Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

Newt Gingrich can't shake his campaign debt from 2012 presidential bid


Former Georgia lawmaker Newt Gingrich can't seem to dig himself out of a financial hole from his failed 2012 presidential bid.

The Huffington Post reported that the Federal Election Commission rejected Gingrich's debt settlement plan to account for the $4.6 million in debt he racked up from his campaign.

From the Post:

The letter from the chief federal election finance regulator states that Gingrich’s plan to not pay his creditors “does not meet the requirements” under the applicable federal election law. Further, the committee “may not terminate based on this [debt settlement plan] filing because it contains no debt settlement agreements and must continue to file all required reports.”

Gingrich’s rejected debt settlement plan is the result of a 2011 complaint filed by the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The complaint alleged Gingrich commingled campaign funds with corporate money in a company operated by him and his wife, Callista.

FEC investigators found reason to believe a violation had been committed, but the FEC commissioners divided on ideological lines in a 3-3 vote on whether to sanction Gingrich’s committee. They did state that for Gingrich to terminate the committee, he would have to go through the official debt settlement plan procedures. Gingrich has not responded to requests left with staffers of his production company, Gingrich Productions.

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Democrat Justin Holsomback has suspended his campaign to unseat Republican state Rep. Bert Reeves in a conservative-leaning Kennesaw-based district.

Holsomback, 27, said in a statement that he "cannot meet the needs of my family during this time of crisis and work while actively campaigning.”

It doesn't seem like he's throwing in the towel for good.

“Through our efforts we have identified a strong source of untapped support for Democratic ideals in north Cobb County," he said. "And more than that, we have laid the foundation for future campaigns in the area.”

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We couldn't help but bug former Gov. Sonny Perdue about the scattered talk that he could make a comeback bid.

"I'm going to vote for Mary," he said, pointing to his wife, who was standing by his side. "You know I wouldn't tell you if I was."

We also asked him if he missed being pestered by reporters on the daily.

No comment.


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.