Newt Gingrich is smarter than you. Don’t feel bad; he’s smarter than everybody else, too. Just ask him. But don’t ask him about his personal life – how dare you!
Repeated adultery with younger women, while each successive wife was seriously ill — and all along Newt was proclaiming himself a champion of family values. Attacking mortgage lender Freddie Mac, while secretly getting paid $1.6 million as a lobbyist for them – and claiming he was a “historian,” not a lobbyist. Attacking Congress for gridlock, when personally led the destruction of Congress’ civility and traditions in the 1980s as a “bomb-thrower” and evil genius tactician. (Seriously, look it up.) A half-million charge account at Tiffany’s Jewelers for his latest, youngest woman (that we know of).
All this for 30 years running, and he’s still a leading contender for President as a religious, morally crusading Republican? Yeah, he’s smarter all right. As a historian, he knows Americans forget anything over 5 years old, and the press will ignore your long-term character traits if you give them a shiny new story to report.
It’s not that Newt lacks charm. My personal favorite thing is that he loves, loves, LOVES dinosaurs! Not in any creepy way, for once, but with the deep enthusiasm of a five-year-old boy. For that matter, notice how many of his “visionary” scientific ideas involve lasers and outer space and huge explosions. That’s adorable. The problem is, most five year olds have a sincere narcissism that would lead them to happily order far-off cities destroyed if they got some candy in return. That’s why we don’t put them in charge of the world.
Ultimately, Gingrich is amazingly similar to Bill Clinton — both are pot smoking, draft-dodging adulterers from poor Southern families, who rose to great heights with brains and hard work. Clinton appears to have handled the change a bit better though.
“We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, ‘I never slept with her.’” — Anne Manning (who was also married at the time.)
“We would have won in 1974 if we could have kept him out of the office, screwing her [a young volunteer] on the desk.” — Dot Crews, his campaign scheduler at the time
[In the book] “Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them”, [I] “found frightening pieces that related to my own life.” — Newt.
“I think you can write a psychological profile of me that says I found a way to immerse my insecurities in a cause large enough to justify whatever I wanted it to.” — Newt, speaking to Gail Sheehy.
“She isn’t young enough or pretty enough to be the President’s wife. And besides, she has cancer.” — Newt, on his first wife.
“He treats me really nicely, buys me all these ices. Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi and that Donna, Karan, he be sharin’ All that money got me wearin’” — Callista? No wait, that’s Fergie, “My Humps”
“I don’t want him to be president and I don’t think he should be.” — Newt’s second wife Marianne.
“She [Callista] is the single most self-centered person I’ve run into in politics—it’s all about her. They do these movies together, and she does a word count: she has to have the same number of words on camera as he does or they have to reshoot. …And Callista did not want him to run for President. That’s why he had to buy her so much damn jewelry.” — an unnamed “former strategist.” Will Rogers, Newt’s ex-Iowa strategist has denied it was him.
“If the country today were to move to the left, Newt would sense it before it started happening and lead the way.” — Dot Crews, his campaign scheduler throughout the 1970s.
“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.” — Newt.
Sex on the Desk — Oral Sex is More Easily Denied
Several newspapers are now reporting that Newt Gingrich is dating and basically living with Callista Bisek, a “willowy blond Congressional aide 23 years his junior.” Biske, 33, has been spending nights at Gingrich’s apartment near the Capitol and has her own key. In an amazing act of hypocrisy, Gingrich was apparently dating Bisek all during the Clinton-Lewinsky adultery scandal, even as he proclaimed family values and bitterly criticized the President for his adultery.
Reporters and other Washington insiders have known about this relationship since 1994, even before Gingrich became Speaker of the House, but did not have any solid proof to report. In 1995, Vanity Fair magazine described Bisek as Gingrich’s “frequent breakfast companion.” Gingrich was married to Marianne Gingrich during all of that time, and just filed for divorce in August 1999.
Newt is apparently trying to create a new hybrid form, Christian adultery. According to MSNBC, Bisek sings in the National Shrine Choir, and Newt would often wait for her at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, listening to her sing while he read the Bible.
This is hardly the first time Newt has cheated, either. “It was common knowledge that Newt was involved with other women during his [first] marriage to Jackie. Maybe not on the level of John Kennedy. But he had girlfriends — some serious, some trivial.” — Dot Crews, his campaign scheduler throughout the 70s. One woman, Anne Manning, has come forward and confirmed a relationship with him during the 1976 campaign. “We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, ‘I never slept with her.’”
Kip Carter, his former campaign treasurer, was walking Newt’s daughters back from a football game one day and cut across a driveway where he saw a car. “As I got to the car, I saw Newt in the passenger seat and one of the guys’ wives with her head in his lap going up and down. Newt kind of turned and gave me this little-boy smile. Fortunately, Jackie Sue and Kathy were a lot younger and shorter then.”
Family Values? Pressing Wife for Divorce in the Hospital:
“He walked out in the spring of 1980.… By September, I went into the hospital for my third surgery. The two girls came to see me, and said, “Daddy is downstairs. Could he come up?” When he got there, he wanted to discuss the terms of the divorce while I was recovering from my surgery.” — Jackie, his first wife. One of Newt’s daughters from that first marriage, who is also a conservative columnist, recently disputed that story (after Newt co-authored a book with her), saying among other things that her mother Jackie had initiated the divorce and that “the tumor [removed in a surgery the day before] was benign.” Of course no one knew the tumor was benign at the time, so I don’t know why that is supposed to matter. And CNN recently found court documents that show that Newt did in fact initiate that divorce — which makes him a blatant liar, too. In any case, I’m inclined to believe the wife this happened to over the account of her daughter who was a child at that time (and earns easy money from her dad today.)
Spending Spree at Tiffany’s
Newt brazenly attacks Mitt Romney as rich and out of touch — after it came out that he owed the luxury jeweler Tiffany’s between a quarter million and a half million dollars for pretty things he bought his wife. We think he bought them for his wife, anyway. If not Callista, maybe the next one.
Lying Corporate Lobbyist
There are few things any current candidate has done more hypocritical than Newt’s corporate lobbying work for the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. You see, Newt has publicly attacked Freddie Mac for years, blaming it for the 2008 housing crash. Then we found out that they paid him $1.6 million, as he went around and tried to convince Republicans to vote for Freddie Mac’s favorite bills (and against regulations). Newt denies he was lobbying — because his work didn’t meet some technical definitions of lobbying — and claimed, ridiculously that they paid him to be a “historian.” No historian in history has earned $1.6 million.
Newt didn’t report to Freddie Mac’s director of history. (Spoiler alert; no company has one.) He reported to Craig Thomas, who was a registered lobbyist for Freddie Mac, and paid Newt $25,000 a month. On January 24, 2012, Newt finally released his contract. Guess what is not described in his services? History. In fact, Newt admits that he only talked to Freddie Mac staff for about one hour per month. At $25,000/ hour, that’s a lot of history for a mortgage lender.
The hospital visit wasn’t the end of it, either. Shortly after the cancer ward visit, Newt stopped paying alimony and child support. Jackie had to take Newt to court to get money out of him, and her Baptist church needed to take up a collection to get his kids food and prevent the utilities from being cut off. He has never apologized for this or admitted it was a mistake.
Though he relentlessly pushes military spending and talks like a bigtime hawk, Gingrich avoided the Vietnam War through a combination of student and family deferments. (He married one of his teachers at age 19.)
Problems With Women?
When Newt’s first wife Jackie was still in the hospital recovering from her third cancer surgery, Newt came to her bed and — by his own admission — “argued” with her over the terms of the divorce that he wanted (and she didn’t). Newt also graciously told one of his aides that “She isn’t young enough or pretty enough to be the President’s wife. And besides, she has cancer.” Later it emerged that he had been having an affair with a younger woman, Marianne. But his second marriage — to Marianne — wasn’t much smoother either. In fact it was very similar. After Marianne was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Newt told her about an affair with a younger woman, Callista, that he had been having for six years. She says that Newt didn’t ask for divorce this time — he asked her to have an “open marriage” where he could also sleep with Callista. Marianne refused, and they divorced.
Does Newt have some kind of problem with women? He has said that he read a book called “Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them”, and “found frightening pieces that related to my own life.”
House Banking Scandal: Newt Bounced 22 Checks
Remember the House Banking scandal, where so many congressmen wrote rubber checks on government money? Newt hopes you don’t, because he bounced 22 himself, which almost cost him reelection in 1992. His vote for the secret House pay raise, and the chauffeur who drove him around Washington in a Lincoln Town Car, didn’t help.
Lucrative and Questionable Book Deals: Murdoch’s $4.5 Million wasn’t the first
The 1995 Murdoch Deal
BAck in 1995, Newt’s book scandal was pretty big news. He was offered first $2.5 million, then $4.5 million by Harper Collins, a publishing company owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the Fox TV network and newspapers and TV stations around the world. Murdoch has been having problems with a complaint by NBC that Fox is a foreign owned TV network, which is against US law.
In the past, Harper Collins has offered million dollar book contracts to several conservative politicians in countries where Murdoch was having regulatory trouble, including England (Margaret Thatcher, Jeffrey Archer) and China (Deng Xiaoping’s daughter). A week after the initial offer, Newt met with Rupert Murdoch — and Murdoch’s legislative lobbyist — to discuss politics, including the NBC complaint. As facts about the deal were made public, and even Republicans criticized him, Gingrich decided to give up the $4.5 million advance for a still-lucrative deal based on royalties.
Gingrich’s story kept changing through the controversy. First, Newt’s spokesman said that Murdoch knew nothing about Gingrich and the book deal. On Friday January 13, Newt’s spokesman admitted that Murdoch actually met Newt on a park bench the week before the deal was made, but didn’t talk about it. He also said he knew nothing about Murdoch’s lobbyist being at their meeting. The next day, he admitted the lobbyist was there, but claimed he didn’t say so because no one asked.
Newt also said repeatedly that the book wasn’t his idea; that a literary agent named Lynn Chu had sought him out and proposed it. After Ms. Chu said that Gingrich’s associate Jeff Eisenach called her first on Newt’s behalf, Eisenach and Newt’s spokesman admitted that was true.
The 1984 Book Deal Murdoch’s book deal wasn’t the first lucrative and controversial book deal Newt engineered. In 1983 he established a limited partnership in Atlanta called COS Limited, which pulled together about two dozen of his biggest campaign contributors to finance his book.
The former administrator of his congressional offices in Georgia, Dolores Adamson, resigned over the deal. “The manuscript was put together in the district office using office equipment,” she said. “He would just come in and say ‘This is what I want to do.’ I would say, ‘This is not ethical,” but after a while he didn’t listen.” That office equipment, of course, was paid for by US taxpayers including you.
GOPAC sleaze: Taxpayer subsidies for his partisan campaign course.
Newt in his poltical career was the king of using tax-payer subsidized donations for his personal and political purposes. He stooped so low as to hijack not one but two charities for poor inner city kids and use their donations for his personal goals.
GOPAC, Newt’s longtime political action committee, was the centerpiece of a complex network of non-profit, and mostly tax exempt organizations that Newt has used to support himself and other conservative candidates. In an act of incredible hypocrisy, this crusader against taxes obtained taxpayer subsidies for his personal and political goals, by misusuing these tax-exempt groups.
For example, one GOPAC document said that its goal for the 1990s was “to both create and disseminate the doctrine of a majority Republican party.” In another GOPAC document, titled “Key Factors in a House GOP Majority,” Gingrich wrote “It is more powerful and more effective to develop a reform movement parallel to the official Republican party”, instead of using the party structure, because it would get more attention and be more credible. Shortly thereafter, GOPAC paid for a television program promoting a “grassroots” movement to reform government; publicly they claimed it was nonpartisan, but private internal documents made its partisan goals clear.
After it got expensive, Gingrich transferred the program to the “Abraham Lincoln Opportunity Foundation,” a tax-exempt group controlled by a GOPAC official named Bo Callaway. It had been set up years earlier to help inner city kids, which is why it was tax exempt. The group spent $260,000 on the television program in 1990. That same year, Newt started another tax-exempt group that paid poor students for reading books. He bragged of this in many a political speech. But after the first two years, most of this foundation’s money went to Mel Steely, a former Gingrich aide who is now Newt’s official biographer.
The best known effort was a college course (titled “Renewing American Civilization”) at a small college that Gingrich nakedly used to recruit and organize conservative candidates, and to feed them his carefully constructed ideology and political slogans.
Of course, using tax-exempt educational or charitable donations for partisan purposes is illegal, and several ethics complaints were filed against Gingrich. He agreed to pay a $300,000 fine for misleading the committee during the investigation, and in the process dodged conviction on the actual charges through a combination of finessing some legal definitions, sheer self-confidence and raw political power (as Speaker of the House at the time of the complaints, he appointed the ethics committee. Furthermore, GOPAC had one ethics committee member on its roster last session, and gave money to another.)
The Ethics Committee dropped its final charges against Gingrich not long before he resigned as speaker, despite finding that Gingrich had in fact violated one rule by repeatedly using a political consultant paid by GOPAC to develop the Republican political agenda, because there was no evidence he was continuing to do so.
The IRS also started an investigation of one group, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, for violating its tax-exempt status by donating to Gingrich’s college course. In the investigation, the special counsel found that these activities were “substantially motivated by partisan political goals.” The IRS eventually overruled him, and found that the course “was educational and never favored or opposed a candidate for public office.” It said the foundation “did not intervene on behalf of candidates of the Republican Party merely by promoting” themes in the course. This extremely narrow reading of the law basically said “so what if he used the course to recruit, organize and groom candidates; as long as they didn’t say ‘Vote for Jones’, it wasn’t partisan.” Despite what Gingrich fans argue, this hardly proves his innocence. The IRS has chickened out before in political cases, notably letting the Church of Scientology completely off the hook in its investigation of that group.
Corporate reward: $2,500/month to Newt’s wife
According to the Wall Street Journal, a company hired Marianne Gingrich (Newt’s wife) for $2,500 a month plus commissions in September 1994 after he announced support for a free trade zone in Israel that they are trying to build. Her “job” for Israel Export Development Co. is to find tenants for the trade zone. Gingrich’s spokesman said that since her job did not involve working with the US government, there was no conflict of interest.
Who Owns Him?
- Sherman Adelson, a Las Vegas casino owner, and his wife have EACH given $5 million to Newt’s SuperPAC just this spring. 2 checks, $10 million. By amazing coincidence, Newt’s resurgence in the presidential campaign began about 10 minutes after Adelson wrote the first check. Here you have a perfect illustration of what the Citizens United campaign has meant for presidential politics.
- Rupert Murdoch (see book deal above)
- Georgia’s Richards family, owners of Southwire Corporate ($1.3 billion/year)
The Richardses lent and donated money and office space to Gingrich from his earliest days in politics. They have given over $100,000, and Gingrich was the first recipient of donations from Southwire’s PAC. By coincidence, Gingrich has changed from an environmentalist critic of Southwire to a staunch anti-environmentalist during that time. People with ties to Southwire were instrumental in two earlier lucrative book deals of Gingrich’s in 1977 and 1984; the latter was investigated for ethical violations.
Newly recovered court files cast doubt on Gingrich version of first divorce,” By Alan Duke, CNN, December 27, 2011
Callista quote: The Good Wife: Can Callista Gingrich save her husband?, by Ariel Lev, The New Yorker, January 23, 2012
“Doesn’t matter what I do” quote: John H. Richardson, “Newt Gingrich: The Indispensable Republican,” Esquire Magazine, August 10, 2010
“Newt’s Glass House,” by Stephen Talbot, Salon.com, August 28, 1998
“Newt Plays House With New Squeeze,” by Timothy Burger and Owen Moritz, NY Daily News, August 12, 1999
“Newt’s Fooling Around With His Girl On the Hill,” by Andy Soltis, New York Post, August 12, 1999
“The Big One That Got Away,” by David Corn, Salon Website, August 12, 1998
adulterous choir practice: “Personals”, by Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, August 17, 1999 pE12
“Gingrich Won’t Answer Woman’s Adultery Story,” Missoula (Montana) Missoulian, August 16, 1995p.1
“Tales About Gingrich make field level”, Idaho Spokesman Review, August 16, 1995 pB6
“Gingrich Aided Export Firm That Employed His Wife”, NY Times News Service, San Francisco Chronicle, February 7, 1995 pA7
“Gingrich, Critic of ‘Business as Usual,’ Helps Out Special Interests Like ‘Any Member of Congress’”, Phil Kuntz, Wall Street Journal, April 3, 1995 pA16
“Gingrich’s political education”, Jeff Gerth and Stephen Labaton (NY Times News Service), San Francisco Examiner, February 12, 1995 pA6
“IRS clears Gingrich donation that led to his House censure”, Capitol Hill Blue Website, February 4, 1999
Ethics Committee Drops Last of 84 Charges Against Gingrich, By Curt Anderson (Associated Press), Washington Post, October 11, 1998, Page A13
“Use of Tax-Exempt Groups Integral to Political Strategy”, by Charles R. Babcock, Washington Post, January 7, 1997, Page A01
A Big Check, and Gingrich Gets a Big Lift, By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE and ERIC LIPTON, New York Times, January 9, 2012
Miriam Adelson Donates $5 Million to a Pro-Gingrich ‘Super PAC’, by NICHOLAS CONFESSORE, New York Times, January 23, 2012
“Jump-Start: How Speaker Gingrich Grabbed Power and Attention So Quickly”, Wall Street Journal, January 19, 1995 pA1
Gingrich’s former firm releases Freddie Mac contract, by Dan Eggen, Washington Post, January 24, 2012
“The Inner Quest of Newt Gingrich”, Gail Sheehy, Vanity Fair, September 1995 p147 “Gingrich, Murdoch reveal lobbyist’s role at meeting”, Katharine Seelye (NY Times News Service), San Francisco Examiner, pA1 “Murdoch, Gingrich Admit They Talked”, San Francisco Chronicle, January 13, 1995
“The Mysterious Mrs. Newt”, Martin Fletcher (London Times News Service), SF Examiner, January 15, 1995 pA4 “Newt’s Near Misses”, Ron Curran, The Bay Guardian, January 11, 1995 p10
“Newt, Inc.”, Dennis Bernstein, Bay Guardian, February 1, 1995 p19