Advertisement
 

Newt Gingrich's fundraising: As bad as advertised

July 15, 2011|By Melanie Mason
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Georgia Republican Party Victory Dinner on May 13 in Macon, Ga.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Georgia Republican Party… (Jessica McGowan/Getty…)

Newt Gingrich raised about $2.1 million for his presidential campaign this quarter and spent nearly $1.8 million, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. He ended the period with slightly more than $300,000 cash on hand.

Among the disbursements: $8,400 to Gingrich Productions, a Washington, D.C.-based company that lists Callista Gingrich, the candidate's wife, as president. Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond said the campaign paid Gingrich Productions for use of the domain name Newt.org.  The Federal Election Commission requires that campaigns apply fair market value to such transactions.

Gingrich's campaign has been hampered in the last few weeks.  Revelations that the former House speaker had two six-figure credit lines to the jewelry store Tiffany's caused embarrassment.  Much of his campaign staff quit en masse in early June.

The campaign registered more than $1 million in debts -- nearly half (about $450,000) owed to a single travel company, Moby Dick Airways.

Hammond attributed the debt to mismanagement by the campaign consultants who quit.

"This is something...in our rear view mirror," Hammond said.

Gingrich also owes himself about $47,000, including $44,000 for the use of Gingrich's personal email list, again valued according to FEC rules. The remaining $3,000 represents unreimbursed travel expenses, Hammond said.

The candidate himself acknowledged his financial report would disappoint.

"The fact is a month of media barrage is painful, and it slowed a lot of things down," he told The Times this month. "Our numbers will not be as good as we would like, and candidly, the consultants left us in debt. But every single week since they left we’ve been cutting down the debt, and we raise more than we spend in a week."

Gingrich will spend 16 of the 45 days since July 4th in Iowa, Hammond said.  He attended an Iowa Cubs baseball game Friday night, where he threw out the first pitch.

"We certainly weathered a tough storm in the spring," Hammond said. "We’ve come out of it and we’re looking at clearing skies and our fundraising outlook has improved.  We’ll be the competitive campaign that no one’s going to see coming."

melanie.mason@latimes.com

Kim Geiger in the Washington bureau contributed to this report.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|