Newt Gingrich Leaves 30-Year Trail Of Debts,
Lawsuits And Bankruptcies In His Wake
WASHINGTON -- Newt
Gingrich holds himself up as a model of fiscal discipline.
"If the U.S. government was as debt-free as I am, everybody
in America would be celebrating,"
he told reporters
What may be true for
Gingrich personally, however, has rarely been the case for
organizations he runs. Gingrich's presidential campaign is
basically broke. The latest financial disclosure reports
show that his campaign closed out the month of January with
$1.73 million in debt and a scant $1.79 million in cash on
hand, just enough to cover expenses that included
and unusually large
The highly publicized injection of more than
from casino magnate Sheldon Adelson into a super PAC backing
Gingrich's campaign has fueled the perception that Gingrich
is flush, but Adelson's money won't keep the lights on at
Instead of withdrawing
from the race, as candidates typically do when they run out
of money, Gingrich has barreled ahead. In the past month, he
hired additional staff,
made costly trips to California and Arizona, and scheduled a
week's worth of campaign appearances
in Tennessee and his home state of Georgia ahead of the
March 6 Super Tuesday primaries.
Gingrich, who did not
respond to questions from The Huffington Post, is by no
means the first presidential candidate to run up dangerously
high debts on the campaign trail. Where the former House
speaker is concerned, however, this combination of mounting
bills, shrinking prospects and questionable expenses has
three decades of precedent behind it.
Gingrich's former colleagues and a review of thousands of
official documents by The Huffington Post reveal a
previously unexplored side of his career: a striking pattern
of financial mismanagement at the political and nonprofit
groups that Gingrich has created, steered and abandoned over
the past 30 years. While the high-profile ethics
investigations of the 1990s focused on the narrow legality
of Gingrich's individual schemes, their disastrous record as
a whole has been largely overlooked.
Since 1984, Gingrich
has launched 12 politically oriented organizations and
initiatives based in Washington. Of those, five have been
investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and the House
Ethics Committee, another five closed down with debts
totaling more than $500,000, and two were subject to legal
According to former colleagues and subordinates, Gingrich
burns through money by repeatedly expanding his plans and
ignoring warnings from staff about the finances of his
projects. Now, the same pattern is threatening his
"The best way to say it
is that Newt has no brakes and no rear view mirror,"
observed one former adviser who still speaks highly of
Gingrich, but who requested anonymity because he is
forbidden from speaking to the media in his current job.
"So he never pulls
back, and he never learns from the past."
That criticism may be
missing the point, however. "Part of the reason Gingrich
employs nonprofits and 527s [political advocacy groups] so
liberally is that the debts from these groups never attach
to him personally, because they're incorporated," said Bill
Allison, editorial director at the Sunlight Foundation, a
nonprofit political watchdog group. "That's the beauty of
sticking to all these groups -- it's that they don't stick
'WHEN I SEE SOMETHING ISN'T WORKING, I CUT MY
According to a veteran
adviser, Gingrich's first deadbeat operation was a 501(c)3
nonprofit called the American Opportunity Foundation (AOF),
which he created with a group of political consultants in
1984, during his third term as a Republican congressman from
Georgia's 6th District. (A 501(c)4 group, American
Opportunity Inc., was created at the same time, but never
The mission of AOF was
to conduct nonpartisan research, according to its IRS
incorporation papers. The group's
however, were rife with political buzzwords, such as how to
lessen "the burdens of government."
The conflict between AOF's stated purpose and its real
activities came to a head less than a month before the 1984
that AOF had staged events on college campuses hailing
President Ronald Reagan's achievements. The law expressly
forbids 501(c)3 nonprofits from participating in political
campaigns to the benefit of one candidate or another.
resulted in questions about AOF's legitimacy. Gingrich
quickly stepped down as AOF's chairman and severed his ties
to the group.
The campus events had
cost approximately $15,000, equivalent to $33,900 today, and
Gingrich left the bill for his two lead consultants,
business partners Ladonna Lee and Henry "Eddie" Mahe. Mahe
and Lee expected Gingrich to bring in donations to pay for
the events, according to a source close to AOF.
"Eddie and Ladonna were
screwed by him," said the source. "I remember Ladonna
telling Eddie, 'If you get involved with Newt again, I'm
dissolving our partnership.'"
Today, Mahe and Lee are
employed by the law firm Foley & Lardner, where Lee is vice
chair of the government and public policy practice and Mahe
is a strategic communications consultant. Mahe declined to
comment for this story, but Lee said she could not recall
specifically how AOF ended or whether there were any
"I fully appreciate the
role of nonprofits and their success ratio," she said,
adding that she had voted for Gingrich in the Colorado
Republican primary earlier this year.
When asked whether AOF
had fulfilled its mission, Lee paused. "I don't know that it
lived out its mission," she said, "but I do know that Newt
was never part of the business dealings of any of these
entities, and I never saw Newt in a meeting about business."
Although Lee may have intended her comment to absolve
Gingrich of responsibility for the debt left at AOF, other
longtime Gingrich associates say that it is precisely this
lack of financial involvement, coupled with his willingness
to abandon initiatives abruptly, that lies at the core of
his management problems.
Lee herself described
Gingrich's pattern of abandonment
in a 1995 Vanity Fair interview,
saying, "Gingrich would always get people started on a
project or a vision, and we're all slugging up the mountain
to accomplish it. Newt's nowhere to be found. … He's gone on
to the next mountaintop."
A consultant who worked
with Gingrich in the 1980s said, "I heard a staffer question
Newt about a cost that was over budget once, and instead of
telling the kid what to do next, Newt just said, 'When I see
that something isn't working, I cut my losses.'"
Following the demise of
AOF, Gingrich turned his energies to the American Campaign
Academy (ACA), a group founded in 1986. The academy was
funded by the National Republican Congressional Committee,
and it ran a 10-week, nuts-and-bolts course on campaign
management. Gingrich taught part of the course during his
fourth term in Congress, and a number of his associates and
staffers served on the academy's board.
Like AOF before it, ACA hoped to receive 501(c)3 nonprofit
status so its donors could deduct contributions to the group
from their income taxes. ACA's application for tax-exempt
status touched off an unexpected, high-profile battle with
the IRS, however, that ended when a
federal court decided
that ACA's purpose was more political than purely charitable
and that it had misrepresented its real intent in its
application. The IRS, the court ruled, was correct in
denying ACA tax-exempt status.
After three years of
operating with money from the NRCC while the IRS case wound
its way through the courts, ACA dissolved in 1990, less than
12 months after the final decision was handed down.
'NEWT WANTED TO
SEND THEM NEWT'
Gingrich wrote in his
1998 memoir, "Lessons Learned the Hard Way," that by the
time ACA closed, he knew that the Republican Party "needed
alternative means of communication than just the mainstream
media" to broadcast its political agenda.
By 1989, as the House
minority whip, he had begun devising a new way to use his
leadership PAC, dubbed GOPAC, to "disseminate" a
"full-fledged, intellectually complete doctrine" that he was
creating for the Republican Party, according to a GOPAC memo
from November of that year.
The ideas would come
from Gingrich, of course, which left only the question of
how to fund the dissemination part of his master plan. He
later wrote in his memoir that he was inspired by a 1989
exposé in National Journal about how "certain
politicians had been using tax-exempt organizations to
finance some of their activities."
Gingrich said the scale
of the overlap between members of Congress and nonprofits
was "astonishing," and although the article was meant as an
indictment of the practice, he apparently saw it as a
primer. "Thus, when it came time to expand our mission by
having me teach a new course," he wrote, "I felt we had
ample precedent for how to proceed."
Jeff Eisenach, a
GOPAC consultant and former Reagan White House budget aide,
wrote in a memo (below) to Gingrich that "a consensus has
developed" among Gingrich's cadre of advisers "that a
501(c)3 organization should be created (or, alternatively,
an existing 501(c)3 organization recruited)" to help fund
GOPAC's expanding mission. This memo and hundreds more were
presented to the House Ethics Committee during its
investigation of Gingrich in the 1990s and are available on
Among the options, Eisenach wrote in the memo, was "re-activing"
a 501(c)3 nonprofit, the Abraham Lincoln Opportunity
Foundation (ALOF), that had been founded in Colorado by
GOPAC's chairman, Bo Callaway. Originally intended to
benefit inner-city kids, ALOF had been inactive for nearly a
decade. It was essentially a shell company.
With Callaway's permission, beginning in 1990, Gingrich and
his GOPAC staff used ALOF to produce teleconferences and a
TV program that would eventually evolve into a college
course -- all designed by Gingrich and GOPAC staff, and paid
for with a complex mix of political donations to GOPAC and
charitable contributions to ALOF. Like other Gingrich
projects, this one would grow exponentially over the next
"In some ways, Gingrich
has always had grandiose ideas, and he's very good about
getting people excited about them and garnering donations,"
said Allison. "But what he hasn't been able to do is follow
through on them. He has these ideas and begins to execute
them, and then he moves on."
In a memo to Callaway
about GOPAC's future, Eisenach recalled a walk he took with
Gingrich in June 1990. "Newt empowered us to think big," he
wrote, "and said 'institutions should be invented to meet
the environment, not evolve incrementally.'" Those
"institutions" would come to include nonprofits, political
action committees, and consulting groups.
By August 1990, expenses were snowballing. ALOF had spent
more than $260,000 on a teleconference called the American
Opportunities Workshop in the first half of the year, much
of it collected from GOPAC donors or lent by GOPAC,
according to House Ethics Committee documents. GOPAC itself
spent another $188,000 on the workshop and a follow-up
entity, American Citizens TV. The political action committee
was quickly running out of money.
Leadership PACs like GOPAC have traditionally been used to
fund other candidates' campaigns, as well as to pay expenses
such as the PAC chairman's travel to stump for those
candidates. By the summer of 1990, however, GOPAC coffers
were so depleted from the cost of producing and distributing
Gingrich's message through ALOF and other initiatives that
Eisenach, who by then had taken over day-to-day operations,
was forced to write revised financial plans with the words
"projection based on giving no cash to candidates" at
"Instead of sending
[candidates] money, Newt wanted to send them 'Newt,'"
explained a former adviser who still works in Republican
politics and requested anonymity in order to discuss his
former boss. "All his ideas about how to run, how to
communicate that to voters, I mean, this whole thing he was
hatching in his head. And later he decided he wanted to send
everything he'd sent all those prospects … to the whole
During the 1992
election cycle, GOPAC received more than $4 million in
donations and spent only $18,000 on supporting candidates.
Nevertheless, the group was
left with $340,000 worth of debt
at the end of '92.
In December of that
year, Eisenach, as director of GOPAC, wrote a damning memo
to his superiors, including Gingrich, explaining what few
could have imagined: The leadership PAC of the minority whip
of the House of Representatives was barely able to make
Two former aides said
Gingrich was well aware of GOPAC's projected shortfall in
the summer of 1992, and as Republican hopes for winning the
White House dwindled that fall, prospects for fundraising
grew slimmer as well. Nevertheless, Gingrich ordered staff
to continue spending as though the organization were
"Sure, Eisenach told
Newt that there was no money," said one staffer, "but Newt
just said, 'Keep spending.' He said it was 'pedal to the
metal' until the election."
'NEWT LEAVES ALL
OF HIS COLLEAGUES WITH BAGS OF DEAD CATS'
The 1992 elections were
a disaster for Republicans, with Democratic candidate Bill
Clinton defeating incumbent President George H.W. Bush, and
both the House and Senate remaining firmly in Democratic
Apparently unfazed, Gingrich pressed on. In December 1992,
he reworked his master plan for the GOP during a trip to
Florida. The result was a flurry of handwritten notes over
three days, which Gingrich believed held the key to a
Republican House majority. He gave his project a new name
and, with it, a new mission: Renewing American Civilization
Despite funding pressures, Gingrich during the spring of
1993 was consumed by the idea of turning RAC into a
full-blown college course, ready to be broadcast to young
people across across the nation. "Renewing American
civilization," he wrote, is the greatest challenge of the
rest of our lives."
He transferred RAC from GOPAC's offices to a newly created
nonprofit think tank that Eisenach founded, the
technology-focused Progress and Freedom Foundation.
The move coincided with
ALOF's transfer back to Colorado, where it would remain
inactive until 1998, when the IRS stripped it of its 501(c)3
status. Before ALOF and GOPAC parted ways, however, IRS
records show that GOPAC forgave $43,537 in ALOF debt.
The latest plan
was for Gingrich to teach his RAC course at Georgia's
Kennesaw State College and for the college to help manage
tax-exempt donations to pay for it. There would be a total
10 lectures a year
through the 1995-96 school year.
Not long after the
course began, however, Kennesaw State began receiving
complaints about the political nature of the material. RAC
was soon forced to "find another home," as Gingrich put it
in his memoir, and it did, at the smaller, private Reinhardt
WATCH a video of
one of Gingrich's classes:
Eisenach, who had a Ph.D. in economics, declined to comment
for this story, but he testified extensively during the
House Ethics Committee's investigation in the mid-1990s into
the origins of RAC's funding. Eisenach and other witnesses
explained that when RAC left Kennesaw State for Reinhardt,
it also lost the donation infrastructure it had with
Kennesaw. From that point on, PFF raised the money to pay
for Gingrich's course, approximately $450,000 between April
1993 and March 1994, and the same amount between April 1994
and March 1995.
Gingrich decided to shut down the course a year early,
however, after the 1994-95 winter term, which ended in March
of '95. Later, during the House Ethics Committee probe, he
told investigators that he had given it up because he "had
learned all he could from teaching the course and had
nothing new to say on the topics." Other witnesses
interviewed by the committee said the real reason was that
Gingrich "had run out of time in light of the fact that he
had become speaker" in January 1995.
One former staffer
laughed when HuffPost informed him of Gingrich's purported
reason for ending the course. "Have you ever heard Newt
Gingrich speak?" he asked. "Do you really buy that he had
nothing more to say?"
Shutting the course
down early left PFF $250,000 in debt, however. When Eisenach
asked Gingrich to help raise money -- as he had previously
done -- to cover the shortfall, Gingrich, now third in line
to the presidency, balked at the notion.
"I was frankly very
surprised to learn that you think I have an obligation to
raise $250,000 for a project you were in charge of that ran
over budget," Gingrich wrote in a scathing note to Eisenach
in July 1995, referring to RAC.
"This reminds me precisely of what happened at GOPAC [in
1992] and frankly I find it very disturbing. It is
disturbing that you think it is someone else's
responsibility to relieve a debt when that person has had no
control in the decision-making process. If you take it upon
yourself to make a decision you take the responsibility of
the debt also," wrote Gingrich.
Documents and testimony
from the ethics investigation, however, make it difficult to
understand just how Gingrich expected Eisenach to raise a
quarter-million dollars for the course without Gingrich, who
was its raison d'ętre.
Moreover, just as RAC
promoted Gingrich's philosophy, Gingrich had promoted RAC
throughout his myriad political operations, making the two
appear practically inseparable to donors.
relationship between Gingrich and his course is captured in
a 1993 memo he wrote, which was addressed to "various
staffs" of his organizations. Gingrich directs them all to
"use the ideas, language and concepts of renewing American
civilization at every level, from the national focus of the
Whip office to the 6th district of Georgia, [to the] focus
of the Congressional office to the national political
education efforts of GOPAC and the re-election efforts of
FONG [Friends of Newt Gingrich]."
Furthermore, he wrote (above), "I want this to be
systematized and routinized so automatically every audience
I speak to and every meeting has some material on renewing
American civilization and the course."
PFF ultimately paid off
the $250,000 of debt for Gingrich's course, according to IRS
records, and the group operated independently of Gingrich
"Newt leaves all of his
colleagues with bags of dead cats," said a former Gingrich
colleague when asked about the end of RAC. "Not just one
dead cat," he said. "Bags of dead cats."
Gingrich's time at the
helm of the House did not last long. Following a poor
showing by Republicans in 1998, the speaker faced a mutiny
among the younger members of the GOP conference. He resigned
from the speakership in late 1998 and the House in early
"I'm willing to
lead, but I'm not willing to preside over people who are
told his colleagues
on a conference call. "My only fear would be that if I tried
to stay, it would just overshadow whoever my successor is."
Less than a year later,
in late 1999, he started up a new political group intent on
fundraising: the Committee for New American Leadership (CNAL).
Organizationally, CNAL didn't look
much different from Gingrich's last operation or his
current presidential campaign. He was at the top as the
founder, and Joe Gaylord,
his political lieutenant since the
late 1980s, was the
group's chairman. CNAL's spokesman was Gingrich's former
congressional spokesman, Mike Shields, who was also
listed as president of one of CNAL's spin-off websites,
SocialSecurityPlus.org. Rick Tyler, a former Gingrich
2012 campaign staffer who quit in June and now serves as
a senior adviser to the super PAC that is backing
Gingrich, was listed as president of another site,
Maxtax.org. Both Shields and Gaylord declined to comment
for this article.
In addition to Gingrich's
people, CNAL also took over more than $100,000 in
leftover funds from Friends of Newt Gingrich, which shut
down in early 2000, according to a Federal Election
Like other Gingrich projects, after a sputter of new
websites and lofty goals, CNAL soon disappeared. Its
homepage shut down in late 2000. Tyler declined to
comment on CNAL's operations except to say that it was
dissolved without debts.
For the next six years,
Gingrich abandoned his revolving cast of political
groups in favor of the private sector, where he made
millions as a public speaker, author, consultant and
all-around Washington power broker, trading on his
experience in Congress. Financially speaking, it was a
period of relative calm for Gingrich, who established a
nonprofit family foundation during that time but
otherwise avoided the temptations of 501(c)3 formation.
In Gingrich's profitable web of
private-sector enterprises, all of which seemed to
thrive in a way that contrasts sharply with his history
of "dot-orgs," Tyler increasingly
played an integral role.
In 2009, Tyler founded the 501(c)3 nonprofit Renewing
American Leadership (ReAL), a group whose mission,
according to IRS forms, was "to preserve America's
Judeo-Christian heritage." From an address at the
Gingrich Group offices in Washington D.C., ReAL in 2010
raised more than $3 million off direct mail appeals,
most of which were printed on "Newt Gingrich" letterhead
and signed with Gingrich's signature.
Gingrich himself had no
official title at ReAL -- the group actually had no
full-time employees -- but it did offer him two tangible
benefits as he prepared to launch his 2012 presidential
First, it let Gingrich reach
potential voters with a pro-Christian message that would
eventually dovetail with his campaign. Second, it
provided him with the names and addresses of everyone
who responded to the donation requests that went out
over his signature -- a highly valuable commodity for
someone about to appeal for campaign donations.
"For the kinds of people who
are responding to direct mail, those are individuals who
are going to give because it's Newt Gingrich," said
Sunlight's Allison, "and they'll give to anything,
whether it's a 527 focused on solutions, a presidential
campaign committee or a 501(c)3 focused on leadership.
It's about Gingrich. And for Gingrich, the challenge is
to find those people."
By the end of 2010, ReAL had a
mere $3,404 left of the $3 million. In March 2011,
shortly before the group was audited by the state of
West Virginia, Tyler left to join Gingrich's
'IT WAS A SUCCESSFUL
VENTURE WHEN GINGRICH WAS HERE'
For his own part, Gingrich
founded the 527 political group American Solutions for
Winning the Future in 2006 to finance his political
comeback. American Solutions raised $50 million in a
mere four years, for travel, public speaking
engagements, mailings and other expenses, with more than
$8 million coming from Adelson, the casino magnate, and
his family. Like GOPAC and CNAL, the group was managed
After Gingrich announced his candidacy for president
last year, however, he left the group and took his
fundraising prowess with him. Unlike PFF, which survived
his departure, American Solutions quickly went bankrupt,
having spent $500,000 more in the first half of the year
than it took in.
Following the model of so many Gingrich projects before
it, American Solutions is now defunct and in legal
trouble. This time, however, it's not with the IRS but
with the landlord, who
sued the group
this fall for $19,130 in delinquent rent for office
space on Washington's K Street. No one appeared in court
on behalf of American Solutions.
According to D.C. Superior Court records, the U.S.
Marshals Service was directed to evict American
Solutions from the office in late December, but it's
unclear whether the order has been carried out.
When asked about the matter,
Gingrich's campaign spokesman, R.C.Hammond, said
Gingrich had severed all ties with American Solutions in
May 2011, so he had nothing to do with its current
situation. "It was a successful venture when Gingrich
was there," Hammond said. "We are very disappointed that
it's no longer successful."
leases space in the building
for his other ventures, however, and the willingness of
Gingrich and his staff to stand by while an organization
he founded and led until last year is hauled into court
and evicted for back rent is striking, to say the least.
A spokesman for the landlord,
B.G.W. Limited Partnership, declined to comment on the
case, as did its attorney. Spokespeople for the U.S.
Marshals Service and D.C. Superior Court also declined
to comment on the status of the eviction.
presidential campaign has staggered, soared and
plummeted. His win in the South Carolina Republican
primary in January was a vindication for the former
House speaker, who has dismissed any and all pundits and
naysayers who count him out.
That confidence -- however
misplaced -- is classic Gingrich and has carried him
past all the failed projects that have marked his
career, from the fiasco at ALOF in the 1980s through the
ethics debacle at GOPAC in the 1990s to the crumbling of
American Solutions last year. Despite plunging poll
numbers in recent weeks, there are few signs that
Gingrich plans to abandon his presidential bid, the
latest iteration of his three-decade battle against what
he perceives as "the establishment."
Yet bravado alone is unlikely
to carry Gingrich all the way to the White House. Even
his mega-supporter, Sheldon Adelson, has signaled that
he may back another candidate if and when Gingrich no
longer seems like a good investment. With expenses
mounting, Gingrich's own campaign is poised to become
his latest victim.
Birthers, Racists, Sexists and Homophobes: 13 Toxic
Endorsers of GOP Presidential Candidates
What's stunning about this year's crop of endorsers is
the torrent of venom, mendacity and absurdity that
spills from their mouths and pens.
March 18, 2012 |
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A man, the
ancient fable tells us, is known by the company he
keeps. In a presidential primary, the endorsement game
is one of the great spectator sports. Every four years
comes the parade of politicians, preachers and a
smattering of politically inclined demi-gods of popular
culture stepping forward to endorse one or another of
the presidential candidates.
Some are positioning themselves for a prime slot in
what they hope will be a future administration. Others
are making a statement to the folks back home about the
authenticity of their ideological credentials. A few
have designs on the levers of creative destruction in
their own political party. And that's before we get to
the washed-up rock 'n' rollers and comedians who are
clearly just looking for a gig, or relevance, or both.
What's stunning about this year's crop of endorsers
of Republican presidential candidates is the torrent
of venom, mendacity and absurdity that spills from
their mouths and pens -- not to mention the fact
that most of these endorsements have been warmly
received, and none have been rejected. There's also
a peculiar dichotomy of styles represented: They
either hail from the priggish, uptight wing of the
party that loathes popular culture as coarse and
sinful, or they represent that coarse and sex-laden
culture. The thing they have in common? Hatred -- of
somebody who's not like them.
The Obama campaign may have a Bill Maher problem,
but compared to the smorgasboard of slander and
contempt on display by the GOP's great wits, Maher's
garden-variety misogyny seems almost quaint. That
the corporate media have failed to note most of
these quotes -- or to challenge the candidates on
accepting the support of these luminaries -- speaks
less to any willful complicity than to the fact that
"hatefully insane" has become the new normal.
Sixteen years ago, Pat Buchanan's presidential
campaign had to let go of campaign co-chair Larry
Pratt, president of the Gun Owners of America, just
because Pratt once gave a little lecture to a
gathering of white supremacists. Today, Mitt Romney
shows no intention of rejecting the endorsement of a
racist who said that President Barack Obama should
"suck on my machine gun."
The list below is hardly definitive; one could surf
the Web for days, racking up an epic stack of crazy
and worse from endorsers of one or another of the
Republican candidates, but at some point, one just
needs to get on with writing the dreaded listicle.
Presented below, in reverse order of their prospects
(according to delegate counts) for seeing their
endorsed candidate actually win the Republican
presidential nomination, are the endorsers who have
uttered some of the most jaw-dropping words I've
So far, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has hit
the jackpot in picking up endorsements from a couple
of eccentric wacky also-rans: Herman "9-9-9" Cain,
and the neo-secessionist Texas Gov. Rick Perry, both
of whose rhetorical foibles are well known. But
Newt's stable of endorsers also includes an anti-gay
crusader and a xenophobic TV has-been who wants to
bring his version of God back into the public
founder, American Family Association: Now
retired from the role of head hatemonger at the
anti-gay AFA (a role bequeathed to his son Tim),
Wildmon has taken to the airwaves on behalf of the
man who would colonize the moon. Part of the
right-wing Center for National Policy, Wildmon's
decades-long jihad against LGBT people set the
standard for how to use homophobia as a fundraising
tool in breathless direct-mail pieces and
newsletters that paint the gay-rights movement as
one comprised of predators and pedophiles. Defending
the Boy Scouts' prohibition on gay leaders and
scouts, Wildmon praised the Scouts for not wanting
to "expose its young members to lonely sodomites."
Early on in the history of the modern religious
right, Wildmon's AFA began targeting popular
television programming as hostile to "the Christian
faith." In 1981, he offered
this as a possible reason: "Most television
producers are of the Jewish perspective."
Not to mention the gays -- and liberals, generally.
On a July radio program, Wildmon
Hollywood hates Christians. The only thing
standing between, let’s just say the homosexual
movement, homosexual marriage and the whole
homosexual agenda, is the church. And not just
the whole church but the evangelical dedicated
Christians, and they are hated by the
liberal-left because we stand in way, we stand
in the way, of their achieving of what it is
they want to achieve.
Wildmon's commitment to traditional,
till-death-do-us-part, heterosexual-only marriage
does render his endorsement of the thrice-married
Gingrich something of a head-scratcher. As Right
Wing Watch notes:
Wildmon endorsed Gingrich, who has admitted that
extramarital affairs were reasons that ended his
first two marriages, despite previously arguing
that “adultery is destructive to relationships,
to families, and to society.”
Tim and (Mrs.) Beverly LaHaye (respectively), co-author
of end-times novels, and founder of Concerned Women
for America: Beverly
LaHaye's group, Concerned Women for America, was
early out of the gate with the false narrative that
LGBT people are out to recruit children to their
sexual orientation. From
Right Wing Watch:
Mrs. LaHaye warned her members that homosexuals
"want their depraved 'values' to become our
children's values. Homosexuals expect society to
embrace their immoral way of life. Worse yet,
they are looking for new recruits!" (CWA direct
While Tim LaHaye is best known for Left Behind,
the seemingly endless series of eschatological
dime-store novels he co-authored, he's also one of
the founding members of the modern religious right.
During the 2008 presidential election season, Sen.
John McCain's campaign issued an anti-Obama ad
called "The One" which seemed to insinuate that
Obama was the anti-Christ. As an anti-Christ expert,
LaHaye felt compelled to weigh in. In a statement
issued by LaHaye and Left Behind co-author
Jerry B. Jenkins, LaHaye is
quoted as saying:
I can see by the language [Obama] uses why
people think he could be the antichrist, but
from my reading of scripture, he doesn't meet
the criteria. There is no indication in the
Bible that the antichrist will be an American.
Now, about that birth certificate....
television actor, martial artist, exercise guru: He
may not have had a TV hit since his bust-em-up
favorite, "Walker, Texas Ranger," but that doesn't
mean Chuck Norris has gone all quiet. He's been
writing up a storm, trying to get a biblical
curriculum placed in the public schools, speculating
on whether abortion might have deprived the world of
its savior, fanning the flames of Islamophobia, and
getting his birther thang on. Here's Norris on the
president's birth certificate, as
reported by Mother Jones:
If the birther movement is truly full of a bunch
of conspiracy-fringed kooks or "zombies," as the
Los Angeles Times proclaims, then prove
once and for all that you are a naturally born
citizen by posting your original birth
certificate. And all the controversy will fade
away like the pains of childbirth.
Less than a year after Obama's inauguration, Norris
advanced the president-as-crypto-Muslim
narrative, writing, "President Obama has sympathized
and supported Muslims and Islamic theology, practice
wrote that Christians should "work to install a
Bible curriculum into your public school districts
across the country."
This year's Christmas offering from Norris
posited the notion that under the healthcare
reform law Obama signed in 2010, the Blessed Mother
herself might have been made to commit a most
grievous sin, one that could have ended in eternal
damnation for all humankind:
What would have happened if Mother Mary had been
covered by Obamacare? What if that young, poor
and uninsured teenage woman had been provided
the federal funds (via Obamacare) and facilities
(via Planned Parenthood, etc.) to avoid the
ridicule, ostracizing, persecution and possible
stoning because of her out-of-wedlock pregnancy?
Imagine all the great souls who could have been
erased from history and the influence of mankind
if their parents had been as progressive as
Washington's wise men and women! Will Obamacare
morph into Herodcare for the unborn?
(CNN) – As
recently as last week, Newt Gingrich's communications
director has been criticized by editors on Wikipedia for dozens
of edits he has made and requested in defense of his candidate.
While some of the changes
were minor, Joe DeSantis has removed or asked to remove factual
references to Gingrich's three marriages as well as mentions of
ethics charges brought against him while he served as speaker of
the House. These efforts continued as recently as Monday. Follow
the Ticker on Twitter:
for changes to the articles since mid-December in a discussion
forum called "Talk" on the site, and previously from May to June
of last year, though his most recent direct edit to the site was
in June of 2011.
Last Tuesday, DeSantis drew
the ire of an editor on the site.
"I'll raise the
question in the appropriate place, but I have to say this
micro-managing by a Gingrich campaign director is a matter of
concern to me even though you now are identifying yourself.
Pointing out factual errors is one thing, but your input should
not go beyond that, even here on Talk," the editor known as Tvoz,
wrote on a page
devoted discussing possible edits.
The site has a
conflict of interest guideline
which suggests that individuals should not edit "on behalf of
clients," or on subjects to which they have "close
relationships" or "financial interest." But the site does allow
"non-controversial edits," and DeSantis has a profile on the
site which identifies his relationship to Gingrich.
DeSantis defended his
changes in a statement:
"I stopped making direct
edits in May 2011 because I was alerted to the COI rules," he
said. "Earlier I thought that simply disclosing my affiliation
was enough but it wasn't. So I started posting requests on the
"This has been far more
successful and the other editors on Wikipedia have largely
received this very positively," he continued.
But several editors on the
site have taken issue with his edits and requests.
"The fact that
Callista is Speaker Gingrich's third wife is well-known and
indisputable. Please do not remove it from her biography,"
wrote editor Cullen328.
"Instead, please defer to the judgment of experienced editors,
and raise your concerns on the talk page. Thank you."
But other editors have been
more sympathetic, voicing their appreciation of DeSantis'
disclosure of his affiliation.
"Many editors have
pointed out your straightforwardness as an example of honorable
editing by an agent," an editor known as
Buster Seven posted.
"I agree with their assessment."
DeSantis' edits, which
began in October of 2008, included rewriting, removing, and
editing lines, including several edits to references of
Gingrich's marriages, according to Wikipedia edit records, which
are published and publicly viewable on the site. The edits may
include repairing "vandalism," such as incorrect or biased
information, posted to the articles.
From the introduction
to an article on Callista,
"She met her husband met while he was in the House, and had an
affair while he was conducting the impeachment investigation for
President Bill Clinton."
On a separate occasion, he
removed lines about Gingrich's first divorce and remarriage
which said he approached his then-wife in the hospital following
"Newt came up there
with his yellow legal pad, and he had a list of things on how
the divorce was going to be handled. He wanted her to sign it.
She was still recovering from surgery,"
the article read.
When a $500,000
credit line held by Gingrich at luxury retailer Tiffany's made
headlines, references to the account were added on Wikipedia,
edited those references,
including material supportive of his client published in news
In April 2009, he
deleted several lines on a House ethics investigation of
with material more favorable to the former House speaker.
posting his first edit
to the site - which reworded the characterization of one of
Gingrich's books - DeSantis
created a user profile
where he disclosed that he is employed by Gingrich. He also
disclosed his connection to Gingrich in a note accompanying the
"I am the Communications
Director for Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich," he wrote on
the profile. "I created this profile to submit edits to his
article while being fully open about my affiliation."
The site discourages edits
by individuals with an interest in public understanding of the
subject, but says an "editor with a self-evident interest in the
matter turning up on the talk page is an indication that they
are playing it straight."
Talk pages are editorial
discussions within the Wikipedia community, and in the months
since his most recent edit to the site, DeSantis has posted
almost 50 times on these pages.
The website BuzzFeed
23 edits DeSantis made to Callista Gingrich's Wikipedia
biography.DeSantis is far from the first aide to politicians,
businesses, or public figures to make or suggest edits to the
Aides to several
senators, including the current Vice President Joe Biden, have
previously edited their boss's Wikipedia entries. Biden's office
said the edits were intended "to make it more fair and
according to a report,
and other offices said their editing was to correct factual
And in other instances,
editing of these articles has itself become news. Following
former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's mischaracterization of Paul
Revere's American Revolution ride, her supporters edited
Revere's Wikipedia page with Palin's version of the story.
In these situations,
Wikipedia editors frequently restrict edit access to articles.
Gingrich's article is currently under one such level,
"semi-protected," which bars non-registered site visitors from
Back in June of 2009, Newt
Gingrich made a grave warning "We are living in a period
where we are surrounded by paganism," he said. People
laughed him off. Where were all these pagans Gingrich was
Former Speaker of the
House Newt Gingrich and former presidential candidate Mike
Huckabee urged Christians to get involved in politics to
preserve the presence of religion in American life.
"I think this is
one of the most critical moments in American history,"
Gingrich said. "We are
living in a period where we are surrounded by paganism."
They and other speakers
warned about the continuing availability of abortion, the
spread of gay rights, and attempts to remove religion from
American public life and school history books.
Gingrich and Huckabee,
a former governor of Arkansas, argued the rights of
Americans stem from God and to ignore that connection is
perilous. The two were among several speakers, including
former U.S. Senate candidate Oliver North, at the three-hour
"Rediscovering God in America" event. The event was closed
to reporters but was broadcast live on God.TV, an
evangelical Web site.
Running for the 2012
nomination is really getting to this man's cranium. He
actually does not know what the real meaning of the word is.
The adoption of
paganus by Latin Christians as an all-embracing,
pejorative term for polytheists represents an unforeseen and
singularly long-lasting victory, within a religious group,
of a word of Latin slang originally devoid of religious
meaning. The evolution occurred only in the Latin west, and
in connection with the Latin church. Elsewhere, "Hellene
" or "gentile" (ethnikos)
remained the word for "pagan"; and paganos continued
as a purely secular term, with overtones of the inferior and
the commonplace. But by
the third century CE, the meaning of the word Pagan evolved
to include all non-Christians. Eventually, it became an evil
term that implied Satan worship. Although False, the latter
meaning is still in widespread use today.
the members of
account for 0.4% of the total population,
which is just over a thousand people. In Lithuania, many people
revived version of the pre-Christian religion of that country.
Lithuania was among the last areas of Europe to be
There are a number of
authors who have examined the relation of the 20th-century
movements of polytheistic revival with historical polytheism on
one hand and contemporary traditions of indigenous folk religion
on the other. The late
introduced a terminology to make this distinction,
A movement by modern people to revive nature-worshipping,
pre-Christian religions, or other nature-based spiritual
paths. This definition may include groups such as
Prudence Jones and Nigel
Pennick in their A History of Pagan Europe (1995)
classify "pagan religions" as characterized by the following
religions recognize "the female divine principle",
identified as "the
Goddess" (as opposed to
besides or in place of the male divine principle as
expressed in the Abrahamic
Today, a new map of what
was once called North America was released, and it proves
that Gingrich was right! Gingrich's vision has been vindicated.
The United States is, in truth, surrounded by pagans!
Look, to the north, and
there is the country of Paganda. To the east and west, we are
surrounded by the Paganific and Pagantic oceans. To the south,
there are the Aztec Pagans, the Gulf of Pagans and Paganzuela!
All around us is Paganism!
It's the Red Menace of our
times... except that pagans prefer the color green, of course.
It's good to know
that, as Newt Gingrich begins his
2012 presidential campaign,
we can count on him to keep a firm grip on reality, and his
priorities focused on what's really important. No other
presidential candidate is doing anything about pagans, after
all. This issue truly sets Gingrich... um... apart.
Extremist (Tea Party) Republicans are selfish, power
hungry, hateful of the poor, disloyal to the nation and its
people, dishonest, avaricious, scornful of the nation's history,
the dignity of its institutions, its standards of political
morality, and its vision of advancement for all the people. The
Republicans love war as long as they and theirs do not have to
put on helmets and carry guns into the fighting. They use lies
to start wars that kill hundreds of thousands of innocents and
thousands of our own military service people. They love massive
war-time profits, unavailable to their rich masters if war is
Those Extremist Republicans hate the rest of us,
which they must, in order to pass away from themselves and onto
us, the financial burdens and losses their crimes, schemes and
thefts cause. They are prolific, incessant, and destructive
liars. They are blasphemers for they insist that their hateful
and destructive deeds are the work of God. They are apostates
for they gleefully attack the poor, the immigrants, the old and
the sick, of whom God has commanded all of us to be mindful.
There is no reasoning with them, for all their logic is
built on false premises. There is no appealing to them for
honor's sake for they have lost all sense of shame and have no
honor, there is no appealing to them for the nation's sake for
that it what they hate the most.
"I actually think this
is a little bit like watching Walmart grow," he said before
taking the stage with his wife, Callista, at Yorba Linda's
Nixon Library on Wednesday evening. "You watch the way we're
developing new approaches and new ideas and the way we're
using the internet - I think over the next 60 days you will
see a campaign that is so fundamentally different from
anything you've seen. It will be very appealing to people
who know that we're in a period where we need very dramatic
We interpret the
Wal-Mart comparison as meaning that Gingrich's campaign will be
cheap goods sold by underemployed people. Plus, some Internet
stuff! It will be "fundamentally different from anything you've
seen" in that you are probably used to seeing candidacies that
aren't abject failures.
Or perhaps the fundamental difference is that Gingrich continues
to take some apostate policy positions. This week, Gingrich cut
against the GOP's attempts to delude people into thinking poor
people do not pay taxes by pointing out that
they pay taxes quite often.
He's also suggested that congressional Republicans will find it
hard to say 'no,'" to extending
the payroll tax cuts. (Just watch them, says everyone familiar
with the past two years of GOP obstruction and intransigence.)
From flip-flops to ex-wives, the past is coming back
to haunt the former House speaker as he gears up for a White House
run. Can the onetime master of GOP messaging get his story straight?
Shushannah Walshe reports.
Newt Gingrich returned to
his old stomping grounds Thursday to meet with
House Republican freshmen.
The former speaker who led the 1995 federal government shutdown was
counseling the Capitol Hill rookies, but it’s clear he also wants to
woo them as he gets ready to announce his presidential exploratory
“The campaign before the
campaign” has been a rocky one for Gingrich. Although he’s been out
of office since 1998, he's remained in the public eye as a
contributor for Fox News and with book deals and movie projects. Now
his nascent campaign seems to be stumbling: He gave numerous
conflicting answers on Libya; has had trouble answering the
questions he knew were coming about his personal life; there was
confusion about whether he was announcing an exploratory bid or
not, as well
as several eyebrow-raising
this is all before actually getting into what is sure to be a
bruising race with a crowded field.
A reporter after the meeting
asked Gingrich if he was content with how things were going.
Gingrich replied, “I’m perfectly happy.” Asked if they would take
back any of the moves made up to now, a top aide said, “No.”
Will a stumble out of the
gate hurt Gingrich’s campaign or is too early to even matter to
voters? And shouldn’t the most seasoned politician in the race have
his talking points prepared? Analysts, observers, and those who know
him say that’s just Newt… but will that work in the early states?
Alan Abramowitz, a political science professor at Emory University,
says there are concerns about his electability even in his home
state of Georgia because of his “personal history” and “comments
that can come across as overly harsh or
extreme or hypocritical
in some cases.”
“He’s never run for anything
outside his one congressional district... He really has no
experience running a national or even a statewide political campaign
or appealing to a broader electorate. I think it’s mainly his
personality, that’s just Newt,” Abramowitz said. “He’s just
irrepressible. He’s always got new ideas, energetic... but he has a
huge ego [and] he just sort of barges ahead.”
“For him to
almost be victimized by the 24-hour news cycle and the way people
are able to research things and say things is kind of incongruous
with what he used to say and sort of be.”
House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at an event on health care in the
U.S. Capitol on March 31, in Washington, DC. (Photo: Brendan Hoffman
/ Getty Images)
changing positions on Libya
have been widely
called for a no-fly zone in early March, then reversed that position
a few weeks later, saying he wouldn’t have intervened—and then he
quickly reversed again, saying Col. Muammar Gaddafi should be
defeated. In Iowa last weekend, he admitted to “contradictions” in
his statements, but spokesman Rick Tyler explained Gingrich was
merely responding to the president’s “shifting positions and
“I think Newt has said the same
thing all along and I’m very confused why the press can’t see the
difference between Col. Gaddafi has to go and Gaddafi can you please
kind of go because this is really making me look bad,” said Tyler,
referring to what he perceives as President Obama's shifting
David Woodard, a GOP strategist
in South Carolina and professor at Clemson University, has known
Gingrich since the early 1990s. When Woodard was campaign manager
for then-House candidate Lindsey Graham in 1994, Gingrich headed up
GOPAC and they would have weekly conference calls with candidates
and staffers around the country. Woodard said Gingrich—famous for
his wonkiness— was exceptionally good with messaging, stressing word
choices that could work on both voters and the press. It makes
Woodard wonder why Gingrich is now struggling on, of all things,
Excerpt from huffingtonpost.com
Speculatron June 24, 2011
When we heard this week that
another bunch of staffers up and quit on Newt Gingrich, our response
was, "Who knew he had any other staff left?"
Who still works for the Gingrich campaign?
Juli Weiner spoke to Gingrich's new spokesman, R.C. Hammond, and got
the answer: "Over
That's pretty impressive, considering the "Gingrich campaign" is
little more than a retail operation to move Gingrich family
merchandise. Compared to most people with Etsy accounts, Newt is in
But if we must continue to pretend this is some kind of presidential
campaign, here's the story.
Gingrich is Nowheresville,
staff-wise, in Iowa.
Gingrich, however, is not going down without issuing some laughable
statements attesting to his greatness. "Philosophically,"
Newt said, "I
am very different from normal politicians, and normal consultants
found that very hard to deal with." Yeah, man! You're just so
different and unusual, and all us squares just don't get him!
He's also "blaming the media,"
telling Neil Boortz,
"I didn't think they would realize this early just how dangerous
this campaign is and go after it so hard." Yeah, dude. Not since
the Roxette song of the same name
has America had to contend with something so "dangerous."
Just when things couldn’t get
any worse for Newt Gingrich, here comes a Republican colleague with
a very long memory.
Bryan Curtis is the
national correspondent at Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He was a
columnist at Play: The New York Times Sports Magazine, Slate, and
Texas Monthly, and has written for Grantland, New York, and GQ.
Contact him at
I have a
voicemail Newt Gingrich doesn’t want to hear. The
the Newt for President
were nothing compared to this.
“Bryan, Bob Dornan…” the voicemail begins.
“I’d like to talk to you folks about Newt Gingrich. What
a piece of work. … The guy that single-handedly left us
Dennis Hastert for eight years! The super-hypocrite
going after Clinton when he was just as bad!”
You may remember
Bob Dornan. Hard-right GOP congressman.
"B-1 Bomber Bob" C-SPAN bellower who, in his Virginia retirement, bellows
mostly into my voicemail. Bob has a bone to pick
“This is my
mission,” Bob continues. “I accept it. … Please
let me have a piece of the action.”
Bob, who is 78, is
this campaign’s leading Newtologist. His study of
“Newtie,” as he calls him, began during the 16
full-combat years they spent together as GOP
congressman. He holds something of a grudge.
But his argument mirrors what—to judge by the polls—a
lot of GOP primary voters feel every time Newt opens his
mouth. Bob’s argument is that Newt is a
pseudo-intellectual gasbag, a moral basket case, and a
political performance artist whose campaign is less a
bid for the White House than a marketing blitz to pump
up “Gingrich Inc.” When I call him back, Bob says
he wants to do the nation a service. “I want to get
this man the hell out of America’s hair!” he roars.
Bob was first
elected to Congress from California in 1976. Newt joined
him two years later. “People say to me, ‘What was the
best time you had in the House?' ”
Bob’s answer is his
first, pre-Newt term. Bob had denounced Jimmy
Carter for canceling the B-1 Bomber (“They’re
breaking open the vodka bottles in Moscow!”) and was
delivering bazooka-blast speeches on the House floor.
Bob was an ideologue in full growl.
“Newt as whip
was insufferable,” Bob says. “That intern that
said he was a dork and a geek was right. He was the most
arrogant person in either party I served
Then the ex-college
professor from Georgia showed up. “When [Newt]
arrived and I got a load of this guy...” Bob says.
“I remember the southeast well of the Cannon Office
Building. ‘Hey, Bob, I want you to meet my wife!’ There
was this sad woman.” That was Jackie Gingrich, Wife
“The late, great Paul
Weyrich warned me, ‘This guy has no compass.’”
Before coming to
Congress, Bob was a flamboyant L.A. talk-show host.
Swaggering self-promoters he could handle. (Hell, he was
one.) But Newt was playing a different game. A
Rockefeller Republican-turned-Reaganite, Newt aspired to
be a back-room apparatchik rather than a demagogue. He
was less interested in ideology than in cultivating an
image as an ideas man. Bob says Newt told
Republicans like Jack Kemp to always carry a New York
Times bestseller under their arm, with the front cover
turned out, so that the media would take their picture
with it. (The Gingrich campaign declined to comment.)
“Then Newt started
talking about Alvin Toffler,” Bob says. “I went,
Wait a minute, I guested Toffler on Tempo, my TV show,
and The Robert K. Dornan Show in the '70s. This guy is a
For all his
idea-mongering, Newt wasn’t a hard worker, Bob
maintains. Years later, when Bob offered to take him
along on foreign trips, Newt would suggest Bob go and
report back to him instead. (Bob declined and broadcast
his findings on the House floor.) Bob says Newt’s
relationships with the future Marianne and Callista
Gingrich were open secrets in the GOP caucus. “At the
end of the two years,” Bob recalls, “one of the
pages, he said, ‘Do you know what we call Mr. Gingrich
behind the scenes?’”
“I said, ‘What?’”
“‘We call him a
dork, a geek, and a skank’—a word I’d never heard.”
In 1989, George
H.W. Bush elevated Rep. Dick Cheney, the GOP whip, to
Defense secretary. Newt ran for the whip’s post against
Ed Madigan. The race marked a rare Bob-Newt detente. “I’m sorry to say I voted for him,” Bob says, “because
as weird as he was to me, Madigan had zero personality.”
Newt won by two votes.
I ask Bob what he’d
feel like if the margin were slimmer and he’d put Newt
over the top. “I would feel like Victor
Frankenstein,” he cackles. “I would be the
doctor. I would think, What have I created and how do I
stop the monster?”
If Newt was
image-obsessed as a lowly representative, now he had
power. “Newt as whip was insufferable,” Bob says.
“That intern that said he was a dork and a geek was
right. He was the most arrogant person in either party
that I ever served with.” As Newt collected scalps
like Democratic Speaker Jim Wright’s, a cult of Newt
developed in Congress. Even congressman that didn’t like
him confided to Bob that they thought Newt was The One.
Newt became the fire-breather, the man Time
magazine dubbed the “Republicans’
pit bull.” Dornan,
though he had no designs on the leadership, might have
preferred to be the pit bull. “Newt Gingrich ruined
my subsequent 16 years in the House because it was so
hard to operate around him,” Bob says.
The GOP won the
House in 1994. (Bob insists it had more to do with
Clinton-hating than the Contract with America.) In
December 1994, Newt addressed his new charges and reeled
off a number of books for freshmen to read, including
one by Alvin Toffler. Bob turned to Henry Hyde, the
Republican who died in 2007, and said, “Oh my gosh,
Bob says Hyde
replied: “What pyschobabble.”
As speaker, Newt
treated Bob like a man treats his least favorite cousin
at the family reunion. Bob’s wife Sallie observed that
every time Bob turned away from Newt, Newt would scowl
or shake his head. In 1994, as a goodwill gesture, Bob
met Newt in his office and gave him a NATO medal he’d
been given in Europe.
“He goes, ‘Oh.
Yeah. OK,’” Bob recalls. “Not, ‘Thanks, Bob, for
bringing this back to me.”
“I closed that
door behind me and said, “‘There is something wrong with
this guy, and he’s got it in for me.’”
“On top of
everything else, Bryan, he had the most annoying voice
in the Congress! … I had to suffer those 16 years
listening to this high, squeaky voice, and it was like
fingernails on a blackboard.”
If you think the
idea of having Newt in public life sounds unappetizing,
Bob has been dealing with it since 1979.
In the 1996
elections, Bob lost his House seat to Loretta Sanchez by
a few hundred votes. Bob thinks illegal aliens gave
Sanchez the winning margin and says Newt didn’t support
his bid for a recount. This eats at Bob. He calls it
Speaking of eating,
Bob can’t believe how Newt looked at the CNN New
Hampshire debate on June 13. “Everybody on that stage
was trim! … [Rick] Santorum, trim, prepared for a race.
[Michele] Bachmann, looking actually beautiful. [Mitt]
Romney, looking like central casting sent him…
Newt. I can’t pull punches with this guy. He was obese!
… He’s an evil-looking gnome.”
As the campaign
trundles along, Bob is ramping up his study of Newt. He
reads voraciously and scrutinizes every Gingrichian
proclamation for inconsistencies. I’m not sure who Bob’s
audience is, except for me, but I often find him
perceptive. For example, Bob notes that at the CNN
debate, Santorum and Bachmann used their opening
statements to brag about their kids; Newt avoided family
stuff. Bob also says Newt buttoned the wrong button on
his suit at the debate. That observation was so
perceptive that I couldn’t even see it on the telecast.
“Let me give you
a bottom line here, Bryan, why I’m calling you. And not
just to get revenge for slights to me. This guy is
hurting his country, the presidential process, and his
“If any Tea
Party person is for Gingrich, I could disabuse them of
it in a minute!”
Bob has a plan. If
Newt stays in the race, Bob wants to fly to the next GOP
debate and deliver his anti-Newt tirade to Newt himself.
He almost did it a few weeks ago—he even had the plane
tickets. Bob wants to rise from the audience to ask a
question, or confront Newt in the Spin Room after. “If he shows up at another debate,” Bob says,
“I’m pretty much gonna promise you, Bryan, I’m gonna be
He wants Newt to
know he’s coming. “If you even put in a slight
mention [of me showing up], it’ll come up on his media
search. … He’ll know that I’m on the path. And I’m gonna
drive him out of this race.”
“I want him out
of politics! I will wear that sandwich board!”
Advice to Newt: If
you see a 78-year-old man enter the Spin Room with a
sadistic grin on his face, do not scowl or shake your
head. Take Callista by the hand and head for the nearest
exit. “I would have loved to have been in that Spin
Room,” Bob roars, “saying, ‘Newtie! The end is
near! You are a disgrace.’”
Yesterday Newt Gingrich laid out
a new argument for why he should be the GOP presidential
nominee: He's got the most Twitter followers. But according to a
former Gingrich staffer, he bought them.
that the press is ignoring his prodigious Twitter audience: "I
have six times as many Twitter followers as all the other
candidates combined, but it didn't count because if it counted
I'd still be a candidate; since I can't be a candidate that
can't count." Which is true! Gingrich currently boasts 1,325,842
followers, whereas competitors Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann
have yet to crack 100,000.
But if Newt is winning the
Twitter primary, it's because of voter fraud. A former staffer
tells us that his campaign hired a firm to boost his follower
count, in part by creating fake accounts en masse:
Newt employs a variety
of agencies whose sole purpose is to procure Twitter
followers for people who are shallow/insecure/unpopular
enough to pay for them. As you might guess, Newt is most
decidedly one of the people to which these agencies cater.
About 80 percent of
those accounts are inactive or are dummy accounts created by
various "follow agencies," another 10 percent are real
people who are part of a network of folks who follow others
back and are paying for followers themselves (Newt's profile
just happens to be a part of these networks because he uses
them, although he doesn't follow back), and the remaining 10
percent may, in fact, be real, sentient people who happen to
like Newt Gingrich. If you simply scroll through his list of
followers you'll see that most of them have odd usernames
and no profile photos, which has to do with the fact that
they were mass generated. Pathetic, isn't it?
That's quite a
different explanation for Gingrich's Twitter popularity than the
one offered by
this Politico story on the subject:
"[I]t's his personal touch: He tweets and manages his Twitter
feed himself, his campaign confirmed to POLITICO. All told, he
has tweeted 2,611 times in the 29 months since he joined the
While it would be
impossible to survey all of Gingrich's followers, a cursory
glance immediately turned up a few
that featured odd names, no personal information, no followers,
no posts, and a small follow list. And there's certainly a
healthy market out there for buying
Twitter followers, either by
hiring a company to strategically follow accounts that will
follow you back or by paying for dummy accounts. If Gingrich did
goose his Twitter numbers, it would help explain why he has, for
instance, more than twice as many followers as Sarah Palin,
which just doesn't sound right.
The Gingrich campaign
didn't respond to a message seeking comment.
Excerpts from an
article printed in the New York Times May 11, 2011
Newt Gingrich, the
former House speaker and latest entrant in the Republican presidential field,
has money, experience and name recognition. His
is all serenity and hope, a deceptively calm way for many voters
to meet a splenetic politician with a long history of slashing divisiveness and
He refers to himself as a
historian, but apparently his personal study of history has
primarily taught him about the effectiveness of demagogy. Donald
Trump, fiddling with birth certificates, is an amateur compared
with Mr. Gingrich at sliming the Obama administration — as well
as Democrats, Muslims, blacks and gay men and lesbians.
The Democrats who won
in 2008, including President Obama, are “left-wing radicals” who
lead a “secular socialist machine,”
he wrote in his 2010 book,
“To Save America.” He accused them of producing “the greatest
political corruption ever seen in modern America.” And then the
inevitable historical coup de grâce: “The secular-socialist
machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany
or the Soviet Union once did.”
The slurs don’t stop
there. He compared the Muslims who wanted to open an Islamic
center in Lower Manhattan to the German Reich,
“would be like putting a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust
Museum.” He is promoting the fringe idea that “jihadis” are
intent on imposing Islamic law on every American village and
he called for a federal law
to stop the (nonexistent) onslaught of Sharia on American
jurisprudence and accused the left of refusing to acknowledge
its “mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United
States and in the world as we know it.” This nuanced grasp of
world affairs was reinforced when
he said that Mr. Obama
displayed “Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior.”
In his world,
advocates for gay rights are imposing a “gay and secular
fascism” using violence and harassment, blacks have
little entrepreneurial tradition,
and Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the Supreme Court is a “Latina
woman racist.” (He kind of took
back that last slur.)
Despite all this, not
the ethics violation
when he was speaker, Mr. Gingrich’s real liability among the
conservative and fundamentalist groups that dominate the
Republican primaries is his personal
history of infidelity
that led to two sordid divorces. (Much of which took place while
he was denouncing President Bill Clinton for moral
transgressions.) That may explain his endless calls to
restore Judeo-Christian values.
It is sometimes difficult
to know what some Republican candidates stand for, as they
pander to the far right without alienating the center. It is not
difficult to know what Newt Gingrich stands for, and to find it
Excerpts from an article on
huffingtonpost.com by Sam Stein on 5/12/2011
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
(R) was set to defend his state's health care law from conservative
critics in a high-profile speech on Thursday. But Romney is far from
being the potential 2012 Republican presidential contender with the most
politically problematic record on health care.
In his post-congressional life,
Gingrich has been a vocal champion for mandated insurance coverage --
the very provision of President Obama's health care legislation that the
Republican Party now decries as fundamentally unconstitutional.
This mandate was hardly some
little-discussed aspect of Gingrich's plan for health care reform. In
the mid-2000s, he partnered with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) to
promote a centrist solution to fixing the nation's health care system. A
July 22, 2005, Hotline article on one of the duo's events described the
former speaker as endorsing not just state-based mandates (the linchpin
of Romney's Massachusetts law) but "some federal mandates" as well. A
New York Sun writeup of what appears to be the same event noted
that "both politicians appeared to endorse proposals to require all
individuals to have some form of health coverage."
Neera Tanden, an aide to Clinton at
the time who went on to help craft President Obama's law, said she
couldn't recall exact speeches, but "strongly" believed that the both
Clinton and Gingrich backed the individual mandate. Either way, she
added, "Gingrich has been known as a supporter" of the idea for some
A simple newspaper archive search
bears this out. At an
Alegent Health event
in Omaha in 2008, Gingrich said it was "fundamentally immoral" for a
person to go without coverage, show up at an emergency room and demand
During the keynote address to the
Greater Detroit Area Health Council's annual Health Trends Conference in
April 2006, Gingrich said he would require Americans earning above a
certain income level to buy health insurance or post a bond, the Detroit Free Press
In a June 2007 op-ed in the
Moines Register, Gingrich wrote, "Personal responsibility extends
to the purchase of health insurance. Citizens should not be able to
cheat their neighbors by not buying insurance, particularly when they
can afford it, and expect others to pay for their care when they need
it." An "individual mandate," he added, should be applied "when the
larger health-care system has been fundamentally changed."
And in several of his many policy
and politics-focused books, Gingrich offered much the same.
In 2008's "Real Change," he wrote,
"Finally, we should insist that everyone above a certain level buy
coverage (or, if they are opposed to insurance, post a bond). Meanwhile,
we should provide tax credits or subsidize private insurance for the
In 2005's "Winning the Future," he
expanded on the idea in more detail: "You have the right to be part of
the lowest-cost insurance pool and you have a responsibility to buy
insurance. ... We need some significant changes to ensure that every
American is insured, but we should make it clear that a 21st Century
Intelligent System requires everyone to participate in the insurance
"People whose income is too low
should receive Medicaid vouchers and tax credits to buy insurance," he
continued. "Large risk pools (association health plans are one model)
should be established so low-income people can buy insurance as
inexpensively as large corporations. Furthermore, it should be possible
to buy your health insurance on-line to lower the cost as much as
It wasn't just insurance coverage
mandates that Gingirch supported. According to a July, 21 2005 Gannett
News Service article, the Georgia Republican also said that he would
have Congress mandate physical education five days a week for all
elementary and high school pupils as a way of combating obesity and
diabetes. Such a vision of health care reform seems drawn from the same
philosophical threads as the plan that President Obama signed last
spring -- as well as from the first lady's campaign to improve
But Gingrich has joined his
Republican colleagues in harshly criticizing the work of the current
president, calling the Affordable Care Act "madness"
and "indefensible," pressing for it be
and praising the efforts of several state attorneys general who are
challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate.
Spokesmen for Gingrich did not
return an email request for comment on his support for
federally-applied, individual mandates.
Ed Haislmaier, a health care policy
expert at the Heritage Foundation (the conservative think tank that
first championed the mandate),
said he did not have enough information to comment on Gingrich's past
approach to health care reform. Haislmaier did, however, note that there
is a distinction between taxing individuals for not buying insurance and
requiring them to post a bond, as Gingrich proposed. While the former is
a penalty for not getting coverage, "what [the latter] is saying is you
have to pay your bills if you get care," he said.
A bond, as Haislmaier noted, is
exactly what Romney initially proposed while he was governor of
Massachusetts. Romney ended up signing off on a more traditional mandate
only after it was passed by the state legislature.
For that signature, Romney now
faces a major trust deficit among conservatives. In advance of his
Thursday speech, the Wall Street Journal
ran an editorial
calling him Obama's "running mate," a candidate who was at once
"compromised and not credible."
The speech is, if nothing else, a
testament to how far the conversation over health care has moved in such
a short period of time. When Romney signed his bill into law, the
Associated Press published a story titled "
Mass. Health Care Plan Riles Some Liberals."
In it, John Sweeney, the then-president of the AFL-CIO -- the labor
federation which has become a defender of the individual mandate --
decried the idea that "workers were being forced to purchase health care
coverage or face higher taxes."
Romney, Sweeney added, was taking
"a page out of the Newt Gingrich playbook."
an article posted on slate.com by Emily Yoffe May 10, 2011
A front page story in
describes how Callista Gingrich, Newt’s third wife, is expected to
have a central role should he run for president. We learn that as
part of a possible “reintroduction” to the public as more than just
the young Hill staffer with whom he was cheating on his second wife,
Callista has written a children’s book to be published in the fall.
How I wish the title were: Mommy, Who’s that Blonde Lady
Standing So Close to Daddy? The article also notes that the
Gingriches are constantly together. This may be because they are
soul mates, or it may be that the current Mrs. Gingrich understands
that the best way to be the former Mrs. Gingrich is to let Mr.
Gingrich out of her sight.
Between 2009 and 2010 Gingrich,
a loudmouth of dubious ethics, raised $32 million. He has various
advocacy and for-profit groups, from health care consulting to
churning out “inspirational” books and movies. (I saw a five-minute
clip of a documentary starring Newt and the compellingly
platinum-helmeted Callista. It kind of made me want to take a dose
of that medication that’s supposed to prevent the formation of
permanent, traumatic memories.) For his possible presidential
campaign, the Journal describes how “Newt Inc.” spends
millions on fundraising (one of his organizations spends more than
half its earnings on telemarketing and direct mail) and chartered
jet travel for the Gingriches. Gingrich must know he won't be
elected president, but if he doesn't at least make a feint at
running, it will hurt his ability to get other people to give him
I’ll give the Gingriches credit
for their utter lack of irony. At the same time he was denouncing
Bill Clinton for his sexual transgressions, Newt was carrying on a
long-term extramarital affair with Callista. But that was so long
ago, and now, the Journal writes, he and Callista are out
there campaigning, “to bring moral leadership back to our nation.”
Toward that end one of his groups “funneled $150,000 in seed money
to a successful campaign last fall to oust three Iowa Supreme Court
judges who supported gay marriage.” How morally bankrupt can two
people be? I actually don’t care that much about other people’s
infidelities or accumulation of marriages. But apparently Newt and
Callista do care enough about the love lives of others to put their
money where their mouths are to prevent two people of the same sex
having the same right as they do to marry the person they (finally,
really and truly this time) love.
Excerpts from an article
posted on the Huffington Post by Ashley Reich 05-11-11 02:34 PM
On Wednesday, Newt
formally announced he is running for
President in the 2012 election.
The former Speaker of the House, whose past infidelities and
messy divorces have long been fixtures in the press, is hardly
the only politician with a complicated marital history (there's
also potential running-mates Buddy Roemer, Donald Trump, and
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels). Still, framing his past to
appeal to conservative voters will be a challenge. Here, a
primer on Gingrich's relationship history.
Gingrich met his first wife, Jackie Battley, while he was
still in high school. Battley was his
geometry teacher, and seven years his
to Gingrich's second wife
Ginther, the age difference was
actually nine years--Gingrich was 16 when
the student-teacher courtship began). Their
secret relationship included
in the back of a car. The pair married in
1962, and had two children before splitting
in February 1980. According to Esquire,
Gingrich served Battley with divorce papers
while she was in the hospital recovering
from uterine cancer.
Gingrich's unsuccessful congressional campaigns in
1974 and 1976, "it was common knowledge that Newt
was involved with other women during his marriage to
Jackie. Maybe not on the level of John Kennedy. But
he had girlfriends -- some serious, some trivial,"
his former campaign scheduler told
in 1995. A woman named Anne Manning
admitted to having a relationship with Gingrich
during his 1976 campaign. "We had oral sex," she
said. "He prefers that modus operandi because then
he can say, 'I never slept with her.'"
Marianne Ginther (to his
left), the 28-year-old daughter of an Ohio mayor, at a political fundraiser
in 1980. They began a relationship while Gingrich was still married to his
first wife; he told Ginther that they were in marital counseling and
considering divorce. Things progressed quickly--Ginther met his family
that summer, and they married in August 1981, six months after his divorce
from Battley was finalized. "He asked me to marry him way too early,"
"And he wasn't divorced yet. I should have known there was a problem."
Their marriage was over by 1999, after Ginther had been diagnosed with
Multiple Sclerosis. She was in Ohio visiting her mother for Mother's
Day when Gingrich called, saying he needed to talk in person. She says
she intuitively knew that he was having an affair (with his soon-to-be third
wife, Callista Bisek), and called a minister
for marital counseling--to no avail.
During Gingrich and Ginther's
divorce proceedings, congressional aide Calista Bisek
(on his right)--23 years Gingrich's junior--admitted to
having a six-year affair with the former congressman. Bisek and
having breakfast together at the Supreme Court cafeteria
throughout the 1990s, though their affair wasn't outed until 1999. At
the time, Gingrich had
former President Clinton's infidelities with Monica
Lewinsky, while discreetly carrying on an affair of his own. According
to Ginther, "He'd already asked [Bisek] to marry him before he asked
me for a divorce." Gingrich and Bisek married in August 2000.
When questioned about his
in March 2011, Gingrich admitted to Christian
Broadcasting Network's David Brody that he had done "things that were wrong"
during his married life. "There's no question at times of my life, partially
driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too
hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate," Gingrich
said. "And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I
wasn't trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and
yet, I was doing them...I found that I felt compelled to seek God's
forgiveness. Not God's understanding, but God's forgiveness." Gingrich
converted to Catholicism
in March 2009, in part due to his third wife's faith
and Mass attendance. Along with his conversion, he formally requested that
the Catholic Church nullify his marriage to Ginther.
Newt Gingrich is straddling a
fine line: Even as he courts evangelicals wary of his two divorces,
a Gingrich political committee has taken millions from a casino
titan whose industry is often anathema to the Christian right.
Confronted with repeated
questions about his personal life, Gingrich has created a pair of
religious-oriented nonprofit groups that since 2009 have raised over
$5 million to boost his standing among evangelical conservatives.
Meanwhile, Gingrich's key
political group, American Solutions for Winning the Future, has
hauled in $7 million from one big financial backer -- Sheldon
Adelson, the multi- billionaire chairman of the Las Vegas Sands
casino, who is expected to help raise funds for Gingrich if he opts
to run for president. The Sands recently disclosed it is under
Justice Department investigation for possible bribery in the Chinese
gambling hub of Macau where it has a major casino operation. And
last December while Adelson was visiting Macau, the police anti-vice
squad raided his Venetian Hotel and arrested more than 100 alleged
prostitutes and pimps on charges of running a sex ring out of the
Welcome to the world of the
former House Speaker, who has long been plagued by controversies and
contradictions. As Gingrich hints that he's looking to get into the
race early next month, his sprawling network of profit and nonprofit
groups, dubbed Newt Inc., may have a challenge juggling dueling
Call it Saints and Sinners.
worked hard to cement his ties to the religious right in the
last two years by appearing at half a dozen large pastors'
meetings in early primary states such as Iowa, New Hampshire and
South Carolina. The religious leaders typically talk about the
central role they believe religion has had in America and about
issues dear to them like abortion.
Gingrich's vehicle for
boosting his image with evangelicals, Renewing American
Leadership (ReAL), last year set up a political arm that
channeled150,000 to two groups in a successful drive to oust
three Iowa Supreme Court Justices who sided with gay marriage.
A large Israeli newspaper
owned by Adelson, a staunch ally of the Israeli right, last year
featured a picture of Gingrich on its front page. In the
accompanying article, Gingrich raised fears that Obama
administration policies towards Iran and terrorism could lead to
a "second Holocaust."
probe into potential bribery by Adelson's Sands in Macau comes
on the heels of a private wrongful termination lawsuit filed
last year by Steven Jacobs, the former Sands executive who ran
the Macau operation before being sacked last year. In his suit,
Jacobs claims Adelson tried to get him to use "improper
leverage" against some unidentified Macau government officials
so the Sands could obtain the rights to sell apartments at a
Four Seasons complex, a possible violation of the Foreign
Corrupt Practices Act. A Sands spokesman, Ronald Reese, said
that "We are cooperating fully with the investigations." Reese
also said that the hotel firm's management in Macau was fully
cooperating with the local police on the vice squad raid.
COURTING EVANGELICALS WHO
FROWN ON HIS PERSONAL LIFE
Duality and inconsistencies
have long been a hallmark of Gingrich's career. But now the stakes
are higher, as evidenced by the Georgian's aggressive efforts to woo
evangelicals who make up a large proportion of voters in early GOP
The biggest problems for
Gingrich are the painful details of his two divorces, especially his
divorce from his second wife, Marianne, and his marriage to his
third, Callista. According to testimony that surfaced during
Gingrich's 1999 divorce proceeding, his relationship with Callista
began in 1993 -- when she was a young staffer on the House
Agriculture Committee and he was married.
The affair with Callista
continued during the four years when Gingrich was Speaker -- a
period in which he promoted an agenda that championed family values.
In 1998, Gingrich called for President Bill Clinton's impeachment
over the Monica Lewinsky affair.
Gingrich's first marriage to a
high school teacher, Jackie Battley, ended after 19 years in 1961
after he had an affair with Marianne. According to Battley, Gingrich
told her of his plans for a divorce while she was in a hospital
recovering from cancer surgery, an account that Gingrich has
Gingrich's aggressive efforts
to assuage evangelical concerns about his marital history have had
mixed results, say prominent religious leaders. Gingrich has made
some headway with evangelicals, but still faces huge obstacles, says
Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and
Religious Liberty Commission.
"Yes, he's made progress in
making some evangelicals more comfortable with his candidacy," Land
said in an interview. "But it's still a high hill to climb. Two
ex-wives is more than an arithmetic progression for most
evangelicals. It's an exponential progression."
His longtime spokesman and a
director of ReAl, Rick Tyler, said, "I think he's making very good
progress with the evangelical community."
Gingrich is building a base of
financial support in the religious world that can yield dividends in
a presidential campaign. Tyler said that of the $5 million that ReAL
raised in 2009 and 2010, via fundraising letters that Gingrich
signed, the vast majority has been plowed back into more direct mail
solicitations to raise more funds and develop a strong evangelical
For instance, Tyler said that
ReAL has a list of 44,000 donors who have given more than once to
Gingrich's nonprofits, which would be a very valuable asset for a
Gingrich presidential campaign to tap for support.
More broadly, Tyler noted that
Gingrich will be able to use mailing lists connected with other
parts of Newt Inc. as well as lists of people who have responded to
fundraising appeals he's signed for the Republican National
Committee and the Republican Governors Association. The combination
could allow Gingrich to tap lists totaling as many as 2 million
ReAL Action, the political arm
of Renewing American Leadership, hopes to raise between $500,000 and
$1 million by mid year, Tyler said.
Its maiden foray was to funnel
$150,000 to two conservative groups, the American Family Association
Action and the Iowa Christian Alliance. These funds were spent in
the conservative drive to remove three Iowa Supreme Court Justices
who had ruled in favor of same sex marriage, an issue high on the
agenda of social conservatives.
ReAL Action has spent about
$100,000 to organize a conservative coalition in Washington that's
been pushing for a balanced budget amendment. Tyler said his group
helped recruit and pay the salary of the coalition's director,
Kellen Guida, and has also spent funds to set up a website for the
Gingrich has stepped up his
appearances at meetings of religious pastors in the last year. Last
weekend, he flew to Des Moines to give a talk to some 600 pastors
attending a day-long clergy event which also drew potential rivals
including Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Rep. Michele Bachman.
The centerpiece of Newt Inc. is
American Solutions for Winning the Future, a 527 nonprofit which can
accept unlimited donations. Since 2006 it has raised a whopping $52
million, much of it from energy companies, real estate interests and
several conservative moguls attracted to Gingrich's long time
advocacy of reducing the size of government including his
anti-regulatory and anti-tax stances.
For instance, the 527 has
corralled close to $2 million from several giant energy companies
including Peabody Energy, the nation's largest coal company, Arch
Coal, and Devon Energy. In the last two years, American Solutions
has focused heavily on calls for abolishing the EPA and replacing it
with a new agency that would be more business friendly.
CASINO BILLIONAIRE IS
GINGRICH'S SINGLE LARGEST DONOR
Far and away the group's
largest backer is Adelson.
Tyler said that Gingrich and
Adelson are quite close: "Newt and Adelson talk often and their
shared interest is Israel."
Both men are deeply worried
about Israeli security and have an affinity for Israel's hawks. Last
May, Adelson's Israeli daily, Israel Hayom, featured Gingrich on the
front page with a big headline which read: "The Obama Administration
is Denying Reality." In the story inside, Gingrich warned of a
"second Holocaust," if policies didn't change. The free paper is now
one of the largest-circulation publications in Israel.
The casino mogul views Gingrich
as one of the leading GOP voices on such topics as the need for a
strong U.S.-Israeli relationship, the threat of radical Islam, free
market health care reforms and a strong anti-union stance. Tyler
said Adelson has attended many events hosted by American Solutions,
which often include long-time donors with potential donors.
In recent years, Adelson has
made one of his planes available to Gingrich for travel on a handful
of occasions. Tyler said Gingrich has not used any planes owned by
Adelson or the Sands for political travel, but declined to comment
Adelson is famous for writing
six- and seven-figure checks to conservative groups such as the
powerful and conservative Republican Jewish Coalition, which is
holding a three-day meeting at the Venetian in Las Vegas this
weekend. Gingrich won't be there, but he attended an RJC event in
January in Washington that also drew Adelson.
But Adelson's largess to
American Solutions could haunt Gingrich in the wake of the Sands'
SEC filing in February revealing that it was under scrutiny by
Justice and the SEC for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt
Practices Act. The Sands has received a subpoena on the matter from
the SEC. Similar investigations are being conducted by the Nevada
Gaming Control Board and Hong Kong regulators.
The federal probe, according to
Sands' statements, is an outgrowth of the private lawsuit filed in
Nevada last year by Jacobs, the executive who ran its Macau
operations for over a year. Jacobs claims he was fired from his job
in part because he opposed a bribery scheme in the lucrative
gambling haven. The lawsuit charges in part that Adelson tried to
get him to hire a local lawyer, Leonel Alves, who holds a government
position in Macau and was in a position to help their business. For
over a year, Alves was listed as a company counsel, a potential
conflict of interest that might violate the Foreign Corrupt
Jacobs also charged that
Adelson ordered him to conduct secret probes of high level Macau
government officials. The lawsuit claims that "Any negative
information could be used to exert 'leverage' in order to thwart
The Sands has called Jacobs a
disgruntled former employee and sought to discredit him. Adelson
this week in comments to Wall Street stock analysts rebutted the
accusations and called them "pure threatening, blackmailing and
Gingrich's tight ties with
Adelson could cause heartburn for some social conservatives who
oppose gambling. Land, of the Baptist group, said "Gambling is a
nefarious industry that corrupts everything it touches."
But Land said that thus far he
is not concerned about the ties, unless Gingrich decides to back the
expansion of gambling or Internet gambling or if the criminal
investigation leads to charges against the Sands.
Newton "Newt" Leroy Gingrich
(born June 17, 1943) is an American politician, author,
former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, 1994 Time
magazine Person of the Year, college history professor, professional
hypocrite, loudmouth, panderer, adulterer, and a jerk.
Gingrich's first name comes
from an abbreviation of Newton and not from his parents naming him after
a lizard. It is extremely unlikely that a man with such jowls could've
ever been likened to a long, slender animal surviving on a healthy, high
Through such landmarks as the Contract with America and the subsequent
Republican Revolution, Gingrich would follow the time-honored—if
paradoxical—Republican Party tradition of somehow cementing a favorable
legacy while almost never achieving an approval rating above 50%.
Though Gingrich's career has been mostly comprised of attacks on other
officials and a spotty ethical and moral record, he has maintained a
prominent position in a faltering party searching for a clear leader
who's not a complete embarrassment.
A champion of Christian morality, Gingrich had three different wives
over 35 years, though during that period, was only unmarried for a total
of less than a year. Simple arithmetic suggests that either Gingrich is
incredibly impulsive or his position on family values might include a
bit more extramarital f****king than one might have originally thought.
life Gingrich was born in 1943 to Newton Searles McPherson and
Kathleen Daugherty, two people who, though young in age, clearly got their
names from the 1800s.
At his birth, Gingrich's father and mother were only 19 and 16,
respectively. Considering this fact, it is fortunate that the nickname
"Newt" Gingrich stuck rather than the more cumbersome, yet more accurate
sobriquet Newton "Statutory Rape" Gingrich.
With his father mostly out of the picture, Gingrich's mother raised him on
her own until she married Robert Gingrich, meaning that technically, since
his birth, Gingrich has consistently been a burden to single mothers.
Gingrich received a B.A. from Emory University (noted for it's fine medical
program) and an M.A. from Tulane University (noted for its proximity to the
Girls Gone Wild bus).
When he was 19, Gingrich slept with and married his high school geometry
teacher who switched religions for him, mothered two of his children and
funded his undergraduate and graduate education only to be dumped and
divorced by Gingrich several years later when he decided she wasn't "young
enough or pretty enough to be the president's wife. In a jerk move that
makes even John Edwards look like Ward Cleaver in a stage production of the
life of Mother Teresa, Gingrich got his wife to agree to a very one-sided
divorce while she was recovering in a hospital from uterine cancer.
Gingrich decided to run for congress in 1974, one of the
worst years to be a Republican. He lost two elections, though his campaign
treasurer later said, "We'd have won in 1974 if we could have kept him out
of the office, screwing (a campaign volunteer) on the desk." Eventually,
Gingrich did pause the desk sex long enough to get elected to congress in a
few years later.
Gingrich's early career was primarily focused on impugning his colleagues,
which, as many historical dicks have realized, is far better at boosting
one's party standing than, say, writing important legislation, creating
helpful regulations, or any of the other silly duties that congressmen are
elected to perform.
Often, these accusations were leveled despite Gingrich's own guilty past.
For example, Gingrich was a leader of the inquiry into congressmen writing
bad checks in the early 90s, whilst he had actually written 20 of them
himself. It is unknown how many of these checks were for replacement desktop
In 1994, Gingrich was the lead strategist and author of the Contract with
America, a series of reforms put forward by House Republicans such as
minority-jerk John Boehner. Though most Americans had little interest in the
goals of the Contract and it arguably accomplished very little, "Contract
with America" sounds fancy and made it seem like the Republicans were
actually working on something together.
A similar achievement would be repeated in the Senate just a few years
following when John Ashcroft, Larry Craig, Trent Lott, and James Jeffords
would form the "Singing Senators" barbershop quartet.
Gingrich's work was partly responsible for the Republican Revolution of '94,
which returned the first Republican majority to the House since the 1954
congress (a congress that was so popular, people shot at them.)
Interestingly, Gingrich also caused the demise of Republican momentum when
he got all pissy and caused a government shut down after President Clinton
made him sit in the back of Air Force One. It was as though Gingrich was a
modern Rosa Parks, if you replaced all the important civil rights stuff with
the sound little kids make when there are only grape popsicles left.
These events elevated Gingrich to an easy election to Speaker
of the newly Republican House. During this distinguished, four-year tenure,
Gingrich faced eighty-four charges for ethics violations. And that's not
even counting those from his immediate family.
By 1997, there was already a secret conspiracy formed to force Gingrich out
of his position, though he out-maneuvered it. In 1998, no longer able to
ignore the fact that most of the population hated him and it was costing his
party elections nationwide, Gingrich stepped down from both his Speaker
position and his elected office.
Clinton Impeachment Gingrich, perhaps, found himself most directly in the
American spotlight during the beginnings of the Monica Lewinski scandal when
he regularly attacked President Bill Clinton for his immorality, pointing to
"a level of disrespect and decadence that should appall every American."
It was later revealed that, during this period, Gingrich himself was having
sex with a congressional aide in her 20s. Historians are unsure exactly how
many Americans were appalled by this, but at least one (his wife) was
particularly appalled, especially when he called to divorce her on mother's
The aide, Callista Bisek, eventually became his third wife after the affair
led to a divorce from his previous spouse. While she was certainly "young
enough" to be the president's wife, whether or not she is "pretty enough" is
certainly up for debate.
Although Gingrich resigned from both the Speakership and
congress, he has been unable to refrain from making himself the center of
attention on a number of major issues, regardless of whether anyone is
interested in his opinions.
With a distinct lack of available female aides, Gingrich spends most of his
time providing commentary on Fox News, threatening to run for President, and
sitting on the boards of various "think-tanks," organizations that exist for
the sole purpose of being next to people's names in the National Review.
In 2007, Gingrich launched the American Solutions for Winning the Future, a
"non-partisan" 527 group that "non-partisanly" supports an entirely
Republican point of view. The group's primary campaign focused on seeking
domestic energy solutions and was titled Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.
Coincidentally, this was also the slogan from Gingrich's second divorce.
Gingrich has also authored a number of popular books. While mostly the kind
of non-fiction that's holding up your aging, conservative dad's coffee table
post-father's day, Gingrich has also co-authored a number of fictional,
alternate history books, an appropriate line of work for a person who so
frequently struggles to keep basic historical facts straight.
Amongst these works are novels about the Nazis defeating the Soviet Union,
the Japanese implementing a more effective Pacific strategy, and the South
defeating the North at Gettysburg. It is worth noting the appropriateness of
Gingrich's remarkably keen interest in reimagining the lives of famous
Supreme Court Nominee Controversy
In May 2009, Gingrich posted a comment on Twitter calling
Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor a racist. While some were merely
upset to learn that Twitter has become so lame that Newt Gingrich has an
account, many more people were upset about the contents of the remark
itself. Interestingly, outside observers point out that this comment comes
from a man who spends his free time writing fantasies about the South
winning Civil War battles.
Of course, being politically astute and realizing that he'd probably just
offended 45 million potential voters his party needs to even hope of
succeeding, Gingrich quickly backpedaled his statement in the most public
display of pandering to the Hispanic community since The George Lopez Show.
Gingrich was, along with Michael Steele, the chairman of
Conservative group GOPAC, an organization is best remembered for being under
constant investigation. Gingrich has blamed liberalism for
the shootings at Columbine, for the shootings at Virginia Tech, and for
children dressing up as pimps and prostitutes for Halloween. Conservative
Gingrich most likely prefers young girls dressed up as unpaid campaign
volunteers. One former lover reported: "We had oral sex. He prefers
that modus operandi because then he can say, 'I never slept with her,'" a
line of reasoning noticeably absent from Gingrich's book Rediscovering God
in America. Newt Gingrich hates puppies.
Gingrich lives in a Washington,
DC suburb, because your average ambitious politician would rather be
in Washington than in whatever ugly backwater he or she "represents"
in Congress. Gingrich hasn't voted in Georgia since 2000, the year
he and his third wife bought a presumably lovely house in McLean,
Virginia. But because the Republican party platform is explicitly
anti-elite and anti-Washington, the longtime member of the
Washington establishment is having to pretend to be an outsider in
order to maybe pretend to run for president. But no one in Georgia
remembers or cares about him.
"He's yesterday," said
state Rep. Earl Ehrhart, a veteran Republican state lawmaker,
vocalizing a key vulnerability for Gingrich.
Linda Douglas, a Republican from Gingrich's former congressional
district in Cobb County, shrugged at the mention of Gingrich's
name and said: "Newt was great in the '90s but really, his time
seems like it's long gone."
Newt Gingrich Attempts To Clarify His Position On
Libya But, Wow, So Confusing!
ThinkProgress' George Zornick published an
item that presented Newt Gingrich as having flip-flopped his
position on intervening in Libya in record time.
See, on March 7, Gingrich
was on the teevee with Greta Van Susteren, and he said this:
GINGRICH: Exercise a
no-fly zone this evening. ... We don't need to have the
United Nations. All we have to say is that we think that
slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and that
Later, on that same day,
Gingrich said things like: "This is a moment to get rid of
him. Do it. Get it over with."
And, lo, it came to pass
that a no-fly zone was imposed, and from the heavens did rain a
hundred or so cruise missiles, and yea, Newt Gingrich did look
upon this swelling scene and declared, "NO, NO, THAT'S ALL
WRONG" on the Today Show this morning:
GINGRICH: The standard
[Obama] has fallen back to of humanitarian intervention
could apply to Sudan, to North Korea, to Zimbabwe, to Syria
this week, to Yemen, to Bahrain. ... The Arab League wanted
us to do something. The minute we did something, the Arab
League began criticizing us doing it. I think that two wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan is a lot. I think that the problems
we have in Pakistan, Egypt -- go around the region. We could
get engaged by this standard in all sorts of places. I would
not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways
to affect Gaddafi. I think there are a lot of other allies
in the region we could have worked with. I would not have
used American and European forces.
contradiction rocketing through the interwebs, Gingrich -- who
we remind you is also "contemplating the possibility of thinking
about under some circumstances exploring the potential" of
running for President --
took to Facebook to clarify his position.
His explanation is, in many
ways, utterly perplexing -- like watching Newt Dance the Black
Swan -- but let's give it a shot:
It is deeply troubling
that there is so much confusion, lack of foresight, and
little resolve coming from the President and his
administration about what our mission and goals must be in
the Libya engagement.
I mean, sure. But the issue
is the confusion that you have added to the conversation, so
let's clear that throat and get on with it, shall we?
On March 3rd, President
Obama said publicly that "it's time for Gadaffi to go."
Prior to this
statement, there were options to be indirect and subtle to
achieve this result without United States military forces. I
made this point on The Today Show this morning, saying "I
would not have intervened...there were a lot of other ways
to affect Qaddafi...I would not have used American and
Wait. There were options
"prior" to this March 3 statement that you clarified in a March
23 appearance on the Today Show? Specifically, that you "would
not have intervened" and that you "would not have used American
and European forces." If the conditions for making that point
existed "prior" to March 3rd, then you really shouldn't have
waited for twenty days later to actually say so. Or are other
people responsible for the knowledge you keep to yourself?
Also, let's recall that
while we waited twenty days, we took a brief stop on March 7 for
you to say, "Exercise a no-fly zone this evening." How was that
no-fly zone to be "exercised" without "American and European
I know you imagine there to
be "a lot of other allies in the region we could have worked
with." Are you speaking of the Arab League nations, who "began
criticizing us" the moment we did something? Did you imagine the
Pope would command seraphim into battle, or something? (Can the
Pope actually do this? Now I'm worried about a "strategic
The president, however,
took those options off the table with his public statement.
From the moment of the president's declaration, he put the
prestige and authority of the United States on the line.
After March 3, anything short of a successful, public
campaign for regime change would have been seen as a defeat
for the United States.
Let's recall that the
"options" off the table on March 3 were "indirect and subtle"
things Gingrich believed could "achieve this result without
United States military forces," which is something that he
didn't actually assert until 13 days after he said, "Exercise a
no-fly zone this evening," which -- unless we're to believe
there is an "indirect" or "subtle" way of bombing Libya's
ground-to-air capacity into dust and shooting Libya's planes
down -- doesn't seem indirect or subtle at all.
Nevertheless, when Obama
said that Gaddafi had to go, he "put the prestige and authority
of the United States on the line," requiring him to affect the
Gaddafi-must-go outcome in an "indirect and subtle" manner that
simultaneously required him to ignore Gingrich's own plea for a
"no fly zone this evening," which I think we can logically
assert now as fulfilling neither the requirement of subtlety or
That's why during a
March 7th Greta van Susteren interview, I asserted that the
president should establish a no-fly zone "this evening."
After March 3rd, the President should have moved immediately
to consult with Congress to implement a no-fly zone, while
also making it clear the US would welcome involvement from
I don't think you are
allowed to just say "That's why..." as if they were magic words
that absolve the speaker of actually making sense! For example:
You assert here that after March 3, the president should have
made it "clear the U.S. would welcome involvement from other
nations." And yet today, on the Today Show, you said, "I
would not have used American and European forces." And now we're
back to wondering who these other "forces" are. Arab League
nations? Angels from the Vatican? Mummies?
Instead, he did the
You realize that at this
point, it's a challenge to discern what you mean by "opposite."
But I gather you mean Obama did the opposite of "Exercise a
no-fly zone this evening...We don't need to have the United
Nations. All we have to say is that we think that slaughtering
your own citizens is unacceptable and that we're intervening."
And okay, that's true.
Instead, he exercised a no-fly zone later, with U.N. approval.
If that's your beef with this, you should have just started this
Facebook update by saying, "I disagree with waiting, and I
disagree with waiting for U.N. approval." That would have
obliterated the need for all the preceding paragraphs.
The President wasted
weeks trying to get approval from the United Nations instead
of Congress, the result of which was a weak mandate from the
UN that changed the mission to one of humanitarian
Okay, but wait: it "changed
the mission to one of humanitarian intervention?" But that's
precisely the mission YOU CALLED FOR ON MARCH 7: "All we have to
say is that we think that slaughtering your own citizens is
unacceptable and that we're intervening."
Yet, by that standard
we should also be using US forces in the Sudan, Syria,
Zimbabwe, Yemen and more countries.
You see, Newt, that's the
exact point I would have made to YOU if you had come to me and
said, "All we have to say is that we think that slaughtering
your own citizens is unacceptable and that we're intervening."
WHICH IS WHAT YOU DID SAY.
Given the President's
public statements and the multitude of other humanitarian
crises throughout the world, the only rational purpose for
an intervention with US forces in Libya is to replace
Now that we have US
forces engaged, any result less than the removal of Gadaffi
from power will be considered a defeat.
Yeah, I'll grant you, you
can hedge this because on the same day you presented the cause
for a "no fly zone this evening" as one that was justified
solely on humanitarian grounds ("All we have to say is that we
think that slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and
that we're intervening."), you also said "This is a moment to
get rid of him. Do it. Get it over with."
For that reason, I
believe we must support the mission and see it through.
Huh, what? You support the
mission you don't like and want it to be seen through to the
outcome you don't favor? Whatever, man.
Look, I think that
somewhere in all that gobbledygook, I can discern something that
looks like a position. I think what you mean to say is something
"Let me be clear about
my public statements that now seem, to some observers, to be
contradictory. I believe that there was a moment early on where
a mission should have been undertaken to remove Gaddafi from
power. But that moment was missed, and now we're tangled up in a
bunch of international agreements and are a mere part of a
coalition engaged in a mission that could end up leaving Gaddafi
in power. I'm sorry I inadvertently made a bit of a hash of
things by asserting that this mission could be undertaken solely
on humanitarian grounds when I said 'All we have to say is that
we think that slaughtering your own citizens is unacceptable and
that we're intervening.' Obviously, I don't mean a word of that:
the Sudanese and the Yemenis and the Bahrainians can all go
hang. My position is simply that the United States should have
swiftly and unilaterally interjected itself into a regime change
mission in the Middle East."
Obviously, I can see why
you wouldn't come right out and say that, because swift and
unilateral regime change intervention is not a particularly
popular policy position for a prospective president to take at
More than 20 percent of all
Medicare spending occurs in the last two months of life. Gundersen
Lutheran Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin has developed a
successful end-of-life, best practice that combines: 1) community-wide
advance care planning, where 90 percent of patients have advance
directives; 2) hospice and palliative care; and 3) coordination of
services through an electronic medical record. The Gundersen approach
empowers patients and families to control and direct their care. The
Dartmouth Health Atlas has documented that Gundersen delivers care at a
30 percent lower rate than the national average ($18,359 versus
$25,860). If Gundersen’s approach was used to care for the approximately
4.5 million Medicare beneficiaries who die every year, Medicare could
save more than $33 billion a year.
That was Newt Gingrich just a few
months ago praising the “Advance Directives” practiced by a hospital in
Wisconsin. Advance Directives are another word for the end-of-life
consultations that the teabggers have been flipping out over of late.
Gingrich loved them a few months ago. This is Gingrich a few months before
that, responding to a PBS query:
give you an example that I find fascinating. In LaCrosse, Wisc., the
Gundersen Lutheran Hospital system is, according to the
[Atlas of Health Care], the least expensive place in America
for the last two years of life. They have an
advanced directive program, and over 90 percent of their patients have
an advanced directive. They have electronic health records, so everybody on
the staff knows what the advanced directive is. They have a very strong
palliative care program for using drugs to manage pain. They have a hospice
The result is today, the last two
years of your life in costs are about $13,600. The last two years of your
life at UCLA are $58,000. Now, why should Medicare pay $58,000 for the same
outcome if it could pay $13,600? You can say, well, Los Angeles is more
expensive; they do a couple of more complicated things. So fine. So let’s
say it ought to be $20,000 at UCLA. That’s still [$38,000] less than it
currently is. …
We don’t think the politicians can
ever fix this because the hospital lobby is so powerful, and the doctor
lobby is so powerful, and the pharmaceutical lobby is so powerful, and the
medical technology lobby is so powerful…
And we also know — this is the
great irony — the best places in America are always less expensive than the
worst places. Health is not like jewelry and automobiles. In jewelry and
automobiles you pay a lot more to get a lot better. In health, because the
best places do it right the first time, they do it very efficiently, they
pay real attention to quality, they’re actually less expensive than the
places that are bad.
He’s pretty unequivocal here.
Well, what happens when suddenly the Republican party decides it wants
to scare the shit out of a bunch of old people by telling them the new
health care bill is going to include a provision in which “death panels”
ask them “when they want to die”? Now all of the sudden Gingrich is
violently against the same programs he was so windily praising earlier
And make no mistake, this is
exactly the same thing. The only thing that’s actually in the health
care proposals is a provision that would allow Medicare to pay for
exactly the kind of programs Gingrich praised, on a voluntary basis. The
programs are not government-administered in any way, there’s just
government money now to pay for the private programs. And now Gingrich
is suddenly aghast at them:
STEPHANOPOLOUS: The only thing
that’s in the bill is that Medicare would pay for what they say is
voluntary counseling on end-of-life issues.
GINGRICH: I think people are
very concerned when you start talking about cost-controls… you’re asking
us to trust the government. Now I’m not talking about the Obama
administration, I’m talking about the government. You’re asking us to
believe that the government is to be trusted. We know people who’ve said
routinely, well, you’re going to have to make decisions. You’re going to
have to decide. Communal stadards, historically, is a very dangerous
STEPHANOPOLOUS: It’s not in the
GINGRICH: (stammering) B-but,
the bill’s… a thousand pages of setting up mechanisms. It sets up 45
different agencies. It has all sorts of panels. You’re asking us to
trust the government when there clearly are people in the government who
believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards.
In other words, there may not be a
death panel in the bill, but there are other panels, and while no
one has actually ever said such a thing and it is not relevant to this
particular discussion, I nonetheless assert that in general it is true that
“people in government” believe in euthanasia.
Amazing. I mean, talk about being
full of shit. This is as clear a case as you will ever find of a politician
just getting up on television and just flat-out dogging it, saying something
without even the faintest shred of belief, just as a means to an end. What
I know some politicians have kind
of a wink-wink nudge-nudge attitude towards lying, and some of them in
private will act almost like it’s funny, part of the job description. But
there are limits to how much even a politician should be allowed to lie.
That’s especially when he’s lying in order to scare a bunch of old people.
Gingrich ‘Sharing Resources, Coordinating Efforts’ With Oil Lobby
Gingrich, through his political attack group “American Solutions for
Winning the Future” (ASWF), has organized tea party protests,
conservative legislative efforts, and is best known for driving the
Here, Drill Now” campaign in 2008.
Until now, the only known financial backers of ASWF were the
disclosed on his 527 IRS forms, like
Gingrich — who once believed in climate change science and believed
the U.S. must act “urgently”
to reduce carbon emissions — has moved far to the right on
environmental issues, and has allied himself with polluters fighting
tooth and nail
While his support from
King Coal is
widely known, new revelations reveal that Gingrich has established
direct support from the oil lobby. The American Petroleum Institute
(API) is the umbrella trade association for the oil industry,
on behalf of
corporations like ExxonMobil and Chevron, as well as for refineries
and pipeline companies. In addition to spending
political lobbying, API has blanketed the country with pro-oil
and has coordinated “grassroots”
rallies to oppose clean energy reform.
At CPAC — which was
part by API — ThinkProgress spoke to API representative André Carter
at his organization’s
booth at the
convention. Carter is an account executive at Edelman, the K Street
public relations firm that manages API. Carter told ThinkProgress
that API has been “sharing resources, coordinating efforts” with
Gingrich’s ASWF group for some time. When contacted for comment, API
spokesman Bill Bush disputed that API was “working in any way” with
ASWF spokesman R.C. Hammond also denied
Carter’s comments, telling ThinkProgress that “there’s no record of
us working together.” But ThinkProgress interviewed Gingrich
yesterday at an event he was hosting at the press club, where he
told us that indeed he has been working with API since the “Drill
Here, Drill Now” campaign:
TP: But do you know how
long you guys have been working with API? I’m trying to chart
GINGRICH: I have no
idea.I think it came after the Drill
Here, Drill Now campaign.
Gingrich postures as a man
dedicated to simply serving the “key concerns of the
But through ASWF, his
with GOP lawmakers, and his ubiquitous punditry, Gingrich is
actually advancing the narrow interests of corporations, in this
case the oil industry. Given API’s attempt to conceal its
relationship with ASWF, the oil industry understands they need
ostensibly independent ambassadors like Gingrich to build public
support for their policies.
As the Wonk Room has
GOP politicians fighting reform have relied heavily on corporate
lobbyists to orchestrate their efforts. Gingrich touts himself as an
author, a “futurist,” a conservative thinker. Anything but a
lobbyist. Considering the fact Gingrich lobbies lawmakers on policy,
and does so in concert with industry that would benefit from his
lobbying, in many ways Gingrich is essentially an unregistered
Update Jane Van Ryan, a senior
communication manager at API, disputed the accuracy of our post.
She e-mailed ThinkProgress the following statement tonight: "API
does not have, and has never had, a relationship with Newt
Gingrich’s group. We do not share resources or coordinate
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
did something on Sunday a bit unexpected: He urged his fellow Republicans to
ignore calls for ideological purity within the party.
"Shrug them off," the conservative
firebrand told CBS's "Face the Nation." "Reagan shrugged them off. Reagan
was frequently attacked. I talked to Michael Reagan the other night,
President Reagan's son, who pointed out that Reagan had done all sorts of
things that were deviances from the conservative purity. But people knew in
general he was a conservative. People accepted him as a conservative. And he
built a very broad coalition."
The remarks illustrate
the growing effort within the GOP to smooth the edges of its image. "My
advice is that Colin Powell is a great American," Gingrich said. "I'm proud
that he is a Republican. Dick Cheney is a great American. I'm glad both of
them are Republicans."
The remarks also reflect one of
two opposite schools of thought on how to resuscitate the Republican Party.
The other, widely-held philosophy is that the GOP suffered electoral defeats
over the past two cycles precisely because elected officials did not heed
calls for ideological purity.
Gingrich's "shrug-it-off approach"
seems more practical in theory than in practice. After all, the former
Speaker himself has played a leading role in demanding certain litmus tests
of Republican figures, whether it be on supporting tax cuts
or opposing the Employee Free Choice Act. And as he contemplates making
a run at the Republican nomination for president in 2012, the allure of
appealing to the party's base seems likely to be more tempting than a lofty
belief in ideological inclusiveness.
When I did a Twitter about her,
having read what she said, I said that was racist -- but I applied it to her
as a person. And the truth is I don't know her as a person. It's clear that
what she said was racist, and it's clear -- or as somebody wrote recently,
"racialist" if you prefer.
A spokesman for Newt Gingrich said the former U.S. House speaker decided not to make a run as
a Republican candidate for the White House in 2008 because of legal advice.
Gingrich was told that it would be "legally impermissible" to continue as
head of his non-profit American Solutions effort while operating an
exploratory committee for president
"Upon learning this, he made a
decision," Tyler told the Journal-Constitution. "He decided it's better to
continue as chairman of American Solutions. The news came as Gingrich
finished two days of workshops on national problems on the campus of the
University of West Georgia in Carrollton.
Only a day earlier,
Gingrich's advisors were saying that the former Georgia congressman's entry
into the race was made possible by the lackluster performance of former U.S.
senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee.
From an Article by John E. Yang Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, January 22 1997; Page A01
"The House voted overwhelmingly
yesterday to reprimand House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and order him
to pay an unprecedented $300,000 penalty, the first time in the House's
208-year history it has disciplined a speaker for ethical wrongdoing.
The ethics case and its resolution
leave Gingrich with little leeway for future personal controversies,
House Republicans said. Exactly one month before yesterday's vote,
Gingrich admitted that he brought discredit to the House and broke its
rules by failing to ensure that financing for two projects would not
violate federal tax law and by giving the House ethics committee false
"Newt has done some things that
have embarrassed House Republicans and embarrassed the House," said Rep.
Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.). "If [the voters] see more of that, they will
question our judgment."
House Democrats are likely to
continue to press other ethics charges against Gingrich and the Internal
Revenue Service is looking into matters related to the case that came to
an end yesterday.
The 395 to 28 vote closes a
tumultuous chapter that began Sept. 7, 1994, when former representative
Ben Jones (D-Ga.), then running against Gingrich, filed an ethics
complaint against the then-GOP whip. The complaint took on greater
significance when the Republicans took control of the House for the
first time in four decades, propelling Gingrich into the speaker's
With so much at stake for each side
-- the survival of the GOP's speaker and the Democrats' hopes of
regaining control of the House -- partisanship strained the ethics
process nearly to the breaking point.
All but two of the votes against
the punishment were cast by Republicans, including Rep. Roscoe G.
Bartlett (Md.), many of whom said they believed the sanction --
especially the financial penalty -- was too severe.
Two Democrats, Reps. Earl F.
Hilliard (Ala.) and Gene Taylor (Miss.), voted against the punishment.
Taylor said the measure should have specified that the $300,000 come
from personal funds, not campaign coffers or a legal expense fund.
Hilliard did not return telephone calls.
In addition, five Democrats voted
"present," many of them saying they believed the sanction was not severe
enough. "If Newt Gingrich did what they said he did, he should have been
censured," said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), one of the five who voted
"present." A censure, second only in severity to expulsion, would have
threatened Gingrich's speakership.
House ethics committee members took
pride in yesterday's bipartisan resolution of the case. "We have proved
to the American people that no matter how rough the process is, we can
police ourselves, we do know right from wrong," said Rep. Porter J. Goss
(R-Fla.), who headed the investigative subcommittee that charged
But even as they brought the case
to a close, committee Republicans and Democrats traded potshots over the
chaos of the last two weeks, during which an agreement for lengthy
televised hearings collapsed amid partisan bickering.
The ethics case added to the last
congressional session's fierce partisanship, as Democrats sought to
embarrass House Republicans with it in last year's elections. Lawmakers
in both parties said they hope the vote to punish Gingrich will help
ease those tensions.
"If our action today fails to
chasten this body and bring a halt to the crippling partisanship and
animosity that has surrounded us, then we will have lost an
opportunity," said Rep. Nancy L. Johnson (R-Conn.), ethics committee
Similarly, President Clinton, when
asked about the matter, said: "The House should do its business and then
we should get back to the people's business."
For Gingrich, it was another
humbling event in a remarkable series of peaks and valleys since 1994.
That year, he led his party to the promised land of control of the House
and Senate, only to threaten it when he was blamed for two partial
government shutdowns during the battle over the budget, making him seem
reckless. Then he complained about his treatment on a long flight aboard
Air Force One, making him seem petty. The GOP narrowly retained its
House majority last November, giving him a brief reprieve. The next
month, he admitted to the charges brought by the ethics subcommittee.
The speaker was barely visible
yesterday, staying away from the House floor during the 90-minute debate
and vote on his punishment. He was in his office and did not watch the
proceedings on television, according to spokeswoman Lauren Maddox.
Gingrich left late yesterday afternoon for a two-day GOP House
leadership retreat at Airlie Farm and Conference Center in Fauquier
County, Va. As he left, he was asked if he was glad the case was over.
He smiled broadly and said "yes."
House Democrats had considered
trying to force a vote yesterday on reconsidering Gingrich's Jan. 7
reelection as speaker -- the first for a Republican in 68 years -- but
decided against it, fearing it would distract from the harsh punishment
being meted out. In addition, Democrats believe enough damaging
information has been presented to tarnish the speaker, Democratic
leadership aides said.
"This is not a vote on whether Mr.
Gingrich should remain speaker," said Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (Md.), the
ethics panel's top Democrat in the Gingrich case. "In the days and weeks
to come, Mr. Gingrich and each member of this House should consider how
these charges bear on the question of his speakership."
In a strongly worded report,
special counsel James M. Cole concluded that Gingrich had violated tax
law and lied to the investigating panel, but the subcommittee would not
go that far. In exchange for the subcommittee agreeing to modify the
charges against him, Gingrich agreed to the penalty Dec. 20 as part of a
deal in which he admitted guilt.
Johnson called the reprimand and
financial penalty "tough and unprecedented. It is also appropriate," she
said. "No one is above the rules of the House."
The ethics committee that handled
the charges against Gingrich went out of business at midnight last night
without resolving complaints that the speaker received improper gifts,
contributions and support from GOPAC, the political action committee he
once headed. House Democrats are likely to submit those charges to the
new ethics committee.
In addition, the Internal Revenue
Service is looking into the use of tax-deductible charitable
contributions to finance the college course Gingrich taught, which was
at the center of the ethics case, and the ethics committee is making the
material it gathered available to the tax agency.
At a closed-door meeting of House
Republicans yesterday morning, the speaker noted his agreement to accept
the sanction, which the ethics committee approved on a 7 to 1 vote
Friday night, and said he wanted to get the matter behind him, according
to lawmakers who attended.
Many House Republicans said they
had trouble reconciling their leaders' characterization of Gingrich's
rules violations as tantamount to a jaywalking ticket and the magnitude
of the penalty. "That argument loses its steam [when] you talk about
$300,000," said Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.).
Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) said
that had he known what was in the ethics committee's report, he would
not have voted for Gingrich as speaker. "The gray got grayer when you
read the report," he said. "When I think of my three boys and what kind
of example I want to set for them for leadership in this country, gray
is not the example."
But some lawmakers said the
$300,000 financial penalty, described as a reimbursement to the ethics
committee for the additional cost Gingrich caused it when he gave it
false information, was too severe.
"I was willing to swallow hard and
vote for the reprimand, but when they add the $300,000 assessment . . .
that's excessive," said House Government Reform and Oversight Committee
Chairman Dan Burton (R-Ind.), one of three committee chairmen to vote
against the punishment.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), who cast
the lone dissenting vote on the ethics committee, said of Gingrich's
violations: "They are real mistakes but they shouldn't be hanging
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
(R-Tex.) gave a spirited speech calling the penalty unwarranted.
Answering those who said a speaker should be held to a higher standard
of ethical conduct, DeLay said: "The highest possible standard does not
mean an impossible standard no American could possibly reach." He closed
by declaring: "Let's stop this madness, let's stop the cannibalism."
The last phrase echoed the May 31,
1989, resignation speech of House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.), who
called on lawmakers "to bring this period of mindless cannibalism to an
end." Wright resigned in an ethics scandal triggered by a complaint
filed by Gingrich.
Despite the partisanship that
surrounded the Gingrich ethics case for more than two years, DeLay's
speech provided the only spark of yesterday's debate. With Gingrich
willing to accept the punishment, the outcome was never in doubt.
Still, more lawmakers were on the
floor than for the average House debate; many of them were reading
Cole's report. Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.), presiding over the debate,
took the unusual step of reading aloud from the House rule that
admonishes lawmakers to "maintain an atmosphere of mutual respect" at
As they have since Gingrich
publicly admitted to the charges Dec. 21, Republicans sought to minimize
the speaker's misdeeds while Democrats tried to make them more sinister.
Rep. Steven Schiff (R-N.M.), a
member of the ethics investigative subcommittee that charged Gingrich,
called the speaker's submission of false information to the panel "a
comedy of errors." But Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called it a
"violation of trust. . . . We trust each other that we will deal
truthfully with each other."
Republicans also sought to portray
the question of using charitable donations to finance projects that
appeared to have a political intent as a matter of unsettled tax law.
But Rep. Thomas C. Sawyer (D-Ohio), a member of the ethics panel,
countered that "ethical behavior may be more important when the lines
are blurred than when they are clear."
Rep. Jim McDermott (Wash.), who had
been the ethics panel's top Democrat, was among those who voted
He withdrew from the Gingrich case
last week after being implicated in the leaking of a tape recording of a
telephone conference call involving the speaker, which Republicans said
was illegally made.
McDermott did not return telephone
Staff writer Kevin Merida
contributed to this report.
"In my name and over
my signature, inaccurate, incomplete and unreliable statements were given to
the committee" -Stated Gingrich after he finally pled guilty in January of
1997 to charges brought against him by the House Ethics Committee. According
to Michael Moore, Gingrich lied 13 times to the Committee..
On Friday, November 7, 1998, Newt Gingrich resigned as House Speaker and as
the Representative from Georgia's sixth district. More than likely this was
a as a result of the disastrous elections held on November 3, 1998. Over the
summer and early fall, while the nation was embroiled over the Clinton
scandal, Republicans, Gingrich included, were predicting pickups of a few
seats in the Senate and 20-30 in the House. This is not an unreasonable
prediction for a midterm election. The party of the President almost always
loses seats because the opposition party is more energized and excited about
voting and thus has a higher turnout. However, in a highly politically
charged year, Democrats turned out to vote and picked up five seats in the
House and held the Senate steady. This is an enormous win, and came as a
shock to almost all pundits. It hasn't happened since about 1934, and has
happened only twice since the Civil War. About the only one to correctly
predict the outcome was Michael Moore , who's generally not regarded as an
expert in such things..
shocking Republican defeat, Newt Gingrich's firebrand leadership style had
evidently worn its course in the House. After two failed coup attempts were
led against him in prior years, Gingrich found himself unable to collect
enough votes to remain speaker. Instead of dividing House Republicans
further, Gingrich resigned. He stated that the "Republican conference needs
to be unified, and it is time for me to move forward". Denny Hastert will
suceed him, the conservative unknown from the Chicago area of Illinois. In
addition to the loss of seats, Gingrich was also blamed for a budget deal
which did little for the Republican leaderships goals. Other than increasing
military funding, the budget was pre-dominantly Democratic orientated. Due
to the Republican leaderships obsession with the Clinton Scandal, the House
and Senate slapped the budget agreement together at the last minute. If
Republicans held fast to what they desired, they risked shutting down the
government again, which had ensured Clinton's reelection in 1996 when they
refused to budge over certain budget matters then.
From the New York Times
of Sunday November 15, 1998. It's in reference to the fact that Newt
divorced his first wife at her bedside in the hospital. This was after she
had undergone cancer surgery. A few days after, Newt showed up with the
During the call, Gingrich also accused the members of the
coup of "blackmailing" him into retiring. This may have been a reference to
many things, whether it be simply that they stated they would deny him the
votes he needs to remain Speaker or whether they would blast him about his
fundraising tactics....or whether they would make an issue of Gingrich's own
illicit sexual behavior in the 1970s. According to fairly confirmed rumors,
Gingrich lost his first two runs at a seat in the House largely because
he couldn't stop having sex. This was while he was married to his first wife
(whom he divorced at her bedside in a hospital after she had surgery to
remove a tumor).
Much of Newt's early
life and, in fact, early legislative history do not reflect the staunch
conservative that is now Speaker of the House. He was born in Pennsylvania
in 1953 to a working class family. After earning his doctorate in European
History from Tulane University, he went on to teach History and
Environmental Studies at West Georgia College for eight years. Here he, from
sources other than his web page, didn't publish anything (academically) and
seemed more interested in being elected to a political office and sleeping
with an aide than in doing anything academia related. In this time period,
he allegedly asked each of his students for a $5 campaign donation, a gross
violation of teacher-student relations. After winning a seat in 1979,
Gingrich moved up through the Republican ranks until he became House
Republican Whip from 1989-1994. The following year he was appointed the
Speaker of the House.
Gingrich first began his pattern of fundraising for favors before he was
elected to any office. In 1977, while running for the position of U.S.
Representative, Gingrich made a rather bizarre book deal. Gingrich was given
$15,000 as an 'investment' in a futuristic future novel that he was
supposedly writing. The fact that Gingrich was given this money strongly
suggests something suspicious, as first time authors are almost never given
any sort of money to do research, as Gingrich was in this case. Gingrich
never finished the book, but he pocketed $15,000. The investors received a
tax deduction and a several favors after Gingrich was elected. The most
notable of the favors granted to the investors involved Chester Roush, the
head of Dorchester Corporation (a house building company). In the first
decade of Gingrich time in office, the Dorchester Corporation received
nearly $12.6 million in federal subsidies. Gingrich also began manipulating
the media and the public in order to better his own image. In 1984, Gingrich
would give speeches on C-SPAN to what was assumed by most viewers to be a
full council room of House representatives. In these speeches, he portrayed
the 1984 Democrats as being "blind to communism" and "treasonous". However,
his speeches were not fiery declarations in front of many Democrats and
Republicans. He was giving speeches to an empty House.Nor did his quotes
accurately represent the views of the Democrats, as they were taken from
decade old Democrats (many of these quotes were also taken out of
context). Gingrich failed to note this in his diatribes against Democrats
and Communist sympathizers. Gingrich was able to get away with this for much
longer than he should have, because C-SPAN didn't start panning the House
floor to show that there wasn't anyone else present until House Speaker Tip
O'Neil (D-Mass.) requested that it be done. Needless to say, the Democrats
were not happy at being painted in such a manner. At one point, Tip O'Neil
said "You've pointed a finger at an empty chair and accused a man of being
un-American. You deliberately stood in that well before an empty house and
challenged these people...it is the lowest thing that I have ever seen in my
32 years in Congress."
GOPAC is, largely, Newt Gingrich's personal PAC (political action
committee). When founded in 1979, it's mission was to create a so-called
farm team of young Republicans. Ideally, Republicans would rise up through
state legislatures to become nationally prominent. This remains GOPAC's
stated goal. However, since 1986 (when Newt Gingrich took over as Chairman
of GOPAC) it has become both a personal fundraiser and a way to tighten his
hold over Republicans in the House.
For the first several
years of GOPAC under Gingrich, it illegally funded national elections. By
federal law, any sort of political group that donates money on a national
level is required to provide a list of its donors to the FEC (Federal
Elections Committee). GOPAC, which previously was funding state elections,
never bothered to submit a list of donors after it changed its mission until
the House Ethics Committee obtained it in 1996. Mother Jones has placed the
'secret' donor list on its web site. It features such noted bigots as Terry
Kohler, the head of Kohler Co., who has stated such things as, regarding the
South African anti-apartheid movement, that it would be a mistake to extend
voting rights to blacks because they didn't possess any self-governing
capabilities. Kohler is one of the biggest GOPAC contributors, with a total
of well over $800,000 coming from the Kohler family.
In addition to
featuring such champions of democracy and civil rights such as Terry Kohler,
GOPAC also offers donors opportunities to buy influence with Gingrich.
Gingrich has a history of intervening with various government departments in
favor of those who donate to GOPAC. When Dwayne Andreas, chair of Archer
Daniel Midland (an ethanol producer), was in danger of losing a federal
subsidy (that will have provided $1 billion by 2000), he turned to Gingrich.
Gingrich persuaded Rep. Bill Archer (R-Texas) not to push for a reduction of
the subsidy. Oddly enough, Andreas was a $70,000 donor to GOPAC. In another
instance, Kansas City developer J.C. Nichols, a $59,000 donor to GOPAC, was
having "financial distress" in regards to new asbestos regulations. In one
of the letters obtained by Mother Jones (dated January 19, 1990), Nichols
states "The federal government is causing the J.C. Nichols Company. . . a
great deal of financial distress. This is in connection with the asbestos
regulations. . . It may be that I will call you for an appointment to come
back to Washington to discuss this issue". On April 24 of the same year,
Gingrich wrote a letter to the EPA stating "I am writing to you with concern
over the crisis that is arising in our courts from asbestos litigation".
Strange how Gingrich happened to see how bothersome this law was after he
received a large campaign donation.
After Gingrich transformed GOPAC into the monster that it is today, he
realized (presumably) that there were a wide variety of corporate donors who
couldn't donate to political action committees because they either held
contracts with the government or were subject to government regulation. At
about the same time, he decided that, in order to get his 'message' out, he
would teach a class by correspondence. Through these two endeavors, he
managed to create an organization that would allow both to occur, the Peace
and Freedom Foundation .
The Peace and Freedom
Foundation was founded as a non-profit political organization that preached
conservative values. It was not (officially) connected with GOPAC, so it was
fully permissible for corporations to skate around federal campaign laws
that prevented certain companies from donating money to individuals such as
Gingrich. As time passed, it became obvious that much of the money donated
to the organization went to fund Gingrich's various exploits, whether it be
through a 'concerned citizens of America' sort of political ad or by funding
his college course, "Renewing American Civilization".
Dr. Timothy Mescon,
dean of Business at Kennesaw State College , and Gingrich composed the
structure of the course to be taught at Kennesaw State College. The class
was taught by videotape and/or satellite transmission, which would allow
individuals worldwide to take the course. Over the course of creating and
teaching this class, Gingrich committed many questionable acts. Taxpayers
footed part of the bill of the course since Gingrich's congressional staff
researched portions of the course for him. In addition, when Gingrich
requested permission from the Congressional Ethics Committee to create this
course (a standard procedure) he told them that no advertising would be done
for the course using GOPAC, which was a blatant lie. All GOPAC members
received an invitation to take the course, mailed presumably via Gingrich's
orders. Also, on at least 5 occasions, Gingrich announced the 800 on C-SPAN,
and generally gave a short sound byte about his course for those watching
C-SPAN. The ethics committee later verbally reprimanded Gingrich for his
behavior in regard to the course.
In the process of
teaching the course, Gingrich also freely did highly unethical acts. He
openly heralded corporations that had given to the Peace and Freedom
Foundation in lectures given in the course. Miliken and Co., a $300,000
donor to GOPAC, was named "the most effective, most productive textile
company in the world". He named Hewlett Packard, which gave $5,800 to the
Peace and Freedom Foundation, "one of the greatest companies in the world".
If a corporation or individual were willing to give $50,000 or more, they
were able to work directly on the designing of the course with Gingrich and
others. Obviously, Gingrich was doing little more than selling advertising
space that masked itself as an educational tool. Corruption:
Abuse of Power
Gingrich's management of the House has also shown the same amount of
morality that the rest of his dealings have. Chairs on the various
committees in the House are granted to individuals by the Speaker of the
House. Before Gingrich, the chairs of committees were granted on the basis
of seniority within the majority party. While this may not be the most
democratic manner in which to appoint chairmen/women, it is a reasonably
fair way to go about it. However, Gingrich soon changed this. His new
appointment system allowed him to keep a much greater reign on individuals
committees. Congressmen who gave the largest sums of money to GOPAC
(generally from their own campaign fund) were given the chairs of
committees. Donations to GOPAC from fellow Republicans skyrocketed after he
declared this, from six Republicans in the prior year to over 100 in the
next. Gingrich also used this as a means of controlling the committees. When
individuals stepped out of what Gingrich perceived to be party line, they
were generally taken into his office and, if the situation necessitated it,
threatened to be stripped of their chair.
committees in such a manner also produced a side benefit when Gingrich went
before the House Ethics Committee over the course of 1996-7. Gingrich faced
65 separate charges of ethics violations, ranging from concealment of GOPAC
donors to the 'fundraising' of the Peace and Freedom Foundation. The
Gingrich-loyalist packed committee appointed a special prosecutor to
investigate one charge, after dismissing the other 64. It, of all of
Gingrich's ethics violations, was probably one of the more minor. It
involved the fact that one can't make money off of a non-profit's
possession. Gingrich took passages of his course funded by the Peace and
Freedom Foundation and placed them in book form, called To Renew America.
Also contained in this charge was questionable financial transactions
between GOPAC and the Peace and Freedom Foundation.
Newt's responses to
the charges were highly contradictory. He first claimed ignorance of the
law. Then, after internal GOPAC memo from a few years earlier stated the
potential legal dangers of mixing non-profit funds with GOPAC funds
surfaced, he claimed his lawyer made him say it.....until his lawyer
left....in which case it was his lawyer's first year associate.
His second lawyer then offered some 25 separate "contextualizations" under
the apologetic banner that Newt was so busy saving American civilization he
didn't notice that he had given conflicting excuses in writing to the
investigative subcommittee. "In my name and over my signature, inaccurate,
incomplete and unreliable statements were given to the committee", stated
Gingrich after he finally pled guilty in January of 1997. The committees
response (later issued) was "Either Mr. Gingrich intentionally made
misrepresentations to the Committee, or he was again reckless in the way he
provided information to the Committee concerning a very important matter."
Both before and after
the ethics investigation, Gingrich received a lot of questionable assistance
from fellow Republicans. Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.), the chair of the
Ethics Committee, helped to stifle some of the ethics charges against Newt
early in the investigation. In addition, she was heard on C-SPAN microphones
congratulating Gingrich's lawyer Randy Evans and expressing regret that she
didn't have enough time investigate liberal groups that used tax-exempt
funds (you can view and hear this here at Mother Jones). The rest of the
Republicans on the committee were not much better. Rep. Jim McDermott
(D-Washington), stated that the committee had been "totally unprepared to
question" witnesses, which would indicate a deliberate lack of interest on
the part of the Republican members of the committee.
For his crime of tax evasion, Gingrich was fined $300,000. Oddly enough,
Gingrich's old non-friend in the Republican party Bob Dole 'generously'
loaned Newt $300,000 in April of 1997. Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich have
rarely been called friends, and at times have nearly been enemies. Both
parties stated that they hadn't spoken since November until Dole suddenly
decided to 'assist' the Republican party.
After Dole found a
job with the law firm Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand, he
received close to a $300,000 bonus as the new "special counsel". The law
firm, in addition to other projects, was being retained as lobbyists by five
different tobacco giants (Philip Morris, RJR Nabisco, Brown & Williamson,
U.S. Tobacco, and Loews Corp). One theory is that the $300,000 bonus that
Bob Dole received was earmarked for Gingrich directly from King Tobacco.
Gingrich's behavior (in addition to the large amounts of tobacco money
flowing into Gingrich and GOPAC campaign coffers) towards the tobacco bill
indicates that he was in someone's palm. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.)
stated in response to this "We now have the chief lobbyists for Big Tobacco
financing the payoff of the Speaker's fine for lying to the Congress."
Gingrich has been no stranger to tobacco help. He's received at least
$83,750 in donations to his campaign from tobacco companies, $20,000 of that
coming in the past two years. This number does not include donations to
GOPAC. In addition, in 1995 Gingrich, then majority whip, allowed John
Boehner (R-OH) to walk around the house floor handing our checks from
tobacco lobbyists to colleagues, until a fellow representative pointed out
that this wasn't the best thing to be doing openly.
Gingrich has the rather bizarre idea that most immorality stems from
welfare, and also that the New Deal reforms created a large underclass of
the poor and homeless. In what amounts to a blatant lie, Gingrich stated
that 800 babies had been left in dumpsters in Washington DC (the real number
was 4) over the course of a year. Among other crimes, welfare causes teenage
mothers to toss their babies in dumpsters because "a 13 year old drug addict
who's pregnant [is taught] 'put your baby in the dumpster, that's ok'".
The Nation, July 19, 1996 (by Tom Tommorow)
Despite having admitted to smoking marijuana at least once in college,
Gingrich advocated shooting (and killing) drug dealers. In a speech to
religious broadcasters, Gingrich called for a mandatory life sentence for
first offenders caught smuggling drugs or producing drugs for sale, and a
death sentence for second offenders. In his speech, he offered no way out
for repeat offenders. "If you sell it, we're going to kill you".
Gingrich, in his "Contract with America", proclaims the values of having a
strong, traditional family. Once again, Gingrich is hypocritical on this.
Gingrich has been accused of committing adultery twice and has never denied
that he did. Both occurred early in his career. In addition, after
divorcing his first wife, he became a 'deadbeat dad'. He paid his ex-wife
and children a rather small sum after his divorce. His ex-wife had to
take him to court in order to be able to pay the electricity bill.
Regarding 'deadbeat dads' Gingrich has stated "...any male who does not take
care of his children is a bum and deserves no respect". Evidently, he's not
referring to himself.
If you are interested in
becoming Spiritually Enlightened...Click
HERE or on the Red Dragon Below.
You will be taken to a page which will reveal the gateway to
Click on the below
image and read the Quest - you will discover the secret
Grail of Immortality. Then click on and read the Way and finally The
Word. The three books are available in
format. Go to Barnes and Noble for
For information on all
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email@example.com.. Let us hear from you!
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