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concurrently that will sustain the good parts,” said Gingrich, explaining what would happen if the bill were to be repealed.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