NEWT GINGRICH

Newt Gingrich

ABOUT

Gingrich was a university history teacher before seeking election. Gingrich was first elected in to office as a U.S. House Representative in 1979 and left office as Speaker of the House in 1999. Since leaving office, Gingrich has become a highly sought-after public speaker. He is also chairman of the Gingrich Group, a communications and consulting firm in Atlanta, Ga., and Washington, D.C.

ELECTIVE OFFICE

U.S. House, 1979-1999
U.S. Speaker of the House, 1995-1999

FUNDRAISING

Gingrich has a political group registered under a section of the tax code known as 527. The 527, known as American Solutions for Winning the Future, allows him to accept unlimited donations from people or corporations. It raised more than $20 million in the latest election cycle, according to a review of IRS records published in August by Salon.com. Salon reported that large chunks of the group's money came from oil, gas and coal companies and that millions have been spent on private jets for Gingrich to travel the country, often to promote books and movies.

Gingrich also has the American Solutions Political Action Committee, which in an October Federal Election Commission report said it raised $391,000. The PAC donated $1,000 to Iowa state Sen. Brad Zaun's unsuccessful attempt to unseat U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell in the Third Congressional District. It also donated at least $66,000 to the Republican Party of Iowa and the party's Eisenhower Club between Sept. 8 and Oct. 12, 2010. It gave $5,000 to Iowa state Rep. Linda Upmeyer, a Republican from Garner who is House Majority Leader for the 2011 session.

By the most recent June 30 reporting date, Gingrich had raised $2,094,866

SOURCES

Biographical Directory of U.S. Congress; PBS.org; Newt.org; About.com

VITAL STATISTICS

Date of Birth: June 17, 1943

Education: Bachelor's degree in history, 1965, Emory University. Master's degree in European history, 1968, Tulane University. Doctorate, 1971, European History, Tulane.

Family: Current home: McLean, Va. Family: Gingrich has been married three times. He has two daughters with his first wife, Jackie Battley. His wife, Callista, is a former congressional aide who is president of Gingrich Productions, a performance and production company.

Official Web Site: www.GingrichProductions.com

TALKING POINTS...

Gingrich was architect of the "Contract with America," a document put together and signed by Republican candidates in 1994 that offered alternatives to Democratic policies. The contract is credited with helping the GOP win control of the House for the first time in 40 years. It advocated government reform and policy changes including tax cuts, tort reform, social security and welfare reform and term limits. Congress passed welfare reform and tax cuts and increased funding to strengthen defense and intelligence capabilities under his leadership.

He's a professed authority on health care, arguing for a more market-driven, prevention-focused approach in his book, "Saving Lives and Saving Money."

He has written more than 20 books, including nonfiction and historical fiction. More than half have been listed on the New York Times' bestseller list,

He is a key face of Republican opposition to Democrats, most notably during former President Bill Clinton's administration, but is sometimes seen as divisive.

He was sanctioned by the House in 1997, paying a $300,000 penalty, after he admitted giving false information to the ethics committee. Part of the fine stemmed from his failure to ensure that financing for two projects, one of which included a college course he taught, would not violate federal tax laws.

Gingrich has been married three times. During his second marriage, he admitted having an affair with Callista Bisek, a former congressional aide who is 23 years younger and is now his third wife.

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