Newt Gingrich's March FEC report shows the campaign holds $4.3 million dollars in debt and has $1.22 million cash on hand. The campaign raised $1.6 million in March but spent $2.01 million.
The numbers, filed after the network evening shows Friday and first released to Fox, raise questions about whether the campaign can ever pay off all its debts, with Gingrich having failed to notch a win after the Georgia primary. Meanwhile, the candidate has continued his public schedule and his wife Callista has made her own solo campaign trips in recent weeks, racking up major debts in travel and security expenses along the way. Callista is not assigned any Secret Service protection and goes on the road with private security.
At the end of February, the campaign reported that it had $1.55 million in debt, and the significant swell of red ink is a reflection of an internal audit that began in March. From Gingrich's South Carolina primary win all the way through to his loss in Louisiana, Gingrich had an active public schedule involving extensive travel and the paperwork didn't keep up. Sources with inside knowledge of the campaign say the only aspect that has been consistent within Gingrich's operation has been that it is run according to ever-changing guideposts. The candidate is said to have told staffers during the peak of his candidacy that costs shouldn't be a factor when he gave his directives. Projects could be green lighted and then cancelled at whim, with confusing and costly consequences.
The campaign says that, since April 1st, over $500,000 in debt obligations have been paid down and 40 percent of vendors who were owed money have since been paid in full. That, however, does mean that 40 percent of the debt has been paid off and a finance team of five staffers is working to set up payment plans with the rest of the people and businesses still owed money.
"Every effort is being made to repay vendors," said campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond.
The FEC report will show the campaign is also disputing some of the debt, challenging a $22,500 bill with Resilient Corporation, a $100,000 bill from Crimson Hexagon, and a $95,000 bill from Moshe Technologies.
"There is an ongoing audit to ensure invoices presented to the campaign are authentic," said Hammond.
These information technology vendors fell under the watch of former Chief Information Officer Mark Gembicki, whose $6537.59 travel charge is also being disputed by the campaign.