The news about Newt Gingrich’s corrupt lobbying practices are reaching a new level with each passing day. Newt Gingrich recently lamented that Congressman Barney Frank and former Senator Chris Dodd should go to jail for being in bed with Freddie Mac.
“If you want to put people in jail, you ought to start with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd,” Gingrich said in the debate. His remark came after the candidates were asked about the lack of criminal prosecutions of Wall Street officials in the wake of the financial crisis.
Moderator Charlie Rose offered Gingrich a chance to walk his remarks back, saying he surely didn’t mean they should actually go to jail. But Gingrich stood his ground, saying Dodd should be investigated for his ties to Countrywide Financial and Frank for his ties to Fannie Mae.
“All I am saying is, everybody in the media who wants to go after the business community ought to start by going after the politicians who were at the heart of the sickness that is weakening this country,” he said.
With the latest Gingrich corruption news, Newt Gingrich could be taking those first steps toward jail. And it concerns Freddie Mac and the health-care industry, including drugmakers.
I described the Freddie Mac payments yesterday in my column where I reported he took nearly $2 million dollars in fees from Freddie Mac.
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, took oodles and oodles of money from Freddie Mac since 1999.
Today Bloomberg reports that Newt Gingrich was a key factor in gaining support for the $395 billion Medicare prescription drug benefit bill passed in 2003. The bill was considered a gift to drug companies, but until now, little was known about its passage.
In a hushed room on Capitol Hill, Gingrich told his former Republican colleagues that if he could endorse the measure, they should be comfortable with it, too, said two former, senior House aides who attended the closed-door session.
Two days later, after a vote was held open for three hours as leaders corralled the final ayes, the measure passed and was eventually signed into law by President George W. Bush.
What Gingrich didn’t mention during the Republican caucus meeting was that he was also building a for-profit, health-care research company and seeking financing from drugmakers, which were investing $128.6 million in lobbying for passage of the new benefit for seniors.
Newt Gingrich acted as an “unregistered lobbyist” on behalf of the drugmakers. He reportedly did not reveal this to the House members at the time.
As in many cases like this, where there is smoke there is a big fire. Or where there is big corporate money, you just might find Newt Gingrich with his hand out.
First, the Freddie Mac consulting fees for unknown services, although the truth is he was hired to curry favor with conservatives and Republicans on Capitol Hill.
The for-profit, health-care research company is more troubling politically, ethically, and more important for Newt Gingrich, legally.
This news could trigger an investigation of Gingrich and could land him a “Go To Jail” card.
Send John Presta an email and your story ideas or suggestions, firstname.lastname@example.org. John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Book
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