Gaetz tells CPAC he won’t take PAC money

Greg Nash

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) announced Thursday he will no longer accept money from political action committees (PACs) during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. 

Gaetz said that while some members across the aisle have sworn off PAC money, he plans to take it a step further by opting not to accept funds from corporate PACs, union PACs, ideological PACs or leadership PACs.

He argued that “big government” too often bends to the will of outside groups because of the “legal bribes we call campaign donations.” 

“Our Founding Fathers did not commit treason to the Crown of England for our generation to turn around and prostitute ourselves to globalist corporate interests,” he said.

“The PAC donation process — with its expectations of exchanging favors and time for money — renders public service, which should be among the nations most noble professions, dangerously close to the oldest profession,” he added, according to prepared remarks obtained by The Hill ahead of his speech. 

Gaetz blasted the role bringing in PAC money plays into members trajectory in the House, arguing they should not play a role in committee assignments or leadership posts. 

“Committee assignments and leadership opportunities are dolled out to members most indebted to special interests. Congressional staffers even use the orientation process to tell new members of Congress which PACs and special interests will donate based on committee assignments and influence,” he continued. 

“The more a member of Congress proves his merit laundering money between special interest and our fake leadership, the more he moves up. In Congress, ‘compromise legislation’ and ‘stakeholder consensus’ are often code for special interests teaming up to screw Americans.”

The GOP lawmaker went on to take a swing at former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in his prepared remarks, accusing him of allowing health maintenance organizations and other special interest groups to influence key policies. But Gaetz ended up not including the sentences in his stated remarks at CPAC. 

“No, Paul Ryan, HMO’s should be writing our health care bills, behind closed doors, after donating millions to your aligned super PACS,” he said. “Polluters should not set environmental standards. Insurance companies shouldn’t get special rules to cheat policyholders. Big Tech should not be allowed to define debate in our country as they buy off congress — but they do.”

Tags Matt Gaetz Paul Ryan

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