Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
The political world is aflutter with reports that GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich lied about key elements of his 1980 divorce. But we can show that Gingrich is a paragon of matrimonial virtue compared to a Wall Street titan who has left his ex wife and two daughters on food stamps in Alabama.
Newt Gingrich might be a scuzzbucket in the spouse department, but he's got a ways to go if he's going to catch Ted Rollins, the CEO of Campus Crest Communities. Rollins' company completed a $380-million Wall Street IPO late last year, based on its projected strength as a developer of student housing near universities across the country.
Investors probably were attracted by the fact that Rollins belongs to one of America's wealthiest families, the folks behind Orkin Pest Control and other profitable enterprises. Court records show that Rollins owns multiple private jet craft and has engaged in business ventures with his cousin, R. Randall Rollins of Atlanta. Randall Rollins is chairman of Rollins Inc., the parent company for Orkin, and his stock worth in 2005 was estimated at a cool $763.8 million. Gary Rollins, Randall's younger brother and president of Rollins Inc., had a 2005 stock worth of $791 million.
It seems a safe bet that the overall wealth for both Randall and Gary Rollins has easily topped the $1 billion mark by now. And that gives us some idea of the financial waters in which Ted Rollins swims.
So why are Sherry Carroll Rollins (Ted's ex wife) and their daughters (Sarah and Emma) on food stamps in Birmingham, where they now live? The answer seems to be this: Ted Rollins came up with schemes in his divorce case that Newt Gingrich could not even imagine.
To be sure, Gingrich did not behave honorably in his first divorce. And public records show that he has been lying about what transpired in that case. Reports CNN:
Newt Gingrich claims that it was his first wife, not Gingrich himself, who wanted their divorce in 1980, but court documents obtained by CNN appear to show otherwise.
The Republican presidential candidate, now in his third marriage, has been peppered with attacks and questions about his divorce from Jackie Gingrich for the past three decades.
Questions about his past--and what that past tells voters about his personal behavior--have re-emerged as he has returned to the political scene 13 years after he resigned as speaker of the House.
A new defense that has arisen as Gingrich entered the presidential race this year is the insistence that she, not he, wanted the divorce.
How should the Gingrich campaign spin these latest revelations, which threaten to sink his bid for the White House? I have a suggestion: Shower the press with details about the Rollins v. Rollins divorce case--it has connections to Gingrich's home state of Georgia; that could be the hook. Newt will look like George Bailey, the famed Jimmy Stewart character from It's A Wonderful Life, compared to Ted Rollins.
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