Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is finding out the hard way that his bombastic TV appearances boost his fundraising totals.
The embattle Florida Republican has been blacklisted by Fox News and is holding fewer campaign events as the government investigates his possible involvement in a sex trafficking scheme, and his latest federal election filing shows his fundraising has taken a major hit, reported The Daily Beast.
"Thousands of small-dollar donors support Congressman Gaetz's campaign every quarter," insisted his spokesman Harlan Hill. "[The campaign] subsequently [has] more reporting costs than our peers who take big PAC money."
The latest filing, which covers July through September, Gaetz reported slightly less than $500,000 in contributions -- substantially less than the $1.8 million and $1.3 million he raised in the prior two quarters -- and his campaign spent about $613,000 during that same period.
Put America First, his joint fundraising account with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), raised less than $58,000 in the third quarter, which was just a fraction of its second quarter totals.
The Gaetz campaign did not report any major legal expenses, however, after previously paying $25,000 to retain the services of New York trial attorney Marc Fernich, who previously represented convicted sex traffickers Jeff Epstein and Keith Raniere, the leader of the NXIVM cult, and Mexican drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán.
The campaign paid about $85,000 in compliance fees, an unusually large amount, to one campaign finance firm over the summer.