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Gingrich speaking contract 'first class'

Dec. 8, 2011 at 11:21 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Organizations wanting to book Republican U.S. presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich best be prepared to accommodate his top-drawer tastes, a contract revealed.

The Smoking Gun Web site, which posts interest-piquing documents, posted a contract for a speaking engagement at Missouri Western State University in 2010 signed by Gingrich that called for payment of "first class expenses," including a hotel of Gingrich's choosing and airfare.

The contract stipulated a Gingrich aide gets a smaller hotel room "located nearby the suite, but not attached." An addendum said Gingrich's wife Calista may travel with her husband and "will be needed to be seated beside Mr. Gingrich at all functions."

Also, the contract required a "non-smoking, one-bedroom suite [preferably with two bathrooms]."

The contract indicated the former House speaker received $50,750 for the Missouri event, less than his usual fee.

"I was charging $60,000 a speech, and the number of speeches was going up, not down," The Washington Post quoted Gingrich as saying recently.

Gingrich's income and spending have become fodder in the presidential race since he has risen to the top of the Republican field ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. After leaving Congress in 1999, Gingrich amassed a $150 million financial empire but is trying to emerge from a mountain of debt accumulated early in his 2012 campaign to be the Republican presidential nominee.

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