The New York Times continues to dig into Newt Gingrich's post-Congress career and discovered his solid track record of promoting companies that paid to be part of his health care consultancy. Firms that paid up to $200,000 a year to be members of Gingrich's "Center for Health Transformation" got access to legislators at the state and federal level and high-profile endorsements from the former Speaker of the House.
Gingrich and his aides insist that he never engaged in any actual lobbying, and that may be technically true. In fact, he appears to have gone to great lengths to ensure that he stayed on the right side of the regulations and laws governing the work of a professional registered lobbyist. Being seen officially labeled as a corporate shill, would obvious not help the prospects of anyone hoping to be president someday.
However, even if he never stumped for specific legislation or contracts — another claim that may be open to interpretation — it's clear that Gingrich's clients received unparalleled access to state and federal legislators and that Gingrich's presentations to those groups often featured favorable recommendations of the services his "members" could provide. For example, during a speech he gave to lawmakers in Georgia, Gingrich pointed out the money the state could save by hiring a company that happened to be a member of his group. It also appears that he didn't make it clear to those legislators that companies he mentioned were paying him.