Buys Quinn Gillespie & Associates

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- WPP Group today announced it has acquired the business and assets of Quinn Gillespie & Associates, the high-powered Washington lobbying firm formed by Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Jack Quinn.

Mr. Gillespie is currently chairman of the Republican National Committee as well as a partner in the firm. Mr. Quinn was a longtime aide and White House counsel to President Clinton. The 25-person firm reported revenues of $12.5 million last year. A year ago the two were reportedly near an agreement to sell their agency to Omnicom, but that deal fell apart.

The WPP sale price was not disclosed.

Aides to politicians
As a top aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Tex., Mr. Gillespie in 1994 drafted the Republican Party's "Contract with America" and had also been a top adviser in Sen. Elizabeth Dole's political campaign.

Mr. Quinn was the principal and successful proponent of the controversial pardon President Clinton granted in the final day of his administration to billionaire Marc Rich. Mr. Rich had fled the country after being charged with tax evasion and fraud in the 1980s. In November, the Federal Election Commission dismissed a complaint that accused Mr. Rich's ex-wife, Denise, of making donations of money and furniture to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in return for the pardon. The commission said it found nothing illegal about the donations.

Messrs. Gillespie and Quinn have agreed to stay at the firm during the acquisition by WPP.

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