power plays

Newt Gingrich Secured $350K To Oust Iowa’s Supreme Court Justices. And Why It’s Worse Than You Think

Of course there was out-of-state money flowing into groups like Iowa for Freedom, which, along with David Vander Plaats, led the campaign to vote out three of Iowa’s seven State Supreme Court justices who voted unanimously to legalize same-sex marriage there. And from whose bank account? Oh, people like Newt Gingrich, who threw $200,000 at the cause by bundling cash from his powerful and well-monied network, relays the Los Angeles Times in what looks to be the first report of his involvement. But don’t think for a second that Gingrich’s money trafficking was simply a way for him to support a cause he likes. No, he’s in the middle of drumming up a massive support group of religious conservative, who will serve as his base now that he’s on track to seek the Republican presidential nomination. UPDATE: Looks like there’s another $150k from Newt. See below.

Two years ago, he created a nonprofit organization aimed at religious conservatives, filling the board with evangelical leaders. One board member, Vivian Berryhill, president and founder of the National Coalition of Pastors’ Spouses, said Gingrich helped raise money and other resources to advance the group’s projects on diabetes and teen sexual abstinence.

Gingrich’s moves are meant to allay concerns among influential religious conservatives that his personal history is at odds with their views. In 2007, he admitted during a radio interview with Focus on the Family founder James Dobson that he had been having an extramarital affair with his present wife as he was excoriating President Clinton for lying to a grand jury about his dalliance with a White House intern. As Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, put it, Gingrich has “one ex-spouse too many for most evangelicals.”

But as the former speaker moves closer to a potential White House bid, with more details expected Thursday, his wooing of the evangelical community appears to be paying off. “I think he’s just excellent,” said Pastor Brad Sherman, who leads Solid Rock Christian Church in Coralville, Iowa. “Everybody brings up his past, but he’s very open about that, and God is forgiving,” said Sherman, who had lunch with Gingrich last fall.

This isn’t just some haphazard play to affirm his views on same-sex marriage. It’s a way to tell what’s left of anti-gay conservative America that he’s playing for their team, despite being a cheating hypocrite.

UPDATE: Another $150k is being attributed to Gingrich. Raised by the group Restoring American Leadership (ReAL), $125k was funneled to the American Family Association’s political arm Action, while $25k went to the Iowa Christian Alliance.

[An earlier version of this post implied Gingrich donated the money himself. Rather, he “bundled” it.]

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  • hf2hvit

    Why do right-wingers love adultery and adulterers so much? You don’t see them throwing confirmed, admitted, and often repeat adulterers out of office or out of their party.


  • oldgayvermonter

    I’ve asked it before, and I ask it again…”When will Newt report to RFK Stadium for his mandatory, biblical required, stoning?” He has been very clear about the US needing biblical law, so shouldn’t he be the first to submit to the required punishment, as a 2 or 3 time adulterer? If he would do this one thing, I will renounce my “sinful” lusting after other men and live a celibate life. Come on Newt – you know what to do!!

  • hephaestion

    I once had the chance (about 6 years ago) to trip Newt Gingrich as he walked in front of me while I sat on a bench. I am still kicking myself for missing that opportunity.

  • MattGMD

    We must not underestimate Gingrich. His best skills are selling himself and raising money. Also, he’s intelligent and not prone to public crazy spells. Not sure he can unseat Obama, but Gingrich is definitely one to pay attention to.

  • Drake

    Wanna bet that Gingrich dumps his incumbent wife for a younger model if he runs for Prez?

  • justiceontherocks

    @Drake: Not younger – richer. See: McCain, John.

  • randy

    I wouldn’t piss on Gingrich if he was on fire.

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