On Private Call, Newt Gingrich Said His Paying Clients Could Help Craft His Health Reform Policy

Newt Gingrich poses with the Power Rangers at a press conference

On Friday night, Salon published a piece I wrote about a few webcasts hosted by Newt Gingrich, his for-profit quasi-lobbying firm, and several health IT companies. The comments headlined by Salon related to Gingrich’s private praise for much of health reform. “There are clearly things that we’d like to see continued,” he told clients.

Here’s another relevant scoop from the Salon article:

On one call, Gingrich suggested that his clients — each paying as much as $200,000 in yearly retainer fees — would have a role in crafting policy.

“There are clearly things that we’d like to see continued and we’d like to see legislation passed almost concurrently that will sustain the good parts,” said Gingrich, explaining what would happen if the bill were to be repealed. Showing his savvy at generating business, he added that he would “love the help of all of our members in identifying” which parts of reform should remain law.

I confronted Gingrich back in 2010 about his refusal to register as a federal lobbyist (watch the awkward video here). The same day, I later spoke with David Merritt, a top Gingrich aide. Here’s what Merritt told me:

At the event, CHT Vice President David Merritt told ThinkProgress that Gingrich has “flipped the trade association model really on its head” by pushing an agenda, then inviting clients who support that agenda to “sign on.” Merritt said that it is “very true” that corporate clients pay Gingrich because his agenda benefits them. However, like Gingrich, Merritt explained that Gingrich’s lobbying never benefits individual clients, thus disqualifying Gingrich as a lobbyist.

Well, according to these calls, Gingrich runs more of a traditional trade association. His members give him $200,000 a year, then he solicits them for ideas on which policies to push. That’s not only grossly hypocritical given Gingrich’s public smear campaign against health reform, but it’s also yet another reason the authorities should investigate Gingrich for his failure to register as a lobbyist.

For more on the calls, which I quoted in Salon, see below:

Listen to  June 2010 webcast here

Listen to the Dec. 2010 webcast here

3 Comments

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3 responses to “On Private Call, Newt Gingrich Said His Paying Clients Could Help Craft His Health Reform Policy

  1. Pingback: » Gingrich » OnTheEdge

  2. This method of “Dial-a-Law” seems all to familiar, doesn’t it?
    The Hilary’s pages & pages of Health Care Fix-it, was so demonized because of it’s behind-closed-doors’ still birth! Followed by Dubba U’s
    send in the final draft of your favorite most industry benefitting law you want!
    We will see it is passed. Please double space so the staffer can explain
    pronouncation for the Public Servant’s edification!

    Why isn’t the Newtie, called on the carpet for this ‘spineless’ breaking trust with the American Citizen?

  3. 为了学习这个知识,到处找相关文章,哎,真不容易,博主也不容易,在此也要感谢一下博主了。

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