Gingrich’s campaign enjoys $5m boost

Newt Gingrich received a major financial boost on Monday when the family who donated $5-million to an organisation supporting his campaign earlier this month gave another $5-million.

The money came from Miriam Adelson, wife of Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino and hotel owner, Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston revealed in his Las Vegas Sun column.

Details of the donation emerged as Gingrich made public his contract with the government-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which many Republicans blame, alongside sister organisation Fannie Mae, for playing a key role in the subprime mortgage crisis.

Gingrich received at least $1.6-million advising the giant lender, a fact that Romney is using as the main focus of his attacks on the former speaker as he attempts to regain the initiative after his massive defeat in South Carolina.

The 15-page contract shows that Gingrich was paid $25 000 a month for “Consulting and related services as requested by Freddie Mac’s Director, Public policy”. Beyond that, the contract appears to contain little other detail on what Gingrich’s role involved. It remains to be seen whether the release will be enough to stop the criticism.

Controversial lender
On Twitter, senior Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom questioned why Gingrich had released only the 2006 contract when he had advised them since 1999. “Under Freddie contract, Newt has to provide monthly a ‘detailed description of the services provided’. Why not release that?” Fehrnstrom wrote.

Florida was one of the states hit hardest by the ensuing housing collapse and the former White House speaker’s ties to the controversial lender look set to be a major talking point at Monday’s Republican debate in Tampa.

Earlier on Monday, Romney attacked Gingrich at a rally in Daytona Beach: “He talks about great, bold movements and ideas. Well, what’s he been doing for 15 years? He’s been working as a lobbyist … that’s selling influence around Washington,” he told supporters at a rally.

In an interview with ABC on Monday morning, Gingrich denied he had ever worked as a lobbyist for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and had only been an adviser. “I did no lobbying, period,” Gingrich said.

“Strategic advisor?” queried New Jersey governor Chris Christie, a Romney supporter, on NBC’s Sunday show, Meet the Press. “That is the oldest Washington dodge in the book. That’s because he didn’t want to register as a lobbyist … First he said he was a historian, now he says he was a strategic advisor. He was using his influence that he obtained in public office to try to help get paid $1.6-million.”

Expensive campaign
The need for the Romney campaign to get the ‘lobbyist’ charge to stick was given added urgency by a series of polls released showing that Romney’s double digit lead in Florida has evaporated with Gingrich either in the lead or in a dead heat. Insider Advantage has Gingrich at 34% to Romney’s 26%, with Ron Paul at 13% and Rick Santorum 11%.

Rasmussen has Gingrich at 41% to Romney’s 32% while Public Policy Polling said its poll, still to be released, has the two tied.

The latest injection of Adelson money for the Gingrich-backing organisation, Winning Our Future, means that Romney no longer massively outguns the former speaker in his ability to buy expensive television advertising slots, a crucial factor in the Florida race.

Sheldon Adelson is the eighth wealthiest American, with a $23-billion fortune, capable of sustaining Gingrich all the way through the nominating process if need be. But Gingrich, on the back of the success of South Carolina, will see money coming in from other sources too. —

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


‘Tenderpreneurs’ block the delivery of protective equipment to schools

Protests by local suppliers have delayed PPE delivery, which according to the DBE, is one of the reasons the reopening of schools has been pushed back until June 8

‘Soon he’ll be seen as threatening, not cute’: What it’s...

There is no separating George Floyd’s killing from the struggles black people have faced ever since the first slave ships landed on these shores

How schools could work during Covid

Ahead of their opening, the basic education department has given schools three models to consider to ensure physical distancing

Press Releases

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday