Newt’s Expensive High Tech Win

Is anyone truly surprised to find that profligate spender and putative GOP presidential front runner Newt Gingrich has spent nearly three quarters of a million dollars on his ho-hum candidate website? Karoli at Crooks and Liars:

According to his third quarter report, the campaign made weekly payments of $10,000 to High Tech Win, LLC for “website development”, with the exception of two payments in July for $20,000 each. The total paid in the third quarter to this vendor was $120,000. In the second quarter, the campaign paid $120,000 on June 13th, $50,000 on May 12th, $50,000 on May 17th, and $65,000 on May 26th for a total of $285,000. Remarkably, he had a total balance due of $497,059.90 at the end of the second quarter.

Nearly $500,000 to one vendor for website management? And that’s not everything he spent on site development. He paid Rackspace $18,000 in the second quarter for hosting services, and a company called VM Media, Inc $210,250 for Q2 “website management”. VM Media appears to be a company specializing in social media consulting run by Jim Eustace which specializes in microtargeting. Over $200,000 seems like a lot to pay for that, but at least it appears to be a legit operation.

On the other hand, High Tech Win, LLC is far more confusing. Here is a company profile. It describes High Tech Win, LLC as an appliance and home remodeling company? That doesn’t sound like web development. High Tech Win’s principal is H. Dale Langley, Jr., an Austin intellectual property lawyer.

Finally, there were payments of $14,070 to 5EI, LLC for website development in the third quarter. This number sounds far closer to a realistic amount to pay for a candidate website. Adobe Systems was paid $14,448 in the third quarter, too.

As I write, I can’t get the site to load.

Thing is, Newt’s always had plenty of money to throw around. Case on point, the $1.6 to $1.8 million he was paid by Freddie Mac to provide counsel on public policy issues.

Mitchell Delk, Freddie Mac’s chief lobbyist, explains that Newt was not a lobbyist, “There was no expectation that he would do any lobbying, and he did not do any lobbying.”

No, Newt provided wink strategic advice. Advice like suggesting Freddie Mac initiate a program with the Boy Scouts of America to teach youngsters the importance of saving money and maintaining good credit so they would qualify to buy a home later in life. That idea the mortgage lender never took up.

The Big Picture’s Barry Ritholtz, noting that Gingrich has previously said that “You ought to start with Barney Frank when talking about people to put in jail . . . Go back and look at the lobbyists he was close to at Freddie Mac,” upgrades Newt from “Pompous Blowhard” to “Hypocritical Liar.”

A Newt candidacy is always good fun. As front-runner he is sure to provide us with plenty of blog-fodder in the coming weeks.

  

7 Comments

  1. Yes, so much for Newt’s comeback. Its been a few days and already the dirt is piling up. The guy is not acting in the public’s best interests, he never has. At best I will say he is acting on what he believes, and what he believes is going to drive this nation further into the wrong direction a la the Bush years of 2000-2008. I still can not fathom why the GOP is going kicking and screaming into a Romney nomination.

  2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Newt’s a piker when it comes to blowing through wads of money for a website.

    As reported by the WSJ in 2009, Obama’s Recovery Accountabilty and Transparency Chief Earl Devaney said most of his $84 million budget was spent to developed Obama’s recovery.org website – so taxpayers could learn how their money was being spent wasted.

    EIGHTY. FOUR. MILLION. TAXPAYER. DOLLARS.

    ABC News reported in June of that same year an additional $18 million were spent to re-design recovery.org.

    EIGHTEEN. MILLION. TAXPAYER. DOLLARS.

    You do the math.

    So, Ol’ Newt spent $750,000 to build a website? BFD

    Nobody from the gub’mint forced me to pay for it!

    I suggest, Mr. Windish, your vitriol is misplaced.

  3. Also, recovery.gov is a very complex site handling information from across I don’t even know how many agencies. Its purpose is very important, and its well done. What did you think most of the money for the transparency was going to be spend on, door to door fliers? Tracking data is a very important part of knowing whether or not the decision you made was a good one, and how to inform future decisions. This is a site designed to transmit a massive amount of information to the public in a somewhat usable format, its not going to be cheap and its not something we don’t need. Although I’m sure many of those in the crowed that believes no dollar the govt spends is spent wisely will never believe that.

  4. slamfu
    It’s OK for Newter to spend on a simple plain site. It’s also OK for the Newter to push for Clinton’s impeachment while he cheats on a wife with CANCER…
    The recovery site uses cloud computing and the latest technology from ERSI, even though they built it with MS software(aspx).

  5. Rudi. Doood.

    1) Do your own research. There’s a thing called ‘google.’ Try it.

    2) $84 million over 4 years is still OK with you? Plus an additional $18 mil for re-design the same year. All taxpayer money.

    3) What, exactly, has recovery.org ever done to impact, improve, or influence your life?? ONE. HUNDRED. & TWO. MILLION. DOLLARS??????

    4) You caint fix stooopid.

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