Q&A on the News

Q: Why did Newt Gingrich resign from Congress?

—Natalie Hull, Covington

A: Gingrich was a member of Congress from 1979-99 and the Speaker of the House from 1995-99. He resigned after a string of incidents. He was blamed by some for partial governmental shutdowns in 1995 that were a result of his refusal to compromise with President Bill Clinton on budget cuts, according to biography.com. Gingrich also came under scrutiny from the House Ethics Committee, which questioned a $4.5 million book advance he received and then returned, and investigated tax-exempt donations that Gingrich had used to pay for a college course he taught while in Congress. Gingrich paid $300,000 for the cost of the investigation and was reprimanded by the House. He pushed hard for Clinton's impeachment after the Monica Lewinsky scandal in 1998, but his popularity began to wane, including among fellow Republicans, and he stepped down as Speaker of the House in 1998. He resigned from Congress in January 1999. Later that year, it was reported that he had a six-year affair with Callista Bisek, who became Gingrich's third wife in 2000.

Q: Herman Cain speaks about his family. I have only heard him mention his wife. Does he have children? Who would he include in his family?

—Sarah Irle, Sandy Springs

A: Herman Cain and his wife, Gloria, have two grown children – Melanie and Vincent -- and three grandchildren. Gloria Cain is a native of Atlanta who graduated from Morris Brown College in 1968, the same year they were married.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).