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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Pro-Kennedy Super PAC Announces $10 Million Raised, Shattering Fundraising Goals

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s long-shot challenge to President Biden has found momentum among contributors, including many Republicans, according to a political action committee backing his candidature, which has raised a total of $10.25 million, one of its directors claimed on Monday.

American Values 2024’s exact fundraising totals won’t be available until later this month, when PACs submit their midyear filings to the Federal Election Commission. Nonetheless, Tony Lyons, Mr. Kennedy’s publisher and the super PAC’s co-chair, claimed that the sum included two “very large” gifts that each above $1 million, and that the donors were split “right down the middle” between Republicans and Democrats.

Mr. Kennedy, a 69-year-old environmental lawyer and vocal opponent of vaccinations and pharmaceuticals, often makes use of skewed data and unproven hypotheses to support his position. Despite railing against the Democratic Party, accusing public health officials of corruption, and increasingly adopting conservative personalities and causes, he has made significant headway in the election.

Mr. Biden, as the incumbent, has the power of the Democratic National Committee and a large donor infrastructure behind him, whereas Mr. Kennedy will not be able to muster even a fraction of this backing.

Mr. Kennedy has received as much as 20% support from Democrats in certain surveys, but just 9% support among Democrats in New Hampshire, according to a poll done in June by the Saint Anselm College Survey Centre.

His popularity extends beyond his own party’s base; a June survey by Quinnipiac University indicated that although 41% of Republicans had a favourable opinion of him, 31% of independents and 25% of Democrats did as well.

Records reveal that New York City billionaire Mark Gorton contributed $500,000 to the startup costs of the super PAC once known as the People’s Pharma Movement, now known as American Values 2024. Supporter Mr. Gorton claims to know Mr. Kennedy via their shared opposition to vaccine mandates and other forms of government oversight of the healthcare industry known as the “health freedom” movement.

This past April, Mr. Kennedy formally joined the contest for the Democratic nomination, prompting a rebranding of the group. According to Mr. Lyons, the bulk of the $10.25 million has been contributed after that time. The PAC’s overall haul was $5.7 million as recently as the first week of June, according to committee officials, suggesting that roughly $5 million more came in the weeks before to the June 30 reporting deadline.

In Mr. Lyons’s words, the contributors’ diverse political leanings prove that “there really are people across the political spectrum who feel he’s going to fight corruption in government and corporate takeover of government agencies.”

Mr. Kennedy has recently used his family’s political pedigree to help frame his campaign as an effort to “heal the divide” in American politics, which he claims is in the grip of corporate power.

His campaign and the PAC are two whole different entities. Just last week, his campaign sent out pleas to raise $5 million to finish the first full quarter of fundraising. The campaign announced its $1,000,000 in a day haul on Friday.

Mr. Kennedy’s campaign manager, former presidential candidate and Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich, said the campaign planned to unveil a fundraising effort this week. This month, the final reports will be submitted to the F.E.C.

Actress and health freedom activist Sofia Karstens founded another Los Angeles-based organisation in April called Common Sense PAC to rally support for Mr. Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy’s campaign had a fund-raiser last month in San Francisco, organised by Common Sense and attended by tech capitalists David Sacks and Chamath Palihapitiya. Ms. Karstens said that the event had raised close to $1,000,000.00.

Chris Matthews
Chris Matthews
I am a Political News Journalist of The National Era
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