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July 13, 2020

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July 10, 2020

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Gingrich Brings in Double the Cash from What was Disclosed from Ethanol Lobbying Group: A Good Friend in Corn

Newt Gingrich earned some $600,000 as a consultant to a major ethanol lobbying group, not the $312,500 that the organization, called Growth Energy, disclosed last spring.

When quizzed by iWatch News in April, Growth Energy spokesman Chris Thorne said Gingrich’s contract ended after 2009. Attributing the mistake to an internal miscommunication, Thorne now says that Gingrich remained on the payroll through 2010 and earned an additional $262,500.

Thorne said that Gingrich continued to work for Growth Energy  for the first few months of 2011 as well, but he could not say how much the former Speaker was paid.

Growth Energy was founded in late 2008 by the world’s top ethanol producer — the South Dakota based POET group — and other fuel companies to promote the use of the alternative fuel. According to the company’s Web site, Gingrich was paid to offer advice on “strategy and communication issues” and to “speak positively on ethanol related topics to the media.”

Gingrich’s ties to the industry have been a boon, no doubt, to his presidential campaign in a farm state like Iowa. But his embrace of federal ethanol subsidies has irritated some conservatives, who believe that government intervention in the economy violates free-market principles.

Gingrich got into a well-publicized spat with the editorial page editors of the Wall Street Journal — they called him “Professor Cornpone” — a year ago, compelling him to declare, “I am not a lobbyist for ethanol.”

A Gingrich campaign spokesman declined to comment on the recalculated totals, which were disclosed in a recent story in USA Today

Reprinted by Permission © 2020, The Center for Public Integrity®. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume I, Number 352

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About this Author

Staff Writer

Farrell is a prize-winning journalist and author. He spent his early career, and won a George Polk award, at The Denver Post. At The Boston Globe, he covered the first Iraq war, several presidential campaigns and served as the Globe’s White House correspondent and Washington editor, among other assignments. Farrell returned to The Denver Post in 2003 for four years as national columnist and Washington bureau chief for the newspaper and the MediaNews chain. During that time he helped lead the paper’s political coverage, and made another reporting trip to war-...

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