There is a slight problem. Steven Passantino.....is national counsel for the Gingrich campaign. So, we are asked to believe that release of the document awaits a resolution of the debate between Passantino and Passantino.
This narrative is a characteristic of Speaker Gingrich. To say he lies.....is an overstatement . To say he dissembles is better. He is a moving target answerable only to himself and his Godlike interpretation of his own standards. Let's look at Freddie Mac in some detail.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae presided over the worst housing crisis in American history, all the more relevant now in a state like Florida which is only second to Nevada in foreclosed homes, culminating in the economic disaster of 2008-2009 that we are still in.
Newt Gingrich had two separate contracts with Freddie Mac over that very same period , from 2006 to 2008, during which he was paid over $ 1.6 million at a rate of $ 30,000 per month .A bargain, Freddie Mac would probably argue, since the Speaker charged $ 60,000 an HOUR for speeches. Mr Gingrich said he was paid as an " Historian" . Nevertheless, he has since said that he recommended Freddie Mac rein in its business model and that he argued that he was opposed to a subsequent government takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae when they collapsed.
Yet.....in a 2007 internal Freddie Mac interview reported by a SF newspaper, Gingrich
1. Defended the basic structure of Freddie Mac
2. Encouraged the government to expand the Freddie Mac model to other government
agencies like the space program. He is quoted " NASA would have been able to send
men to MARS if it had the same business model as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae"
This was in the middle of Gingrich's contract period
Bloomburg News reports that former Freddie Mac executives said that Gingrich was hired to help develop arguments on behalf of the company's public-private structure that could be sold to GOP conservatives in Congress. This is commonly referred to as " Lobbying ", but Gingrich denies that was what his $ 1.6 million contract was for.
On December 16 of 2011, six Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae executives were charged by the SEC with fraud. They were to be fined for " ill-gotten gains" This group included Richard F. Syron, Chairman and CEO, Patricia L. Cook, Chief Business Officer and Donald J. Bisenius, Executive VP. This charge by the SEC followed earlier SEC fraud charges against Freddie Mac and big fines in 2006 and 2007 during the Gingrich contract years.
These same executives paid themselves bonuses of $ 13 million in 2010 and $ 35 million in 2008 and 2009, presumably following the recommendations of equally well compensated lobbyists.........like Newt Gingrich
It should also be noted that the taxpayers " loaned " Freddie Mac $ 130 BILLION in 2010. From this taxpayer largesse, the agency paid $ 100 million in legal fees to defend its executives from fraud charges by the very same government that was now their employer.....as well as a significant bill to continuing lobbyists , like Gingrich, to help defend itself against its new employer.
In short, in a state like Florida, with millions of foreclosed homes, it is reasonable to ask Gingrich to open up his contract to see exactly what he was paid $ 30,000 per month for over two years, to do. It will be interesting to see if any of the fraud charged executives signed his contract.
It would also be interesting to ask Gingrich's former company, The Center for Health Transformation, to explain its relationship with the major pharmaceutical companies and why its, and Gingrichs activities, were not considered as lobbying.
In short, Gingrich needs to explain why the answer to Barack Obama and the nation's ills is a Washington K street lobbyist grown wealthy, in the style and scope of Jack Abramoff, without the singular exception of jail time
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