American Solutions for Winning the Future
|Purpose||Political action committee|
American Solutions for Winning the Future (often referred to as American Solutions) was a 527 organization created by former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich for the stated purpose of engaging citizens and elected officials in a dialogue intended to propose solutions to problems affecting American society. It first received national attention for its 2008 effort, "Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less", focused on the issue of offshore drilling. It has also focused on the U.S. unemployment rate and issue of job creation. The organization closed in July, 2011.
The organization described itself as "tripartisan" and placed an emphasis on addressing the "growing gap between a world that works (mostly but not completely private sector) and a world that fails (mostly but not completely government bureaucracies)" and remaking government to reflect the "habits, patterns, investments, and systems of productivity that characterize much of the modern world outside bureaucracy."
American Solutions was one of the nation's largest grassroots organizations with more than 1.5 million members and more than 200,000 donations from individuals and organizations. The group also employed more than 20 staff members.
American Solutions was officially launched with an opening presentation on September 27, 2007 before a standing-room only crowd at the Cobb Galleria Center in Atlanta, Georgia, which featured then-Governor Sonny Perdue. On September 29, 2007, American Solutions held its first "Solutions Day" with more than 2,000 workshops across the United States, designed to help volunteers learn how to get involved with government activism at the state, federal and local level. American Solutions' broad goals include transforming government "from bloated bureaucracy to lean machine."
In October 2010, American Solutions Director of Internet Strategy was named at George Washington University's PoliticsOnline conference as one of the "Top 10 Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics", joined by fellow winners including President Barack Obama, MTV and The Huffington Post. The same month, Politico reported American Solutions had raised more than $10 million during the 2010 year.
"Drill Here. Drill Now." is an American political slogan coined on May 20, 2008 by former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich and the organization to advocate for increased use of America's domestic energy resources to help lower the cost of oil.
The slogan inspired the title of Gingrich's 2008 book Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less: A Handbook for Slashing Gas Prices and Solving Our Energy Crisis.
Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less
American Solutions was widely known[according to whom?] for Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less. A petition aimed to convince Congress that Americans, including representatives from both major parties as well as Independents, want them to open oil drilling in Alaska's Wildlife Reserve and off the Atlantic, Pacific and Florida Gulf coasts, and to extract tight oil from the Rocky Mountains, in order to make the country independent from foreign oil. As of 20 August 2008[update] over 1,450,000 citizens had signed. South Carolina Republican Party chairman Katon Dawson was the first state party chair to endorse the campaign. On September 27, 2008 Congress voted to lift the ban on offshore drilling.
Jobs Here. Jobs Now. Jobs First
In August 2009, American Solutions launched the "Jobs Here. Jobs Now. Jobs First" campaign, also known as the "Real Jobs Tour", to combat unemployment levels, then approaching 10 percent across the United States. The plan outlined five major tax cuts to boost the American economy, including a two-year, 50 percent reduction in payroll taxes; a 100 percent annual write-off for small businesses' new equipment purchases; adoption of the Irish corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent; and the abolishment of the estate tax and capital gains tax.
No More Obamacare
On January 6, 2011, American Solutions launched NoMoreObamacare.com, a website encouraging congressional Republican lawmakers to defund and repeal the federal health care legislation passed in 2010. The site included a petition calling for the bill’s repeal as well as tools for activists. As of January 19, 2011, the petition had gathered more than 100,000 signatures.
Gingrich left the organization when he announced his forming an exploratory committee to run for president in March 2011, as required by law. The organization was dissolved in July 2011, according to Joe Gaylord, who took over after Gingrich's departure. "We had difficulty raising money after Newt left", said Gaylord. During its four years it raised $52 million but spent nearly two-thirds of that on fundraising. According to an August 2011 filing with the IRS, it raised $2.4 million in the first half of 2011, but spent $2.9 million.
On September 14, 2011, the defunct organization's landlord, B.G.W. Limited Partnership, filed a complaint against American Solutions in the landlord-tenant division of Washington, D.C., Superior Court alleging that the organization owed $16,000 in back rent on its offices located in the same "K" Street building that houses the other Gingrich Enterprises organizations, and that the office space had neither been vacated nor the keys surrendered. American Solutions failed to enter an appearance at a court hearing held on October 6, and on October 19 Superior Court Judge A. Franklin Burgess Jr. ruled that the organization owed $20,130 in back rent and court fees and authorized the U.S. Marshals Service to evict American Solutions.
- Tumulty, Karen (August 26, 2011). "Newt Gingrich's former group, American Solutions, shutters its doors". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
- "1000th Workshop Site Announced by American Solutions". PR Newswire. July 7, 2007.
- Vogel, Kenneth P. (August 1, 2009). "Newt's Big Cash Haul: $8 Million". Politico.
- "Purdue to serve on Georgia Solutions Team". States News Service. September 27, 2007.
- Grove, Lloyd (July 1, 2007). "Ever the Speaker". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2008.
- "Silicon Valley Internet Strategist Named 'Top 10 Who are Changing the World of Internet and Politics'". PR Newswire. October 28, 2010.
- Vogel, Kenneth P. (October 16, 2010). "Newt Gingrich's $4 million tops 2012 field". Politico.
- Gingrich, Newt; Haley, Vince (2008), Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less: A Handbook for Slashing Gas Prices and Solving Our Energy Crisis, Washington, DC: Regnery, ISBN 978-1-59698-576-6
- "Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.". Archived from the original on 1 August 2008. Retrieved August 1, 2008.[unreliable source?][unreliable source?]
- Slade, David (July 10, 2008). "GOP head backs oil drilling". Post and Courier (Charleston).
- "Newt Gingrich at Press Club: How Much Time Will the President Spend Tonight Talking About Job Creation?". Investment Business Weekly. August 9, 2009.
- Reilly, Genevieve (June 14, 2010). "Gingrich won't rule out run for presidency in 2012". Stamford Advocate.
- Gingrich, Newt (December 2, 2009). "The Obama 'Jobs Summit' Who In the White House Has Ever Created a Job?". Human Events. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
- Conroy, Scott (January 6, 2011). "Gingrich Launches Healthcare Repeal Website". Real Clear Politics.
- "ObamaCare Repeal Passes the House". Human Events. January 19, 2011.
- Shear, Michael (August 26, 2011). "Gingrich Fund-Raising Group Shuts Down". The New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2011.
- Benson, Clea "Gingrich’s Former Political Group Ordered to Pay Delinquent Rent", Bloomberg News, November 29, 2011