Matt Gaetz Is Paying For It
Matt Gaetz likes to spread it around. Wait, come back! We promise not to talk about Congressman Blabbercock's errant peener in this post. This post is about money — specifically what Gaetz is spending it on, and what we can glean from looking at his quarterly FEC disclosure.
Spoiler Alert: Dude is shit scared.
As Roger Sollenberger at the Daily Beast was first to point out, the Florida politician has dropped a metric crapton of cash in the first quarter, starting even before news broke that he'd managed to get his wiener stuck in the proverbial gate. In just three months of 2021, he spent more on direct mail than he did in all of 2020 — and 2020 was an election year.
It's probably not a coincidence that he shelled out $116,543 for mailers on March 31, the day after the New York Times broke the story that he was under federal investigation for sex trafficking. March 31 was also the day he got himself banned from Fox by going on Tucker Carlson's show to reminisce about the fun times they had double dating, only one of them (presumably) with teenage girls. Lucky thing Gaetz is used to paying for that outreach, since Rupert Murdoch's no longer giving it away for free.
DB notes that Gaetz's legal bills are way up, as are his donations to local Florida politicians, including state Senator Jason Brodeur. Gaetz is reportedly under investigation for conspiring to put a third party candidate on the ballot to siphon votes away from Brodeur's Democratic opponent last year. A fact he probably wishes he'd known when he sent Brodeur $1,000 of campaign cash in January.
There are also thousands of dollars of refunds to Gaetz's own supporters, in amounts that suggest that the congressman engaged in the same kind of small-print fuckery that caused donors to inadvertently sign up for repeating or doubled contributions to the Trump campaign and NRCC, often putting themselves at risk of exceeding the (newly increased) $2,900 limit.
Here's just a few:
Most interestingly, Gaetz made a $5,000 payment for "strategic campaign consulting" to Drake Ventures, LLC on March 24. Drake Ventures is the company Roger Stone pays his taxes out of. Or he did, anyway, until he decided to stop doing that in March of 2019 when he got indicted for lying to Congress. Last week the IRS sued Stone and his wife Nydia, claiming that they owe $2 million in back taxes.
"This is yet another example of the Democrats weaponizing the Justice Department in violation of the rule of law," Stone howled Friday night. "I will fight these politically motivated charges and I will prevail again."
A closer look, however, shows that the Stones already acknowledged underpaying their taxes for a decade, entering into agreement in 2017 to remit $19,485 every month until the $1.5 million they then owed had been paid off. Except after Mueller indicted his ass, Stone decided to stick it to the Deep State by refusing to pay up, moving his personal residence into a "family trust" which got a "mortgage" to "buy" it.
Can you guess where the "family trust" got the money for the "down payment" on the Stone's condo?
That's right, it's Drake Ventures, LLC, the corporate entity that pays for the Stones' groceries, taxes, dentists, and spas. No doubt this legal entity, which is entirely separate from Ol' Roger and the Missus, appreciates the infusion of cash from Rep. Peenergaetz.
But what was the money for?
Not clear! If Roger Stone was the brain trust behind Gaetz's crafty strategy to concoct that cockamamie story about being extorted to get ransom for an Iranian hostage, he was probably overpaid. Also, it does kind of sound like him, right?
In summary and in conclusion, Matt Gaetz is freaking out and throwing money around like he's at an orgy. ALLEGEDLY.
And PS YOU'RE WELCOME for getting all the way through this story without reminding you of Roger Stone's interesting sexual proclivities. Don't say we never gave you anything!
With that we bestow upon you this OPEN THREAD.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.