Gingrich worked for Freddie Mac's lobby shop

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney

Newt Gingrich says he wasn't a lobbyist for housing-bubble-inflator Freddie Mac, and he certainly never registered as one, but -- as with his consulting for drug companies -- Newt's Freddie Mac work gives off a whiff of lobbying, according to the contract he just released.

Specifically, the Freddie Mac executive who hired Gingrich was not the CEO, nor the VP for operations, nor the VP for communications, but Craig Thomas, the VP for Public Policy -- that is, the head of Freddie Mac's lobbying operations. Thomas was a registered lobbyist at the time.

So, Gingrich may or may not have made lobbying contacts on Freddie's behalf, but it appears he was being paid to aid Freddie Mac's lobbying agenda. Say Gingrich was providing memos to Thomas on how to lobby (and given Thomas's job as top lobbyist, what else would he be helping Thomas with?), that counts as "Lobbying Activity" according to the law:

Lobbying Activities:
Lobbying contacts and any efforts in support of such contacts, including preparation or planning activities, research and other background work that is intended, at the time of its preparation, for use in contacts and coordination with the lobbying activities of others.

This doesn't mean Gingrich had to register, but it certainly suggests that what he did was -- according to the letter of the law and the common understanding of the word -- part of Freddie Mac's lobbying operation.

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