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Marjorie Taylor Greene
“You got to keep the circus going to sell tickets,” a GOP strategist said of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s effort to remove Speaker Mike Johnson. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Marjorie Taylor Greene Was Bleeding Cash. Then She Went After Mike Johnson.

The Georgia Republican’s campaign had about $700,000 at the end of 2023. Since introducing a motion to vacate, she’s brought in six figures, according to a source familiar with the campaign.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s campaign funding was in flux. Then came her motion to vacate.

Since introducing a motion to remove Speaker Mike Johnson on March 22, Greene has received a cascade of small-dollar donations, according to a D.C. consultant familiar with the campaign. The donations, totaling well into six figures, have substantially boosted the campaign’s coffers.

And she welcomed it. Despite her reputation as an exemplary fundraiser, her campaign funds have been in an unusually poor state. Her campaign burned through $5 million last year and brought in $3.75 million in contributions, leaving her with $709,000 on hand at year’s end. It’s a healthy amount but less so for her. Greene’s campaign ended ’22, an election year, with $1.96 million in cash and $3.4 million at the end of ’21.

“She’s always looking for wedge issues that infuriate portions of the base for fundraising purposes,” a GOP strategist told NOTUS. “You got to keep the circus going to sell tickets.”

The Greene campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Greene began fundraising off her motion to vacate soon after she introduced it. In the 10 days following her announcement, her campaign received $107,000 in donations — one-third of the amount she raised the entire quarter, according to FEC filings up to the end of March. Since then, she’s brought in funding in the six figures, according to the source familiar with her campaign. (The latest fundraising won’t be reported to the FEC until second-quarter filings.)

Apart from TV interviews and a constant deluge of X posts, Greene for Congress sent out a digital ad via email last week with the subject line, “Speaker Johnson Lied, Again.”

The ad summarized her recent gripes with Johnson, attacking his support for FISA and his recent national security package that included $61 billion in Ukraine aid and prompted her motion to vacate.

“Speaker Johnson should be apologizing to the American people for completely betraying our trust!” the ad read. “It’s time to send him packing.”

Greene promised to force a vote this week. But it is expected to fail. After weeks of holding the motion to vacate like an anvil over Johnson’s head, Democrat leadership swatted the suspense by announcing they would vote to save him — this time, at least.

Greene’s highly publicized antagonism of Johnson is complicated. She hasn’t publicly stated who she wants to replace him, preferring to let her colleagues — most of whom wish she’d drop her crusade — decide the next House leader. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump, who is close with Greene, stood alongside Johnson at his Mar-a-Lago resort and called for her to stand down.

But one thing is simple: The threat is good for fundraising, and its use in campaign ads comes as Greene works to restock her funds during an election year.

Without a primary opponent in a safe Republican district, Greene likely won’t need millions to win reelection. Democrat Shawn Harris, her most well-funded opponent, closed March with only $67,000 on hand. But the campaign’s spending habits seem to have shifted. It added over $330,000 in cash during the first quarter. And offering Johnson’s gavel on a platter is escalating the influx.

“She’s brilliant at finding these touch points that inspire fury amongst her loyal fans,” the strategist said.

Ben T.N. Mause is a NOTUS reporter and an Allbritton Journalism Institute fellow.