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POLITICO Tries to Smear America First Congressman Matt Gaetz

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Politico ran cover for North Carolina Senator Richard Burr in their POLITICO Playbook newsletter by attacking Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz.

In the newsletter it claimed that “Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz has spent nearly $200,000 in taxpayer funds renting an office from a longtime friend, adviser, campaign donor and legal client.”

The newsletter added:

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Both men said in separate interviews Gaetz paid below market rent for the space — although Gaetz later shifted, saying the rent was ‘at or below market rate.’ House rules explicitly state such arrangements are not allowed. … On top of being [Collier] Merrill’s tenant, Gaetz attended fundraisers at Merrill’s restaurants, sought his counsel on policy matters and tapped him as a validator for his work in Washington.

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Gaetz allegedly paid more than $184,00 to Collier Merill’ Empire Partners LLC to rent the entire sixth-floor in the Seville Tower.  According to the House’s spending records, Gaetz rented from Merill since he arrived in Congress in 2016.

Politico noted this:

Gaetz … has paid more than $184,000 to Merrill’s Empire Partners LLC to rent the entire sixth-floor in the Seville Tower, a historic building in downtown Pensacola, according to House disbursement records. Gaetz has rented from Merrill since he got to Congress in 2017.

According to House rules, leases for district offices have to be at fair market value.

House rules state that all leases for district offices must be ‘at fair market value as the result of a bona fide, arms-length, marketplace transaction. The Lessor and Lessee certify that the parties are not relatives nor have had, or continue to have, a professional or legal relationship (except as a landlord and tenant).

Gaetz allegedly approached Merrill about renting space from his building.

Merrill said in an interview that Gaetz approached him saying he wanted to rent space in his building. Merrill then dispatched his leasing director to give Gaetz’s staff a ‘range to see what they can get’ and the private negotiation yielded a price in the middle. … ‘I love the idea of … having a state rep, having a congressman — we’re right across from the courthouse,’ Merrill said.

On xxx, 2020, Gaetz took to Twitter to defend himself from Politico’s hit piece.

“Politico shills for Burr.Busts me: (1) having a friend (2) maybe getting a bargain 4 taxpayers (3) allowing donations of gift certificates to art students and (4) introducing legislation to help every restaurant in my district, equally.Over $500k returned to taxpayers! https://twitter.com/politico/status/1251129550249099265.”

This is another case of tepid journalists taking a “penny wise, pound foolish” approach in their coverage of political stories.

When establishment politicians are committing acts of political graft on a much higher scale, the 4th Estate would rather focus on small cases where the entire facts aren’t clear. Senators like Richard Burr have tremendous privilege, unlike most Americans, in having insider information when it comes to selling stocks and raking in big cash. Sadly, only few voices like Tucker Carlson are covering such incidents.

Gaetz should get a chance to defend himself in a just manner without having to be smeared by an increasingly activist media.

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Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign

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The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.

At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.

Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.

“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.

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Fallon added:

I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.

“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:

This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.

I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.

Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.

“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”

“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.

“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.

Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.

A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.

Election Day will be on September 29.

Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.

 

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