The Washington Times - July 20, 2012, 01:29PM

The former presidential campaign of Newt Gingrich raised $185,000 in June to help pay down its significant debts to airlines, security firms and staffers, according to records filed Friday. But it also refunded $505,000 in contributions to people who asked for their money back, leaving it with $4.9 million in debt and about $60,000 in the bank.

The debt is more than the committee had going into May, when Mr. Gingrich exited the race, and June.


Most of the refunded contributions had been designated for the general election by people who had already given the maximum amount for the primary. Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules generally require campaigns to obtain such donors’ written consent if they wish to use contributions to pay down primary debt.

In June, it made payments on debt to 15 entities, settling tiny tabs with three workers who had been waiting for their checks. It made a $12,500 payment to Moby Dick Airways, an air charter firm to which it owes more than $1 million for private planes, and a $10,000 payment towards half a million dollars owed to a private security firm.

But it incurred additional debts to 15 companies and five people, including $26,000 to Mr. Gingrich himself and $1,800 to his daughter.

And it still owes $4 million to nearly 100 companies, and $800,000 to 29 individuals — most of the money to Mr. Gingrich himself, but also to former employees, some of whom say they feel stiffed by the campaign.

The Washington Times has reported that the Gingrich campaign has been repeatedly cited by the FEC for refusing to say what $600,000 he says is owed to him is actually for, in addition to more money that has already been paid to him. Federal regulations require that specific recipients be itemized, such as detailing that someone is being reimbursed because he footed a $500 bill at the Marriot hotel. The campaign has refused, reporting only that the payments represent “travel” and “reimbursement.”

The campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.