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Gingrich’s Drip, Drip, Drip

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Sep 3, 2005
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Gingrich’s Drip, Drip, Drip

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 6:34 am by Nolan Hicks in Campaign 2012, Gov. Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich

On this day — Newt Gingrich’s think tank earned millions from health-care groups and promotes policies that the candidate now repudiates; the group behind ‘The Response’ schedules another rally, this time it’s in Iowa; fact-checking Gov. Perry’s new attack on President Obama; and the rest of the day’s must reads are in ‘The Clips’.

Drip, Drip, Drip for Gingrich

Just a couple of days after Bloomberg broke the story that Newt Gingrich had actually received between $1.6-1.8 million dollars for ‘advising’ mortgage giant Freddie Mac, The Washington Post reports today that Gingrich’s think tank has earned millions from the health-care industry, in part by supporting policies they like (such as the individual mandate) and offering face time with Gingrich:

The Center for Health Transformation, which opened in 2003, brought in dues of as much as $200,000 per year from insurers and other health-care firms, offering some of them “access to Newt Gingrich” and “direct Newt interaction,” according to promotional materials. The biggest funders, including firms such as AstraZeneca, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Novo Nordisk, were also eligible to receive discounts on “products and workshops” from other Gingrich groups.

The health center advocated, among other things, requiring that “anyone who earns more than $50,000 a year must purchase health insurance or post a bond,” a type of insurance mandate that has since become anathema to conservatives.

The group also pushed proposals to build centralized electronic medical records and use such data to research treatment effectiveness, both central features of President Obama’s health-care reforms.

And that Bloomberg story isn’t going away. Politico reports that Gingrich remained on Freddie Mac’s payroll until the company was taken over by the government in 2008.

Gingrich, who has come under fire this week for work he did during the subprime mortgage crisis, served as a consultant to Freddie Mac until September 2008 when the U.S. Treasury took control of the government-sponsored entity, his spokesman R.C. Hammond confirmed to POLITICO Thursday.

… Gingrich’s second contract, which lasted from 2006 until September 2008, put him in the position to offer top officials strategic advice. It was an unusual arrangement because it was handled directly by Senior Vice President of External Relations Hollis McLoughlin’s office. McLoughlin, who is still at Freddie Mac, is a member of Freddie Mac’s management committee and reports directly to Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Office Jerry Weiss.

Gingrich did not register as a federal lobbyist under either of these agreements. The Gingrich Group was paid $30,000 a month for a total of $600,000 for Gingrich’s work during the second contract.



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Apr 12, 2008
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real world
November 17, 2011, 9:46 am
Gingrich May Have Unlikely Ally in Obama on Lobbying

Newt Gingrich explains away his work for the Freddie Mac mortgage giant by insisting on the rather fine distinction that he was never, officially, a registered lobbyist.

And on that point, he has the intellectual — if inadvertent — support of an unlikely ally: President Obama.

In fact, Mr. Obama and his top aides have been making the very same distinction since the first days of his administration as they sought to (mostly) abide by a promise that Mr. Obama made as a candidate that his White House would not employ lobbyists.

In a discussion with reporters on the eighth day of the presidency, Robert Gibbs, the press secretary, parried questions about whether former Senator George Mitchell was a lobbyist by virtue of having led a firm that did extensive lobbying.

“I hate to be ticky-tack about it, but technically he’s not lobbying,” Mr. Gibbs said, insisting that the president was sticking to his promise.

Later, Mr. Gibbs elaborated on the new administration’s way of viewing the situation: “I understand the semantic hurdles that you’re setting forward for the policy,” Mr. Gibbs lectured. “But let’s understand, he wasn’t a lobbyist, he wasn’t registered to lobby, and if you’re not registered to lobby you can’t be a lobbyist.”


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