Ed Gillespie’s Real Record On Agriculture Issues

In anticipation of Friday’s Agriculture and Forestry Gubernatorial Candidate Forum, American Bridge released the latest installment in its Ed The Swamp Creature campaign, which highlights Ed Gillespie’s long history of putting profits over Virginia families.

Gillespie’s Washington lobbying firm received $240,000 to lobby for MF Global, a brokerage firm that Reuters described as having a “checkered history.” When the firm filed for bankruptcy it wrecked havoc on farmers around the country. One Virginia farmer wrote, “When the dust settled, there was over $1 billion missing from customer accounts. That money belonged not to Wall Street, but to farmers, local grain elevators, and livestock feedlots. The MF Global bankruptcy was a disaster for the farm economy.”

More details are available at edtheswampcreature.com.

“Ed Gillespie’s record of rigging the system on behalf of a New York company that left Virginia’s farming families high and dry speaks for itself. He’ll undoubtedly talk a big game about supporting Virginia farmers, but he can’t hide from his real record: he got paid while they got screwed, said American Bridge spokesperson Lizzy Price

2006-2007: MF Global Paid Quinn, Gillespie $240,000 For Lobbying The Commodity Future Trading Commission And Other Federal Bodies On Its Behalf; Gillespie Was Listed As One Of The Lobbyists. Between 2006 and 2007, MF Global paid Quinn, Gillespie& Associates a total of $240,000 for lobbying on its behalf. Gillespie and his firm lobbied Congress, the Office of the President, and the Commodity Futures Traders Commission on “CFTC Issue Reauthorization.” [U.S. Senate Lobbying Disclosure Database, 2006]

MF Global Drew More Fines From The CFTC Than Any Other Similar Firm In The Decade Preceding Its Bankruptcy. According to Reuters, “Long before the brokerage firm MF Global collapsed into bankruptcy and prompted a frantic search for missing customer money, the company had already established a checkered history. An analysis of regulatory enforcement actions shows MF Global has drawn more sanctions from the U.S. commodity futures regulator than each of its 14 closest peers in that market over the past decade. MF Global has also drawn the second-highest amount in fines, for alleged lapses in risk supervision and recordkeeping.” [Reuters, 11/11/11]

Wall Street Journal: “The Havoc Wreaked By MF Global’s Bankruptcy Filing Has Been Felt Not Just By Wall Street Investors And Traders, But Also By Wheat And Corn Growers, Cattle Ranchers And Pig Farmers.”According to the Wall Street Journal, “The havoc wreaked by MF Global’s bankruptcy filing has been felt not just by Wall Street investors and traders, but also by wheat and corn growers, cattle ranchers and pig farmers. Dotting the farm belt, many who used the commodities market to protect against price swings are finding their money locked up and their hedges unwound due to the firm’s downfall.” [Wall Street Journal, 12/7/11]

Virginia Farmer Bryant Osborn Op-Ed: “The MF Global Bankruptcy Was A Disaster For The Farm Economy.” In an op-ed, Bryant Osborn, the owner of Corvallis Farms in Culpeper County, Virginia, wrote, “The losses from the European sovereign debt bankrupted the company. When the dust settled, there was over $1 billion missing from customer accounts. That money belonged not to Wall Street, but to farmers, local grain elevators, and livestock feedlots. The MF Global bankruptcy was a disaster for the farm economy.” [Bryant Osborn Op-Ed – Culpeper Star-Exponent, 6/28/13]