A nonprofit charity founded by Newt Gingrich has been advancing his political causes and making payments to his for-profit businesses that it didn’t disclose on its tax forms, according to an ABC News investigation. The charity, dubbed Renewing American Leadership, paid $220,000 over the past two years to the for-profit Gingrich Communications—which went to Gingrich’s personal spokesman, Rick Tyler, who was running the charity. It also bought several cases of Gingrich's books and DVDs at full price from Gingrich Productions.
The charity didn’t have to disclose any of this because though Gingrich’s face is plastered all over its website and marketing materials, he’s not technically on its board, explains the head of one philanthropy watchdog. The charity also compiled a mailing list of donors and provided it to Gingrich’s campaign for free—which the watchdog group called an “abuse” of “tax-subsidized, charitable resources.” Tyler insists ReAL “did nothing to promote anyone’s political career” and says he was paid through Gingrich Communications so he’d have health care. It’s worth noting that as speaker of the House, Gingrich was fined $300,000 for—wait for it—misusing money from a charity. The IRS later cleared him of those charges. (Read more Newt Gingrich stories.)