Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times reported that Newt Gingrich had quietly help raise $200,000 for the right-wing effort to remove three sitting Supreme Court justices in Iowa over their ruling in favor of marriage equality.
The Times article didn’t provide many details about the effort, but today the AP fills them and reveals that Gingrich’s group, Renewing American Leadership, funneled the bulk of the money to the American Family Association:
Potential presidential candidate Newt Gingrich quietly lined up $150,000 to help defeat Iowa justices who threw out a ban on same-sex marriage, routing the money to conservative groups through an aide’s political committee.
Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker who has aggressively courted the conservatives who dominate Iowa’s lead-off presidential caucuses, raised the money for the political arm of Restoring American Leadership, also known as ReAL.
That group then passed $125,000 to American Family Association Action and an additional $25,000 to the Iowa Christian Alliance — two of the groups that spent millions before last November’s elections that removed three of the state’s seven state Supreme Court justices. The court had unanimously decided a state law restricting marriage to a man and a woman violated Iowa’s constitution.
The financial transfers, which appear to comply with campaign finance laws, were part of a steady flow of cash into Iowa from conservative groups such as the National Organization for Marriage and the Family Research Council.
During the campaign, the AFA’s resident spokesbigot Bryan Fischer regularly bragged that his group was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the effort in Iowa. Now we know that a significant portion of that money came from Newt Gingrich’s organization.