Major media outlets are focusing on financing Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Super PAC.


New York: American Values 2024, the Super PAC supporting independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., continues to make headlines in American media. In just one week, media attention has been centered on this economic support group, which seems to have crossed the point of no return and is heading towards an inevitable scrutiny process by political campaign funding regulators, as highlighted in major media outlets.


American Values 2024 Super PAC, an organization where I served as a Latino consultant until my resignation on January 29th of this year for reasons I will not elaborate on in this article, finds itself in the eye of the storm after it emerged that on February 9th of the current year, a complaint from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) accused candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of violating federal election law by illegally coordinating with American Values 2024 Super PAC.


On Sunday, February 11th, American Values 2024 Super PAC once again made headlines, this time due to a controversy within the Kennedy family over a commercial produced by the Super PAC and aired during the Super Bowl to an audience of over 202 million viewers for $7 million, as stated by the Super PAC itself. Despite the political success of the commercial, it drew fierce criticism from some members of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s family, who questioned the alleged misuse of a template from a commercial created by President John F. Kennedy’s campaign, RFK Jr.’s uncle, in 1960. Bobby Shriver, son of the former president’s sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, questioned the use of the faces of the former president and his mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, in the commercial, prompting a public apology from the candidate to his relatives.

“I apologize if the Super Bowl ad caused anyone in my family pain,” RFK Jr. wrote on his X account the same Sunday the ad aired, adding, “The ad was created and aired by American Values Super PAC without any involvement or approval from my campaign. FEC rules prohibit Super PACs from consulting with me or my staff. Love you all. God bless,” RFK Jr. wrote on his X account.

Hardly had these two scandals been overcome, especially the complaint from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that unquestionably could lead to ongoing legal proceedings; now it emerges that American Values 2024 Super PAC refunded the sum of $9.65 million out of a total of $10 million donated by contributor Gavin de Becker, one of the country’s most well-known private security executives and the second largest donor to the Super PAC, second only to Tim Mellon, a mega-donor to the Republican Party who donated $15.5 million in 2023.

This time, the US newspaper “POLITICO” published a report that raised alarms among political campaign funding regulators and experts in the field, who have stated that refunding millions of dollars by American Values 2024 to donor Gavin de Becker is unusual.
According to POLITICO’s report, the Super PAC supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr. filled its campaign coffers with millions of dollars in contributions from one of the country’s most well-known private security executives, Gavin de Becker. And then it did something remarkable: it refunded almost all the funds, turning his contributions into a loan.
“The move caught campaign finance watchdogs off guard, who said they had never seen such an arrangement. De Becker’s contributions helped the PAC report a high fundraising total, which can signal legitimacy for the committee. De Becker made donations totaling $10 million to the Super PAC, of which $9.65 million was refunded,” the POLITICO report states verbatim.

“If someone gives that amount of money to a Super PAC, they expect the Super PAC to use it for political purposes. I have never heard of a situation where millions of dollars are disbursed to a Super PAC to cross a bridge and then have the money reimbursed,” said Craig Holman of the ethics watchdog group “Public Citizen,” consulted by POLITICO.
“High fundraising totals (such as those the American Values PAC has been promoting over the past year) give a gloss of validity to a Super PAC and generate even more contributions from other donors. Using a series of back-and-forth transactions to take de facto loans without declaring them as debt also obscures the actual finances of American Values. The campaign finance landscape constantly evolves, with campaigns and their allies pushing new boundaries each election cycle. Kennedy’s Super PAC will be seen as either a trailblazer or an outlier. If others adopt their practices, outside groups could have another tool to evade transparency,” POLITICO said.

When separately consulted, De Becker and Tony Lyons, co-founder of the Super PAC, said there needed to be more sleight of hand in the agreement. Both referred to it as “bridge financing” in responses to POLITICO’s questions. They said De Becker can request donations to be refunded at his discretion if the money has yet to be spent.
“I have the option to request a partial refund of my donation, but there is no guarantee,” De Becker wrote in a text. De Becker also said bridge financing occurs.



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