Former House Speaker and potential 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich raised a staggering $4 million dollars from June – September, far outpacing the fundraising efforts of other possible 2012 Presidential aspirants Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty. Yet despite raising eye popping amounts of cash, Gingrich is acting more like Ging-Grinch, doling a mere $1,000 to a lone GOP candidate, during July and August.
You read that right -- $1,000! Ah, you're a fine one Mr. Grinch, as Dr. Suess would say.
Gingrich’s has two political groups he uses to raise cash. His main operational focus is centered on American Solutions, registered under Section 527 of the Tax Code, allowing it to accept unlimited donations from individuals and corporations. However, unlike other potential candidates PACs, American Solutions can not donate directly to candidates running for office, nor can these funds be used by Gingrich should he stop playing coy and decide on a future run.
Newt’s other group – American Solutions PAC – can raise money and use it to support candidates. However, it raised an anemic $137,000 during July and August. It ended the period with $133, 000 in the till. It managed to squeeze out a $1,000 donation to Iowa congressional candidate Brad Zaun. The PACs set up by Romney, Palin and others rely on donations from individuals, capped at a maximum of $5,000 per year. These PACs can and do donate directly to candidates running for office.
The 527 group uses its cash to pay for Gingrich’s travel, staff and other expenses, thus allowing him to appear around the nation at numerous personal, Radio and TV appearances bashing President Obama, urging Americans to vote Republican this November and airing his trademark inflammatory opinions, as the GOP's Chief Bloviator. However stumping for and donating to GOP candidates running during this cycle does not seem to rank to high on his agenda.
According to Politico: "By comparison, Romney’s Free and Strong America PACs donated a total of $532,000 in contributions the third quarter, while Palin’s Sarah PAC doled out $93,500 in donations and Pawlenty’s Freedom First PACs doled out more than $197,000 in the third quarter."
Gingrich has polled very well recently among Republicans for the 2012 Nomination, but he has coyly sidestepped any confirmation of a run. The former Speaker prefers to act the flirt, rather than accept the invitation to dance. Having the fundraising infrastructure needed for a national run, Gingrich’s complete lack of effort on the behalf of others, suggests Newt is in the fundraising game for the benefit Newt. Come 2012, it is almost certain Gingrich will be the happy traveler, pontificating on the issues, raising cash and remaining on the sidelines, a place he seems the most comfortable.