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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gingrich trip to Tallahassee in 2006 raises questions about his consulting, NYT story shows

29

November

Here's the top of the New York Times story -- in print tomorrow -- that asks whether Newt Gingrich was a lobbyist in his various consulting jobs.

Newt Gingrich is adamant that he is not a lobbyist, but rather a visionary who traffics in ideas, not influence. But in the eight years since he started his health care consultancy, he has made millions of dollars while helping companies promote their services and gain access to state and federal officials.

In a variety of instances, documents and interviews show, Mr. Gingrich arranged meetings between executives and officials, and salted his presentations to lawmakers with pitches for his clients, who pay as much as $200,000 a year to belong to his Center for Health Transformation.

When the center sponsored a “health transformation summit” at the Florida State Capitol in March 2006, lawmakers who attended Mr. Gingrich’s keynote speech inside the House chamber received a booklet promoting not just ideas but also the specific services of two dozen of his clients. Executives from some of those companies sat on panels for discussions that lawmakers were encouraged to attend after Mr. Gingrich’s address.

Gerard White, president of Clearwave, which paid about $50,000 to become a center member, used the occasion to pitch his company’s system for managing patient medical data. “It was a way for companies who were part of Newt’s group to say to health officials in Florida, ‘Hey, here are some exciting things we’re doing,’ ” Mr. White said.

(full story here)

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 11:12pm]

    

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