© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Gingrich 2012 Campaign Still Owes $4.7 Million

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich waves after addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference annual meeting in National Harbor, Md., on March 8.
Cliff Owen

Newt 2012, the presidential campaign vehicle for Newt Gingrich last time around, couldn't bag the Republican nomination for him.

And now, the former House speaker's committee still owes $4.7 million from the attempt.

The campaign tells the Federal Election Commission that its debt on April 1, 2014, was just $14,507 less than the amount owed on May 31, 2012 — the month Gingrich officially suspended his White House bid.

The most prominent Gingrich benefactor, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is gone without a trace. He showered millions on a pro-Gingrich superPAC during the GOP primaries and gave the maximum to Newt 2012. But since the campaign, Gingrich hasn't seen money from any Adelson allies.

Now Adelson himself is auditioning prospects for the 2016 Republican contest.

Topping the list of Gingrich campaign creditors is Moby Dick Airways, a charter company that's owed $977,322. The candidate was famous for his taste in charter planes. For Moby Dick, his charter of choice, the old debt has hardly been dented.

The second-biggest creditor: Gingrich himself, owed $649,118 for travel expenses. From there, it's the usual rundown of vendors left in the dust of presidential politics: consultants — strategic, media and otherwise — plus pollsters, direct-mail houses, Web specialists, and lots of travel agents.

Companies that stage events are thick on the list; they're especially vulnerable as presidential campaigns roar into town and out again.

It's equally static on the other side of the ledger, only with much smaller totals. Since Jan. 1, 2013, Newt 2012 has logged just $6,715 in contributions, plus $347,031 from a direct mail consultant that rents the campaign mailing lists. Exactly one congressman, Pete Sessions of Texas, has financially remembered Gingrich, a former speaker of the House.

Taylor Swindle, treasury director for Newt 2012, said the campaign is "being persistent" and continuing to "chip away at the debt."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Peter Overby has covered Washington power, money, and influence since a foresighted NPR editor created the beat in 1994.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.