The Democratic National Committee (DNC) accused independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential campaign and his aligned super PAC of illegal coordination, alleging he is receiving improper benefits from the group supporting his push to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states.
The complaint, filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), claims that the American Values 2024 super PAC’s practice of hiring signature-gathering vendors and assisting Kennedy in getting on the ballot in key battleground states constitutes a violation of federal election rules. The DNC cited Michigan and Illinois, which have guidelines set barring those outside of the campaign from gathering ballot signatures.
“Rather than solving this problem by raising the necessary funds consistent with federal law, Mr. Kennedy and his campaign are trying to take the short cut of having American Values 2024 perform this campaign function for him,” the complaint reads. “Put simply, to qualify for the ballot under state law, American Values 2024 must coordinate its activity with Mr. Kennedy and his campaign in a way that violates federal campaign finance laws.”
Kennedy denounced the DNC’s argument in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, claiming the Democratic Party is in a downfall.
“After the day they had yesterday, it’s understandable they’d want to put the focus on someone else,” Kennedy wrote Friday in the post. “The DNC is in no position to assert morality over anyone — they refused to have a primary and have worked against the will of the people in the past few elections. It’s sad to see the party my family built crash and burn.”
The long-shot candidate has qualified to be on the ballot in Utah and his campaign announced in January that he is eligible to appear on the ballot in New Hampshire.
In a statement to The Hill on Friday, American Values 2024 co-chair Tony Lyons said his PAC has been “working independently from the campaign in accordance with FEC precedent to get Bobby Kennedy on the ballot in 12 states.”
Lyons also accused the DNC of “rigging” elections and claimed they just wanted “to stifle any dissenting opinions” because they fear the incumbent, President Biden, can’t win “a free, open and fair election.”
“This FEC complaint is just another desperate DNC attempt to defame Kennedy, vilify him and drain his campaign funds,” he wrote. “The American people are too smart to be fooled by these political games.”
The complaint comes as Democrats are increasingly concerned about Kennedy — and other third-party candidates, such as Cornel West or Jill Stein — taking away votes from Biden and handing former President Trump, the likely GOP nominee, a win in November.
Kennedy started his Oval Office run within the Democratic primary, but switched to an independent bid in October, allowing him to also siphon some potential Trump voters during the general election.
Tim Mellon, a Trump donor and one of the biggest American Values 2024 donors, donated $15 million to the Kennedy-aligned group in 2023, according to FEC fillings.
The filings also show he handed $10 million to MAGA Inc., a Trump super PAC, which the DNC argued shows that some of the biggest Trump backers are utilizing Kennedy’s White House bid to poach votes from Biden.