We thought Giant Whining Baby/Serial Divorcer Newt Gingrich had his half-million-dollar Tiffany’s credit line just because he always needs new engagement rings when he divorces his old, cancer-ridden wives for new, younger ladies he’s been schtupping for several years. But no, it’s actually sleazier than all that, because this is Newt Gingrich we’re talking about. Why did he get a very special $500,000 charge account from the jeweler with a truly spectacular 0% interest rate? Financial journalists are on the case, and they found out Newt’s current wife Callista used to be a “a high level staffer for the House Agriculture Committee, which oversees mining policy,” while a former Newt top staffer is now a top lobbyist for Tiffany’s. Because Tiffany’s mines silver on U.S. public lands, and Newt got Tiffany’s a very sweet deal to exploit America’s natural resources from America’s public lands, so that Tiffany executives and stockholders can make tens of millions of dollars every quarter by selling silver from public lands to rich douchesacks and ladder-climbing sociopaths.
Sexy business nerd Felix Salmon writes on his Reuters blog:
There’s enough confusion over the Tiffany’s deal that it certainly looks unusual — while Tiffany’s does extend interest-free loans of up to one year to top clients, Gingrich’s account was open for two consecutive years, despite the fact that Gingrich claimed to be paying no interest on it. And in any case it seems unwise, to say the least, to accept an interest-free loan of more than $250,000 from a company which is lobbying your committee — no matter how rare or common such loans might be.
There’s an irony here: we only know the loan was interest-free because Newt Gingrich went on TV to say so, in order to try to portray himself as fiscally prudent. But now we do know that, the loan begins to look more like an undisclosed lobbying expenditure on the part of Tiffany. Which in many ways is even worse for Gingrich. There must be official rules about accepting interest-free loans from companies lobbying your committee. Is there a case to be made that Callista Gingrich broke those rules?
The jewelry chain’s regular customers pay 21% interest on their credit purchases. That means Newt avoids a shocking $105,000 in interest payments per year when he uses his whole $500,000 credit line to buy more bling for his new mistress, whomever she might be. (When will we meet Mrs. Gingrich No. 4? Very soon, we bet! And No. 5 must be waiting in the wings somewhere, perhaps in an exclusive middle school in the white suburbs of Atlanta.)
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.
Newt Gingrich is really giving us a lot, journalistically speaking, considering he only ever got to about 6% in the Republican polls this year. We may well need Sarah Palin to get in the race, after Newt pulls out in shame …. which, come to think of it, is probably something he does a lot. [Felix Salmon/SpyTalk]