Marjorie Taylor Greene’s controversies fueled huge fundraising haul

Marjorie Taylor Greene, Congresswoman for the 14th District in Georgia, speaks during the Murray County town hall meeting at The Cloer Barn on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Chatsworth, Ga. Greene and a Los Angeles-based political action committee have reached a settlement that bars the Georgia Republican from blocking anyone from her public Twitter account or other social media while she's in office. (C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)
Marjorie Taylor Greene, Congresswoman for the 14th District in Georgia, speaks during the Murray County town hall meeting at The Cloer Barn on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, in Chatsworth, Ga. Greene and a Los Angeles-based political action committee have reached a settlement that bars the Georgia Republican from blocking anyone from her public Twitter account or other social media while she's in office. (C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

Credit: C.B. Schmelter

Credit: C.B. Schmelter

Two days after U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed articles of impeachment against newly inaugurated President Joe Biden, Nashville, Tennessee, real estate developer Bill Acree donated $100 to her reelection campaign.

Acree gave another $100 the day the House Rules Committee voted to strip her of her congressional committees. And another $100 the day after Greene moved to adjourn the House to avoid voting on legislation that protects LGBTQ people from discrimination.

He is among hundreds of conservatives across the nation who poured $3.2 million into Greene’s campaign account during the first three months of 2021, making the freshman lawmaker one of the U.S. House’s most prolific fundraisers.

Many of them follow her on social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook or watch her on conservative cable TV channels defending former President Donald Trump and saying the general election had been stolen from him.

In the House, Greene’s fundraising during that period lagged only Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who collected $4 million. Greene essentially tied with U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the Republican whip and a 13-year veteran of the chamber.

She raised more than House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who collected $2.9 million, and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the liberal Democrat who is one of her party’s top fundraisers. Her haul was $2.8 million this reporting period.

About $654,000 of Greene’s donations were itemized, meaning the supporter gave more than $200 and the campaign was therefore required by law to publicly disclose his or her name, address and other information.

Of those itemized donations, 91% came from people outside of Georgia — the state that Greene represents — according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s analysis of her campaign finance report.

Florida was the state she raised the most itemized money from: $88,000. She got $83,000 from Texas, and $74,000 came from California. She collected $60,000 from Georgia residents, many of whom live outside her 14th Congressional District in the state’s northwest region.

She raised more in three months than she did during her entire campaign last year.

Donations to U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene came from all 50 states. Graphic created by Isaac Sabetai.
Donations to U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene came from all 50 states. Graphic created by Isaac Sabetai.

Acree, the donor from Tennessee, said he watched Democrats criticize Greene for comments she made before taking office that they labeled racist, xenophobic and harassing. He doesn’t agree with everything the Rome Republican has said in recent months but likes that she went to Congress with a mission of rooting out corruption in the “deep state” of government.

“I felt like she was interested in addressing all that, and I felt like she was being criticized unduly because of some things that she said in the past,” he said. “I felt like her policies were really good.”

Greene’s 14th District is deeply conservative, and so far, no prominent Republicans have announced they will challenge her in the 2022 primary. She is expected to have an easy time holding onto her district — the boundaries of which will shift during redistricting later this year — and had $2.2 million left in the bank to spend as of March 31.

The biggest spike in donations started in late January when Democrats began to criticize Republicans for not only failing to formally address problematic statements Greene made before she was elected but for placing her on the House Education Committee.

They referred to video of Greene confronting a teenage victim of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting over his support for legislation to tighten gun laws. Democrats said it was disrespectful to have her serve on a panel that oversees school safety.

Various news outlets, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, also reported on Greene’s ties to militia groups, baseless conspiracy theories she had promoted over the years that were tied to QAnon and problematic remarks she made about Black, Muslim and Jewish people.

During the uproar, Greene used her social media accounts and appearances on conservative Fox News, Newsmax and the One America News Network to blast her critics and appeal to supporters. She announced on Jan. 29 that she had already raised more than $1.6 million off the attention.

“Every attack. Every lie. Every smear strengthens my base of support at home and across the country,” she said in a statement at the time. “Because people know the truth and are fed up with the lies.”

The controversy came to a head Feb. 4, when Democrats, joined by 11 Republicans, voted to remove Greene from the two committees she had been assigned. The next day, Greene held a press conference where she said being stripped of congressional duties had freed up time to spread a conservative message across the nation.

If controversies — and the fundraising campaigns she builds upon them — are what line Greene’s political coffers, then there is likely more to come.

On Friday, Punchbowl News — a political newsletter — reported that Greene and other conservative representatives were launching the pro-Trump America First Caucus with materials that outlined a nativist and white nationalist mission while also supporting baseless and false claims about America’s election system.

The document references America’s “uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions” and describes mask mandates and social distancing implemented during the coronavirus pandemic as “socially conditioning the culture and behavior of Americans.”

Shortly after Punchbowl made the documents public, Democrats in Congress panned the new caucus’ material as troubling and inappropriate for public officeholders.

“This document is nakedly racist and disgusting,” U.S. Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont wrote on Twitter. “This supposed caucus and its members represent a dangerous nativist perspective that hurts our country, but sadly is not surprising.”

A spokesman for Greene confirmed to Punchbowl that the America First Caucus was developing a platform but was not yet ready to go public. He criticized the “dirty backstabbing swamp creatures” who leaked the document to Punchbowl.

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