September 14, 2017

/

Latest News, Virginia

Hypocrite Ed Gillespie Bungles Transportation Rollout, Features Governor Whose Signature Transportation Plan Gillespie Attacked

Today, taking his hypocrisy to stunning new lows, career lobbyist Ed Gillespie botched the roll out of his transportation plan by launching a video featuring none other than former Governor Bob McDonnell–the very same Bob McDonnell whose signature bipartisan transportation plan Gillespie spent the summer attacking.

“We know from Ed Gillespie’s long career as a lobbyist that he’s willing to do and say anything, but even for a D.C. lobbyist this hypocrisy is staggering,” said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “Voters won’t be fooled by Gillespie’s latest posturing—they know he’s willing to do or say whatever it takes to get elected, leaving Virginia’s families and businesses stranded on the side of the road.” 

Gillespie, who chaired McDonnell’s campaign, bashed both Ralph Northam and Frank Wagner for supporting McDonnell’s bipartisan transportation plan in 2013. And even Republicans in Virginia have called Gillespie a “political opportunist” for doing so.

###

 

Background 

HEADLINE, Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Gillespie Rails Against Transportation Deal That Was McDonnell’s Key Achievement.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/7/17]

  • Gillespie “Is Attacking What His Own Party Once Described As A Historically Important Piece Of Legislation That GOP Officials Wrote, Championed And Signed Into Law.” According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “The $6 billion 2013 funding package he’s talking about was the signature policy accomplishment of Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, which McDonnell and GOP leadership called a mechanism for providing much-needed transportation improvements in Virginia.  In essence, Gillespie — who was the general chairman of McDonnell’s 2009 campaign — is attacking what his own party once described as a historically important piece of legislation that GOP officials wrote, championed and signed into law.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/7/17]
  • Gillespie Attacking Northam for Support of McDonnell Transportation Plan. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Gillespie’s broadside against Northam also hits the Republican leadership of the General Assembly. Speaker Howell introduced the 2013 transportation package on McDonnell’s behalf.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/7/17]
  • Frank Wagner Also Supported Plan that Gillespie Now Attacking. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “In the Senate, the bill was handled primarily by then-Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, who had been a leading advocate for new transportation funding; Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr., R-James City; then-Sen. Walter A. Stosch, R-Henrico, who was co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; and Sen. Frank W. Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, who ran against Gillespie this year for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/7/17]

Gillespie Joined Bob McDonnell’s Gubernatorial Campaign As General Chairman. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Another former chairman of a national political party is wading into the Virginia governor’s race, but not as a candidate. Ed Gillespie, ex-head of the Republican National Committee and briefly chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, is signing on as general chairman of Bob McDonnell’s bid for governor. McDonnell, currently attorney general, is unopposed for the Republican nomination for governor. He steps down as AG next Friday to run full time for the state’s top office.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2/13/09]

Former GOP Senator John Watkins: “I Think [Gillespie]’s Being A Political Opportunist.” According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Watkins, who supported Wagner in the GOP primary, said he’s not surprised that the 2013 legislation has become a political issue in the gubernatorial campaign. ‘I think he’s being a political opportunist,’ Watkins said of Gillespie.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7/7/17]