Breaking the Law: FYI Newt

Dear Newt:

Hey.  How’s it going?

FYI, The following is an excerpt from a publication by the Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives.  I believe you’re familiar with the organization. The use of bold print was my doing.

Lobbying Disclosure Act Guidance
Effective January 1, 2008
Reviewed/Last Revised December 15, 2011

Section 12 – Penalties
Whoever knowingly fails: (1) to correct a defective filing within 60 days after notice of such a defect by the Secretary of the Senate or the Clerk of the House; or (2) to comply with any other provision of the Act, may be subject to a civil fine of not more than $200,000, and whoever knowingly and corruptly fails to comply with any provision of this Act may be imprisoned for not more than 5 years or fined under title 18, United States Code, or both.

The law they’re talking about is the “Lobbying Disclosure Act;”, PUBLIC LAW 104-65-DEC. 19,1995 109 STAT. 691, Public Law 104-65 104th Congress, 109 STAT. 691, which opens with the following text:

An Act

To provide for the disclosure of lobbying activities to influence the Federal Government, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the “Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995”.

Hmm?  1995.  If my memory (Wikipedia) serves me, you were in the House from 1978 until you resigned effective January 3, 1999, after having been disciplined for an ethics violation in January of 1997 and a less than stellar performance by House Republicans in November of 1998.  You were Speaker of the House when they passed this law.  An Historian and avid reader such as yourself must have been keenly aware of its contents.

So Newt, tell me.  Why didn’t you just register as a lobbyist when Freddie Mac hired you?  Why risk the fine or imprisonment?  Com’on, just between you and me..  Nobody reads my blog anyway.  ..what in the world did Freddie Mac’s Director of Public Policy, Craig Thomas, a registered lobbyist, hire you to do?

-wf

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