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Gingrich think tank declares bankruptcy, threatens campaign

A think tank associated with Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has filed paperwork declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to reports. The organization, known as the Center for Health Transformation, has offices in Washington, D.C., and two other cities. The group plans to liquidate its assets as soon as possible, according to documents submitted in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The group stated that its existing liabilities totaled between $1 million and $10 million, which were reportedly owed to 50 to 90 creditors.

Political pundits say the negative publicity associated with the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing will likely put a halt to any presidential aspirations held by Gingrich, who had served as speaker of the House in the 1990s. Observers have said that Gingrich is likely to be defensive about the group's collapse, which is likely to put a strain on his presidential campaign. Critics have said that even an influx of millions of dollars could not keep the think tank afloat, much like Gingrich's failing campaign.

Gingrich supporters said, however, that he had distanced himself from the group before beginning his presidential bid, and none of the center's financial woes happened on his watch. They say that the group's failure after Gingrich's departure simply underscores the importance of his leadership.

The group is indebted to major companies like AT&T, FedEx, IBM, Merck and Wells Fargo, Aflac, Southern Co., UPS and Wellstar Health System. Gingrich and his wife are listed as creditors in the filing.

But one should not necessarily associate bankruptcy with failed leadership. During the recession and sluggish recovery, many businesses have had to close up shop because of a lack of funds. Bankruptcy should be seen as a responsible way to shed bad debts.

Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle, "Newt Gingrich health care tank files bankruptcy," Dave Williams, April 5, 2012.

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