Tales from the Trail

Fiscal conservative Gingrich had at least $250,000 debt with Tiffany’s

Politicians are in heated debate about the $14.3 trillion national debt ceiling. But their personal debt can also be eye-popping.

Politico reports that Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich owed at least $250,000 and as much as $500,000 to luxury jewelry company Tiffany & Co.

We checked the store website but couldn’t find any one item for that amount, although a few baubles here, a few watches there, and it all adds up.

So what did he buy? We don’t know, and his spokesman won’t say.

The former House speaker in 2005 and 2006 carried $250,001 to $500,000 in debt to Tiffany’s, according to financial disclosures filed by his third wife Callista, who was employed by the House Agriculture Committee until 2007, Politico reports. Financial disclosure forms ask for ranges rather than specific amounts in many categories.

She reported the liability was on a Tiffany charge card and indicated it was her spouse’s debt. It was not clear whether he has paid off the debt.

Oops! Justice Clarence Thomas forgot wife on financial forms

It has turned out that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has amended his annual financial disclosure forms dating back more than 20 years to add his wife’s employment.

USA/“It has come to my attention that information regarding my spouse’s employment required in Part III B of my financial disclosure report was inadvertently omitted due to a misunderstanding of the filing instructions,” he wrote in a letter to a committee handling financial disclosure reports.

During the 20-year period, his wife, Virginia Thomas, held a number of jobs, working for the U.S. Labor Department, then-U.S. House Republican Leader Dick Armey, The Heritage Foundation conservative think tank, and Hillsdale College.