By Lee Hedgepeth
Alabama Political Reporter
RICHMOND, VA – In a newly released ad called “Empire,” the Virginia Democratic Party attacks Ed Gillespie, a former RNC chairman and current US Senate candidate, for his possible role in the dollar-for-dollar money funneling scheme between national GOP PAC the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) and now Speaker of the Alabama House, then ALGOP Chairman Mike Hubbard.
The attack ad comes after an internal RSLC memo leaked revealing scathing criticisms of an apparent criticisms of the scheme Hubbard and those at the organization used to shield what their fellow Republicans termed “politically toxic” sources like the Poarch Band of Creek Indians through illegal means.
“Empire,” which has only text narration, features clips of Gillespie bragging about his role in RSLC. Gillespie was announced as the new Chairman of the RSLC in 2010.
The text begins: “In 2010, Ed Gillespie was more than happy to discuss his work with RSLC…”
Then, the video clips of Gillespie begin to shuffle.
“Out of the next twelve,” he says in the first clip, “I think we can safely assume we can take half of the next twelve [legislatures] that are in play… Those are the Alabama House and Senate.”
The next clip: “This is a very big night for my organization, the Republican National Leadership Committee. We are proud to have to helped to foster those wins across the country.”
And the next: “We’ve been trying to help the Republican State Leadership Committee to elect state house and senate candidates across the country.”
After several more clips, even reaching into 2011, and utilizing the observation of a reporter interviewing the now Senate candidate about the RSLC to label the group Gillespie’s “empire,” the VA Democratic Party ad says, “Now that reports of an investigation at the RSLC have surfaced, Ed is silent.”
It then concludes with a smirking Gillespie and a probing question:
“Why won’t Ed Gillespie make his role at a dark money group clear to Virginia voters?”
To add on, the Virginia Democrats have posted a list of question for Gillespie to answer in relation to his knowledge of and/or role in the Hubbard controversy, some of which are listed below:
“Was Gillespie aware that, according to their own report, RSLC officials agreed to be a pass through organization for Poarch Creek Indian tribe donations that were intended to fund the activities of the Alabama GOP? Did he raise concerns about the legality of the RSLC’s involvement or take steps to try to stop it? If Ed Gillespie says he did not know prior to the July 2011 press reports, how is it possible that the chair of the organization, being paid $200,000 in 2010 alone, could not know?”
That press release by the VA Democratic Party can be seen in full here.
Their ad, “Empire,” can be viewed here.
Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, is currently the subject of a public corruption investigation in his home county.