June 13, 2007
Expect Lobbyist Ed Gillespie to Look Out for Business Interests as White House Counselor
Statement by Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen
We are disappointed that the president has appointed a lobbyist who has represented the narrow interests of business to be White House counselor, rather than someone who could bring a broader perspective to the White House. Given President’s Bush’s abysmal poll results, he needs someone with a different view.
Ed Gillespie has long been part of the Bush money machine, helping to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from business interests for Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign. Gillespie’s lobbying clients have included some of the nation’s business giants. He fought on behalf of Enron against efforts to re-regulate the electricity market, which would have ended Enron’s price-gouging. He pushed for the energy legislation enacted in 2005, which included some $25 billion in corporate subsidies for oil, gas nuclear and coal interests. On behalf of financial service clients, he pushed for watering down accounting reforms. On behalf of Chrysler, he fought against improvement of fuel economy standards. On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, he fought for limiting citizen access to the courts. In his new position as counselor to the president, he will be forging policy that likely will undermine public needs.
By moving from lobbyist to chair of the Republican National Committee, back to lobbyist and then to White House counselor, he is a prime example of a revolving door that has spun out of control.
Note: To get more information about Gillespie, including a 2003 report by Public Citizen, click here.