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DNC launches billboards in Michigan hitting RFK Jr. over donors linked to Trump

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) launched billboards in Michigan on Friday, hitting independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. over his aligned Super PAC, American Values 2024, receiving donations from a former President Trump mega-donor, the committee first told The Hill.

The committee is launching four billboards in Grand Rapids, Mich., as Kennedy kickstarts his tour of the Great Lake State, a battleground in the 2024 contest, scrutinizing the independent challenger over his outside group getting a $15 million boost from Tim Mellon, a transportation executive.

The billboards feature a headshot of Kennedy on the left side and Trump on the other. In the middle, the sign reads “RFK Jr. powered by MAGA Trump. Same biggest donor Timothy Mellon.”

They are set to run throughout Saturday, Feb. 10.

“RFK Jr. isn’t fooling anyone,” DNC Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd told The Hill in a statement. “He’s powered and bankrolled by the same extreme MAGA donor as Donald Trump, and Trump’s allies have already called him a useful chaos agent in this election.”

“Michiganders deserve better than a stalking horse for extreme MAGA Republicans,” Floyd added.

American Values 2024, a Kennedy-aligned group, received $15 million from Mellon in 2023, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) fillings. Mellon donated $10 million to MAGA Inc., a Trump-aligned Super PAC, in 2023, according to FEC records.

The billboard campaign comes just hours after the DNC accused Kennedy and American Values 2024 of illegally coordinating, alleging he is receiving improper benefits from the Super PAC that is supporting his push to get on the ballot in all 50 states.

DNC filed the complaint with the FEC on Friday, claiming the outside group’s practice of hiring signature-gathering vendors and helping Kennedy get on the ballot in battleground states, like Michigan and Illinois, violates federal election laws.

Kennedy has qualified to be on the ballot in Utah. His campaign announced in January that he is eligible to appear on the ballot in New Hampshire.

Kennedy, who initially started his White House bid within the Democratic primary but switched to an independent bid in October, has raised concerns with some Democrats fearing that his push, along with other third-party candidates like Cornel West or Jill Stein, is taking away votes from President Biden and giving Trump a higher chance to get reelected in November.

A spokesperson for Kennedy’s campaign hit back on the allegations, arguing people want a candidate that will “heal the divide.”

“Donors from across the political spectrum are supporting the Kennedy campaign as they are tired of the corruption in the two-party system,” the spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.

“Instead, donors want an independent candidate who will heal the divide, restore the middle class, end the forever wars, unravel corporate capture, and the end chronic disease epidemic,” they added.

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