PRESS RELEASE from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

December 19, 2011

CREW Files FEC Complaint against Gingrich Campaign Alleging Personal Use of Campaign Funds

Washington, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) requesting an investigation to determine whether Newt Gingrich’s production company, Gingrich Productions, Inc., made tens of thousands of dollars in illegal corporate contributions to his presidential campaign.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said, “Newt Gingrich will do anything to make a buck, even sell his own mailing list to his campaign.  He has a long history of playing fast and loose with ethics rules so it should surprise no one to learn he is at it again.” 

CREW’s complaint is based on a report earlier this month in the Washington Post that the Gingrich campaign had paid Newt Gingrich $42,000 for the use of his personal mailing list.  The personal financial disclosure form filed by Gingrich when he became a presidential candidate, however, did not include the mailing list among his assets.  CREW alleges the mailing list was the property of Gingrich Productions and Mr. Gingrich appears to have converted campaign funds to his personal use by accepting the $42,000 payment for the use of the mailing list.   CREW also asked the FEC to investigate whether Gingrich Productions illegally subsidized Mr. Gingrich’s presidential campaign by holding campaign events in conjunction with his book signings.  You can read CREW’s complaint here.

Sloan continued, “There seems to be an uptick in candidates using campaign funds to enrich themselves.  At some point, even the generally indifferent FEC -- which is at least supposed to enforce campaign finance laws -- should find this troubling.”