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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

American Values 2024

Political leanings: Pro-Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

2022 total spending: N/A

American Values 2024, formerly the People’s Pharma Movement, is a hybrid political action committee supporting independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s presidential campaign.

As a hybrid PAC, the group can function both as a super PAC, raising unlimited funds for independent expenditures, and as a traditional political action committee, giving money to candidates directly. It must have separate bank accounts for each purpose.

The group was co-founded in 2022 by Mark Gorton, CEO of Tower Research Capital and creator of file-sharing platform LimeWire, and Tony Lyons, head of independent book publishing company SkyHorse Publishing. Gorton and Lyons serve as co-chairs of the PAC.

Both Gorton and Lyons have been affiliated with Kennedy in the past. Gorton told CNBC in May that, in 2021, he donated $1 million to Children’s Health Defense, a Kennedy-run nonprofit that frequently spreads anti-vaccine misinformation. Meanwhile, Lyons has published several of Kennedy’s books, including “The Real Anthony Fauci” and “A Letter to Liberals.”

In a July blog post on the aims of the PAC, Gorton wrote, “In addition to traditional efforts to get the word out and build support for RFK Jr. among the electorate, American Values 2024 will be running campaigns that focus on the forces of structural corruption which resist the reforms that RFK Jr. offers.” The PAC’s website adds that American Values 2024 will “help restore the soul of democracy to America by taking back our political system from corporate interests.”

The group had raised nearly $9.8 million, as of June 30, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Timothy Mellon, a billionaire descendant of the Mellon banking family, contributed $5 million to the PAC – after donating to a pro-Donald Trump committee in 2020. Celebrity security consultant Gavin de Becker – who has donated to both Republican and Democratic candidates in the past – contributed $4.5 million to American Values 2024.

Other contributors include prominent Democratic donor Abby Rockefeller, Lyons’ Skyhorse Publishing and tech entrepreneur Steve Kirsch, who frequently spreads vaccine misinformation.

American Values 2024 stated in an August press release that it had raised an additional $6 million in July. Then, when Kennedy – who began his presidential campaign in the Democratic primary – announced in October that he would be running as an independent, the PAC reportedly received an additional $11 million in contributions.

The group says it plans to spend between $10 million and $15 million to make sure Kennedy is on the ballot in at least 10 states, including swing states, where ballot access for independent candidates can be difficult.

According to OpenSecrets, as of Nov. 13, American Values had spent about $823,000 on independent expenditures made in support of Kennedy — including several newspaper ads.