In the Virginia Governor’s race, voters have a very clear choice before them that can be summarized succinctly:
- Ralph Northam:
- A life of service.
- Ed Gillespiec:
- A life of serving himself …
- and those who wish to serve themselves at the cost of others.
Consider Ralph Northam and the legitimate question of which title is the right or best one to use: Major, Doctor, Senator, Lieutenant Governor, volunteer …
- Major Ralph Northam served the nation in military service for eight years. He joined the Army after attending Virginia Military Institute. His honorable service included treated injured evacuated to Germany from Operation Desert Storm.
- Doctor Ralph Northam has served thousands of patients through his career — military personnel and dependents and then, after he left military service, Virginians.
- Senator/Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam has served his district and then served all Virginians in Richmond for the past decade.
- Volunteer Ralph Northam has, for some 20 years, served as the volunteer medical director for Edmarc Hospice for Children in Portsmouth, a nonprofit organization that serves children not expected to survive into adulthood.
Major Doctor Senator Lieutenant Governor Volunteer Ralph Northam truly has had a life of service … to the nation, to patients, to the community, to Virginians …
As for stark contrast, Ed Gillespie titles might devolve to corporate lobbyist (weakening American society) and Republican political operative.
- Corporate lobbyist Ed Gillespie has advocated for a range of special interests and corporations that, in some ways, reads like a Who’s Who of ‘what’s gone wrong in American business’ culture.
- Amid one of the worst business corruption scandals in the nation’s history, Ed Gillespie’s firm lobbied to win Enron over $250 million in federal tax credits. Less than a month before bankruptcy and 20,000 workers suffered hundreds of millions in losses in retirement and savings accounts, Enron paid Gillespie’s firm more than $250,000. In 2005, Gillespie’s firm paid Enron creditors $128,992 over allegations that it received improper payments prior to the Enron’s collapse.
- “Between 2005 – 2007, Gillespie lobbied on immigration, waste regulation, and other issues at Tyson Foods Inc – a company repeatedly cited for major environmental violations in Virginia and elsewhere. While Gillespie worked for them, the Virginia Environmental Quality fined Tyson’s tens of thousands for water violations along Virginia’s Eastern Shore and in Henrico County for illegal wastewater seeping into a local stream and for causing two fish kills in the Chickahominy River.”
- PricewaterhouseCoopers paid Gillespie’s firm $1.35 million from 2000 to 2002 to lobby against increased oversight of the accounting industry even as PricewaterhouseCoopers, in 2002, paid a $5 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission for repeated accounting irregularities.
- Gillespie and his firm worked for some of the world’s worst foreign governments, including outright dictators and (at least accused) war criminals such as the Republic Srbska and for the Ivory Coast’ President Laurent Gbagbo who was the first head of state brought before the International Crimes Court (ICC) and is charged with crimes against humanity. (The trial procedures continue.)
- Ed Gillespie’s worked to help MF Global as it helped itself at the cost of others. In 2011, the company went bankrupt, wreaking havoc on Virginia farms in the process. As one Virginia farmer wrote, “When the dust settled, there was over $1 billion missing from customer accounts. That money belonged not to Wall Street, but to farmers, local grain elevators, and livestock feedlots. The MF Global bankruptcy was a disaster for the farm economy.”
- Political Operative Ed Gillespie has worked for decades to advance the Republican Party with agendas that weaken America’s fiscal stability, worsen economic disparity, restrict Americans’ (and especially women’s) access to quality affordable health care, … From his own ‘About Ed’, this includes:
- Lead role in writing Republican Newt Gingrich‘s Contract On America;
- Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) helping usher in George W. Bush’s second term with the associated disasters in Iraq, financial crash, and, overall, the second worst presidency of the modern era (after, of course, Donald Trump);
- And, by the way — in true ‘swamp fashion’ as an embedded lobbyist, leveraging these political roles in support of his clients without necessarily revealing the clients/client interests.
Lobbyist Political Operative Ed Gillespie truly has had a life of serving himself and serving those who wish to serve themselves at the expense of others.
Virginian’s voters have a clear choice. Come January 2018, do Virginians want …
- The Governor’s mansion occupied by someone who has spent a lifetime serving himself or
- To add Governor as another role in Major Doctor Senator Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam’s life of service to country, patients, community, and Virginians?
This is not a difficult choice.