Since leaving his Georgia congressional seat in 1999, former Speaker Newt Gingrich has built a network of for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations that seamlessly promote his vision of American government and politics – the vision that forms the basis of his campaign for president.
The organizations paid for Gingrich’s air travel, hired political consultants and put on events across the country, allowing Gingrich to act like a candidate long before he officially became one.
American Solutions for Winning the Future, a nonprofit founded in 2006, raised more than $50 million from 2007 through 2010, according to federal election records, and spent $8 million just on air travel by Gingrich and his top advisers. One of Gingrich’s for-profit businesses, the Center for Health Transformation, has emerged as a leading critic of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul – a key issue for Gingrich’s campaign. Another company, Gingrich Productions, creates political documentaries that focus on themes Gingrich is emphasizing in his campaign, including the concept of “American exceptionalism.”
American Solutions is organized under a section of the federal tax code that imposes no limits on contributions; one donor, the owner of the Las Vegas Sands casino, gave $1 million last year and has contributed $7 million since 2006. A lawyer for a nonpartisan group that analyzes federal election laws said no candidate has had “as complexly structured an empire as Newt Gingrich.”