Newt Gingrich fans received an odd email Thursday morning declaring that the 2012 election has already been decided in favor of President Barack Obama.
“It’s nearly impossible to beat an incumbent president,” the email sent to “Gingrich Marketplace” subscribers explained. “What’s actually at stake right now is whether or not he will have a third-term.”
It wasn’t actually written by Gingrich, who rents his email list out to the conservative advertising company Human Events. Instead, the message was from a man named Porter Stansberry, who bills himself as a financial adviser.
The email went on to prompt readers to watch a video on Stansberry’s subscriber-only website that purports to explain how Obama plans to subvert the Constitution, which limits presidents to two terms.
Stansberry is no stranger to conspiratorial thinking, and was sued by the Securities & Exchange Commission in 2003. He was ultimately ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution and court costs after a judge ruled (PDF) that he used his newsletter to defraud investors.
ABC News was quick to put the pieces together. “It was actually scheduled to run on another of our lists,” Human Events publisher Joe Guerriero told reporter Sarah Parnass.
A spokesperson for Gingrich Marketplace added that they never approved the email.