GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s once powerful political action group, American Solutions for Winning the Future, has shut down just months after Gingrich left the organization to pursue his presidential aspirations.
The former speaker of the House founded American Solutions in 2007, and it quickly became a powerhouse in elections. Its email list was among the best in Washington in 2008, and the organization was the single biggest spender among PACs carrying the 527 designation in 2010. The organization dropped more than $28 million!
But no more.
“American Solutions has closed its doors,” wrote vice president and comptroller Paige Bray in an email Friday. “Unfortunately without Speaker Gingrich’s leadership we were unable to raise the amount of funds necessary to keep the organization running and we didn’t want to run up a huge debt.”
In its four years of existence, American Solutions raised $52 million. Its most successful push was its 2008 “drill here, drill now” campaign, which included a petition that solicited 1.5 million signatures in support of increasing domestic energy production.
A former staffer said the organization was built largely around Gingrich — a visible and valuable tool for spreading the group’s message. But that also led to American Solutions’ being distinctly tied, brand-wise, to Gingrich. (RELATED: The big business of Newt, Inc.)
And when Gingrich left the group — and its unlimited fundraising capabilities — in [the] spring to run for president, the former staffer said, it led to “a spirit of uncertainty” among potential donors.
Although the staff or American Solutions wanted to continue, its figurehead simply wasn’t there anymore.
“We had made efforts starting a couple years out to try and establish American Solutions’ brand independent of Newt,” the former staffer said. “We just weren’t quite able to do that.”
The Gingrich campaign had no comment.