Huffpost Politics

Newt Gingrich Debt: Campaign Owes Millions

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Newt Gingrich's White House bid ended Wednesday, but his campaign debt will live on for some time.

The Gingrich campaign was $4.3 million in the red at the end of March, up from $1.5 million at the end of February, as HuffPost's Paul Blumenthal reported:

The debts run up by the campaign in March include payments for ordinary campaign consulting work, massive spending on private jets, expenses at a private security firm, and payments to staffers who had to cover their own travel and lodging expenses.

The campaign's most absurd unpaid expenses were more than $1 million to the private jet company Moby Dick Airways, nearly $450,000 to a security firm, and more than $500,000 in travel reimbursements and other payments to individual staffers and consultants.

The campaign says it has paid off $500,000, leaving a debt of $3.8 million, according to Fox News, while Newt himself has been reimbursed with more than half a million dollars over the past year. Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond told Fox that the personal payments to Newt were all "for reimbursing for money spent on travel, lodging, rental cars and air travel."

Meanwhile dozens of vendors fear they will never see the money the campaign owes them. Last month HuffPost's Arthur Delaney and Dave Jamieson reported:

In interviews with HuffPost, many vendors listed in Gingrich's Federal Election Commission debt disclosures said they're still waiting to be paid, weeks or months after finishing work. Several said they've been given the runaround by campaign officials as they've tried to collect. Gingrich has vowed to slog on with his debt-ridden campaign, despite having won a mere 136 delegates, leaving some vendors to wonder when they can expect their checks.

Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond told HuffPost that Newt 2012 is doing its best to pay people. "Vendors have been contacted and we are paying bills as swiftly as we are able," Hammond said.

Gingrich said Sunday that his campaign is "slightly less" than $4.5 million in debt, adding that he dipped into "personal funds" to help keep Newt 2012 moving "on a shoestring."

Here are some highs and lows from Newt's wild ride:

Newt Gingrich 2012
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