Newt Gingrich Ending Campaign $4,000,000 In Debt

Later today Newt Gingrich will, finally, be dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination, but he’s leaving behind a lot of unhappy creditors:

Newt Gingrich ends his White House dream today with his political committee facing a mountain of debts — owing about $4 million to scores of businesses and campaign workers around the country who fear they will never get paid.

Campaign watchdogs said the size of Gingrich’s debt is extraordinary — and could have been avoided if the candidate and his team had been more disciplined.

“He was reckless in running up these bills, especially in the last month or so of the campaign when it was quite clear that Mitt Romney would be the nominee,” said Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for the watchdog group Citizen Union.

The campaign has been dogged by financial problems since last summer, but its cash crunch accelerated in recent weeks. It finished March with $4.3 million in debts, an alarming increase from $1.5 million at the end of February, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

The campaign raised $1.6 million in March, spent $2 million and reported having $1.2 million cash on hand.


Relief can’t come soon enough for the Gingrich campaign’s anxious creditors. The campaign owes Moby Dick Airways $1.1 million for travel and charter flights.; the Patriot Group, a Virginia security company, $449,502 for helping to protect the candidate; and McKenna, Long and Aldridge, a law firm with offices in Atlanta, $183,658 for legal services, the reports show.

But many of the campaign’s creditors are small businesses that say they will suffer major hardship if they are not paid.

In Phoenix, a company called Pro-Production Services is owed $32,506 for providing stages, lighting and sound equipment for a series of campaign appearances by Gingrich in Nevada last January.

“We floated quite a bit of money — a lot of out-of-pocket costs that we covered,” said Ryan Driscoll, a project manager for the company. “I am a little worried. Nobody wants to lose 32 grand.”

Vic Buttermore, owner of Signs Unlimited in Ocala, Fla., says he’s “keeping my fingers crossed” the Gingrich campaign will pony up the $15,000 it still owes for an order of 25,000 “Newt 2012” lawn signs

“Am I nervous? Oh yeah, by all means,” he said. “They keep telling us, ‘We’ve got you covered, you will be paid.’ But I have my doubts. I really do. That’s a lot of money for a small company.”

Moshe Starkman of Chevy Chase, Md., is among the dozens of frustrated former campaign staffers waiting for back pay. Starkman, who helped the campaign build grassroots support, is owed for more than three months of work.

“You hear the payment is coming ‘next week,’ or ‘later,’ or ‘in a couple of days.’ They always give excuses,” he said. “I’ve had to spend my savings.”

Given that it has been apparent since February at least that Gingrich was not going to win this nomination, one could argue that continuing the campaign was financial irresponsibility of the highest order. Then again, given Newt’s history with Tiffany & Co., it’s hardly surprising. There’s some indication that the Romney campaign and the RNC will be assisting Gingrich in retiring this debt, and given the situation some of these small businesses face one hopes it comes sooner rather than later for their sake.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. There’s some indication that the Romney campaign and the RNC will be assisting Gingrich in retiring this debt, and given the situation some of these small businesses face one hopes it comes sooner rather than later for their sake.

    It should be noted there’s a long history of campaigns no paying creditors back:

    Heck, Bill Clinton still hasn’t finished paying for his run in 1996. The real take away here is that you should never extend credit to a political campaign unless it’s money you can afford to lose.

  2. Gustopher says:

    @Stormy Dragon: i’d go a couple of steps further and say that and given that campaigns tend not to pay back loans, the loans,are really just a back door way to contribute more money than legally allowed.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Not to worry, they’ll just hock Callista’s Tiffany collection.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gustopher: So when do the prosecutions begin?

  5. John Peabody says:

    Not much sympathy here. People providing services on credit were just trying to gain goodwill. The gambled and lost. Bet with your head, not over it.

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Newt is like a professional casino “cooler.” Merely by showing up other people start losing their money.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    Look at the bright side, he caused Sheldon Adelson to waste millions of dollars that would otherwise have supported a viable candidate.

  8. anjin-san says:

    Was this ever anything other than a promotional tour for the various Gingrich business endeavor with the bills being sent to a bunch of suckers?

  9. Cheryl says:

    Funny, Millions of us WANTED some coverage of Speaker Gingrich because he was the ONLY experienced guy in the race AND definitely the smartest…and yet NOTHING..but now the PETTY have come out in droves to chant the same “old” crap! He owes money! They ALL do! He bought his wife jewelry…yada..yada..yada! Is it any wonder that the 99% stay as stupid as a rock…they are like sheep listening to the herders! With the same old slant, and alot of LIES thrown in! More people should just READ!! Not the lame stream media crap..but public records!! you know those that are legally factual! It might really surprise some people to know what the REAL story is on some of these politicians. Speaker Gingrich for one IS the most authentic, factual one out there, and 99% of everything he says CAN BE PROVEN!!! Unlike, 99% of everything else that is mostly LIES! I myself knew nothing about this guy and everything I had heard was bad, SO I went to congressional records, and fact check and found that 99% of everything HE said was the truth and 99% of what was reported had a tiny bit of fact LOADED with tons of complete LIES! Hard for me to say this..but I was shocked! Because I really liked some of the Fox News people who were saying alot of it…and then I realized why they were..its all about the MONEY!!! And although it the made sense…it was equally sickening to see who and why they are ALL BOUGHT!!

  10. @Cheryl:

    The spam-bot is right! It’s like he’s saying what we’re all thinking!

  11. An Interested Party says:

    I wonder if Cheryl is auditioning to be the next Mrs. Gingrich…

  12. J-Dub says:

    What small business would be foolish enough to extend credit to a dying campaign? Especially one that deals regularly with them, like a political sign company? Cash is king!

  13. J-Dub says:

    @Cheryl: Even Newt himself is involved in the conspiracy! As he said himself, “Any ad which quotes what I said Sunday is a falsehood.”

    By the way, everything I say is a lie.

  14. Cheryl says:

    @J-Dub: I would really like to see where that comment was made? Because as you know it makes NO SENSE at all! And if there is one thing the Speaker does is make perfect sense! Many times WHAT he says is over the heads of manypeople but for those who know what he is talking about it is right on the money. From an insider I was shocked at who and why the LIES and distortions were steady coming! Bottom line…it hurts the PEOPLE in general.

  15. Fiona says:


    Wow Cheryl. What drugs are you on? They must be damned good.

  16. Cheryl says:

    @An Interested Party: That is the PROBLEM with most of you who comment you are obsessed with Speaker Gingrich’s sex life and marriages! I for one am concerned with his policies…and I could care less about all this BS! He was running to do a job! PERIOD. And those who are so fixed on his personal life…I wonder if you have ever considered yourselves? And if in your employment if YOUR employer hired you based on if youever had an affair or bought jewelry?? How absurd!! These politicians are NOT your ministers! They are EMPLOYEES of the PEOPLE, HIRED to do a job and if they and we need the most experienced, skilled and intelligent people possible and he certainly IS that! Look at Romney? Clean as a whistle (on paper) but you had better hold on to your wallet!!! And thats a fact!!

  17. Cheryl says:

    @Fiona: Its called the drug of COMMON SENSE hard to fin anywhere today.

  18. ernieyeball says:

    @Cheryl: Here is a GUY that looks like Newt saying what sounds like YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR but it could be LAMESTREAM MEDIA TRICK!

  19. J-Dub says:

    OMG! Cheryl is right! I just wrapped my head in tin foil and now everything that Newt has ever said is starting to make sense! Moon colonization will begin forthwith.

  20. Fiona says:

    Its called the drug of COMMON SENSE hard to fin anywhere today.

    Nobody who had common sense would believe anything that came out of Newt’s mouth. You’re clearly angling to be Wife Number Four.

  21. Cheryl says:

    Well, as I said those of you who are OBSESSED with Newt and sex and marriage, I feel bad for you.

  22. ernieyeball says:

    Common Sense:
    “I have enormous personal ambition. I want to shift the entire planet. And I’m doing it. I am now a famous person. I represent real power.”
    ~Newt Gingrich, blowing his own horn.

    Perfect Sense:
    “I’m not a natural leader. I’m too intellectual; I’m too abstract; I think too much.”
    ~Newt Gingrich, admitting that he’s an intellectual elite incapable of leading.

    No Sense:
    “Give the park police more ammo.” ~Newt Gingrich, responding to a  reporter who asked what to do about the homeless a few days after the police shot a homeless man in front of the White House.

  23. Cheryl says:

    @J-Dub: Oh wait!! I think your head has BEEN WRAPPED in tin foil…maybe TOO TIGHT???

  24. grumpy realist says:

    I think Cheryl is a troll. I doubt that anyone actually supporting Gingrich would demonstrate this level of delusion. Particularly not a female.

  25. grumpy realist says:

    @Cheryl: If Newt is willing to lie to his wife and to go back on an oath that he took before God, why should we assume he would adhere to any other oath he might take in the future?

    Falsus in uno, falsus in toto.

  26. Cheryl says:

    @grumpy realist: Here is the PROBLEM!! First of all the only TROLLS on here are those who PRESUME to JUDGE Gingrich and anyone else they can get their santimonious, holier than thou BS ideas on. Who ARE you people? I for one have not only supported the Speaker I was IN his campaign!! Along with MILLIONS, yes MILLIONS of other FEMALES…who by the way as hard as it is for you sexually obsessed people to believe never wanted to marry, sleep with, or involve myself with the man!! Those of you on here I don’t know about? Do you all fantasize about all the candidates, presidents, etc? I don’t even feel sorry for you! And those who are commenting about his honesty and what he told his wives and GOD? You have NO REAL religious beliefs OR you would KNOW that YOU ARE NOT GOD and it is NOT your business or place to JUDGE anyone! That is between Speaker Gingrich and GOD! I think you are the type of people who would truly drink the cool aide, or put a quarter on your foreheads and wait to be beamed up? Whatever your weirdness, I along with most normal people don’t buy it!! I think you are all in the group of people that are SCARED to death your FREE ride is going to be over when Obama rides back to Chicago…sorry! GET a JOB just like the rest of us!! Because Speaker Gingrich may not become President but him and his dam good ideas are going to be around for a LONG TIME and he will have an influence in 2012.