Newt Gingrich lined up $150k to oust Iowa justices in same-sex ruling

Interesting story from the Associated Press:

Potential presidential candidate Newt Gingrich quietly lined up $150,000 to help defeat Iowa justices who threw out a ban on same-sex marriage, routing the money to conservative groups through an aide’s political committee.

Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker who has aggressively courted the conservatives who dominate Iowa’s lead-off presidential caucuses, raised the money for the political arm of Renewing American Leadership, also known as ReAL.

Newt Gingrich in Iowa. Associated Press

Newt Gingrich in Iowa. Associated Press

That political group, Renewing American Leadership Action, then passed $125,000 to American Family Association. Action and an additional $25,000 to the Iowa Christian Alliance — two of the groups that spent millions before last November’s elections that removed three of the state’s seven state Supreme Court justices. The court had unanimously decided a state law restricting marriage to a man and a woman violated Iowa’s constitution.

The financial transfers, which appear to comply with campaign finance laws, were part of a steady flow of cash into Iowa from conservative groups such as the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council.

The spending comes as Gingrich is seeking to make allies among social conservatives who drive the caucuses, though some voters might question whether an outsider should be raising money for a contentious ideological fight confined to one state.

Presidential candidates regularly raise money for state legislators as a way to ingratiate themselves. ButGingrich’s behind-the-scenes role in one of the nation’s most contentious ballot measures last year was unusual. There are a number of companies and nonprofits that Gingrich founded or lent his credibility to after his resignation from Congress.

Gingrich’s longtime spokesman Rick Tyler serves as chief of ReAL Action, the political arm of a sister organization that operates with the goal of preserving “America’s Judeo-Christian heritage by defending and promoting the three pillars of American civilization: freedom, faith and free markets.”

Gingrich has no legal role in the operations, although he carries the title of honorary chairman and lends his name to fundraising. The group’s website, in turn, promotes Gingrich’s books, television appearances and films.

Gingrich’s involvement with the plan to oust the justices started last year when he met privately with hundreds of pastors and their spouses. The effort seemed tailored for social conservatives, whose support Gingrich will need if he is to mount a credible campaign in Iowa and who may hesitate to back the thrice-married candidate.

He lined up the cash for ReAL Action, Tyler’s activism arm. But Tyler said the political group backed away from running the anti-judges campaign itself; lawyers cautioned the spending could violate the group’s nonprofit status, which requires that it remain somewhat aloof from electoral politics.

The group was founded under a tax provision that allows it to keep donors anonymous but bars it from making politics its primary purpose.
So the money went to the two conservative organizations without specific instructions on how to use it, Tyler said.

Some are skeptical.

“It is not customary in the political world for large sums of money to shift hands without a clear objective,” said Marcus Owens, a Washington attorney who for a decade led the Internal Revenue Service tax-exempt division. “To give money unfettered to organizations that have announced they are going to be undertaking a recall effort is not going to protect you.”

Gingrich has moved toward a White House run but has made a few missteps in his opening days. An appearance some advisers thought would be a campaign kick-off turned into a simple quick statement because some advisers worried the private plane that ferried Gingrich to Atlanta could get him in trouble with campaign spending laws.

In recent weeks, he has sought to confront some of the ready-made attacks on his candidacy should he run, especially his two failed marriages.

Reaching out to conservatives in Iowa and helping them boot judges could help his campaign thesis that voters care more about the present and the future than the past, which includes an ethics investigation that clouded his final days as speaker.

His exploratory committee’s website features the former Georgia lawmaker with his third wife, Callista. When traveling, they are introduced as a team. And when Gingrich meets with key activists and donors, she is at his side.

On Tuesday, the couple announced on Twitter that they were in Philadelphia to film a documentary about the Constitution. Last week, Gingrich told supporters that he would announce a presidential bid in Philadelphia if he decided to enter the race.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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44 comments Add your comment

curious

March 15th, 2011
9:11 pm

Does he plan to show pictures of his first and second wife? Why hasn’t he backed a law to prohibit divorce? What happened to Defense of Marriage?

double

March 15th, 2011
9:21 pm

No news from Philadelphia is good news.

big hair

March 15th, 2011
10:07 pm

I’ve already had a snoot full of Newt.

Serious Robuck

March 15th, 2011
10:21 pm

Wait. Wait. Wait. I’m sure Last Man Standing will be able to make some sense of this.

janet

March 15th, 2011
10:35 pm

His third wife doesn’t leave his side because she is not going to let him out of her sight. She knows how passionate and hardworking he is for our country and who that can lead to.

double

March 15th, 2011
10:35 pm

Serious; I think of Boss Hogg(Dukes of hazard)each time I see a post by Last Man Standing.

He's a has been

March 15th, 2011
10:36 pm

The journalist are playing into his hands by acknowledging anything he says. This is how he earns a living, and unfortunately, it is how the journalist earn a living also. Reporting on Charlie Sheen or Paris Hilton is at least as relevant, if not more so.

td

March 15th, 2011
10:39 pm

Serious Robuck

March 15th, 2011
10:21 pm

Nothing to explain. Newt did the same thing on the right as George Soros, PACS and unions do on the left. Raised money, raised a grass roots effort to do something about the opposition that voted for a subject they did not like. What do you think the unions are trying to do in Wisconsin now? Same idea and if they are as successful as Newt was then they could get the money flowing back in from the workers.

Fat Lip

March 15th, 2011
10:56 pm

So what Galloway? Got any original material? I guess you think following cut and paste Tucker will get you an award also. Man up; write something; and take a stand. Don’t be a chicken$hitter.

He's a has been

March 15th, 2011
11:10 pm

Charlie Sheen is adding five dates to his “Violent Torpedo of Truth” tour. Tickets go on sale Thursday for performances in Ohio, Connecticut, Boston and New York City.

firedteacher

March 15th, 2011
11:32 pm

Gingrich has TWO documented cases of cheating on wives with gov’t employees who could have been considered under his chain of command, one of the hallmarks of a classic definition of Abuse & Abuse of Authority… This is an actionable offense in most professions outside that of Congressman or Speaker of the House, from which he resigned under THIS cloud… CHEATER AND QUITTER and he wants to be POTUS? I’m jus’ sayin… and he doesn’t want gays to have the right to marry? If his example of Defense of Marriage is any example, I don’t know why anyone, gay or straight would want anything to do with the ‘institution’ that he holds so sacred…. I’ll bet Calista, wife # 3 hopes he never feels passionate about patriotic causes again…

Alan

March 15th, 2011
11:40 pm

Newt may have written the check, but it was Rick Santorum on the bus in Iowa. He left a pretty strong impression with the grass roots people, and he’s well respected in the pro-life community everywhere. Perhaps Rick will send Newt a thank you for giving him an opportunity to win over all the people Newt thought he was buying.

lester maddox

March 16th, 2011
12:51 am

Galloway, why bother to justify his existence?

justdistraction

March 16th, 2011
5:07 am

Here we go again, good for libs to fund causes in anyway and bad for conservatives to dare fund anything. Right libs?

UNaffiliated Voter

March 16th, 2011
6:47 am

firedteacher, not to worry, he’s a Catholic now…its ok…

Newt is probably the most brilliant possibility, but when you’re not lookin, he’s bending left with people like Hitlary Clintonista.

Ron Paul/ Herman Cain 2012 !!!

Ga Values

March 16th, 2011
7:31 am

The only way for Tthe GOP to reelect OBAMA is the nomination or Newt or the Huckster. I really don’t want to vote Obama but he would be the less bad against Newt or the Huckster.

Lum

March 16th, 2011
7:43 am

It’s called “politics.” Works the same for everyone; we all have the right to further out point of view in this way. It only becomnes “controversial” when the other side gets ahold of it and acts all put out. Until their turn, anyway.

Mrs. Faithliest

March 16th, 2011
8:13 am

Wait… is that his face or his behind? I can’t tell.

Big K

March 16th, 2011
8:32 am

I would expect nothing less scummy from this hypocrite d-bag.

John K

March 16th, 2011
8:33 am

My wife is glad I’m not as patriotic as Newt.

zeke

March 16th, 2011
8:50 am

GOOD FOR NEWT! Anyone opposing liberal leftist pro special interest gay agenda is 100% OK in my book regardless of any previous actions!!!!!

Last Man Standing

March 16th, 2011
8:53 am

Serious Robuck and double:

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for joining the Last Man Standing Fan Club! Your “Nobama” and “I love Pelosi!” T-shirts will be shipped upon receipt of your annual dues.

RetiredSoldier

March 16th, 2011
8:58 am

You go LMS, your fans just hate to hear the truth.

Bobby

March 16th, 2011
9:17 am

Residents of Georgia have known Gingrich was a narrow minded, bigoted scumbag since the days when he first ran for office. Nothing really new here. He’s still the same lying, bigoted, hypocritical scumbag. Gingrich is an example of an American that Gay Americans would not want defending them.

DannyX

March 16th, 2011
9:18 am

Divorce is a CHOICE!

God hates divorce. Jesus spoke out against it, its in the Bible.

God created “Adam and Eve”…NOT…”Adam and Eve, then Adam and Cindi, then Adam and Kathy”

Divorce will one day lead to animal marriage.

Its “Until death do us part”…NOT…”Until I get an urge.”

Please Stop Pandering for Votes

March 16th, 2011
9:26 am

Newt needs to stop pandering for voes from haters. Just keep to relevant issues and you can get elected if the populous agrees with your positions, such as the deficit, national debt and impending massive interest rate payments on this national debt when the interest rates inevitably rise. Stick to the economy, necessary services and defense and fixing the broken programs that cost most of our tax dollars, and not by causing a class war but by being reasonable to everyone. If he only listened, wouldn’t life be grand?

Katy Watts

March 16th, 2011
9:32 am

Newt just lost my vote! This is the thing that angers me so much about Republicans. They think they can play GOD.

hfs

March 16th, 2011
9:34 am

I agree that it is so much better to have taxpayer paid security forces bring women in to use such as Bill Clinton, John Kennedy, Franklin Roosevelt did than to do the moral procedure and get a divorce. I also like the way the democrats and union members in Wisconsin refuse to follow laws they do not like.

td

March 16th, 2011
9:43 am

Bobby

March 16th, 2011
9:17 am
Residents of Georgia have known Gingrich was a narrow minded, bigoted scumbag since the days when he first ran for office. Nothing really new here. He’s still the same lying, bigoted, hypocritical scumbag. Gingrich is an example of an American that Gay Americans would not want defending them.

No that would only be the dems of this state who are intolerant to anything other than their progressive/socialist agenda. I guess you are one of the ones that think Obama is one of the best Presidents we have ever had.

RetiredSoldier

March 16th, 2011
9:54 am

Katy-

If this lost your vote, I suggest you were never seriously considering for for Newt to begin with.

Last Man Standing

March 16th, 2011
9:56 am

Mrs. Faithliest:

“Wait… is that his face or his behind? I can’t tell.”

You seem to be familiar with both. Is there something you’re not telling us?

I can see Russia from my house aka half governor of Alaska

March 16th, 2011
9:58 am

Oh Newt! Come on up to Alaska and show me your patriotism!

You betcha!

Last Man Standing

March 16th, 2011
10:02 am

RetiredSoldier:

It always amuses me when someone here says they have suddenly just decided not to vote for a conservative. I don’t believe they ever had any intention of voting for one to begin with! We are badly outnumbered here by liberals and democrats.

Last Man Standing

March 16th, 2011
10:11 am

DannyX:

“God created “Adam and Eve”…NOT…”Adam and Eve, then Adam and Cindi, then Adam and Kathy”

Following your reasoning, I would guess that “God created “Adam and Eve” . . . NOT “Adam and Steve”.

Would that be correct?

RetiredSoldier

March 16th, 2011
10:39 am

LMS-

It’s fun to banter with the true believers. The koolaid they drink must be very powerful. It boggles the mind that people can really beleive some of the things that are written on here.

Jon Lester

March 16th, 2011
10:41 am

Justice might be better served if all state judges were nominated and confirmed rather than elected.

Michelle Mal's Kin

March 16th, 2011
10:50 am

God created Adam & Steve, (along w/eve), he was hoping they’d become friends and get along. So they did. Amen. The End.

PS: Eve also had a friend named Angela, they have a baby girl together. The End. Amen.

Michelle Mal's Kin

March 16th, 2011
10:51 am

I think LMS and Ret. Sol. are the same people. If not, they seriously have a hard one for each other. You go boys!! :wink:

RetiredSoldier

March 16th, 2011
11:01 am

Michelle-

You are sick. You represent your point of view so well!

Michelle Mal's Kin

March 16th, 2011
11:14 am

Why thank you Ret. Sol. same to you!!! :)

DJ Sniper

March 16th, 2011
11:57 am

This DannyX dude can’t be for real regarding divorce. I wonder if he would stay married to a woman who has no other intention other than making his life miserable.

As for Gingrich, I can’t bring myself to vote for him or any other potential GOP candidate. Obama has his flaws, but he’s definitely better than what the GOP has to offer these days. These days, the GOP seems hellbent on taking this country back to the 19th century.

The Snark

March 16th, 2011
1:51 pm

I guess now its “destroy everyone who disagrees with us until everyone in government toes the party line.” Hey, it worked in China and Russia. Why not here?

Who needs an independent judiciary. The Party knows best. All hail Comrade Gingrich!

jim

March 16th, 2011
3:08 pm

This one is to Georgia and alcohol on sundays!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TOM_UuQzc0