator. There's Corey Stewart, the fired Trump Virginia chairman who can out-Trump Trump with his capacity for inflammatory, if not outrageous, anti-immigrant philippics.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/4/16]

Richmond Times Dispatch Column: “Big Business is the Bread and Butter of Ed Gillespie.” According to a Jeff Schapiro column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Big business is the bread and butter of Ed Gillespie, the early favorite for the Republican nomination” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/18/16]

Schapiro Column: Gillespie “Amassed A Fortune Selling Ideas To Congress On Behalf Of Favor-Seeking Corporations.”According to a Jeff Schapiro column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “They explain a reality faced by Gillespie, his two opponents in the Republican primary and the two candidates for the Democratic nomination: To grab your attention — and presumably your vote — politicians must cut through competing clutter generated not just by their rivals, but by 24-hour news, nonstop entertainment, round-the-clock sports, and whatever is streaming on your mobile phone. This demands that politicians peddle proposals that require little information and less explanation — that perhaps appeal more to the heart than the head. Few know this better than Gillespie, who — because he does earnest well — amassed a fortune selling ideas to Congress on behalf of favor-seeking corporations. That was after he amassed the necessary contacts as chairman of the Republican National Committee and as an aide to the second President Bush.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, Column, 3/18/17]

The Hill: Gillespie’s Name “Was Once Attached To One Of K Street’s Most Storied [Lobbying] Firms.” According to The Hill, “Democrats are aiming to hobble the Senate candidacy of Ed Gillespie by wrapping him in the ‘Scarlet L’ of a Washington lobbyist. The Republican strategist’s name was once attached to one of K Street’s most storied firms — Quinn Gillespie & Associates (QGA) — and he will likely disclose any clients that he has at his new outfit, Ed Gillespie Strategies, when announces a run for Senate in Virginia against Democrat Mark Warner.” [The Hill, 1/14/14]