• Newt Gingrich Is Merely a Corporate Shill, Not a Lobbyist

    In the interests of scrupulous reporting, it must be made clear that Newt Gingrich is not, and has never been, a registered lobbyist. He merely accepted millions in fees in exchange for aggressively promoting his clients' business interests before government agencies and elected officials

    In a variety of instances, documents and interviews show, Mr. Gingrich arranged meetings between executives and officials, and salted his presentations to lawmakers with pitches for his clients, who pay as much as $200,000 a year to belong to his Center for Health Transformation.

    When the center sponsored a "health transformation summit" at the Florida State Capitol in March 2006, lawmakers who attended Mr. Gingrich's keynote speech inside the House chamber received a booklet promoting not just ideas but also the specific services of two dozen of his clients. Executives from some of those companies sat on panels for discussions that lawmakers were encouraged to attend after Mr. Gingrich’s address.

    I suspect that many readers who are in the thrall of a Kenyan anti-colonial mindset are unable to grasp the fine distinctions between "lobbying," a debased profession Gingrich would never deign to even approach in his chartered jet, and directing paid clients "access to top transformational leadership across industry and government," which is a valuable and "visionary" service provided by Gingrich and his associates.

    But as with everything, practice makes perfect. For example, Gingrich did not lobby for Freddie Mac, he was simply our country's best paid historian, who happened to "build bridges" with Capitol Hill Republicans on behalf of the morgtage company.

    Similarly, Gingrich is not part of the 1% — especially since the "the concept of the 99 and the 1…is un-American, it is divisive, it is historically false" — he's just a regular Newt, with a now-defunct credit line at Tiffany's and a taste for explaining the concept of Americanism and economic mobility from the confines of L'Auberge Chez Francois.

    Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Lobbyists, Money, Newt Gingrich, Republicans


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