“Historian” and “Strategic Advisor” Newt Gingrich Received Millions from Health Care Industry

by Gage Skidmore

In today’s WSJ, The Quitter’s ghost writer asks,

How do politicians who arrive in Washington, D.C. as men and women of modest means leave as millionaires? How do they miraculously accumulate wealth at a rate faster than the rest of us?

Here’s how:

A think tank founded by GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich collected at least $37 million over the past eight years from major health-care companies and industry groups, offering special access to the former House speaker and other perks, according to records and interviews.

The Center for Health Transformation, which opened in 2003, brought in dues of as much as $200,000 per year from insurers and other health-care firms, offering some of them “access to Newt Gingrich” and “direct Newt interaction,” according to promotional materials. The biggest funders, including firms such as AstraZeneca, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Novo Nordisk, were also eligible to receive discounts on “products and workshops” from other Gingrich groups.

It wasn’t clear if “direct Newt interaction” came with a happy ending.

On a personal note, this is my final post at FDL. After four terrific years, it’s time to move on. It’s been a blast — and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

You can still find me mocking wingnuts at my humble abode. Don’t be a stranger.

Talk to the Invisible Hand, Rick Perry

by Gage Skidmore

Despite being the “best little whore in Texas” — The Secessionist is running out of dough.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign fundraising has gone into a tailspin as a result of poor debate performances and plunging poll numbers, jeopardizing his position as the best-funded Republican presidential candidate of 2012.

Perry’s associates and supporters say his campaign has redoubled its money-­raising efforts in the past week to ensure that his campaign will have enough money to survive the first three contests of the 2012 election calendar: Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

But Perry’s loyal backers are running into resistance from Republican donors. One Perry fundraiser, who asked not to be named, said he received 15 RSVPs for a recent event from potential donors saying they might attend. But after a gaffe-marred Perry debate performance, none showed up.

I don’t think it has anything to do with gaffes. His campaign was effectively over when he told GOP voters to their faces that they were heartless if they disagreed with him on keeping out the brown people.

 

Newt Gingrich Says He Was Paid $1.6M by Fannie & Freddie for “Strategic Advice”

by Gage Skidmore

Bloomberg has a great story about how Newt lobbied shilled for the institution he blames for the financial crisis — to the tune of $1.6M.

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.

Newt told Bloomberg that he was paid for “strategic advice” (last we checked, it was for being an “historian“) — and this morning, a New York Times reporter followed up on that.

Trip Gabriel: “Do you recall any of the strategic advice you did give?…Expanding housing for low-income Hispanic communities, for example?”

Gingrich: “Well, first of all, if you can do it in a way that is financially sound, every American should be interested in expanding housing opportunities for people whether they’re African American, or Latino or of any background so the idea that you’re thinking about how can we help people learn how to budget, how can we help people learn how to save, how could you help them learn how to maintain a house on a low income would strike me, for more people, would be good things to do, not bad things to do and I’m happy to say I made public speeches to the National Association of Home Builders. I’m in favor of the largest possible home ownership. This is all public knowledge. I’m in favor of doing the right kind of things and you can go talk to Rick Lazio about the support I gave him as speaker on housing reform which he pushed through despite opposition of some of the people like Barney Frank and others, so I think the record there is one of I’m pretty consistent and frankly, I tend to give the same strategic advice in private I give in public.”

Uh…what?

When Newt starts tossing word salads like The Quitter, you know he’s in trouble.

Scalia and Thomas Keynote Speakers at Dinner Thrown by Health Care Law Challengers

How cozy.

Why is this man smiling? (by The Higgs Boson)

The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court. […]

Clement’s law firm, Bancroft PLLC, was one of almost two dozen firms that helped sponsor the annual dinner of the Federalist Society, a longstanding group dedicated to advocating conservative legal principles. Another firm that sponsored the dinner, Jones Day, represents one of the trade associations that challenged the law, the National Federation of Independent Business.

Another sponsor was pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc, which has an enormous financial stake in the outcome of the litigation. The dinner was held at a Washington hotel hours after the court’s conference over the case. In attendance was, among others, Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican and an avowed opponent of the healthcare law.

The featured guests at the dinner? Scalia and Thomas.

Wonder how these two will decide? The suspense is killing me.

AP Report: Under Rick Perry, Texas’ Dependence on Federal Goverment Has Increased

Pictured: a welfare queen. (by Gage Skidmore)

Glad to see the legacy media is picking up on what I’ve been saying for years — that the Secessionist decries “socialism” out of one side of his mouth while the other side is sucking on the federal teat.

Rick Perry, who bashes federal spending everywhere he goes on the presidential campaign trail, has spent 11 years as Texas’ governor asking Washington for money.

Perry sought and received $24.2 billion in stimulus funding for Texas while saying the program was bad federal policy. He helped secure more than $100 million to protect against drug violence and illegal immigration on the Mexican border. The governor also endorsed his state’s request for money under President Barack Obama’s new health care law, though he now promises to help repeal the measure should he win the White House.

ObamaCare is a socialist nightmare that must be repealed! Except in my state, while I’m governor.

Federal funds accounted for between 29 and 35 percent of the Texas state budget between 2000 and 2009, and stimulus money saw the percentage grow to near 40 percent in fiscal year 2010, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Budget Board. Nationwide, federal funds were in the 26 to 29.5 percent range in fiscal years 2008 and 2009, and hit 35 percent in stimulus-inflated 2010.

Richard Cole, a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington who has studied the relationship between states and the federal government, said that even without the stimulus spike, the percentage of federal funds in the Texas budget is now higher than it was under Perry’s gubernatorial predecessors, Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Ann Richards.

Looks like we need to get a Democrat back in the governor’s mansion to break out of this culture of dependency.