Attorneys and the political community are asking questions about Mr. Gingrich and his influence over a “Super-PAC” that supports him. According to campaign finance law, candidates are not to have any influence over the activities of their Super-PAC’s. However, in a recent debate, Gingrich spoke of T.V. advertisements and videos currently under production in great detail.
Here is what Gingrich said that triggered the controversy:
“When the 27 and a half minute movie comes out, I hope it’s accurate. I– I– I– I can say, publicly, I hope that the Super PAC runs an accurate movie about Bain. It’ll be based on establishment newspapers, like the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Barron’s, Bloomberg News, and I hope it is totally accurate. And then people can watch the 27 and a half minutes of his career at Bain and decide for themselves.”
The Washington Post asks, “How did he know the sources cited for an ad that is not yet public?”
Gingrich has also said recently that he “told his Super-PAC only to produce positive ads.” Such guidance technically violates the law by instructing his PAC to do something.
This is not the first time Gingrich has ventured into legally detrimental waters. In the mid-1990′s, Gingrich left the House Speakership amid scandal after an investigation revealed that some of Mr. Gingrich’s activities were an “intentional or reckless disregard of House rules.” Mr. Gingrich was ultimately forced to pay $300,000 for ethics violations and forced to apologize to the U.S. House of Representatives and the American people for his activities.
James Cole, the lawyer who headed the investigation in the 90′s said this of Gingrich’s actions:
“Mr. Gingrich ran a lot of very yellow lights. Orange lights. There were bells and whistles going off. He was taking risks. . . Going right up to the edge.”
The Washington Post article concludes: “Gingrich’s activities were not random acts but part of a pattern of questionable behavior.”
If the allegations are true that Gingrich is influencing his Super-PAC and even directing them on what information to use in their advertisements, then it appears as though Mr. Gingrich is in violation of federal law.
Jeff Fuller contributed to this article.