Newt Gingrich’s ‘Think Tank’ Bankrupt

Newt Gingrich is morally and intellectually bankrupt, so perhaps it's no surprise that his health care think tank is now fiscally bankrupt.

Newt Gingrich is morally and intellectually bankrupt, so perhaps it’s no surprise that his health care think tank is now fiscally bankrupt.

Atlanta Business Journal (“Newt Gingrich health care think tank files bankruptcy“):

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s health-care think tank has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The Center for Health Transformation, which has offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and St. Louis, plans to liquidate its assets, according to a filing Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Atlanta.  Download the filing here.

The think tank listed estimated liabilities of $1 million to $10 million dollars and 50 to 90 creditors.

Political observers said the negative publicity surrounding the bankruptcy spells the end of the former U.S. House speaker and Georgia congressman’s campaign.”This ends his campaign. He’ll now be completely on the defensive about this,” said Emory University political science professor Merle Black.

“Much like his presidential campaign, even the receipt of millions of dollars could not keep Newt Gingrich’s health-care think tank afloat,” said Charles S. Bullock III, political science professor at The University of Georgia . “While health-care costs have bankrupted many without insurance, Gingrich may be the first to go broke studying health-care delivery.”

The Hill (“Report: Healthcare consulting group founded by Gingrich files for bankruptcy“) adds:

Gingrich stepped down from his leadership position with the Center for Health Transformation when he began his 2012 presidential campaign. According to the filing, the firm estimates liabilities between $1 million and $10 million despite assets below $100,000 and says it will be unable to pay its dozens of unsecured creditors.

The bankruptcy will likely deal another damaging blow to Gingrich’s already struggling presidential campaign. The former House Speaker has not won a primary contest since his home state of Georgia on Super Tuesday, and he announced last week that he would lay off a third of his campaign staff and substantially scale back his campaign activities.

Under Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the center’s assets will be liquidated and the business will likely close to repay creditors.
It’s not the first time the Center for Health Transformation has served as a campaign liability for Gingrich. In January, Gingrich’s Republican opponents hammered the former Speaker for his consulting contract — secured under the center’s previous name, the Gingrich Group — with troubled mortgage giant Freddie Mac. They suggested Gingrich was hired to lobby his former congressional colleagues.

While Gingrich strongly denied he was a lobbyist, payments to the firm in the hundreds of thousands of dollars provided ammunition for a series of biting campaign advertisements. Adding to the political damage was the group’s initial reluctance to turn over the contract between the group and Gingrich, which showed Freddie Mac paid Gingrich at least $1.6 million over a period of eight years.

In its later iteration, the center counted major health insurance and technology companies — including BlueCross BlueShield, UnitedHealth, and IBM — among its clients. But the center again proved a campaign detriment when audio of Gingrich promoting the individual healthcare mandate during a call with clients surfaced.

The notion that this hurts Gingrich’s presidential chances is ridiculous, in that he has no presidential chances. Then again, so is that notion that this was a think tank rather than yet another vehicle for Gingrich to cash in on his connections on the Hill.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Gingrich broke the first rule of producing: NEVER PUT YOUR OWN MONEY INTO THE SHOW.

    This applies even when the show is a Presidential campaign.

  2. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Sometimes the irony writes itself.

    Separate but related topic: when I read that news account of the BK filing my eyes nearly popped out of my head. How in the hell does a “think tank” wind up with at least $1 million in liabilities on less than $100,000 in assets!?!? WTF?! That’s almost impossible. Epic fail.

  3. DRS says:

    Is it just me, or is karma really moving a lot faster than it used to?