A cryptic behind-the-scenes note appears in a story on the front page of Wednesday's New York Times, in an article exploring Newt Gingrich's activities on behalf of health care companies, activities which look a lot like lobbying. The headline is "Gingrich Gave Push to Clients, Not Just Ideas."
But here's the behind-the-scenes part. It quotes records from Gingrich's for-profit company, the Center for Health Transformation. Emphasis added:
Yet if Mr. Gingrich has managed to steer clear of legal tripwires, a review of his activities shows how he put his influence to work on behalf of clients with a considerable stake in government policy. Even if he does not appear to have been negotiating legislative language, he and his staff did many of the same things that registered lobbyists do.
The center’s own records — kept in a restricted section of its Web site, but found by The New York Times in an unsecured archived version of the site — contain several previously unreported examples.
Reporters Mike McIntire and Jim Rutenberg go on to give several examples of efforts that seem like lobbying activity. They don't explain how they stumbled upon the archived version of the site.
McIntire emailed an answer:
"Hard work," McIntire wrote. "And in case you're wondering, no, nobody handed it to us or told us where to find it."