Even if House Speaker Newt Gingrich wanted to use his own money to pay a $300,000 penalty for ethics violations, the state of his current assets would make it difficult. Most of the holdings are in his wife’s name.
And that could be a problem, since Marianne Gingrich is known to be cool to payment from the family’s personal funds.
Many of the couple’s assets, including a new home in Cobb County, Ga., were transferred to Marianne Gingrich or placed in her name. Those decisions were made long before the House ethics committee came up with the penalty idea last year.
Gingrich and a small group of advisers have been discussing several options for paying the penalty, including: personal funds, using his campaign account, asking House Republicans to chip in from their campaign accounts, using a legal defense fund, or a combination of these.