Ed Gillespie on Government Reform



2004: interpreted 527s (PACs) as illegal expenditures

In 2004, there were double standards on display throughout the campaign, but none were so stark as the treatment of the so-called "527s," those political organizations apart from the parties and the campaigns that were free to spend unregulated "soft money" on behalf of or against a candidate.

By May, 527s opposing the president, fueled by tens of millions of dollars from liberal financier George Soros and others, had spent more than $100 million against him. Our interpretation of the law was that such expenditures were illegal, and on May 5 we filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission making our case.

2 weeks later, the FEC gave the 527s a green light, and Republican-leaning organizations soon entered the fray. It was at this point the pundits began to thunder in righteous indignation. Especially after the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth aired their first ad in August.

Source: Winning Right, by Ed Gillespie, p. 57 , Sep 5, 2006

The Rules: double standards for GOP vs. Democrats

After months of assaults by 527s against President Bush had gone virtually without comment by the media, this prompted me to circulate "The Rules":
  1. Soft money in support of Democratic candidates is free speech. Soft money in support of Republican candidates corrupts the process.
  2. Many Democrats are allowed to vote 2 or 3 times per election. Any Republican who objects to this is engaged in voter intimidation.
  3. Calling a Republican president "liar" is debate. Citing a Democratic nominee's vote for higher taxes is a negative personal attack.
  4. Government employee unions are public interest advocates. Second Amendment rights supporters and pro-life organizations are special interests.
  5. To repeat a Democrat's own statement is to distort his position.
Source: Winning Right, by Ed Gillespie, p. 58-59 , Sep 5, 2006

Growth of lobbying follows from growth of federal government

A reporter once asked me how to describe my firm, Quinn Gillespie and Associates, for a story he was writing. "It's a public affairs firm," I said.

"I guess you don't want to call it a lobbying firm, huh?" he asked, suggesting with a certain amount of smugness that I was somehow trying to conceal that QGA does lobbying.

Most lobbyists represent honest companies, industry associations, union members, or groups of people with a common interest and do so with integrity, but are lumped in with the guys who unfairly bilked millions from unsuspecting Indian tribes.

The growth of Washington lobbying is the natural by-product of the growth of the federal government, which is too large and too regulatory, and of a tax code that has grown too complicated. I didn't go to Washington in hopes of becoming a lobbyist, and I didn't actually know anyone who did.

Source: Winning Right, by Ed Gillespie, p.175-176 , Sep 5, 2006

Supports subsidiarity: federal action only when state can't

For Republicans, too much Federal spending is not a matter of math, it is a matter of principle.

And that principle is subsidiarity.

The principle of subsidiarity says if something can be done at the individual level, it should be.

If it can be done at the community level, it should be.

If it can be done at the municipality level, it should be.

If it can be done at the state level, it should be.

If it can't be done at any of these levels, only then should it be done at the Federal level.

In addition to these government functions, I would add that if something can best be done in the private sector, it should be.

Source: Winning Right, by Ed Gillespie, p.247 , Sep 5, 2006

Paid $27M in lobbying fees in early 2000s

Since its founding by Gillespie and former Clinton White House counsel Jack Quinn in 2000, the firm Quinn-Gillespie's has collected $27.4 million in lobbying fees, including:
Source: Public Citizen Congress Watch on 2014 Virginia Senate race , Jun 1, 2003

Limit punitive damages; term limits on Congress.

Gillespie signed the Contract with America:

[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bills]:

The Common Sense Legal Reforms Act:
“Loser pays” laws, reasonable limits on punitive damages, and reform of product liability laws to stem the endless tide of litigation.
The Citizen Legislature Act:A first-ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators.
Source: Contract with America 93-CWA11 on Sep 27, 1994

Government is too big, too intrusive, too easy with money.

Gillespie signed the Contract with America:

This year’s election offers the chance, after four decades of one-party control, to bring to the House a new majority that will transform the way Congress works. That historic change would be the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public’s money. It can be the beginning of a Congress that respects the values and shares the faith of the American family.

Like Lincoln, our first Republican president, we intend to act “with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.” To restore accountability to Congress. To end its cycle of scandal and disgrace. To make us all proud again of the way free people govern themselves.

    On the first day of the 104th Congress, the new Republican majority will immediately pass the following major reforms, aimed at restoring the faith and trust of the American people in their government:
  1. Require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
  2. Select a major independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud, and abuse;
  3. Cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;
  4. Limit the terms of all committee chairs;
  5. Ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
  6. Require committee meetings to be open to the public;
  7. Require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase
  8. Guarantee an honest accounting of our federal budget by implementing zero baseline budgeting.
Source: Contract with America 93-CWA2 on Sep 27, 1994

Other candidates on Government Reform: Ed Gillespie on other issues:
VA Gubernatorial:
Bob McDonnell
Frank Wagner
Ken Cuccinelli
Robert Sarvis
Terry McAuliffe
Tim Kaine
Tom Perriello
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Tim Kaine

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