MSNBC News anchor Rachel Maddow, and Salon.com editor Steve Kornacki, Friday accused Newt Gingrich and his presidential campaign of perpetrating a financial “scam” against the American people, by constructing his campaign as a money-making effort. Maddow also documented and detailed the flow of money from donors to Gingrich’s American Solutions organization, into an organization named, “The Gingrich Group,” which is a consulting firm headed by Newt Gingrich.
Maddow repeatedly stated, “It is a scam.”
Stating, “Newt Gingrich exists in this world to sell Newt Gingrich-related products,” Maddow also reviewed the Gingrich staff mass exodus in June, noting one ABC News story that quoted a staffer saying, “We didn’t sign up to be hucksters for products for sale.”
“The whole Newt, Inc. empire is basically kind of a fundraising scam,” Maddow said, adding, “Newt Gingrich left Congress thirteen years ago under a cloud of fundraising ethics charges.”
None of this should come as a surprise. CNN began this story in March, reporting the Gingrich “holds no fewer than 25 current titles, positions, and occupations, according to a review of public records and filings as well as his various official biographies.”
Many of these are advisory positions with non-profit or public interest organizations, but others are likely to comprise a significant portion of the former speaker’s annual income.
Gingrich is the chairman and CEO of The Gingrich Group, a communications and consulting firm founded in January 1999, shortly after the speaker left Congress. The firm says on its web site that it specializes in “transformational change.” One of the speaker’s first clients was Freddie Mac, according to the federal mortgage lender’s company listing in the Hoover’s business directory.
And in August, conservative-run “The Daily Caller” wrote, “Gingrich’s total assets were valued at between $6.7 million and $30.7 million in 2010. He has written 23 books and produced eight documentaries with his wife. He commands between $40,000 and $50,000 per speech.”
So how does Gingrich do it?
The former Speaker of the House has financed his operations by creating a large network of for-profit and nonprofit organizations which directly and indirectly spread the gospel according to Newt.
The majority of Gingrich’s assets come from his numerous name-branded, for-profit groups: The Gingrich Group, Gingrich Communications, Gingrich Productions and Gingrich Holdings. He uses these companies to produce, distribute and supplement his prolific output of books, documentaries and public speeches.
Relations between the corporations are cozy. For example, in his July financial disclosures Gingrich declared a “promissory note” from the Gingrich Group, LLC to Gingrich Productions, Inc., valued somewhere between $5 million and $25 million.
Gingrich Productions, which “provides talent for audio, video and photographic productions,” paid its namesake more than $2.4 million in distributions last year and is valued at between $500,000 and $1 million. Gingrich’s wife, Callista, heads the company and is the creative force behind its many documentaries, all of which feature her and Newt.
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