In last week’s column on “The Scalise Mess” I cited a remark by last year’s Virginia GOP Senate candidate Ed Gillespie. The quote was from the “Notable and Quotable” section of the Wall Street Journal. In the piece I identified Ed Gillespie as a “lobbyist, specifically, the ‘G’ in QGA Public Affairs — Quinn Gillespie & Associates.”
Ed has contacted me to say: “I left QGA in June 2007 to work in the White House for President Bush, and severed all ties with the firm. I have not lobbied at all in nearly eight years, and have no affiliation with QGA.” He adds, “I have no professional association with (QGA lobbyist) John Feehery or QGA.”
He adds: “Would you mind clearing it up for the readers of TAS (of which I’m one!).”
No problem. I was wrong, and I regret the error.
This is a good moment to reprint the Gillespie quote that got the attention of the WSJ and then myself:
We can see an influence economy starting to take shape. CEO’s are becoming less concerned about inventing the right products, targeting the right markets and hiring the right people in hopes of making a respectable profit for investors — and more concerned about getting the right lobbyists, retaining the right lawyers and attending the right fundraisers in hopes of getting a hefty subsidy from taxpayers.
Making the right campaign contributions are becoming as important to a company as its research and development budget, and federal-compliance lawyers will soon outnumber patent lawyers.
Ed Gillespie is right. This is a problem, and an increasing problem. Speaking for myself this is something that is particularly a problem for the Republican Party. In essence it poses the threat of a GOP morphing from its origins as a Lincoln/Reagan party of free markets and entrepreneurial capitalism into an elitist, K Street-driven “influence economy” of which Ed warns. A party where the GOP’s Washington, D.C. Establishment abandons the grassroots — the party base — for crony capitalism. It’s not good for the Republican Party much less the country. Kudos to Ed Gillespie for not simply recognizing the problem but having the courage, as an ex-lobbyist, to stand up and say so.
Notice to Readers: The American Spectator and Spectator World are marks used by independent publishing companies that are not affiliated in any way. If you are looking for The Spectator World please click on the following link: https://spectatorworld.com/.