NEWT GINGRICH IS A HISTORY PROFESSOR.
One of the best known axioms of historical analysis is that those who do not learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat history.
The irony is that Newt, who lost his Speakership of the House of Representatives
because of questions raised about his ethics is now embroiled in a questionable
relationship with the jeweler Tiffany's.
Glittering Gingriches Duck Queries
When news broke that Newt Gingrich's wife, Callista, enjoyed a no-interest line of credit ranging from $250,000 to $500,000 at the high-end jeweler Tiffany's, the reaction was mostly tittering at just how much the former House Speaker was spending on bling.
But now it turns out that while Ms. Gingrich enjoyed the extraordinary credit arrangement she was also employed as the chief clerk of the House Agriculture Committee, which has jurisdiction over mining issues. During this time, Tiffany's was spending several hundred thousand dollars a year to influence mining policy in Congress and at federal agencies over which the committee had jurisdiction.
In addition, Christy Evans, a former top staffer for Mr. Gingrich has been a registered lobbyist for Tiffany's since 2000.
Mr. Gingrich has told reporters that he had a "standard, no-interest account" at Tiffany's as part of its "normal way of doing business." But that doesn't seem to check out. The Gingriches were in effect the beneficiary of a minimum $250,000 line of credit at Tiffany's -- essentially an interest-free loan. Tiffany's normally charges customers 21% interest on outstanding balances.
Mr. Gingrich is referring all questions about the arrangement to Tiffany & Company, which isn't providing any answers.
BY JOHN FUND
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL POLITICAL DIARY ONLINE
FRIDAY, 27 MAY 11