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Latest Freddie Mac Contract Describes Gingrich As a Hired Gun Latest Freddie Mac Contract Describes Gingrich As a Hired Gun

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Latest Freddie Mac Contract Describes Gingrich As a Hired Gun

Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at The River Church, Monday, Jan. 23, 2012, in Tampa, Fla.(MATT ROURKE/AP)

January 24, 2012

Newt Gingrich insists that he was not a lobbyist for Freddie Mac and a second contract released Tuesday night spells out that fact. But it also makes clear that Gingrich was a hired gun brought in to discuss "business and public policy issues" with "major stakeholders" (read: lawmakers and regulators.)

So, for the second day in a row, a contract released by Gingrich's former consulting firm shows that while he may not have been a lobbyist by Washington's definition, he was getting paid to be a political and policy heavy on the mortgage giant's behalf. The contract paid The Gingrich Group $25,000 a month and ran between May 1999 and December 2000. And Gingrich answered to Freddie Mac's senior vice president of government relations Mitchell Delk, himself a registered lobbyist. 
To quote the contract

The services provided by the contractors are as follows;

--Serve as adviser to Freddie Mac in the areas of strategic planning and public policy for Freddie Mac priority issues; 

--Engage in discussions with Mitchell Delk and other senior officers of Freddie Mac relative to strategize on approaches to Freddie Mac business opportunities and challenges; 

--Meet with major stakeholders of Freddie Mac to discuss business and public policy issues when such meetings can contribute to the achievement of Freddie Mac business goals;

--Contribute to Freddie Mac corporate planning and business goals subject to the direction and the request of the Freddie Mac Project Manager

 And just in case all that sounds too much like what a lobbyist does, the contract spells out: 

Nothing herein is or shall be construed as an agreement to provide lobbying services of any kind or engage in lobbying activities. Newt Gingrich and Group do not provide lobbying services of any kind and do not engage in lobbying activities. Neither The Gingrich Group nor Newt Gingrich will provide lobbying services of any kind nor participate in lobbying actives on Freddie Mac's behalf. 

The contract also included a provision that terminated the agreement should Gingrich run for office or take a government position. That clause, and the no-lobbying language, seem calibrated to minimize his involvement with Freddie Mac should he return to the public eye. 


Because, as Gingrich said in Monday night's debate, he fully anticipated that any lobbying he did could become a campaign issue. What he failed to foresee was that the housing crisis would put his work for the mortgage giant in the political crosshairs whether he lobbied for them or not. 
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