Newt Gingrich gets new super PAC

Newt Gingrich
Republican presidential candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at Tommy's Ham House, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011, in Greenville , S.C.
AP Photo/ Richard Shiro

Updated Dec. 19, 10 a.m. ET

Becky Burkett, a former aide to Newt Gingrich, announced on Tuesday the creation of a new super PAC designed to raise money for the man now considered by some to be the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

The PAC, called "Winning our Future," will be the second super PAC created for purposes of boosting Gingrich's presidential campaign. Its name references the organization "American Solutions for Winning the Future" - a Washington-based nonprofit Gingrich founded in the late 1990s, for which Burkett previously did fundraising work.

Super PACs can spend unlimited funds to support a candidate as long as they do not directly coordinate with the candidate's campaign. The first pro-Gingrich super PAC, "Solutions 2012," began operating last month.

In a statement announcing the PAC's formation, Burkett described "Winning our Future" as a vehicle aimed at capitalizing on Gingrich's recent momentum.

"We are motivated by the fact that Americans must make the right choice next November at the ballot box or this great nation will not be recognizable. What is so exciting is that more and more Americans are beginning to realize that Newt Gingrich is the right choice and Barack Obama is the wrong choice," Burkett said. "And so, we are proud to be part of an effort to enhance the momentum he has created."

"When Newt was Speaker, we had a balanced budget and a shrinking of the welfare state. And, we had a clear vision of what conservative principles mean for this nation. We need all of that today more than ever," she continued.

As CBS' Phil Hirschkorn reported earlier this month, super PACs could drive campaign spending by independent groups up to $1 billion dollars in the 2012 election cycle - in addition to an estimated $4 billion in expenditures by presidential candidates, congressional candidates and political parties.

While individual donors are limited to giving $2,500 to presidential campaigns, $10,000 to state political party committees, and $30,000 to national political party committees, there is no limit to super PAC donations.

As a result of the 2010 Supreme Court decision on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which lifted constraints on corporate spending in elections, super PACs have become increasingly influential in political campaigns. In the 2010 Midterm elections, the Karl Rove co-founded American Crossroads super PAC spent $70 million targeting vulnerable House Democrats.

Now, super PACs exist for the majority of the major presidential candidates - including Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul and Gingrich. (There is also an anti-Rick Perry super PAC: Texans for America's Future.)

Correction: An earlier version of this post had an incorrect name for the new super PAC, which is called "Winning our Future."


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