Politics & Policy

Tiffany’s Lobbied Callista Gingrich’s House Committee

From Spytalk, more on Gingrich’s Tiffany’s loan:

At the same time Tiffany & Co. was extending Callista (Bisek) Gingrich a virtual interest-free loan of tens of thousands of dollars, the diamond and silverware firm was spending big bucks to influence mining policy in Congress and in agencies over which the House Agriculture Committee–where she worked–had jurisdiction, official records show.

Filings by Tiffany’s lobbyist, Cassidy & Co., and other government records show that the firm’s spending on  “mining law and mine permitting-related issues” in Congress, as well as the Forest Service, the Interior Department, and Interior’s  Bureau of Land Management shot up sharply between during the period when Callista Gingrich was chief clerk at the House Agriculture Committee.

Tiffany’s annual lobbying expenditures rose from about $100,000 to $360,000 between 2005 and 2009, according to records assembled by the Center for Responsive Politics,  a nonpartisan government watchdog organization. 

Reuter’s Felix Salmon talked to Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler about lobbying:

[Rick Tyler]said that the deal the Gingriches got was the same one that Tiffany’s offers to anybody else: interest free financing for 12 months. And that all debt with Tiffany’s was paid off within a 12-month period. If there was hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt outstanding for a second consecutive year, which there was, then that was new debt, associated with new jewelry purchases.

The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney investigates and finds another connection between Tiffany’s and the Gingriches: one of Gingrich’s former staffers has been a lobbyist for Tiffany’s since 2000.

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...

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