Type of organization: Super PAC
Supports candidate: Newt Gingrich
Founded: Dec. 13, 2011
- Becky Burkett (president): Previously headed fundraising at Newt Gingrich’s now-defunct political committee, American Solutions for Winning the Future.
- Gregg Phillips (managing director): CEO of AutoGov, an Austin, Texas-based technology consulting firm.
- Rick Tyler (senior adviser): Served briefly as the press secretary for Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Created by former Gingrich aide Becky Burkett, Winning Our Future actively supported the former House Speaker with numerous ads touting the former Republican House Speaker as wells as ads slamming GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney. Most notable was the 28-minute documentary “When Mitt Romney Came to Town,” commonly known as “King of Bain.” The video drew much attention from the media, with the Washington Post and other organizations calling into question its accuracy and fairness.
The outcry prompted an open letter to Romney from the super PAC’s managing director asking him to clarify “any discrepancies that may exist between the video and your version of the facts.” Other ads by the group came under fire for containing factual errors, but the coverage didn’t deter the super PAC from continuing to run attack ads over the primary season.
The group raised just over $2 million in 2011, a precursor to massive spending in January of 2012. As the Center for Public Integrity reported, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife each contributed $5 million to the super PAC ahead of Florida’s January 31 primary.
Adelson has long been a supporter of Gingrich’s, contributing $7.7 million to American Solutions for Winning the Future, a political organization registered under Section 527 of the U.S. tax code that Gingrich operated for a number of years.
Adelson and his wife Miriam combined to provide $20 million of the $23.9 million the super PAC raised through the end of March. In May, Winning Our Future refunded Miriam Adelson $5 million that it did not spend before Gingrich dropped out on May 2.
Other relatives in the Adelson family donated an additional $1.5 million to the super PAC, meaning the family accounted for 90 percent of the money it raised.
Other notable donations to Winning Our Future include $1.1 million from Texas investor Harold Simmons and a $100,000 contribution from Abigail Kawananakoa, a princess descended from Hawaii’s royal family.
Winning the Future’s massive spending during the primary season did not go unnoticed.
“It would be impossible for me to be here without Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, who single-handedly came very, very close to matching Romney’s super PAC,” Gingrich said during his final speech on the campaign trail. “I’m very, very grateful.”
While Winning Our Future still had $512,000 in leftover funds at the end of May, much of that money was doled out to Burkett, super PAC managing director Gregg Phillips and others for consulting services. The group also paid $25,000 to the Republican Governors Association for an “annual membership fee.” As of Nov. 26, the super PAC had only $84,000 in the bank.
- Winning Our Future ultimately spent $4 million on anti-Romney ads and $13 million on ads touting Gingrich.
- In October, Winning our Future spent $5,000 on an ad against President Barack Obama.
Last updated: Jan. 17, 2013