Newt Gingrich's “standard, no interest” $500,000 credit line with luxury jeweler Tiffany has been getting a lot of attention.
The “no interest” credit line looks anything but standard, although it’s hard to tell since we do not know much about it. But it certainly bears the traits of a special favor.
Why would Tiffany’s give Gingrich special treatment? It may just be because he is one of the country’s most famous politicians. Lots of companies give away gifts to high status people. It’s one of the cruel ironies of the world: rich people get expensive stuff for free.
But Felix Salmon points out that this may have been an “undisclosed lobbying expenditure.” During the two years in which the account carried a balance, Newt’s wife Callista was a high level staffer for the House Agriculture Committee, which has oversees mining policy.
Tiffany’s, the website SpyTalk points out, was lobbying heavily on mining issues during the period.
But as far as I know, almost everyone has overlooked the fact that Gingrich’s former top staffer, Christy Evans, is a registered lobbyist for Tiffany's.
Evans, former floor assistant to Gingrich and now a lobbyist at the legendary K Street firm Cassidy & Associates, has represented Tiffany's on mining issues since 2000, according to lobbying filings.
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