Gingrich Reveals Income, But Not How He Earned It : NPR
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich beat his main GOP presidential rival, Mitt Romney, to the punch by releasing his most recent tax return. But Gingrich still hasn’t revealed how he earned most of his $3.1 million.
The 2010 tax return made public last week shows that $2.4 million, more than three-fourths of Gingrich’s income, came in payments he regularly received, in addition to his salary, from different businesses he ran before announcing his candidacy for president. Those businesses managed speaking engagements, appearance fees, consulting work, book and video deals and paid positions that Gingrich held in other groups.
Gingrich, who has demanded more transparency from Romney, doesn’t identify where the money came from, including amounts he received from his consulting business. He also doesn’t list some of the salary he reported on his tax return on a financial disclosure filed last year after launching his campaign.
The Associated Press requested details about Gingrich’s income and the identities of who paid him for his services. The campaign has not decided whether it will release further information about Gingrich’s income, spokesman R.C. Hammond said. Gingrich will amend his financial disclosure to show $252,500 in salary from one of his companies, Hammond said.
Other GOP presidential candidates, including Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, have provided details of such income. Romney’s financial reports filed last year and his 2010 tax return released this week specify groups that paid him for appearances and how much he received. Romney’s campaign said Thursday he will amend his financial disclosure to add investment funds he did not previously report, including a Swiss bank account that earned just over $1,700 in interest that was reported on his tax return.
Santorum, who has yet to release his tax return, lists on a financial report the businesses that paid him as a consultant, payments he received serving on specific boards and activist groups, and money he earned as a FOX News contributor and a newspaper columnist.
The way Gingrich has earned a living in recent years has become an avenue for political attack by Romney. Romney charges that the $1.65 million Gingrich received from the government-backed mortgage company Freddie Mac from 1999 to 2007 was for influence peddling, which Gingrich has denied. Romney also has demanded that Gingrich identify other clients who paid for his services and what he did for them, accusing Gingrich of “potentially wrongful activity.”
“If you’re getting paid by health companies, if your entities are getting paid by health companies that could benefit from a piece of legislation, and you then meet with Republican congressmen and encourage them to support that legislation, you can call it whatever you’d like. I call it influence-peddling,” Romney told Gingrich.