When Newt Gingrich’s fundraising powerhouse, American Solutions for Winning the Future, shut down in 2011, it didn't disappear. It turns out that it just went through metamorphosis.See here for a mention of a for-profit wing of Newt, Inc., Gingrich Productions.
Gingrich -- who speaks at CPAC tomorrow morning -- left American Solutions to run for president, and its fundraising dried up. Apparently the group decided that the time was ripe for are christening as a "social welfare" group, or 501(c)(4), under the tax code, according to reports to the IRS that were recently released. The new group would not have to file regular, timely reports detailing its receipts and expenditures, as it did in its incarnation as a 527 organization. In fact, it would not have to disclose its donors at all.
The new social welfare group has precisely the same mission as the old 527. It claims to be a "tri-partisan citizen action network creating the next generation of solutions that will ensure that the United States remains the safest, most free and prosperous country in the world." ("[M]ost free" was “freest” on the old group's forms.)
But if the 527 was having trouble raising money without Gingrich, there’s no indication that the new version of the group is doing any better. It raised just $500,000 in 2011, spending roughly $106,000. However, since social welfare organizations report their financial information almost a year after the spending actually takes place, the public will probably have to wait until the fall of this year to learn how the new group did in 2012.
The old American Solutions raised more than $50 million in four years, much of which went to pay Gingrich's travel expenses and otherwise boost his political profile.