Edward W. Gillespie

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Edward W. Gillespie, a Republican lobbyist for clients including Enron, was selected by President George Walker Bush as National Chairman of the Republican National Committee on June 16, 2003. Gillespie was a co-founder of the lobbying and public relations firm Quinn Gillespie & Associates. In June 2007, he was tapped to become White House counselor, replacing Dan Bartlett, who will be leaving the position in early July. [1]


Gillespie is a graduate (B.A. 1983[1] ) of the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He is married to the former Cathy Hay, executive director of U.S. Rep. Joe Barton's political action committee, the Texas Freedom Fund. He began his political career as a nighttime telephone solicitor in the basement of the Republican National Committee headquarters in 1985. He later worked for a decade as a top aide to House Majority Leader Dick Armey and was a principal drafter of the Republican Party's "Contract With America" in 1994. In 1996, he became Director of Communications and Congressional Affairs for the Republican National Committee under then Chairman Haley Barbour.

In March 1998, Gillespie was executive director of coalition supporting computer data encryption called Americans for Computer Privacy." Gillespie's message was that "Encryption is, far from being a geek issue, essential to citizens' individual liberty. The mission that goes with the message is a tough one: to halt a Clinton administration drive to set up a system requiring that software equipped with data-scrambling capabilities also include a way for law enforcement or national security agencies to quickly access the encrypted information."[2]

In 2000, Gillespie served as senior communications advisor for the presidential campaign of George W. Bush, organizing the party convention program in Philadelphia for Bush's nomination and Bush's inauguration ceremony. He also played an aggressive role as spokesman for the Bush campaign during the vote recount in Florida.

In 2001, Gillespie briefly worked as acting director of public affairs for the U.S. Department of Commerce, helping Secretary Donald Evans organize the agency and hire staff -- including Quinn Gillespie lobbyist Jim Dyke. He then returned to working for Quinn Gillespie.

In 2002, Gillespie was a strategist for Elizabeth Dole's 2002 senate campaign in North Carolina, the most expensive senate race in the country that year.

Gillespie was President and CEO of Policy Impact Communications before co-founding Quinn Gillespie & Associates, a lobbying and public relations firm that represents energy, steel and timber interests, plus such corporate giants as Microsoft and Verizon Communications Inc. Companies he has represented include Enron.

In May 2003, conservative columnist Robert Novak reported that "Both the White House and members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) have made clear that Ed Gillespie will have to cut ties completely from his profitable Washington lobbying firm (Quinn Gillespie & Associates) to take over as the party's national chairman." However, the Washington Post reported in June that "Gillespie is not divesting ownership of the 27-person firm and will continue receiving partnership income."

Public Citizen has published a 25-page report calling Gillespie "an embedded lobbyist" and asserting that his appointment as RNC chairman "has opened a conduit for corporate America to strengthen its already formidable influence in the White House and Congress."

Gillespie & lobbying for Bush's Supreme Court nominee

"Ed Gillespie, who will help promote President Bush's future nominee to a vacancy on the Supreme Court, is a top-tier lobbyist who represents a host of clients with direct and indirect interests in the outcome of Supreme Court decisions." Gillespie's task is "to use the tools and techniques of a presidential campaign to put together a conservative political machine equipped to take on the alliance of groups on the political left."

But his firm, Quinn Gillespie & Associates, "represents corporations and trade associations with strong bottom-line interests in court rulings involving corporate liability, tort reform, antitrust and securities issues." Clients include the American Petroleum Institute, Microsoft, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Gillespie refused to discuss "the conflict-of-interest rules that will govern his activities," but others say "he is likely to give up active representation of clients" while he works for the nominee's confirmation. [3]


While working as a Republican observer in Miami-Dade for the 2000 Presidential Election ballot recount, Ed Gillespie, commenting on how the "repeated machine counts degrade the ballots ..., described the scene when county officials ran the ballots through the counting machine for a third time: 'Chad was flying around the room like confetti in New York on New Year's Eve,' he said."

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  1. Catholic Identity - Undergraduate Admissions - Our Alumni. The Catholic University of America. Retrieved on 2010-01-05. “Public Service and Politics - Edward W. Gillespie, B.A. 1983, Chairman of the Republican National Committee”

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