Newt Gingrich undecided in Va. Governor’s race


newt-gingrichOkay, okay. You don’t believe this headline, do you? (I don’t either.) But this is what Newt Gingrich, the discredited former GOP House Speaker, wants you to believe.

Yesterday, Gingrich’s American Solutions for Winning the Future sent a letter to Virginia gubernatorial candidates Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds seeking their support for Gingrich’s effort to defeat the  American Clean Energy & Security Act of 2009, better know as the Cap and Trade bill. The bill, which was authored by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee and may come to the full House floor as early as next week.

In this letter, American Solutions describes the bill as a “new and complex national energy tax system”  which would “dramatically raise taxes on every single citizen of Virginia and kill Virginia jobs.” 

Cue the scary music please.

Of course lots of people support the bill, including former Vice President Al Gore, who said when it passed the House Energy & Commerce Committee in May: 

“The bill represents a crucial step forward in addressing the global climate crisis, the need for millions of new green jobs to end the recession, and the national security threats that have long been linked to our growing dependence on foreign oil and other fossil fuels.”

For his part, Gingrich claims that American Solutions isn’t affiliated with GOP, but is “tri-partisan” in that it is made up of Democrats, Republicans and independents. (That’s right, Gingrich expects you to believe his organization — he’s the General Chairman of American Solutions — isn’t a GOP front group.)

American Solution is a 527 organization under the Internal Revenue Code, so finding out information about donors is relatively easy. Just go to IRS.gov and go to this search form. Once there, click on the box marked “Form 8872″ and enter this employer identification number: “20-5457079″ and search from “10-6-2006″ to whatever today’s date is. That will take you to PDFs of all American Solutions’ filings at the IRS regarding their donations and expenditures.

One little tidbit I found interesting in their financial filings is that just like the budgets Gingrich passed during his speakerships, they run a big budget deficit at American Solutions. According to their 2008 end of year report, American Solutions raised $997,641 and spent $1,402,398.

The folks at Think Progress did a bit more digging into just who is donating to Gingrich’s outfit. Donors include a number of GOP supporters. Among them are:

  • Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, and its top lobbyist Frederick Palmer. (Peabody is also a financial backer of Bill Howell, GOP Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.) They’ve given Gingrich $275,000.
  • Sheldon Adelson, a casino king and the 3rd richest man in the U.S. He gave Gingrich $3 million. He’s also a Bush Pioneer who donates regularly to other right wing groups, including Freedom Watch, a group run by former Bush White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer.
  • Carl Lindner, a banana mogul behind Chiquita Brands. Lindner led Chiquita’s efforts to illegally finance terrorist organizations in Colombia. Also a Bush Pioneer, Lindner gave Gingrich $650,000.
  • George Argyros, a real estate investor and former owner of the Seattle Mariners. Argyros reached a settlement in 2000 with the California Attorney General’s office to pay his former apartment tenants $1.1 million in security deposits he illegally withheld. Despite this, the President George W. Bush nominated him to be Ambassador to Spain and why not? Argyros raised $30 million for Bush’s 2000 campaign. He gave Gingrich $25,000.

Don’t get me wrong, under the law, these wealthy interests have made these political contributions in a manner that is completely legal. I don’t like that they have more influence than I do, but it’s in complete compliance with the law.

The problem I have is with American Solutions pretending to be anything other than what it is — a front group for the Republican Party and the interests the GOP represents. I’d love to see who these Democratic donors are which Gingrich has attracted. (Remember, Gingrich was the keynote speaker at a recent Washington, D.C. fundraising dinner for the Republican Party. At the dinner, Gingrich claimed President Obama had “already failed.” “Tri-partisan”, my ass.)

But I digress.

What I want to know is why Gingrich and his right wing cabal care who the next Governor of Virginia is? Regardless of who wins, neither Bob McDonnell nor Creigh Deeds will influence the outcome of what the Congress does with this legislation.

One thing they did indicate to the Washington Post yesterday was that they will be buying advertising meant to influence the outcome of the election. According to the Post, “an advertising blitz” begins next week.

Gee, I wonder whose side they will be supporting? If I had to guess, I’m banking it’s not Democrat Creigh Deeds, whose most ranking in the Virginia General Assembly from the Virginia League of Conservation Voters is 89 out of 100. (Only one senator out of 40 was ranked higher than Deeds.)

My bet is Newt and the gang will back right wing Republican Bob McDonnell, who, when he last served in Virginia’s House of Delegates in 2005, was given a ranking of 13 out of 100.

We shall see.

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7 Comments

Filed under environment, Republican Party, Right wing nut jobs, Virginia Governor's Campaign

7 responses to “Newt Gingrich undecided in Va. Governor’s race

  1. Vance Lunn

    Believe it or not, Newt is actually quite the environmentalist: http://newt.org/AContractwiththeEarth/tabid/220/Default.aspx

    No, he is not a liberal or Socialist. He believes in incentives and creativity instead of taxes and bureaucrats. He is probably targeting Virginia becuase the other guy might press for state 10th amendment rights over new Cap and Trade bureaucrats. (I don’t know this but it is a good guess.) As someone from Ohio, I am actually quite relieved that the Coal Industry is fighting for survival. Clean Coal is one of the answers among many for environmental stewardship. If you believe that we can actually control the climate, then I would ask that you give thought to the idea that we can scrub that carbon out of the coal smoke and use it as fertilizer on the ground. Carbon is good plant fertilizer. My fear is that Cap and Trade taxation will break us. My wife and I struggle to make ends meet and every time these politician open their mouths lately, it is to pass a new tax or regulation that will increase our costs. We will go bankrupt if Congress and the President get all the legislation they want. And I’m only talking about my wife and I. I have no idea where we as a country are going to get the trillions needed for this stuff. Besides, who says that a few guys in Washington can manage things better than the people of the United States if left alone to pursue our goals? I am a weather nerd. I have spent my life studying weather and climate for the fun of it and I just don’t see any unusual warming anyways. We are rebounding from the little Ice Age is all. And how is it being a little warmer a bad thing anyways? Let’s fix environmental messes, not enlave ourselves to useless, selfish bureaucrats.

    • If Gingrich is such an environmentalist, why isn’t he supporting this legislation which is supported by the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund?

      • Vance Lunn

        Becuase this legislation serves only to give political power to a few elites in a centrally controlled Bureaucracy. Cap and trade means that there is a cap on the carbon you can produce. BUt if you need to surpass this cap, you can trade with someone else who was able to stay under it. If we need a cap on carbon emissions to improve environmental conditions, then what good does it do for the environment to charge somebody for the privelege? The environment is no better off. You’ve just created a situation where only wealthy people can live ass they want. Us poorer and middle class poeple will be stuck with caps that some bureaucrat will impose on us. We won’t be able to open new businesses and engage in as much economic activity due to the increased costs. So with cap and trade, we limit class mobility so the rich get richer and the poor get comparetively poorer. Add to that that there will be a host of Constitutional issues. The Federal Government just doesn’t have the authority to control aspects the private sector to that extent. Also, don’t forget that when we breathe, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. A bureaucrat with the power to control CO2 emissions, has the potential to (attempt to) control our own breathing. Remember, the “good guys” aren’t always going to be in power.

        I like Newt’s approach to environmental stewardship becuase he wants to encourage new technologies that will be cleaner and more efficient so that people won’t need to roll back the lifestyles that make them who they are. Happy people are more productive people. He’s loaded with ideas. One is to offer (tax free) prizes similiar to the X-prize for environmentally sound innovations. CHeck out his site. It’s loaded with creativity.

        It is We The People, not bureaucrats, who will solve environmental problems.

        • Control our own breathing? Newt Gingrich has said no such thing. No one in Congress, even the opponents of this legislation, who include science-deniers have said anything close to this.

          Where in the world is the science which supports your bizarre claim?

          • rpexplorer

            Interesting that you ignore or shrug off all comments by Vance Lunn Except for speculative projection on breathing. Are you inferring that human exhalant contains Carbon Dioxide is bizarre? Why not discuss the model instead of trying to diminish its worth? Why not respond with comments on his conclusions? Or suggest alternate conclusions – be constructive.

          • Vance Lunn

            Let’s say you’re a bureaucrat in the EPA. Pick some activity for the sake of discussion…HOw about football? It tends to be a very politically incorrect activity. You don’t like football, you were teased by football jocks in HS. YOu think pros make way to much money. WHichever, so you “find” that football practices cuase poeple to exert to much and thus they breathe too hard…emitting too much co2. You need to tax it and regulate that activity to keep poeple from breathing so hard. Or, here is another poossibility, lets say you don’t like it when creatures “pass gas” becuase of the methane (another greenhouse gas) that is emmitted with each one? SO you as the EPA regulator decide you need to tax each animal oh say…$175? The second scenerio is actually being considered by the EPA right now. True it is animal flatulence they are regulating, but how big a leap really to regulating and taxing people flatulence? I think it is unjust to sack farmers with a brand new tax bill that will be tens of thousands of dollars for any reason. Let the EPA bureaucrats foot the bill for their schemes. The point is, cap and trade will give far too much power to far too few individuals. It will be abused. It is unconstitutional. And…it will fail. We can’t control the climate. We might have an effect on it as humanity is part of the system called Earth so is one of the factors in a very complex equation. But to redirect that effect in a desired direction, you would have to get all 6.5 billion people to do exactly the same thing. If people worked together that well, there would be no wars and the Stock Market would never drop. This is why the best system for solving any problem is one that respects the individuality of each of us and gets a few good individuals on their own to be creative and come up with solutions that many other individuals will voluntarily participate in. They will then be enthusiastic about solving environmental problems and put their full heart and soul into it. Cap and trade turns the environment into an obstacle to people’s well being. Obstacles are to be defeated, not worked with. I see all the time how people get around EPA regulations at my work. I also see how regulations are used by people to further political and personal goals at the expence of another. That soon to be broke farmer in the above scenerio is not going to care about the warmer temperature. So that is why I support Newt’s individual approach to the environment. Poeple aren’t going to jump just because some bureaucrat says so.

  2. Ga4Freedom

    Typical response from the “almost science accepters”. Totally blows off all the good and reasonable SOLUTIONS that Newt’s approach makes and focuses in (and takes the conversion into another direction) on one small insignificant point that the thoughtful poster was trying to make. How sad that they are SO unwilling to listen, this is why America is in trouble…. Open your minds,, you’d be amazed at what you can learn… And that’s a good thing…

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