Matt Gaetz campaign gets $17K from Rockefeller heir who had contact with Russian agent
Matt Gaetz has female troubles — again.

Mark Lombardo, Gaetz's Primary challenger, hit Gaetz on his ties to George O'Neill Jr.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz’s campaign reported raising $547,150 in the second quarter. Included in that pot are donations from an heir to the Rockefeller fortune who had contact with a Russian agent.

George O’Neill Jr. and his wife, Erica O’Neill, donated a combined $17,400 to the controversial congressman’s campaign on April 14. O’Neill is the great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller Jr. 

The Lake Wales resident was revealed as one of the contacts of Maria Butina, who was convicted in 2018 of acting as a secret Russian foreign agent. He was named “U.S. Person 2” in court documents.

The Wall Street Journal reported O’Neill and Butina talked about hosting “friendship dinners” with Russian officials. O’Neill hosted such an event in February 2017.

According to court documents, Butina told O’Neill, who has not been accused of wrongdoing, that “all we need is yes from (Vladimir) Putin’s side. The rest is easier.” The Journal described that conversation as “an apparent effort to relay approval from the Russian government of a U.S-Russian back channel through events like the dinner.”

Representatives for Mark Lombardo, Gaetz’s challenger in the Aug. 23 Republican Primary Election, suggested Gaetz’s ties to O’Neill was a factor in his voting against Finland and Sweden joining NATO.

“Gaetz desperately needs donor cash to pay for his child sex-trafficking defense — and has proven that he’ll take money from anyone,” the Lombardo campaign said. “Because he is a member of the Armed Services Committee, Matt Gaetz’s behavior, including on foreign soil, has left him vulnerable to blackmail and makes him a threat to our national security.”

When asked for comment, Gaetz’s campaign manager Dawn McArdle said, “The O’Neill family are direct descendants of the Rockefellers. That’s about as America First as it gets.”

The Gaetz campaign spent $745,887 in the second quarter. He spent $44,000 on compliance consulting and $16,336 for air travel. The campaign has $1,371,706 cash on hand.

“We are in great shape,” McArdle added. “Our campaign has raised funds from over 100,000 patriotic donors, including Mr. Lombardo’s late father, who donated to Friends of Matt Gaetz 28 times prior to his passing. It is sad to see Mr. Lombardo spend his inheritance falsely attacking his father’s favorite congressman, but that is certainly his right.”

Lombardo, who entered the race for Florida’s 1st Congressional District in June, has raised $5,850. He loaned himself $440,000 and has $272,293 cash on hand at the close of the reporting period.

Lombardo, a Marine Corps veteran and former FedEx executive, filed to run in June. He will go head-to-head with Gaetz after Republican Bryan Jones dropped out of the race.

Aimee Sachs

Aimee Sachs covers politics in her hometown of Tallahassee and the Panhandle. The University of Florida graduate began her career as a sportswriter for the Tallahassee Democrat, Lakeland Ledger and She has also worked for Courthouse News Service and was a senior reporter for The Florida Channel before joining Florida Politics. You can email Aimee at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @AimSachs.


  • Joe Corsin

    July 21, 2022 at 10:54 am

    Vote RED for greasy right wing con artistry
    Vote RED for sexual deviants
    Vote RED for capitalist schemes, low wage slavery, and shoveling money to the rich.

  • Don’t Look Up

    July 21, 2022 at 11:28 am



  • Matthew Lusk

    July 21, 2022 at 1:15 pm

    Aimee, now of course, $17,400 is over the legal limit. You should know this. So what other facts did you screw up?

  • rust

    July 22, 2022 at 8:13 am

    Gaetz asked for a “blanket pardon” from our twice impeached, former grifter in chief. It’s just a matter of time until Matt goes to prison, where he clearly belongs. Gaetz, DeSatan, Trump – three turds circling the bowl.

Comments are closed.


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