Judicial Watch, a conservative non-partisan government accountability organization, released their “Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians” for 2011 list today, and while Newt Gingrich did not crack the top ten, he did make their "Dishonorable Mentions" group.
Among Judicial Watch's top ten were, in alphabetical order: Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala.; former-Sen.John Ensign, R-Nev.; Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla.; Attorney General Eric Holder; Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill.; President Barack Obama; Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.; Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska; Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif.; and Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla.
On Gingrich, Judicial Watch writes:
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has a career plagued by scandal and corruption.
Perhaps most notably, on January 22, 1997, by a vote of 395 to 28, the House of Representatives voted to reprimand Speaker Gingrich for “intentional…or reckless” disregard for House rules and ordered him to pay an unprecedented penalty of $300,000 for ethical wrongdoing. It was the first time in the 208-year history of the House that such a step against a Speaker had been taken. (Gingrich had faced a raft of charges for alleged ethics violations during his tenure in the House.)
Following a scathing special counsel report to the House Ethics Committee detailing the charges against Gingrich, the former Speaker admitted to providing “inaccurate, incomplete and unreliable” statements to congressional investigators. In a written statement, Gingrich stated that his actions ''brought down on the people's house a controversy which could weaken the faith people have in their government.”
During the current presidential campaign, Gingrich has continuously misled the American people about how he, like many retired politicians, participated in DC’s lucrative influence-peddling industry.
Gingrich insinuated during one presidential debate that some members of Congress who took money from Fannie and Freddie should go to jail. And yet, over a span of eight years, according to Bloomberg News, The Gingrich Group was paid between $1.6 and $1.8 million by the home mortgage company. At the same time, Freddie Mac was engaged in massive fraud. Gingrich suggested he was a “historian” for Freddie Mac. But the evidence clearly shows he was “throwing his weight” behind the two Government Sponsored Enterprises to prop them up, saying in one interview that Fannie and Freddie provided a more “liquid and stable housing finance system than we would have” without them. Ironically, President Obama, the man who Gingrich is seeking to oust from office, is keeping secret each and every Freddie Mac (and Fannie Mae) document, including those that could shed light on Gingrich’s relationship with Freddie.
Gingrich also has claimed, “I have never done lobbying of any kind.” However, as documented by the Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney, Gingrich was a hired gun for the drug lobby who “worked hard to persuade Republican congressmen to vote for the Medicare drug subsidy that the industry favored.” Carney reports that the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America confirmed that they paid Gingrich. Bloomberg News “cited sources from leading drug companies AstraZeneca and Pfizer saying that those companies had also hired Gingrich.”
Gingrich has also sustained heavy criticism for his troubled personal life, including the admission by Gingrich that he cheated on his second wife while serving as Speaker of the House with then-House employee and current wife, Callista Bisek.