The tale of Gingrich patronage of Tiffany’s may be growing something like a set of legs. From the blog SpyTalk:
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.
The jewelry company says the line of credit was nothing special. From the New York Times earlier this week:
The Tiffany spokesman, Carson Glover, said the company offers customers a “revolving credit card agreement” with state-specific rates; those who hold such cards are eligible for up to 12 months of interest-free borrowing if they spend more than $1,000 on an engagement ring or $5,000 on other merchandise.
And on a visit to New Hampshire on Wednesday, the GOP presidential candidate declined an opportunity to address the matter. From the Washington Post:
Then came a question from a reporter about the controversy surrounding Gingrich and a $500,000 line of credit he and his wife had with high-end jeweler Tiffany’s.
“I feel that you are far more fascinated with that than most Americans,” he said. “Normal Americans actually ask about jobs, they ask about energy, they ask about all sorts of things that affect their lives.”
The latest poll from Gallup has former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty behind talk show host and businessman Herman Cain in the Republican presidential sweepstakes:
Mitt Romney (17%) and Sarah Palin (15%) now lead a smaller field of potential Republican presidential candidates in rank-and-file Republicans’ preferences for the party’s 2012 nominee. Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain essentially tie for third, with Cain registering 8% support in his initial inclusion in Gallup “trial heat” polling. Notably, 22% of Republicans do not have a preference at this point.
A new Sachs/Mason-Dixon poll declares that “more than three times as many Americans would choose to eat lunch and have a chat with President Barack Obama than with any of the several Republican hopefuls.” On the other hand, 10 percent of those polled said they would prefer to dine alone rather than break bread with any of them.
Did you miss that story about state university presidents who never seem to leave the payroll, even after they leave their jobs? See my AJC colleague James Salzer’s work by clicking here.
“Walking around money” has been given a new definition in Georgia. From the Associated Press:
Hikers visiting Georgia’s wildlife management areas must pay new fees starting next year.
The board of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources voted unanimously Wednesday to charge visitors $3.50 for a three-day pass to wildlife management areas and fishing grounds or $19 for an annual pass.
That’s the same fee that hunters and fishermen pay.
Groups of fewer than nine people will have to pay $10 for a three-day pass or $30 annually. The new fees take effect Jan. 1.
The department has previously only charged hunters and fishermen. Facing budget cuts, DNR officials said it was appropriate to charge recreational users such as hikers, birdwatchers and rock climbers since they also use state resources.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider