Gingrich’s Pattern of Questionable Legal Behavior Finally Results in a Lawsuit

If you were a contributor to the Gingrich campaign, how would you like to hear that your contribution was used to pay Mr. Gingrich for a list of supporters he already owned? Well,  that is exactly what was revealed when Gingrich filed his campaign finances with the Federal Elections Commission last week. Here is what reporters found as reported by Politico:

Newt Gingrich’s campaign paid him $47,000 for a list of supporters and paid one of his companies (Gingrich Productions) another $67,000 for web hosting, according to a report filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission.

Gingrich also paid himself another $206,000 for travel.

It’s unusual for a presidential candidate personally to be paid significant amounts for travel or lists — both because candidates can contribute an unlimited amount in cash or services to their own campaigns and because campaigns typically foot travel costs directly. And the Gingrich campaign did not immediately respond to questions about the payments.

I think it is sad that supporters would contribute their hard-earned money to Mr. Gingrich’s campaign only to find out that the contribution they gave was simply pocketed by Gingrich for goods and services already owned by Gingrich. It is also interesting to note that Gingrich is currently paying companies that he owns to do web hosting and other services, which Gingrich will also ultimately make a profit off of.

Gingrich’s unorthodox campaign continues to be more focused on benefitting Gingrich than anyone else. I have mentioned before that Gingrich has been criticized for devoting so much time to selling his books and DVD’s while on the campaign trail. The profits from these books and DVD’s do not go to the campaign, but to Mr. Gingrich personally. 

Gingrich continues to show a pattern of walking in the “grey areas” between what is legal and illegal. It is no wonder he has been in legal hot water before for his activities, and it appears that Gingrich will most likely be there again.

Click here for part I and part II of Gingrich’s questionable legal activities in the last few months.

UPDATE!!!

A lawsuit has been filed against Gingrich regarding the payment of the mailing list and Gingrich’s selling of books and DVD’s for personal gain. The lawsuit can be read here.

VIDEO: Gingrich Supported ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate in May 2009!

This recording of a conference call could be a game-changer for Newt Gingrich. In this video, Gingrich says that he is calling for and supports the individual mandate that Obama was considering in 2009 when Obama’s health care law was being developed. Let’s remember that Gingrich has been on the record in support of a FEDERAL insurance mandate for over 20 years, but he has denied recently that he ever supported the individual mandate for ObamaCare.

I think the crucial difference between Romney and Gingrich in regard to individual mandates is that Gingrich has supported the idea of a FEDERAL/NATIONWIDE mandate for decades, but Romney has never supported a mandate at the federal level. Romney is a federalist and he believes that each state should have the freedom to design its own unique health care program. Romney wants each state to have the same freedom to design their own unique health care plans that he had in Massachusetts, not the federal government dictating to the states how to run their health care programs. Health care has traditionally been a state issue, not a federal issue, and Romney wants to give that power back to the states.

Here is the link to the video on Youtube.

For more information about why Romney used the individual mandate in Massachusetts, click here.

More info on how RomneyCare was not meant to be used nationwide, click here.

To find out the key differences between RomneyCare and ObamaCare, click here.

A Scandal per Day - Newt’s Greatest Hits

Here is a list the scandals that have involved Newt Gingrich in the last week. As you read this list, ask yourself if this man would be fitting representative for our country as president of the United States.

1) Gingrich’s second wife, Marianne Gingrich, reveals on ABC News that Newt asked her for an “open marriage” so he could continue to have an affair while remaining married. 

2) After the “open marriage” allegation, Gingrich stated in his defense that he “offered several witnesses” to ABC news who could counter the allegations but that ABC news “wasn’t interested.” A few days later, Gingrich then admits that he lied and that he never offered counter witnesses to ABC.

3) Forbes magazine reports that Gingrich very possibly is a tax cheat and that he didn’t pay all the necessary taxes for 2010. Gingrich owes up to $69,000 in taxes to the IRS.

4) Politico runs a story that proves conclusively that Gingrich supported and praised the model used by Freddie/Fannie to make home loans. This model allowed for “subprime” mortgages to be used widely in the U.S. and eventually lead to the housing crisis. Politico’s story contradicts Gingrich’s many claims that he was simply a “historian” for Freddie/Fannie and that he warned against the model. 

5) Countering Gingrich’s recent claims that he was Ronald Reagan’s greatest supporter/follower, many insiders to the Reagan White House wrote that Gingrich “repeatedly insulted Reagan”and said that Reagan was responsible for America’s moral “decay.” Newt goes on to say thatReagan’s policies were “flawed” and “insufficient” to counter the spread of Communism and the Soviet Union. 

6) A new video of Newt Gingrich is uncovered that shows Newt in 1985 bashing Ronald Reagan saying “the Reagan administration has failed” and that “Harry Truman has accomplished vastly more in foreign policy in five years than Reagan in the same amount of time.” 

7) At a recent rally in Florida, Gingrich said “I never criticized Clinton for having sex with Lewinski.” That is truly an astonishing thing for Gingrich to say. 

8. In an interview with CBN, Gingrich says that his many mistakes, like being a serial adulterer, makes him look more “normal and relatable” to people.

9) Joe Scarborough served in the House as a Republican during Newt’s time as speaker. Scarborough writes about how Newt passed the Contract with American and then fought with the GOP to break key provisions of that same contract. Scarborough also brings up how Gingrich “compared Reagan with Neville Chamberlain, dismissed Reaganomics as flawed and called Reagan’s approach to the Soviet Union an utter failure a few years before the U.S.S.R. was relegated to the dustbin of history.”
 

10) In 2007, Gingrich said that Spanish is the “language of the Ghetto.” Fact-checkers have verified that Gingrich has given several explanations for this comment but he has never really apologized for it.

11) Aside from the scandals, there are also just plain “Zany” comments made by Gingrich. In a speech in Florida recently, Gingrich vowed to create a “permanent colony on the moon by the end of his second term in office.” And that colony will “become the 51st state in America.

12) Former GOP presidential nominee, Bob Dole, issues a stinging anti-endorsement of Gingrich pointing out that hardly anyone who served under Gingrich has endorsed him.

Did I forget anything else that happened in the last week or so? Those are just the scandals I could think of off the top of my head. Just imagine what the Democrats could do with a list like this. And remember, that is only last week.

Forbes Magazine: Newt Gingrich-Tax Cheat? Gingrich Uses the “John Edwards Loophole” to Evade Taxes

Numerous news organizations are publishing that Newt Gingrich may have cheated on his taxes in 2010. Here is what Forbes Magazine had to say:

“Newt Gingrich avoided tens of thousands of dollars in Medicare payroll taxes in 2010 by using a technique the Internal Revenue Service has consistently and successfully attacked.”

A Wall Street Journal subsidiary called MarketWatch wrote:

“Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich avoided paying about $69,000 in payroll taxes in 2010 by using a tax strategy that characterized money he collected from one of his companies as profits rather than salary, a tax expert said.

It’s been called the “John Edwards loophole” in the past, because the former presidential contender used the same strategy to pay himself from his law practice . . .There are a multitude of cases where the IRS has successfully challenged [this] improper tax strategy,” the tax expert said. 

USA Today quotes 3 tax lawyers as stating:  

“The IRS could challenge it, if they wished. The IRS might make the case his salary should have been substantially larger” and subject to Medicare tax.” The Gingrich campaign declined to allow an interview with Gingrich’s tax preparer.

Forbes concludes:

“Of course, now that Gingrich is running for president, it is unlikely the IRS will come after him as he would simply call it an attack by the Obama administration. Personally, I can’t wait to hear Newt find a way to blame this on the media. Or maybe he’ll tell us that he was so busy serving his country that he had to cheat the government in order to save the government.”

It seems that Newt Gingrich’s push to have Romney release his taxes has backfired. More than likely, we won’t have to wait until October to get a “surprise-a-day” from Newt Gingrich.

This is part 2 in a continuing series of questionable legal practices by Mr. Gingrich. Remember that improper tax payments were one of the main reasons the Speaker was forced to leave the Speakership in the 90′s. Click here for part I.

MUST WATCH: Ann Coulter Hits the Nail on the Head

Great video of Ann Coulter discussing Newt Gingrich and the South Carolina primary. Check it out:

When I listen to Gingrich in his debate performances, and I do mean “performances,” his answers always seem reminiscent of the Shakespeare line, “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

I, for one, was very confused and dumbfounded about the whole “standing ovation” thing that Newt accomplished in South Carolina. I truly felt that Gingrich’s answers weren’t that amazing. In fact, the answers were really quite average if you take just a moment to think about what he said. Often Newt dodged the question rather than answered it. Or he resorted to giving snarky, glib retorts rather than having a grown-up conversation about the issues. Hopefully Republican voters in Florida will see that many of Newt’s “great debate performances” are really just dodging the question in order to distract from his genuine flaws.

‘Weekly Standard’ Magazine Debunks the Myth that Romney is a “Moderate” - Romney is “More Conservative Than You Think”

There is a lot of talk these days about how Mitt Romney is a so-called “Massachusetts moderate” and how other candidates are trying to be the “conservative alternative” to Gov. Romney. Some even compare Mitt Romney to John McCain’s candidacy of 2008.

One very conservative and influential magazine called ‘The Weekly Standard,’ whose editor (Bill Krystol) is a regular panelist on Fox News Sunday, looked into the issue. The conclusion that they found is that Romney is “no moderate,” in fact:

“Romney is at least as conservative as his GOP rivals on jettisoning Obamacare and more conservative than some on entitlements, national security, and immigration. He’s no match for Gingrich on taxes, but that’s about it. Overall, he’s to the right of Gingrich.”

The article goes on to say that in regard to the top four most pressing issues of the day (namely Immigration, Tax Reform, Health Care, and Military Defense spending), Romney is “anything but moderate.”

“On four of the biggest issues in 2012, Romney is anything but moderate—or timid. He gets no special credit for advocating repeal of Obamacare. That’s Republican dogma. But he’s been the most specific among the GOP presidential candidates in backing the Ryan budget in all its parts, including its remake of Medicare. It was House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s plan that Gingrich zinged as “right wing social engineering” before reversing himself under duress.

When Romney announced in November his own proposal for cutting spending and reforming Medicare and Social Security, Paul Ryan was thrilled. “Look at what he put out!” he told Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post. “This is a great development.” Ryan said Romney’s package of spending cuts “tracks perfectly with the House budget,” which Ryan had drafted.”

Further Evidence

Further evidence of Romney’s conservative credentials is the fact that Romney made history in New Hampshire’s vote last week. Not only was he the first non-incumbent Republican to win both Iowa and New Hampshire, but in New Hamphire Romney got more votes from self-identified Republican voters than any other Republican candidate in history. Here is a brief summary on how New Hampshire Republicans voted:

“Mitt picked up 49% of GOP voters. Romney’s 49 percent is the highest mark among self-identified Republicans for any presidential candidate since New Hampshire moved its primary forward in the calendar.

Contrast that with John McCain, with whom he’s often compared as a squishy moderate with problems with Republicans.

McCain is the only candidate since 1980 to win New Hampshire even as he lost among self-identified Republicans.

That means McCain was essentially the worst winner with Republicans in New Hampshire over the past 30 years, while Romney was the best.”

As the Weekly Standard and polls from New Hampshire show, Romney is no moderate. He is a solid conservative. Strikingly, Romney is getting equal support from both conservatives and moderates among the voters and also from among congressmen and Governors who have endorsed Romney. Part of Romney’s strength is that he is a conservative that also appeals strongly to independents. That sounds like the kind of candidate we need running for the White House. 

(more…)

Gingrich Finds Himself in Legal Hot Water . . . Again

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.

Two for two: Can Mitt Romney be stopped for the nomination?

From USA Today:

NASHUA, N.H. – Iowa: Won by a whisker. New Hampshire: Won in a walk.

Can Mitt Romney be stopped for the Republican presidential nomination? There is time, his opponents say, although perhaps not much. To be precise, another 10 days to unleash a barrage against the front-runner and persuade conservatives to coalesce around an alternative who then could carry the South Carolina primary.

On Tuesday night, though, the confetti cannons were being fired at Romney’s victory party. He achieved what no non-incumbent Republican has ever done: win both the Iowa caucuses, dominated by evangelical Christians, and the New Hampshire primary, with its live-free-or-die independents.

“Thank you, New Hampshire,” Romney told an exuberant victory party. “You know, tonight we celebrate. Tomorrow, we go back to work.”

After watching one rival after another soar and then crash, the slow and steady candidate prevailed in this year’s opening contests — and succeeded in the state where his presidential ambitions crumbled four years ago as Arizona Sen. John McCain surged from behind to defeat him.

If he also manages to win the Palmetto State on Jan. 21 — scoring what South Carolina GOP strategist Chip Felkel admiringly calls “the trifecta” — supporters and opponents say the former Massachusetts governor credibly could claim to be the presumptive Republican presidential nomination.

. . . .

The Romney camp is braced for what one top strategist called “a war” in South Carolina, a state known for its bruising primary politics. The TV ads and two debates are likely to be the harshest to date

A majority of voters in New Hampshire said Romney would be the strongest general-election candidate, and he was seen as broadly acceptable.

. . . .

Nationally, he is showing growing strength. In the daily Gallup Poll, he has ticked up to 30% for the first time; Gingrich is second at 18%. That puts history on Romney’s side: Since 1976, the candidate who led nationally after the New Hampshire primary has won the nomination.

What’s more, Romney is the only candidate whom a majority of both conservative and moderate Republicans see as an “acceptable” nominee, according to a Gallup Poll taken Thursday through Sunday.

. . . .

The next goal for Team Romney: a Trifecta.

7 Takeaways from Iowa - What the Results in Iowa Really Mean

1) History In the Making - With a victory in Iowa, Romney now stands to do what no non-incumbent Republican has ever done, win both Iowa and New Hampshire. Furthermore, Romney also stands to make history by being a nominee with by far the most business background of any previous nominee. If you have ever wanted to put a businessman in the White House, this is your chance. 

2) Romney Shows His Support is Strong Even in His “Weak” States - A few weeks ago, the general consensus among the political experts was that Romney would perform poorly in Iowa. Experts predicted that Romney would most likely get third place. Yet Romney didn’t just beat expectations, he won first place. I think it is remarkable that Romney won a state that he was never projected to do well in and didn’t even really compete in until the last few weeks of the race. Keep in mind that Rick Santorum practically lived in Iowa for the last year so he had plenty of time to build up his support. It was only when Romney noticed his numbers were surging and saw an opportunity that he decided to compete. A win “by a nose” is still a win, and it is much better than he was expected to do just a few weeks ago.

3) Exit polls from Iowa show that voters who believe the economy is the most important issue voted overwhelmingly for Mitt Romney. Also, voters who put a high premium on electability and being able to beat Obama also voted overwhelmingly for Romney.

4) Santorum’s near-victory in Iowa has breathed new life into his campaign - Candidates who do better than expected win more media attention, so that will help Santorum in the near future. The next step for Santorum is to try to rally the “non-Romney” factions of the Republican party, but many risks to his candidacy exist. Remember, Santorum is a totally unvetted national candidate. Until now, Santorum has not had to face the harsh scrutiny on his record and past statements that comes with being in the top tier. Already, revelations about his fondness for government spending through earmarks and other issues threaten to undermine his new-found support. Only time will tell if Santorum can defy the odds and keep his momentum going. (Personally, if history has taught us any lesson this year, I think Santorum is just another “bubble candidate” who happened to peak at just the right time but will eventually deflate under the glare of the spotlight and scrutiny of his record. But hey, I’m biased.)

5) “Old Newt” is Back - Newt Gingrich, after being way ahead in the polls just a few weeks ago, was disappointed by his poor showing in Iowa and therefore quickly returned to his old mannerisms by giving a concession speech that one CNN host called “one of the most ungracious moments in politics.” Rather than give the typical concession speech that is upbeat, positive, and congratulates the victors, Newt spent his speech criticizing Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Ari Fleischer of CNN said of the speech, “I have never heard an attack concession speech before . . . So Newt is throwing the gloves on the ice.” Newt has lost his momentum and is now taking things personally and resorting to being vindictive, angry, and destructive. As one writer from Reuters put it, Newt now seems to have allied with Obama by making it his primary goal to destroy Mitt Romney. 

6) Rick Perry is Essentially Finished - Anytime a candidate says in a concession speech that he is going to “reasses his campaign” as Perry did last night, your campaign is effectively over. After Herman Cain said the same thing, his numbers never stopped falling. People are not going to commit to a candidate who is unsure of whether or not he should stay in the race. 

7) The reputation of the Ames Straw Poll is ruined - Michele Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa last year but came in last place among her competitors in the state. The Straw Poll is supposed to allow candidates to show how well they will do in Iowa by having a mock vote several months before the actual vote. The Straw Poll is a huge fundraiser for the Iowa GOP as it costs the candidates millions of dollars to compete in the straw poll. However, after Ms. Bachmann, it’s reputation and effectiveness is now severely tarnished.

What do you think the Iowa Caucuses taught us? What do you feel like the narrative in the media is/should be after Iowa?

Iowa Voting Tomorrow: A Chance To Make History

The Republican race for president continues to be full of surprises. We now have confirmed that “this is the most volatile Republican nomination contest since pollsters first started tracking front-runners decades ago, a top polling firm says. The Republican front-runner has changed seven times since May, according to a Gallup report Monday.” 

But through it all, Romney is the only candidate to stay at or near the top the entire year. We have seen all the other candidates surge and fall in spectacular fashion. As one writer said “Mitt don’t need no surges.” 

Now, there is a virtual three-way tie that has emerged in Iowa with just one day left until voting. The race has come down to Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum where Santorum appears to be the new “flavor of the month” due to increasing poll numbers in the last week. 

If Mitt Romney can win the Iowa Caucuses, and then go on to win New Hampshire where he is widely expected to win, Romney will  make history by being the first Republican candidate to win both Iowa and New Hampshire. Furthermore, not only will Romney make history as the first Republican to win both states, but he will also make history by being the first candidate to be nominated who has been a businessman the majority of his life and not a career politician

Back-to-back victories in Iowa and New Hampshire would almost guarantee Romney getting the Republican nomination and taking on Obama in the fall. Two quick victories would also nullify the claim that Romney is a “weak” frontrunner.

Democrats, in an attempt to slow down Mr. Romney’s momentum, descended on Iowa on Sunday night to set up an anti-Romney war room at a hotel in downtown Des Moines. There, they introduced a worker laid off in the early 1990s when his Indiana employer was bought by Mr. Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital. The fact that Democrats continue to single out Romney in their attacks goes to illustrate that Democrats most fear Romney in a general election against Obama.

With all eyes on Iowa, lets hope that Iowans do the right thing and make history tomorrow. Otherwise, Chris Christie has a message for Iowa saying:

“I want to tell you something really clearly. I’m in a good mood this morning. I’m feeling happy and upbeat. I love being with Mitt and Anne.

But let me tell you: you people disappoint me on Tuesday, you don’t do what you’re supposed to do on Tuesday for Mitt Romney, I will be back — Jersey style, people.

I will be back.“ 

And we certainly wouldn’t want that.

~Addendum from Ross
Watch some of Mitt’s grassroots rally in Davenport, Iowa below the fold. (more…)

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