Newt Gingrich’s deeply debt-ridden presidential campaign is getting a bailout from a national party committee.
The National Republican Campaign Committee, the party’s vehicle for sending money to competitive House races, has teamed up with Mr. Gingrich’s bedridden campaign on a “joint fundraising committee” called Solutions Start in the House. Donations to the committee will be divided between the two committees, with contributions less than $2,000 being split evenly, with any additional money on top of that going to the Gingrich campaign, until the donor has reached the $2,500 limit. Any remaining donations will go to the NRCC.
Because party committees can accept up to $30,000, the arrangement represents a better chance for Mr. Gingrich to pay off his debts than attempting to entice donors to give directly to a now-defunct campaign. The NRCC and the Gingrich campaign will both publicize the arrangement.
As of July 1, the Gingrich campaign had $4.9 million in debt and about $60,000 in the bank. But much of any money raised will go to Mr. Gingrich personally. The campaign owes $4 million to nearly 100 companies, and $800,000 to 29 individuals. Some of those individuals are former employees, but the vast majority is owed to Mr. Gingrich himself as reimbursement for unspecified expenses. Mr. Gingrich’s campaign has repeatedly ignored demands from the Federal Election Commission to detail the underlying expenses.
Despite dropping out of the race in May, the campaign’s debt has continued to grow as donors have asked for their money back rather than agreeing to redesignate contributions earmarked for the general election to pay down the debt. In June, it also incurred additional debts to 15 companies and five persons, including $26,000 to Mr. Gingrich himself and $1,800 to his daughter.
An email sent to Mr. Gingrich’s mailing list Tuesday with the subject line “hey” directed readers to a fundraising page for the new committee, with a banner featuring President Obama and the text, “98 days to defeat him.”
The committee’s head is Paul Kilgore, a campaign finance consultant who also worked for the super PAC backing onetime Gingrich rival, Texas Go. Rick Perry. Mr. Kilgore did not immediately return a request for comment.