Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Working for Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz seems like hell

Posted By on Tue, Apr 6, 2021 at 9:46 AM

click to enlarge MATT GAETZ PHOTO VIA NSF
  • Matt Gaetz photo via NSF

If Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) looks especially coiffed on Fox News, thank his staffers, because he makes them do his hair and makeup.

A Business Insider report Monday explored life inside Gaetz's office on Capitol Hill, which involves doing a lot of things to please the congressman, who sounds like a cross between Aaron Schock and Donald Trump. Notably, it was revealed that despite some staffers not wanting to, Gaetz requires them to do his hair and makeup ahead of television appearances.

"Gaetz had become an expert in putting on his own television makeup by 2020," BI reported. It was a Vanity Fair profile that revealed Gaetz learned how to contour his face from Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). He was mocked by colleague Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) when he came to her own state to attack her.

"In Wyoming, the men don't wear makeup," she said.

Another problem among the staff is that Gaetz often announces things on Twitter or on Fox News without flagging it for his staff.

"Then the phones start ringing back in his congressional office, where staffers are often blindsided by angry constituents and media requests after the latest Gaetz controversy," said the report, noting how much the drama is weighing on his staff.

The report attempted to speak with 36 former and current Gaetz staffers, including the former communications director who quit "out of principle" when the latest scandal dropped. Many didn't respond to questions, but four people did agree to answer questions, some off the record and some anonymously.

It all began just a month into Gaetz's first term in office, in 2017, when he announced he had a bill that would eliminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"That was hell for all of us," a former staffer recalled. But Gaetz "loved every second of it because it was very chaotic and it helped draw a lot of media attention to him."

Thus began his cycle of doing weird and crazy things to get more attention on television.

When Gaetz cast the now-infamous "no" vote against the 2017 anti-human trafficking bill, one former staffer "was not too happy." She left in 2019 and is now president and CEO of the NISSI Project, an anti-trafficking organization. Gaetz was the only person to vote against the bill.

The moody Gaetz was also described as being "irate" if staff doesn't get large enough crowds to show up for his events. Other times, Gaetz snaps at his staff, a former aide said, "in a way that sometimes seemed out of bounds."

"He was always about the optics of everything," said the former staffer.

This story originally appeared at Raw Story.

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 12, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation