Republican Leadership: Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican

August 10, 2010, 5:00 AM
Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican
In the twelve years since he resigned in defeat and disgrace, he has been carefully plotting his return to power. As 2012 approaches, he has raised as much money as all of his potential rivals combined and sits atop the polls for the Republican presidential nomination. But just who is Newton Leroy Gingrich, really? An epic and bizarre story of American power in an unsettled age.
By John H. Richardson
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"Ten years later, Gingrich has built an empire of wealth and influence by turning the fundraising scandals of his past inside out. His American Solutions for Winning the Future is a political-advocacy group similar to GOPAC or the PACs that support regular candidates like Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney, but with a twist: Regular PACs can't take corporate money or personal donations larger than $5,000. Instead, American Solutions is a "527" group, which can accept unlimited contributions as long as it doesn't promote the interests of a specific candidate. So Gingrich takes hundreds of thousands of dollars from coal and oil companies and spends it to fight energy regulations and promote conservative leaders at critical moments — as the archconservative observed, the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" campaign he launched in the spring of 2008 was "likely the source of John McCain's miraculous rebound in the polls."

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