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.
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.