The Truth About Newt

With all the controversy concerning Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, let me tell you a few things I know to be true, as a commonsense conservative, because I have lived them.
I have known of Newt personally, and as a constituent, for many years. Also from his reputation as a professor of history at the West Georgia State University at Carrollton, GA, as a prolific writer, and as a very authoritative and generous supporter of the Atlanta Zoo, of all things! He was named Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” in 1995, and if elected, will become only the second President in U. S. history to hold a doctorate degree.
Dr. Gingrich was originally elected to Congress in 1978, representing west Georgia’s Sixth Congressional District. He was re-elected six times, served as House Minority Whip from 1989 to 1995, and Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999. Following the 1990 census, the Democrat dominated Georgia legislature gerrymandered his district out of existence. Never known as a quitter, Newt then moved into, and was subsequently elected to represent, a suburban Atlanta District, coincidentally re-named as Georgia’s Sixth! As a resident of Roswell (Fulton County), GA, he then became my Congressional representative.
His record of creating a “Republican Revolution” to re-gain control of the House of Representatives after more than 40 years is well known. His success in creating his Contract with America, in balancing the nation’s budgets, and in reforming the nation’s welfare program is still un-matched. But because of his obviously superior intellect and his unwillingness to suffer fools gladly, Newt was a marked man from the start.
For example, it was and is a common practice for many politicians publish their memoirs as a means if communicating with their public. But when Newt tried it, political pressures forced him to return a $4.5 million publisher’s advance, before even a single book was sold! Is this the actions of a party embracing free enterprise, a conservative party?
In the current election campaign, much is being made of Newt’s being “forced out” of Congress in 1998 for having had 84 ethical violations brought against him by the House Ethics Committee. Nearly 25 years later, candidate Mitt Romney is demanding that the details of his censure revealed. If Mitt had studied his history a little more closely, I don’t believe he would want to raise this example of political skullduggery against Newt by both Democrats and Republicans! Here are the details:
While serving in Congress, Newt rented a hall at Kennesaw College, on I-75 just west of Atlanta, where he presented a series of lectures entitled Renewing American Civilization. I didn’t attend, but I did purchase and read the transcripts. They were excellent, were not political, and can still be purchased from at $8.58 a copy. I recommend them highly!
Although Kennesaw is a State supported institution, about half way through the series the liberal professors and staff forced Newt off the Kennesaw campus, causing him to conclude his lectures at the Methodist Church sponsored Reinhardt University at Waleska, GA, just north of Atlanta.
The significance of all this is that of the 84 ethics charges filed against Newt, all were dismissed except his use of campaign funds to rent the auditorium at Kennesaw for his lectures. But to hear the media, you would think he got caught fornicating on the steps of the Cannon Office Building! It was much ado about nothing, but he was assessed (not fined) $300,000 by Congress to cover the costs of the 84 investigations, even though the Congressional Ethics Committee found that 83 of them were without merit. Thus, he was never “forced out” of Congress, as the media proclaims, but after the Democrat insurgence of 1998, he voluntarily resigned his Congressional seat. Perhaps it should be noted that among those who brought pressure for him to resign was the current Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH).
The media, and his political opponents, often bring up the accusation that Newt presented his first wife Jackie with divorce papers while she was hospitalized, suffering from a malignancy. In response, just this past year Newt and Jackie’s daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, said that it was her mother who requested the divorce, it happened prior to the hospital stay, and that Newt’s visit was for the purpose of bringing the couple’s children to see their mother, not to discuss the divorce! That false accusation is still being brought up, and now being associated with his second wife, Marianne, currently in the news. (Accuracy in reporting is not generally considered a media virtue.)
Newt is a fighter, and that hasn’t always made him popular with his less accomplished colleagues. He has had a very illustrious and successful career both inside and outside of government. He has made alleged mistakes in his personal life, for which he has assumed full responsibility, and as a devout Catholic, claims to have requested, and been granted, God’s forgiveness. That’s good enough for me.
It is said that one of life’s most difficult challenges is: “Being subjected to the fatiguing delays, mortifying disappointments, shocking insults, and the presumptuous judgment of the ignorant.”* I am sure for a person of Dr. Gingrich’s intellect, perseverance, and commitment to excellence, he has had to fight this battle every step of the way.
If we are to succeed in reversing the decline in chich we now find ourselves in, such a fighter may be exactly what we need as a Candidate, as a Party, and as a Nation!
* Dr. Prescott W. Thompson
Samaritan Medical Center
San Jose, CA

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