Currently the American Right Wing seems to feel that Newt Gingrich is its’ knight in shining armor. No question that Newt is a smart guy. He has a Phd. in history and has taught it at college level. He has written, or co-written many books. This is great although the Republicans seem to be suspicious of intelligent people. Newt is a creative thinker. He seems to recognize America’s problems and attempts to come up with the conservative solution. For that, he must be given credit.
So far so good, but the Right Wing has a rather unhealthy obsession with bedroom activities. Here Newt does not measure up. His private life has always been somewhat of a mess. He has gone through three wives, and was being unfaithful to one even while leading an impeachment against Bill Clinton for being unfaithful. While he was carrying on the impeachment, he was married to his second wife while living with Callista Bisek an attractive Congressional aide 23 years his junior. According to many witnesses he spent lots of time at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception listening to her sing while he read the bible. One can only wonder if he found any biblical justification for what he was doing.
While campaigning now, he is making huge sums of money on book sales — money that supporters may have thought were going to his campaign. The money, in fact, was going straight into his pocket.
He accepted a $1.6 million dollar contract from Freddie Mac to persuade fellow conservatives not to dismantle the mortgage company — even as he was calling people who supported Freddie, criminals. He claimed that he was hired as a historian????
Newt “family values” Gingrich visited his first wife in the hospital while she was recovering from surgery — to discuss terms for divorce.
Newt’s problem with morals goes further than his marital life. Do you remember the House Banking Scandal? In this debacle the House of Representatives were allowing members to overdraw their House checking accounts without the risk of being penalized by the House bank. That is to say that their rubber checks were being covered by taxpayer’s money (your money). Believe it or not there is nothing wrong with that — legally. For the House of Representatives it is OK. If you tried that, you could go to jail! Morally, well, that is a different question. 450 representatives did this dirty deed at one time or another. During the investigation (yes, the House of Representatives investigated the, well, House of Representatives) the investigators singled out twenty-two congressmen and women for excessively egregious behavior. One of them was Newt Gingrich.
Newt, being an academic, does enjoy publishing. However, there seems to be a real conflict between Newt, publishing, and ethics. You can’t use government money or equipment for your personal use. You cannot write your great novel on a government-issued computer. Newt,however, was so egregious in using government equipment, that former administrator of his congressional office in Georgia resigned over his lack of ethics.
Fox News owner, Rupert Murdoch, was having some serious legal problems with NBC. So, Murdoch simply had his publishing arm, Harper Collins offer Newt a $4.5 million book contract. Needless to say, the book was not really important. The important issue was making the Murdoch legal problems go away. The word got out regarding the deal and Newt made it worse by continually changing his story as to why he was given an advance of $4.5 million. Even some of Newt’s fellow Republicans criticized his dealings.
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 misusing these tax-exempt groups. Then, Gingrich hijacked two different tax exempt organizations to finance his political campaigns. Both organizations had been set up years earlier to help inner city kids, which is why they were tax exempt. The same year that Newt did that, he started another tax-exempt foundation 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 a former Gingrich aide who is now Newt’s official biographer.
When ethics charges were filed against Newt, he agreed to pay $300,000 fine for misleading the committee during the investigation, and in the process dodged conviction on the actual charges.
Newt Gingrich reminds me of a disgraced vice-president, Spiro Agnew. Agnew was formerly a governor of Maryland. Richard Nixon had Agnew as his running mate and, after Nixon won the presidency, Agnew became vice-President. During his term, Agnew continued to receive kickbacks from corrupt Baltimore contractors. When the press uncovered this, the evidence was so overwhelming that Agnew resigned in disgrace — no trial, no convictions, he just left quietly. I fear that a President Gingrich could have the same fate. From all that I have read, Gingrich is immoral in his personal life, and corrupt to the core.