The day after he became Virginia governor-elect, Ralph Northam announced that Marianne Radcliff would take the lead for his transition team. It’s an ironic move by Northam: hiring a professional lobbyist to spearhead the formation of his cabinet.
Northam repeatedly slammed his Republican opponent Ed Gillespie for being a K Street lobbyist. The Northam campaign released several TV ads highlighting Gillespie’s past work, criticizing him for supposedly selling out college students and local workers.
Now, Northam has hired a professional lobbyist of his own.
Radcliff has been the vice president of lobbyist firm Kemper Consulting since 2012. The Virginia Public Access Project shows Radcliff associated with 12 clients, from various sectors, including eBay Inc, Fluor Enterprises, and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
What’s interesting in regards to her position with Northam’s administration is her association with a pharmaceutical company. According to the VPAP profile, Radcliff was retained by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. since last May.
During the election, then-candidate Northam gave an interview to the Washington Post, in which he discussed ethics reform in Virginia. He talked about doctors being courted by pharmaceutical companies.
“So that has evolved to the point where now I don’t even take as much as a writing pen from a pharmaceutical company. So that influence from the pharmaceutical company to me as a physician has stopped,” Northam explained.
For taking such a hard line against Gillespie’s lobbying activities during the election, it’s pretty hypocritical for Northam to put a professional lobbyist in a such a pivotal position.
Gabriella Muñoz is a commentary desk intern with the Washington Examiner and a student at Georgetown University.