Monday, June 18, 2018

Gingrich's former company releases contract

Under pressure, Republican presidential candidate Newt Ging­rich arranged the release of a contract Monday night showing the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. paid his consulting firm a $25,000 monthly retainer fee in 2006, for a total of $300,000.

The agreement calls for "consulting and related services" but makes no mention of lobbying.

Gingrich has likened his work for the federally backed mortgage giant known as Freddie Mac to that of a historian, and later a strategic adviser. GOP rival Mitt Romney says he was lobbying.

The work the former House speaker did for Freddie Mac was disclosed long ago, but controversy flared after he trounced Romney in the South Carolina Republican presidential primary on Saturday.

The next primary is set for Jan. 31 in Florida, a state particularly hard hit by the housing crisis of 2008, and one where Gingrich's connections with Freddie Mac may carry a political stigma.

The material was released by the Center for Health Transformation, which Gingrich helped create.

Romney had ramped up criticism of Gingrich for not making the details public sooner. Gingrich said it wasn't only up to him because he no longer controls the firm named in the contract.

"They have a number of confidentiality agreements. I'm very comfortable with it being released," he told ABC's Good Morning America.

The disclosure comes amid a volley between the Romney and Gingrich campaigns about who is hiding information voters may want.

Gingrich has said previously that firms he ran received about $1.6 million from Freddie Mac for consulting services over several years, and he personally pocketed $35,000 a year. Only the contract covering 2006 was released.

Even before the material was made public, Romney's campaign said it wouldn't be satisfied with only the contract or contracts themselves. "Speaker Gingrich should immediately make his Freddie Mac contract and work product available to the public," Gail Gitcho, Romney's communications director, said in a statement.

The Center for Health Transformation and the Gingrich campaign share a lawyer, Stefan Passantino. He did not return a phone call seeking comment.

NEW FUNDING: A wealthy backer of Gingrich will inject $5 million into a "super PAC" supporting his presidential bid, the New York Times reported Monday, citing an unnamed person with knowledge of the contribution. The supporter, Miriam Adelson, is the wife of Sheldon Adelson, a longtime Gingrich friend and patron who earlier contributed $5 million to the super PAC, Winning Our Future.

Comments

Sponsored content: What’s It Worth? – Mosaic jewelry ... and the grand tour

During the early to mid-20th century, most people of means who went on the grand European tour brought back from Italy a small pin, sculpture, or ring made of so-called "mini mosaics." Mini mosaics have been an Italian mainstay in décor and architect...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 19

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 19

James After 5: The museum is open from 5 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday, featuring $5 admission. Tonight, former Tampa Bay Times movie critic Steve Persall will introduce a screening of Stagecoach (1939). 5 p.m., James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, 15...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

An Orlando private equity firm has purchased lease-to-own business Rent-A-Center in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.Vintage Capital Management put a bid in for the company on Friday: $15 per share, $1 per share above its previous offer. Rent-A-...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Rick Scott: I oppose separating families at border, but ‘chaos’ due to inaction on border security

Rick Scott: I oppose separating families at border, but ‘chaos’ due to inaction on border security

WASHINGTON – Gov. Rick Scott weighed in Monday on the child separation controversy at the southern border, saying he opposes the Trump administration policy but blaming Washington at large for having "failed to secure our borders.""What the cou...
Updated: 25 minutes ago

Hernando Business Digest for June 22

Business digestBrieflyHOSPITAL RECEIVES AWARD: Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill was the recipient of Healthgrades 2018 Patient Safety Excellence Award, a designation that recognizes superior performance of hospitals that have prevented the occurrence...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Democrat Nikki Fried officially launches campaign for Agriculture Commissioner

Democrat Nikki Fried officially launches campaign for Agriculture Commissioner

While it was no secret Fort Lauderdale-based lawyer Nikki Fried was going to run as a Democrat for Commissioner of Agriculture, she officially launched her campaign Monday morning with a video announcement.Fried filed her campaign paperwork...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Fifty years after he disappeared over Laos, remains of Northeast High grad return home

Fifty years after he disappeared over Laos, remains of Northeast High grad return home

ST. PETERSBURG — In November 1969, at a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, Air Force Capt. James White and his wife Sharon enjoyed their last night out together, dining on hotel room service with family friends Neil and Janet Armstrong.It was four months af...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and fled scene

Tampa police seek driver who struck pedestrian and fled scene

TAMPA — Police are seeking the public’s help in locating the driver who fatally struck a pedestrian before fleeing the scene on Sunday night.Police say the driver struck an unidentified woman near the intersection of N Nebraska Avenue and E Linebaugh...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida Aquarium continues coral restoration research in Cuba

Florida Aquarium continues coral restoration research in Cuba

At the current rate of restoration work, some estimate it will be 550 years before certain types of coral are removed from the endangered species list."I don’t know if that timeline works for you," Scott Graves, director of the Florida Aquarium’s Cen...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Man caught in rip current, drowns off Lido Beach

Man caught in rip current, drowns off Lido Beach

A man who was swimming off Lido Beach got caught in a rip current and drowned Sunday night.According to the Sarasota Police Department, the unidentified man was swimming with a woman near Big Pass, a boater channel, around 10 p.m. before becoming cau...
Updated: 1 hour ago