GOP lawmakers’ personal fundraising hauls have vastly outpaced their joint ‘Put America First’ campaign
A joint fundraising campaign tour from far-right US Reps Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene has been punctuated by the congresswoman’s misleading statements about Covid-19 and her Twitter suspension, three venue cancellations, and a prank targeting the Florida congressman that has racked up millions of views.
The tour also burned through more than four times as much cash than it is bringing in, according to campaign filings first reported by The Daily Beast.
Their campaigns and joint fundraising committee reported a combined loss of $342,000 within two months after kicking off their tour on 7 May at The Villages in Florida while pulling in less than $60,000 in contributions, according to Federal Election Commission reports reviewed by the publication.
“That sort of meager haul would be fine for a dinner or one-time event, but Gaetz and Greene have repeatedly held high-profile events and spent a whopping $287,036.19 to hold them – meaning they’re in the hole by more than $225,000,” The Daily Beast reported.
The representatives each contributed $150,000 from their own campaigns to their joint Put America First committee and relied on small-dollar donations during their tour, with only four people giving $500 or more to the committee, records show.
But the candidates continue to amass huge personal fundraising hauls – they each raised more than $1.3 within the second quarter of 2021.
That fundraising has dipped from their first quarter hauls, when Mr Gaetz received $1.8m – while spending nearly $2m on public relations efforts and his campaign to combat allegations related to a federal investigation stemming from his associate’s guilty plea in a sex trafficking case involving a minor.
The congressman has adamantly denied allegations against him.
Ms Greene – the top House GOP fundraiser – raised more than $3.2m within the first few months of 2021, records show.
The tour has revived right-wing culture war issues and raged against the “radical left” and their perceived political persecution and “cancellation” while amplifying their ally Donald Trump’s baseless narrative that the 2020 election was stolen from him and his supporters.
The Independent has requested comment from the representatives’ campaigns.