Gingrich defends big contracts with Freddie Mac
URBANDALE, Iowa – Rising in polls and receiving greater scrutiny, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich found himself on the defensive Wednesday over huge payments he received over the past decade from the mortgage giant Freddie Mac.
Gingrich, who now is near the top in polling on the GOP race, said he didn’t remember exactly how much he was paid, but a person familiar with the hiring said it was at least $1.6 million for consulting contracts stretching from 1999 to early 2008. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to address a personnel matter.
Long unpopular among Republicans, federally backed Freddie Mac and its larger sister institution, Fannie Mae, have become targets for criticism stemming from the housing crisis that helped drive the nation deep into recession and then hampered recovery. Gingrich himself criticized Barack Obama in 2008 for accepting contributions from executives of the two companies.
Speaking with reporters in Iowa on Wednesday, Gingrich said he provided “strategic advice for a long period of time” after he resigned as House speaker following his party’s losses in the 1998 elections. He defended Freddie Mac’s role in housing finance and said, “Every American should be interested in expanding housing opportunities.”
On Tuesday, a House committee voted to strip top executives of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae of huge salaries and bonuses and to put them on the same pay scale as federal employees. After disastrous losses, both companies were taken over by the government in 2008, and since then a federal regulator has controlled their financial decisions.
SG presidential election results released following run-off election
Juniors Sebastian Solano and Jessica Malanga now have a platform to serve the student body through their T.H.R.I.V.E. campaign following the announcement Thursday morning that the ticket won the 2023 Student Government (SG) presidential run-off election. A total of 2,087 votes were cast across all three campuses, in which Solano and Malanga won 1,076. Esmeraldi […]
On-campus political groups respond to bill targeting diversity initiatives
Student-led political groups on campus have presented differing opinions and action plans regarding House Bill 999, which targets diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and critical race theory (CRT) initiatives at the state’s public universities, as the bill works its way up in the Florida Legislature. House Bill 999, which passed through the Florida state house […]
Trans+ Student Union holds Gender Affirming Clothing Swap
Among hundreds of clothing items separated by tops, bottoms and accessories displayed on top of several chairs in rows, the Trans+ Student Union (TSU) aimed to provide a safe space for over 45 students to explore their gender expressions through fabric. The Gender Affirming Clothing Swap event was held at the Marshall Student Center from […]
Student-led art exhibit showcases multidimensional change
Standing in front of a group of 20 attendees in the dimly lit Marshall Student Center Centre Gallery, freshman interdisciplinary social sciences major Carolina Gutfruend shared the significance of honoring sexual assault awareness through her art. Recounting her own experiences with guilt and shame as a survivor of sexual assault, Gutfruend said she wanted her […]
Students, faculty rally against state legislation targeting diversity initiatives
At a Tuesday rally intended to create student awareness for preserving academic rights, history professor Alex Levine read aloud two emails he received earlier this week from prospective employees and graduate students expressing fear for their future at USF. One of the emails was from a trans philosophy graduate student who messaged him about her […]
BOT approves new collective bargaining agreement, hears public comments regarding state legislation
At Tuesday morning’s meeting, the Board of Trustees (BOT) voted to accept a 3-year bargaining agreement (CBA) with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and listened to public comments from students and professors regarding House Bill (H.B.) 999. During the 9:30 a.m. hour-long meeting in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom, the […]