Gingrich books spark row
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Friday 23 December 1994
The advance is being paid by Harper Collins for two books, one on Mr Gingrich's convervative vision of America and the other essentially a collection of his speeches and writings.
Both are expected to appear next year and hardly had the first word of the plans surfaced yesterday than President Clinton and Democrats on Capitol Hill moved on to the attack.
The row has three main facets: the amount of money involved; the propriety of the behaviour of Mr Gingrich, who in 1989 led the Republican onslaught which forced the then Democratic Speaker, Jim Wright, to resign, partly because of allegedly illegal earnings on a book; and the Murdoch connection.
David Bonior, incoming Democratic Minority Whip, said the deal comes when authorities are again examining demands that the Australian-born Mr Murdoch should surrender control of his Fox TV network on grounds that it is controlled by foreign-based interests.
Mr Gingrich laughed off the fuss, saying his success was proof people wanted to read about conservative ideas, not Democratic and liberal ones. Even so, the exchanges can only heighten curiosity about his financial arrangements. Democrats have long demanded a full inquiry into what is known as `Newt Inc', the web of fund-raising and political-action committees promoting Mr Gingrich's views and Republicans in tune with them.
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