Gingrich think tank files for bankruptcy

By David Edwards
Thursday, April 5, 2012 12:31 EDT
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Gingrich close-up via AFP
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Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s health-care think tank on Wednesday filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, with up to $10 million in debt and as little as $50,000 in assets.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported on Thursday that The Gingrich Group LLC, doing business as the Center for Health Transformation, filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia.

The bankruptcy filing (PDF) indicates that the organization has between 50 and 99 creditors, assets between $50,000 to $100,000 and liabilities of $1 million to $10 million.

The Washington Post reported last year that the Center for Health Transformation had collected more than $37 million from health care insurers and other industry grounds since opening in 2003. The think tank offered health-care companies “access to Newt Gingrich” and “direct Newt interaction.”

Firms like AstraZeneca, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Novo Nordisk were included among some of the biggest funders.

“This ends his campaign,” Emory University political science professor Merle Black told the Business Chronicle. “He’ll now be completely on the defensive about this.”

University of Georgia political science professor Charles S. Bullock III agreed that the news effectively put an end to the former House Speaker’s 2012 presidential hopes.

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

Stefan Passantino, counsel to the Gingrich campaign, insisted that the filing was proof that the country needed a leader like Gingrich because the bankruptcy did not happen on his watch.

“I don’t think this hurts his ability to run for president,” Passantino remarked. “If anything, it shows the importance of his leadership while he was there.”

The Georgia Republican’s presidential campaign has been plagued by debts that are part of a pattern of financial problems going back decades.

Scrutiny of Gingrich’s finances began last year, after reports surfaced that he had an unpaid $500,000 line of credit with jewelry company Tiffany’s. Facing the ever-growing mountain of campaign debts and reports that the candidate was on a Mediterranean cruise, 18 members of team Gingrich — including his top finance aides — quit en masse. After all, for months he was spending $3 for every $2 raised, according to reports.

Last month, the cashed-starved began charging supporters $50 to have a photograph taken with the Republican presidential candidate.

The latest campaign finance reports showed that the Gingrich’s presidential bid was about $1.6 million in debt. Funds have also begun drying up at the pro-Gingrich Winning Our Future super PAC.

– With earlier reporting by Stephen C. Webster.

(H/T: The Huffington Post)

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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