Is Newt “Freddie’s boy”?

“Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich has been one of the most influential conservative voices advocating the use of home ownership efforts to alleviate poverty,” Huff Post reports. “Although his work as a highly lucrative consultant for Freddie Mac may have been more political pomp than policy circumstance, Gingrich’s political clout was part of the mortgage giant’s push to grant bipartisan legitimacy to its epic housing gamble.

“The former House speaker’s long record of pushing to expand home ownership casts significant doubt on his recent claim that he encouraged Freddie Mac to change its policies during the Bush era, when the mortgage giant shelled out roughly $30,000 a month for Gingrich’s work.

“R.C. Hammond, a spokesman for the Gingrich campaign, confirmed the paycheck amount to HuffPost, but said the money went to Gingrich’s consulting firm, The Gingrich Group. ‘To say he was paid personally is inaccurate,’ Hammond said. He went on to say that Freddie Mac paid the firm for ‘strategic advice on a wide variety of issues,’ including dealing with the cost of employees’ health care. ‘He wasn’t brought in to help them with their lending practices,’ Hammond said.”

The rest of the article is here.

Amy Goodman to speak at Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Amy Goodman, the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, will be featured in a Wild & Scenic Film Festival event on Jan. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Grass Valley Vets Hall.

The evening will include both film and a presentation by Amy Goodman. Tickets prices are $27.

Goodman is the author of four New York Times bestsellers. Her latest book, Breaking the Sound Barrier, proves the power of independent journalism in the struggle for a better world.

This year, for the first time, some of the events will be held in Grass Valley, not just Nevada City. One is a children’s program.