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Newt Gingrich, $100 Million Man with a Lobbyist’s Touch

In asserting that Mr. Gingrich has never engaged in lobbying, his aides say lawyers have thoroughly vetted all of his activities. Randy Evans, a Georgia lawyer who has represented Mr. Gingrich since his days as House speaker, said none of Mr. Gingrich’s clients paid him to adopt a position that he did not already have. “That matters a lot,” Mr. Evans said, “because there was never a point where we identified a client’s position first and decided, ‘O.K., that’s where we’re going.’ His vision always came first.” – Gingrich Gave Push to Clients, Not Just Ideas

The New York Times article today comes after an exhaustive piece in the Washington Post on Sunday outlined Newt, Inc. and his path from “flameout to fortune” that amounted to Gingrich earning $100 million over the last decade. But the right, so far, remains deaf, dumb and blind to Newt’s calculated machinations.

Is it ignorance, willful blindness or abject hypocrisy that is driving Republicans primary voters to go from alleged sexual harasser and philanderer Herman Cain to serial cheater and wife dropper Newt Gingrich?

A man who was having his own adulterous affair at the time he began hunting William Jefferson Clinton for a stupid consensual affair that would have brought down his presidency, except for Hillary running Democratic Party interference.

A man who claims not to ever flip flop but has gone from sitting on a couch with Nancy Pelosi in a climate change ad paid for by Al Gore to his address on K-Street where he made over $100 million dollars in Newt, Inc. to being paid millions by Freddie Mac to being a lobbyist, while lying about the title if not the deeds he performed.

Watching Republican primary voters whipsaw from candidate to candidate this year has been one of the most amusing things I’ve seen in politics since I started paying attention through my big brother when I was a kid.

The New York Times article today is the latest tale to rip the facade away from Newt’s theatrics, the truth plainly visible that Newt Gingrich remains a charlatan, a hypocrite, a liar and a fraud.

Yet if Mr. Gingrich has managed to steer clear of legal tripwires, a review of his activities shows how he put his influence to work on behalf of clients with a considerable stake in government policy. Even if he does not appear to have been negotiating legislative language, he and his staff did many of the same things that registered lobbyists do.

The center’s own records – kept in a restricted section of its Web site, but found by The New York Times in an unsecured archived version of the site – contain several previously unreported examples.

Two years before the Florida “summit,” Mr. Gingrich made a presentation to Republican lawmakers in Georgia, promoting the work of his member companies by citing specific benefits if they were hired. For example: “VitalSpring could save the State Employee Program over $20 million a year.”

When Newt got access to Hillary Rodham Clinton that resulted in legislation, does it really matter he didn’t write it?

He also pressed for passage of a federal bill to increase the use of electronic health records, collaborating with one of its co-sponsors, Representative Patrick J. Kennedy of Rhode Island, and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, both Democrats. After appearing at a press briefing on the issue with Mrs. Clinton in 2005, he stated flatly on Fox News: “We’re launching a bill.”

Mr. Gingrich’s ability to reach leaders like Mrs. Clinton was a selling point for the center. A PowerPoint presentation for prospective members advertised its “contacts at the highest levels” of federal and state government. Paying $200,000 a year for the top-tier membership, it said, “increases your channels of input to decision makers” and grants “access to top transformational leadership across industry and government.”

Mr. Gingrich’s relationship with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy also paid dividends, as the Times article outlines.

If all this doesn’t convince Republican primary voters that Newt isn’t any different than Mitt corporations are people Romney, you’d think the fact that Pres. Obama would easily beat him going away would. Or the fact that I’d applaud Barack Obama doing so, because America’s in enough trouble today and the last thing we need is Newt Gingrich having the keys to the presidency and access to the world.

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