Not Just Freddie Mac: Newt Gingrich’s Long History of Influence Peddling for His Corporate Clients

Lee Fang
Think Progress / News Analysis
Published: Thursday 17 November 2011
“As Business Week reported, firms like GE have hired Gingrich to figure out ‘on how to grab some of the $19.6 billion in federal stimulus money’ on healthcare IT grants.”
Article image

Caught flatfooted in the CNBC debate when a moderator asked about his past work for Freddie Mac, Newt Gingrich has since twisted and turned, making up every excuse under the sun to obscure his post-politician career as a K Street operator. Despite the revelation that he was paid at least $1.6 million by the troubled mortgage giant to do far more than give "history" lessons, the former Speaker has stubbornly stuck to his guns. On Laura Ingraham radio show yesterday, Gingrich, again attempting to spin his work for Freddie Mac, claimed that his firm literally does "no lobbying":

GINGRICH: We do no lobbying. We look at what they do. We offer them advice. We help them think through their problems, and they’ve got lots of different problems depending on what kind of company there are.

To help clear the record, ThinkProgress has compiled a short history of Gingrich’s influence peddling:

Helping To Secure Health IT Earmarks For GE, Microsoft, IBM: Gingrich headed a for-profit health care consulting firm that engages in activities identical in nature to lobbying. As Business Week reported, firms like GE have hired Gingrich to figure out "on how to grab some of the $19.6 billion in federal stimulus money" on healthcare IT grants. A follow-up ThinkProgress investigation found that Gingrich had been paid to bring health IT lobbyists together with lawmakers like Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

The Ethanol Lobby’s "Consulting" Contract With Gingrich: Growth Industry, the trade association for the ethanol energy lobby, provided a $312,500 contract to Gingrich’s consulting firm in 2009, according to a report by iWatch News. An association publication conceded that Gingrich was paid for "strategy and communication issues." The retainer allowed the lobby group, then pressing for further government subsidies, to use Gingrich to "speak positively on ethanol related topics to media."

Gingrich Lobbied To Deregulate Insurers, While Accepting Hundreds Of Thousands From Health Insurance Corporations: Through his for-profit healthcare consulting firm, Gingrich accepted up to $200,000 in annual fees from insurers like WellPoint and UnitedHealth. As ThinkProgress reported, Gingrich not only pushed anti-health reform conspiracies like the infamous "death panel" smear, but he also crafted model legislation that formed the basis of GOP deregulatory proposals for health insurers. In March 2009, Gingrich met with Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and other members of the GOP Doctors Caucus to help write conservative health reform alternative legislation. "Gingrich provided us with great insight as we work to craft health care solutions for the 21st Century," proclaimed Gingrey after the meeting. Gingrich also wrote healthcare legislation introduced by Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA), and "consulted" with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on health reform legislation that would deregulate the insurance industry. During this blitz of what many would consider lobbying-like activity, the BlueCross & BlueShield Association and AHIP, the umbrella lobbying group for the health insurance industry, paid Gingrich fees as well.

"Sharing Resources" With The Oil Industry’s Top Lobbyists: In February of last year, ThinkProgress spoke to a public relations executive close to the oil industry who said that Gingrich’s political attack group, called ASWF, had been "sharing resources, coordinating efforts" with the American Petroleum Institute (API), the main oil lobby association. In an interview later with ThinkProgress, Gingrich confirmed that he had been working closely with API.

Gingrich Sells His "Strategic Advice" To Lobbying Giants Like The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: James Oliphant reported on the latest controversy over Gingrich’s lobbying for Freddie Mac, noting that Gingrich’s firm has also been paid by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the mega-corporate lobbying coalition, for "strategic advice."

Gingrich may defend his unregistered lobbying by claiming that he does not meet the legal threshold in terms of legislator contact. However, news reports have painted a picture of Gingrich as constantly in communication with lawmakers and other public officials. According to the New York Times, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) has been known to discuss strategy on a "regular basis" with Gingrich. The Hill reported that Gingrich attended whip meetings with the GOP caucus to "educate" rank and file Republican lawmakers on the health reform debate. And as a separate piece from the Times noted, Gingrich fires off what have become known as "Newtgrams" — personal e-mails and messages with tactical advice — frequently to Republican legislators in both the House and Senate.

ThinkProgress once asked Gingrich why he never registered as a lobbyist, despite his clear history of pressing Congress on behalf of his clients. Gingrich defended his actions by stating that his lobbying is not technically lobbying because it "benefits the country at large."



Author pic
ABOUT Lee Fang

Lee Fang is an investigative researcher and contributing author for NationofChange. A resident of Sacramento, CA, Lee has written for the Boston Globe, The Nation, and ThinkProgress.org.

olrajurk

olrajurk

EVy5tE dpaaxjzhcnbh

EVy5tE dpaaxjzhcnbh

EVy5tE dpaaxjzhcnbh

EVy5tE dpaaxjzhcnbh

That's an inegonius way of

That's an inegonius way of thinking about it.

WE NEED A LIST OF ALL THE

WE NEED A LIST OF ALL THE COMPANIES AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT PAID NEWT... AND THEN "BLACK LIST" ALL OF THEM AND LET THEM KNOW WHY !!! WE ALL AS THE 99% HAVE THE POWER TO PUT A HURT ON THESE COMPANIES !!! I'M CHANGING MY INSURANCE FROM BLUE CROSS SINCE THEY PAID NEWT. MY INSURANCE FOR A SINGLE PERSON WENT UP $75 A MONTH FOR NO REASON !! I NEVER GO TO THE DOCTOR...WE ALSO NEED A LIST OF ALL THE COMPANIES THE KOCH (COCK) BROS. RUN AND BOYCOT THEM AS WELL !!! GET THEM WHERE THEY HURT....THEIR WALLETS !!!

Newt is an immoral pig!!

Newt is an immoral pig!!

Gingrich IS the poster boy

Gingrich IS the poster boy for what is wrong with the American political elite: totally corrupted, totally dishonest, and as a result, very rich.

NEW DIALOG FROM REPUBLICANS

NEW DIALOG FROM REPUBLICANS AND THE 1% .

Did you ever wonder what Republican / Wall Street big shots say in their ivory towers? Here you go.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

“ I ran the numbers J.B., and it’s cheaper to pay out for a few dead people than build safety controls into our food processing equipment.”

“Pilots are just going to have to shake it off and work longer hours. Awww…they’re tired? Give ‘em those funny red pills.”

“What are we doing about kids healthcare!?” Wimps. When I was a kid we set our own broken legs.”

“We use Walgreen’s for our women’s healthcare. They have drive-up breast exams now.”

“So J.B., is bringing back slavery still off the table, or…..?”

“The Koch brothers new how-to book, “Fun with World Domination” is a must read.”

“Cantor, Ryan, Walker, Bachman, are all actually Cybernetic Robots. Wow, you really gotta hand it to those Koch brothers!”

“These grapes from Argenovia are dirt cheap. Of course I don’t eat ‘em, are you crazy? They use their own urine as a pesticide.”

“A classroom size of 85 gives kids the “tools” to understand a kill-or-be-killed work environment.” said Governor Walker.

“What oil spill? People will love these self-igniting shrimp.”

“Get your fresh dolphin filets here!”

“What ventilation systems? Asbestos is good for your lungs Pedro.”

“Let’s cut more Firemen. People have garden hoses don’t they?”

“Let’s cut more Policemen. People can run can’t they? Hey, remember that Seinfeld episode where that fat guy got mugged? Now that…was funny!”

“Kevlar vest? Are you a Cop or a pansy?”

“So J.B., you never answered me about that slavery thing…”

“We Republicans trust Americans to observe speed limits, not drink-and-drive, and of course, wear their seatbelts. So now let’s cut back on law enforcement.”

“Global warming, pollution, deteriorated o-zone, blah, blah, blah. What can happen?”

“Get your fresh polar bear burgers here!”

“Nice job killing off Planned Parenthood. Sweet! Now we’ll have enough new product coming in to launch our “Buy a Baby at Wal-Mart” program.”

“Overtime pay? No Sabu, you get to keep your job for one more day…how’s that?”

“We made billions each time we moved our off-shore manufacturing from America to Japan, to China, to India, and now…to Africa. Ha, ha, ha! Sure, it’s great sticking it to the Germans, British, and Italians…but we really love screwing the French!”

“Yeah, we got healthcare, sign here. My cousin Vinnie owns Offshore Healthcare. Your premiums come right out of your paycheck…you’ll never miss ‘em.”

“Air safety, nuclear safety, food safety…blah, blah, blah. What can happen?”

“Hey boss, that’s a great idea, putting nicotine in baby pacifiers. “Start ‘em young” we always say right? Haw, hawww!”

“FEMA was too costly, but now we’ll give you earthquake victims the “tools” to be self-sufficient. Here’s a shovel. Oh, and we’ll want that back later.”

“Get your fresh snow leopard fritters here!

President (!?) Walker said today, “As a cost cutting measure, every state will only be allowed ONE air traffic control tower…but it should be really, really tall.”

“Wolf coats! Get your fresh wolf coats here!

“Uh, Mr. Cantor, did you say…Michael Moore is a hit, or…put out a hit on Michael Moore?” …Ohhhh…right…we’re Republicans.

“Hmm…you know J.B., I’m really warming up to this slavery thing….”

“We’re cloning chickens for KFC, making mystery meat for McDonald’s…hey, so why not Soylent Green in school lunches?

“Hey kids, get your fresh Soylent Green meat-balls here! Mmmmm…yummy…”

11/18/2011 By V

Very clever! It would be

Very clever! It would be even funnier if it weren't so true.

Forced out of office IN

Forced out of office IN SHAME, this man that sold his soul to the devil is back again, and worse than ever. NEVER let him tell us that he is a Christian - his actions tell a totally different tale. The only thing Gingrich is is a bald-faced liar!

Gingrich's fading from the

Gingrich's fading from the scene would definitely "benefit the country at large"

Comment with your Facebook account



Comment with your Disqus account

Top Stories