R.F.Okay. Jr. Draws Another $8 Million From His Running Mate, Nicole Shanahan

R.F.Okay. Jr. Draws Another $8 Million From His Running Mate, Nicole Shanahan

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s operating mate, the Silicon Valley investor Nicole Shanahan, mentioned on Wednesday night time that she had given one other $8 million to their unbiased presidential marketing campaign because it carries out the costly endeavor of gaining poll entry throughout the nation and tries to propel Mr. Kennedy onto debate phases.

Ms. Shanahan’s new donation, which she introduced at a comedy fund-raiser in Nashville, brings her whole contribution to the marketing campaign to $10 million, not together with the $4 million she gave to an excellent PAC backing Mr. Kennedy to assist pay for a Super Bowl commercial early this yr. Ms. Shanahan, a lawyer who was previously married to the Google co-founder Sergey Brin, gave the marketing campaign $2 million shortly after Mr. Kennedy named her as his operating mate in March.

After a nod to the media, Ms. Shanahan mentioned, “I feel I do know what they’re going to say — they’re going to say Bobby solely picked me for my cash,” a comment that drew laughter from the group.

Ms. Shanahan’s feedback got here close to the top of a four-hour occasion on the storied Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. She adopted performances by comedians together with Russell Brand, Rob Schneider and Jim Breuer, a former “Saturday Night Live” forged member. Many of the performers praised Mr. Kennedy, however additionally they used their time onstage to rail towards Covid vaccinations, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the mainstream information media and President Biden.

Ms. Shanahan’s private wealth has been a big asset for Mr. Kennedy. While marketing campaign finance legal guidelines constrain people from donating greater than $6,600 to a marketing campaign, the candidates themselves can provide limitless sums of their very own cash.

Her money has supplied a monetary lifeline as their marketing campaign undertakes a expensive effort to get on the poll in all 50 states — which might be a difficult and costly endeavor underneath any circumstances, much more so as a result of the Democratic Party and its allies have pledged to mount authorized challenges to the hassle.

Ms. Shanahan made her announcement the identical day that Mr. Biden and former President Donald J. Trump agreed to 2 debates, one on June 27 on CNN and one other on Sept. 10 on ABC News. In doing so, they rejected the standard Commission on Presidential Debates, which had hosted the occasions for many years.

Both candidates have been searching for to maintain Mr. Kennedy off the stage, with Mr. Biden’s marketing campaign chair, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, writing explicitly in a letter to the fee, “President Biden made his phrases clear for 2 one-on-one debates, and Donald Trump accepted these phrases.”

But Mr. Kennedy might probably qualify for the CNN debate, and the hassle might truly be simpler underneath the community’s polling guidelines than it could have been underneath the rules set by the debates fee. Mr. Kennedy wants to indicate no less than 15 p.c assist in 4 accepted nationwide polls between March 13 and June 20. He already has no less than two polls that present him above that threshold, one from CNN and one from Quinnipiac University. He has one other 5 weeks to earn extra qualifying polls.

To qualify for the CNN debate, Mr. Kennedy should additionally get on the poll in sufficient states in order that he might probably win the 270 Electoral College votes wanted to be elected president. He is at present on the poll in 5 states, which in whole have 84 electoral votes, however his marketing campaign has one other 5 weeks to position him on the poll in different states earlier than the deadline to qualify for the controversy.

Mr. Kennedy criticized each Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump after information of their deliberate debates turned public on Wednesday.

“They are attempting to exclude me from their debate as a result of they’re afraid I might win,” he wrote on social media. “Keeping viable candidates off the controversy stage undermines democracy.”


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