From the Democratic Party of Virginia:
In Arlington, Delegates Marcus Simon and Mark Levine Call on Gillespie to Release His Consulting Clients
Gillespie Has Spent Years Lobbying Against the Interests of Virginians
Arlington, Va. – In a press conference on Friday, Delegate Marcus Simon, Delegate Mark Levine, and Executive Director of Generation Progress Action Maggie Thompson called on Ed Gillespie to release his consulting and lobbying clients and activities from the past five years. At the event — which was the third stop in the Democratic Party of Virginia’s “Ed Gillespie: Swamp Creature” tour — speakers criticized Gillespie for lobbying for predatory student loan companies and other corporate interests at the expense of Virginians.
“If voters are going to make a decision, they need to know from Ed Gillespie: who have you been working for for the past five years?,” said Delegate Marcus Simon. “More important than that, once we know who those folks are, what are you going to do if elected, to handle those conflicts? How would you set up a firewall to make sure that you’re representing our interests and not the interests of your corporate clients?”
“Ed Gillespie refuses to disclose all of his clients. We know who Ralph Northam worked for – he worked for the Army and he works for sick children,” said Delegate Mark Levine. “So what is Ed Gillespie trying to hide? Why won’t he disclose who paid his bills? He won’t tell us, he won’t tell the press, he won’t tell you.”
“Ed Gillespie’s lobbying firm made hundreds of thousands of dollars from the student loan companies,” said Maggie Thompson, Executive Director for Generation Progress Action. “It wasn’t just one client and it wasn’t just one type of student loan, Ed Gillespie’s lobbying record spans multiple sectors of the student loan market, and that’s deeply problematic.”
Gillespie has a long history of fighting for wealthy special interests at the expense of Virginia and has played a central role in rigging our political system against working families. As a lobbyist in the 2000s, Gillespie and his firm made hundreds of thousands of dollars working to keep students loans expensive — and lobbying against policies to make it easier for Virginia students to afford to go to college. With Gillespie’s help, Bank of America and the private student loan lender, Nelnet, tried to kill legislation to take money away from predatory student loan companies and put it towards lowering the interest on student loans.
Gillespie’s work for student loan companies in the 2000s is just the tip of the iceberg. Just three years of disclosures reveal that Gillespie made millions from lobbying and consulting work while hundreds of Virginians went home without a job and without pay. Just by combining the three years of 2006, 2013 and 2016, Gillespie made up to $5.2 million lobbying and consulting, while Virginia’s workforce was grappling with the worst recession since the Great Depression and a recovery that is still continuing.