Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz’s Big Fundraising PAC Almost Broke – Mother Jones

Republican Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz make an appearance at a rally on Saturday, July 17, 2021 in Riverside, California. Cindy Yamanaka / The Orange County Register via AP

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Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz both have a knack for sparking outrage and stealing headlines. All this noise and fury is supposed to claw back dollars from the edgy base, but that’s not true, according to the latest campaign fundraising records.

Although the two spent the summer traveling the country in a major fundraising campaign which they dubbed the America First Tour (the nickname adopted after scratching the “Anglo-Saxon” caucus), neither Greene nor Gaetz didn’t live up to expectations on the fundraising side. And, just six months after its founding, the joint fundraising committee they launched to lead their tour is nearly bankrupt.

In its first few months, the Put America First PAC seemed to have gotten off to a good start, raising $ 360,000 in its first two months, but according to new campaign finance records done by the PAC, it now only has of $ 13,000 in cash. Several stops on the tour were canceled this summer. Gaetz and Greene hosted at least one major event in Iowa in August. Although it made the headlines, the rally was, apparently, a financial crisis. The group spent $ 159,000 from July 1 to September 30 and raised only $ 57,000.

On their own, the two brandons also have their own fundraising issues.

While Greene is certainly more successful – during her short congressional career she raised over $ 8.8 million – the most recent figures filed by her own campaign show that her total fundraising is increasingly plagued by the costs of prosecuting donors and paying agents and professional fundraising. consultants and suppliers that she hires.

In February, just weeks after taking up her new post as a congressman, Greene was stripped of her committee duties over her story of outrageous statements. She churned out QAnon conspiracy theories and encouraged violence against Democrats. Let’s not even get into the “Jewish space laser”. But instead of being intimidated, Greene bragged about the amount of money she was raising. In the first three months of this year, she raised $ 3.2 million. But the next three months, she only raised $ 1.5 million. And from July 1 to the end of September, Greene raised another $ 1.5 million.

That’s not too bad, but fundraising costs are taking up a growing percentage of his campaign’s fundraising totals. In the first three months of the year, as she took advantage of the publicity to be looked down upon by her new colleagues in Congress, her campaign spent about 43% of what she raised. Over the next three months, that number rose to 59%. And in the past three months, the figure has climbed further to 70%. She spent over $ 1 million to earn $ 1.5 million.

Greene continues to appeal to small donors, those who give less than $ 200, who still provided 76.6% of his money in the third quarter. But more than a quarter of a million of that grassroots money went into the pocket of a political consultancy firm registered in the name of a man named Isaiah Wartman, who was named Greene’s campaign manager when he took over. race last year. Greene has also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on direct mail, printing, postage, and the cost of renting lists of donor names to solicit.

Greene’s partner Gaetz has of course had a range of personal issues, including being the target of a Justice Department investigation into his role in an alleged sex trafficking operation. All that To apparently affected its fundraising capacity. If fundraising costs slowly consume more and more of Greene’s take, they’ve completely sunk Gaetz’s.

Like Greene, Gaetz had a good start to the year, raising $ 1.8 million in the first quarter. Following news of the investigation in April, her fundraising slowed. It fell to just $ 1.4 million. Unlike the first quarter, when he was able to earn more money than he spent on fundraising, the second quarter saw his campaign spend about half a million dollars more than it did. ‘had collected some.

The latest Gaetz campaign record shows her fundraising has all but dried up. He only raised $ 527,000 from July 1 to September 30. He spent a lot more – $ 627,000 – to try to collect that money. In another parallel with Greene, Gaetz’s biggest expenses are direct mail and paying fundraising consulting fees to its vendors. In fact, those two things ate up over 60% of his gifts.

Oddly enough, for a campaign that appears to be burning its money, the Gaetz campaign has spent lavishly on stays in hotels and resorts across the country. In total, the campaign spent $ 29,867 on accommodation in July, August and September, including $ 2,300 in early July at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Naples, Florida; $ 2,100 on an ultra-luxury hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon in early September; and nearly $ 1,500 on a Kimpton hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts in August.

Gaetz’s campaign has barely spent the last few months at Gaetz’s previous chain of favorite hotels and resorts: those owned by former President Donald Trump. In April, CNN reported that Gaetz was denied a meeting with Trump at the resort town of Mar-a-Lago following the announcement of the DOJ investigation. Gaetz dismissed this report, but despite Gaetz’s continued appreciation for his stay at chic beach resorts on his campaign dime, he was not the Trump client he once was. After spending over $ 8,600 to stay and dine at Trump properties in the last election – and apparently do everything in his power to advertise his loyalty as a client and political ally – Gaetz’s campaign did not spend that $ 600 in Trump properties over the summer, listing a lonely July 8 meal expense.

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