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When Roger West first launched the progressive political blog "News From The Other Side" in May 2010, he could hardly have predicted the impact that his venture would have on the media and political debate. As the New Media emerged as a counterbalance to established media sources, Roger wrote his copious blogs about national politics, the tea party movement, mid-term elections, and the failings of the radical right to the vanguard of the New Media movement. Roger West's efforts as a leading blogger have tremendous reach. NFTOS has led the effort to bring accountability to mainstream media sources such as FOX NEWS, Breitbart's "Big Journalism. Roger's breadth of experience, engaging style, and cultivation of loyal readership - over 92 million visitors - give him unique insight into the past, present, and future of the New Media and political rhetoric that exists in our society today. What we are against: Radical Right Wing Agendas Incompetent Establishment Donald J. Trump Corporate Malfeasence We are for: Global and Econmoic Security Social and Economic Justice Media Accountability THE RESISTANCE

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eye of Newt Takes Lobbyist To New Level...Then Lies About It

Not just Freddie Mac, Newt Gingrich’s long history of influence peddling for his corporate clients.

Caught flatfooted in the CNBC debate when a moderator asked about his past work for Freddie Mac, Newt Gingrich has since twisted and turned, making up every excuse under the sun to obscure his post-politician career as a K Street operator. Despite the revelation that he was paid at least $1.6 million by the troubled mortgage giant to do far more than give “history” lessons, the former Speaker has stubbornly stuck to his guns. On Laura Ingraham radio show yesterday, Gingrich, again attempting to spin his work for Freddie Mac, claimed that his firm literally does “no lobbying”:

To help clear the record, here

To help clear the record, here is compiled short history of Gingrich’s influence peddling: (Collection brought to you by thinkprogress).
Helping To Secure Health IT Earmarks For GE, Microsoft, IBM: Gingrich headed a for-profit health care consulting firm that engages in activities identical in nature to lobbying. As Business Week reported, firms like GE have hired Gingrich to figure out “on how to grab some of the $19.6 billion in federal stimulus money” on healthcare IT grants. A follow-up investigation found that Gingrich had been paid to bring health IT lobbyists together with lawmakers like Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
The Ethanol Lobby’s “Consulting” Contract With Gingrich: Growth Industry, the trade association for the ethanol energy lobby, provided a $312,500 contract to Gingrich’s consulting firm in 2009, according to a report by iWatch News. An association publication conceded that Gingrich was paid for “strategy and communication issues.” The retainer allowed the lobby group, then pressing for further government subsidies, to use Gingrich to “speak positively on ethanol related topics to media.”
Gingrich Lobbied To Deregulate Insurers, While Accepting Hundreds Of Thousands From Health Insurance Corporations: Through his for-profit healthcare consulting firm, Gingrich accepted up to $200,000 in annual fees from insurers like WellPoint and UnitedHealth. Gingrich not only pushed anti-health reform conspiracies like the infamous “death panel” smear, but he also crafted model legislation that formed the basis of GOP deregulatory proposals for health insurers. In March 2009, Gingrich met with Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and other members of the GOP Doctors Caucus to help write conservative health reform alternative legislation. “Gingrich provided us with great insight as we work to craft health care solutions for the 21st Century,” proclaimed Gingrey after the meeting. Gingrich also wrote healthcare legislation introduced by Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA), and “consulted” with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) on health reform legislation that would deregulate the insurance industry. During this blitz of what many would consider lobbying-like activity, the BlueCross & BlueShield Association and AHIP, the umbrella lobbying group for the health insurance industry, paid Gingrich fees as well. 
“Sharing Resources” With The Oil Industry’s Top Lobbyists: In February of last year a public relations executive close to the oil industry who said that Gingrich’s political attack group, called ASWF, had been “sharing resources, coordinating efforts” with the American Petroleum Institute (API), the main oil lobby association. In an interview later Gingrich confirmed that he had been working closely with API.
Gingrich Sells His “Strategic Advice” To Lobbying Giants Like The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: James Oliphant reported on the latest controversy over Gingrich’s lobbying for Freddie Mac, noting that Gingrich’s firm has also been paid by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the mega-corporate lobbying coalition, for “strategic advice.”

Gingrich may defend his unregistered lobbying by claiming that he does not meet the legal threshold in terms of legislator contact. However, news reports have painted a picture of Gingrich as constantly in communication with lawmakers and other public officials. According to the New York Times, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) has been known to discuss strategy on a “regular basis” with Gingrich. The Hill reported that Gingrich attended whip meetings with the GOP caucus to “educate” rank and file Republican lawmakers on the health reform debate. And as a separate piece from the Times noted, Gingrich fires off what have become known as “Newtgrams” — personal e-mails and messages with tactical advice — frequently to Republican legislators in both the House and Senate.

Gingrich was once asked why he never registered as a lobbyist, despite his clear history of pressing Congress on behalf of his clients. Gingrich defended his actions by stating that his lobbying is not technically lobbying because it “benefits the country at large.”

You know when the republicans have the eye of newt leading the polls, that their bar isn't set too high..really president Newt? With three marriages, ( leaves one wife while under going cancer treatment and cheats on another) ethics is the furthest thing from the radical teas mindset, as it appears any warm body will do. But what do we expect when "Mr. I Don't Know" (Rick Perry) and The Groper (Herman Cain) are the bar setters?