Newt Gingrich paid 1.6 million by Freddie Mac for lobbying

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Free Thinker, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. "Gingrich consulted with Freddie Mac executives on a program to expand home ownership, and “helped pitch the idea to President George W. Bush’s White House.”

    Wait, I thought this was all Barney Frank’s fault?

    Newt Gingrich made between $1.6 million and $1.8 million in consulting fees from two contracts with mortgage company Freddie Mac, according to two people familiar with the arrangement.

    The total amount is significantly larger than the $300,000 payment from Freddie Mac that Gingrich was asked about during a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 9 sponsored by CNBC, and more than was disclosed in the middle of congressional investigations into the housing industry collapse.

    Here is the thing about not caring much about reality: If you are going to create a false narrative about the causes of an event, you must be aware of details, data and facts even if you don’t want to believe in them.

    Why? Because eventually in a modern, interconnected, socially leveraged, everyone has a camera attached to their phone society, the truth will eventually somehow works its way to the public.

    And if you are running for office making claims that are demonstrably false, its even more likely that somehow reality will intrude on your nice fantasy.

    Here is the even bigger joke: Gingrich was paid a self-renewing, monthly retainer of $25,000 – $30,000 between May 1999 until 2002. That is according to Bloomberg, who verified the contract with “three people familiar with aspects of the business agreement.” The kicker: Gingrich consulted with Freddie Mac executives on a program to expand home ownership, and “helped pitch the idea to President George W. Bush’s White House.”

    Gingrich has previously said that “You ought to start with Barney Frank when talking about people to put in jail . . . Go back and look at the lobbyists he was close to at Freddie Mac.”

    Here is what I believe about the impact of this:

    1) This was NOT a substantial cause of the Housing boom and bust;

    2) The political party that controls the House, Senate and White House will have far more influence than the party that did not;

    3) The hypocrisy of the false GOP narrative is astounding.

    I am sticking with my originally listed causes of the crisis. But I am upgrading Newt Gingrich from “Pompous Blowhard” to “Hypocritical Liar.”
  2. Please please please republicans nominate Newt
  3. Gingrich said in the CNBC debate. “I said at the time, this is a bubble. This is insane. This is impossible. It turned out unfortunately I was right and the people who were doing exactly what Congresswoman Bachmann talked about were wrong.”

    Bloomberg spoke to a number of unnamed officials who worked with Gingrich at the housing giant and described his role as an ambassador to Congressional Republicans sent to dissuade them from trying to dismantle Freddie Mac. And as for whether Gingrich warned his bosses about an impending collapse:

    "If Gingrich concluded that the company’s business model was at risk and that the housing market was a “bubble,” as he said during the debate, he didn’t share those concerns with Richard Syron, Freddie Mac’s chief executive officer at the time, a person familiar with the company’s internal discussions said."
  4. What is the difference between "building bridges with Capital Hill Republicans and develop an argument on behalf of the company" and lobbying?
    "Former Freddie Mac officials familiar with his work in 2006 say Gingrich was asked to build bridges to Capitol Hill Republicans and develop an argument on behalf of the company’s public-private structure that would resonate with conservatives seeking to dismantle it."
  5. Government watchdogs say that contracts like Gingrich’s are common among former politicians, allowing them to technically avoid registering as lobbyists while performing many similar functions.
  6. The real news in Bloomberg's new reporting on Newt Gingrich's time as a consultant for Freddie Mac isn't how much he made -- though that's pretty precious -- but that Freddie Mac sources from that time period say Newt was not, as he claimed, warning them about the housing bubble or the dangers of their business model. Nor, it should be added, was Newt advising them, as he most preposterously claimed, as a historian. In fact, his role was, in part, to protect the mortgage giants from more regulation by the Republican-controlled House.