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What’s in a name? Quinn Gillespie & Associates is about to find out. With the firm’s co-founder Ed Gillespie headed to the White House to replace Dan Bartlett as White House counselor, the multimillion-dollar lobbying firm, which shills for clients such as PhRMA, DaimlerChrysler, and Amgen, is still planning to cash in on Gillespie’s cachet by using his moniker and bearing his name on its letterhead — even though he’ll be clocking in at the White House. You might remember that when Fred Fielding left the firm that bore his name earlier this year to become White House counsel, the firm shortened its name to Wiley Rein. That’s because D.C. Bar rules require lawyers to take their name off the door should they return to public office for more than a short period. But (to no one’s surprise) lobbying isn’t nearly so regulated. Gillespie’s name can stay on the letterhead even after he’s gone. And even if the firm wanted to drop his name, it couldn’t, because WPP Group, a British holding company that owns several lobbying boutiques, purchased the Quinn Gillespie & Associates name in 2002 when it bought the firm. To WPP, Gillespie isn’t a man, he’s a brand — one that helped bring in $18 million in lobbying revenue last year. Of course, this isn’t the first time Gillespie’s left the firm. He’s made a habit out of taking sabbaticals, including stints serving as chairman of the Republican National Committee in 2004 and working on the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign and Sen. Elizabeth Dole’s (R-N.C.) 2002 campaign. He’s also served as sherpa to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel Alito Jr. to help them through confirmation. Still, even if his name is staying, Gillespie has to cut off his financial ties to the firm because of government ethics rules. And clients shouldn’t think Quinn Gillespie lobbyists have a direct line into the White House. As part of the negotiations, Gillespie agreed to not meet with any of the firm’s lobbyists or clients during the next 18 months. The firm has contacted all of its current clients about Gillespie’s departure. “Ed’s going into a position that quite frankly is not a target for lobbying in this town,” says the firm’s Jack Quinn, “and I don’t recall ever having heard, �Oh, I lobbied Dan Bartlett today.’ “
Anna Palmer can be contacted at [email protected].

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