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May 9, 2011

Will Newt Gingrich's statements about a "broken" criminal justice system get attention as he launches a run for President?

As reported in this new AP article, "Newt Gingrich is running for president." Here are the basics:

The former House speaker disclosed his bid on Twitter and Facebook on Monday and urged followers to tune into Fox News on Wednesday.  "I will be on to talk about my run for president of the United States," Gingrich wrote after spending a year or more publicly laying the groundwork for a GOP presidential candidacy.  "I have been humbled by all the encouragement you have given me to run."

The move was hardly a surprise; Gingrich has spent months raising money, assembling a campaign team and visiting early primary states.  He also quietly opened a campaign headquarters in Atlanta, and had long been scheduled to address the Georgia Republican Party Convention on Friday in Macon, Ga.  Aides say that will be his first speech as a full-fledged candidate.

Gingrich, 67, enters a Republican field that's far from fully formed; no less than a dozen Republicans are weighing bids and only a few have taken steps toward candidacies.  It's a crop of candidates that has many in the Republican Party yearning for more options as they seek the strongest candidate to take on President Barack Obama in 2012.

Besides high name recognition, Gingrich brings to the race a slew of policy ideas, a network of grass-roots support and a political machine years in the making.  But his personal baggage — he's on his third marriage — could hinder his chances as he seeks to woo conservatives who make up the core of the GOP primary electorate.

Ths AP article leave out what I find most interesting and notable about Gingrich build up to this run for President: his active and vocal involvement in the Right on Crime Campaign, in which he has stated explicitly in a co-authored commentary that the US "can no longer afford business as usual with prisons" and that the "criminal justice system is broken, and conservatives must lead the way in fixing it."

I expect and fear (and lament) that Gingrich's important concerns with US crime and punishment policies will get overshadowed by lots of other issues.  But Gingrich has already said more about these issues than any other nationally-prominent politician, and I will reamin hopeful that his work and his advocacy concerning these matters will get some additional national media attention int he weeks and months ahead.

Some recent and older related posts on Gingrich and the modern politics of sentencing issues:

May 9, 2011 at 03:08 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Newt...why do people continue to waste their money trying to reclaim old baggage.

Posted by: james | May 9, 2011 5:44:26 PM

I don't often agree with james but I do this time.

Gingrich is a smart cookie; he engineered the Republican takeover of the House for the first time in more than 40 years, which was astonishing. But the guy has a ton of baggage. And, more to the point for this entry, crime issues just aren't going to get traction this cycle. In order for them to count, the crime rate has to be high and rising, and it is neither. In addition, it's already clear that the debate is going to be dominated by debt, spending, growth, jobs, taxes and the war on terror. I doubt that crime will make a breakthrough at all.

Posted by: Bill Otis | May 9, 2011 7:37:43 PM

Newt Gingrich just wants another opportunity to cheat on his new wife with an intern just like the TRUMP did or does, the only difference is that Newt buys American unlike the DONALD who can't handle the made in the US label.

Posted by: Montana | May 9, 2011 10:11:47 PM

I do not disagree with all of the talk about Newt's baggage but, if it was ok for Clinton, well, what's good for the goose.........

For another thing, Newt is hands down the smartest kid on the block. I would take great delight in watching Newt take on a lightweight like Obama in a debate. And, as strange as it may seem, I agree with Bill's assessment that crime will probably be a non-issue.

The 111th Congress, under the total control of the Democrat/Liberal party absolutely and completely failed in the area of criminal justice reform. Other than a half hearted effort on the crack/powder disparity, almost all other legislative effort failed. Here are a few examples:

H.R. 6548, the Fair Sentencing Clarification Act of 2010
Original House Sponsor: Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.)

S. 714/ H.R. 5143, the National Criminal Justice Commission Act
Original Senate sponsor: Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.)
Original House sponsors: Representatives Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), Darrel Issa (R-Calif.),Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) and Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.)

H.R. 3327, the Ramos-Compean Justice Act of 2009
Original House sponsors: Representatives Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas)

H.R. 1466, the Major Drug Trafficking Prosecution Act of 2009
Original House sponsor: Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)

H.R. 2933, the Firearm Recidivist Sentencing Act of 2009
Original House sponsors: Representatives Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) and John Conyers (D Mich.)

H.R. 4328, the Literacy, Education, and Rehabilitation Act (LERA)
Original House sponsor: Representatives Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.)

H.R. 61, the Federal Prison Bureau Nonviolent Offender Relief Act of 2009
Original House sponsor: Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas)

H.R. 1475, Federal Prison Work Incentive Act of 2008
Original House sponsor: Representative Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.)

H.R. 1529, the Second Chance for Ex-Offenders Act of 2009
Original House sponsor: Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY)


H.R. 5492, the Fresh Start Act of 2010
Original House sponsor: Representative Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.)

H.R. 6059, Federal First Offender Improvement Act of 2010
Original House sponsor: Representative Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR)

Short version, they had it all and did NOTHING.

Posted by: Thomas | May 9, 2011 10:24:21 PM

"The 111th Congress, under the total control of the Democrat/Liberal party" - not true. To characterize the situation as they had it all or were under total control, meant that they could do what they wanted to. Well not quite because there was no super majority which is apparently the way things shall be done from here on out.

"I would take great delight in watching Newt take on a lightweight like Obama in a debate." Me neither, I can't wait for Newt's speech on family values which Conservatives love. I also can't wait for Newt's speech on how he didn't contribute to shutting down the Government way back when. Neither can I wait to hear the President's speech(es) on his promises that failed.

Notice that I differentiate between Conservatives vs. Republicans and Liberals vs. Democrats. In my estimation the Conservatives and Liberals are all in it for them. Hopefully Republicans and Democrats can step in and think about the Country.

Posted by: Jason | May 9, 2011 11:49:34 PM

i have to agree. If you control both houses and the presidency and cant' get a bill passed. it's time to pack your shit and get out of town in discrace!

Posted by: rodsmith | May 10, 2011 2:05:21 AM

About Clinton: I'd wager voters are far more likely to forgive a fling with an intern than a politician who ran off with his girlfriend while his wife was hospitalized for cancer.

A lightweight like Obama? I sense you despise fellow Americans who don't share your politics, but a comment like this makes me wonder how you feel about black people, too.

I'm not thrilled with Obama's performance as president, but I don't for a minute consider him a lightweight.

Posted by: John K | May 10, 2011 10:49:47 AM

"I sense you despise fellow Americans who don't share your politics"

No, just those who are driving this country to bankruptcy and what the hell does that have to do with how I feel about black people? You, not I,brought color into this conversation. I always amazes me that when someone is critical of Obama, in any fashion, the "you just don't like him because he is black' crowd start screeching. They just have to play the race card when they have absolutely no other leg to stand on. Seems like there may be more than one master of distraction on this blog.

Posted by: Thomas | May 10, 2011 3:47:33 PM

"In my estimation the Conservatives and Liberals are all in it for them. Hopefully Republicans and Democrats can step in and think about the Country."

You can hope but the sad truth is that they are one in the same. Repubs/Conservative,Dems/Liberal. Party ideology allows little else.

Either side, a politician has these priorities: (1)Get Elected, (2)Get Re-elected,(3)Repeat (2)as often as possible until enough wealth is accumulated or until caught with hand in cookie jar, (4)Everything else, with the real business of the people far down the list.

Posted by: Thomas | May 10, 2011 3:57:45 PM

i think y ou hit it right on the head there thomas!

plus i agree it will continue until we run them all out of town and pass a law stateing that the first requirement to run for any american office for the next 60 years is!

1. You cann't have held any other public office either paid of voluntary!

Posted by: rodsmith | May 10, 2011 10:59:52 PM

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