One of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s top donors is a longtime funder of far-left socialist groups and Communist Party sympathizers, according to records.
Abby Rockefeller, the great-granddaughter of John D. Rockefeller, gave $100,000 to Democratic presidential candidate Kennedy's super PAC, American Values 2024, according to campaign finance records. For decades, Rockefeller and her husband, writer Lee Halprin, have also helped bankroll socialist newspapers, conferences, and the Democratic Socialists of America political party.
The news comes as many Republicans have embraced Kennedy and his gadfly primary campaign against President Joe Biden. Over half of Kennedy’s super PAC donations came from traditionally Republican donors, according to Politico, and he has a high favorability rating among Republican voters. Republican lawmakers have expressed support for him as well. House Judiciary chairman Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) invited the candidate to testify before the committee last month, while Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis said that, if elected, he would consider appointing Kennedy to a position at the FDA or another federal health agency.
While Rockefeller is a major supporter of some mainstream Democratic groups—including the Democratic National Committee—she and her husband also contribute regularly to far-left fringe organizations.
She was one of the top donors to the Democratic Socialists of America’s "Anti-capitalist Capital Campaign" in 2016, according to the group’s newsletter. Between 2015 and 2020, Rockefeller and Halprin donated a combined $38,000 to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which backs many members of the DSA, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), according to Federal Election Commission records.
Rockefeller is also a financial supporter of socialist media outlets and conferences. She gave at least $10,000 to the socialist magazine In These Times in 2022, according to its annual financial report.
She was listed as a donor to the 2015 Left Forum in the "Thanks to our comrades" section of its conference schedule. The socialist forum, hosted at John Jay College, was titled "No Justice No Peace: Confronting the Crises of Capitalism and Democracy" and included panel discussions on "Protest, Power and the Socialist Vision," "Art Against Capitalism," and "How To Teach Marxism."
Rockefeller was also listed as a regular donor between 2010 and 2019 to the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives project, a group established by U.S. fighters in the Spanish Civil War. The brigade of Americans was organized in the 1930s by Communist International—the world communist organization under the control of Joseph Stalin—and sent to Spain to fight for the Soviet-backed forces. After returning to the United States, the fighters "formed the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and have, in a militant manner, consistently endeavored to promote Communism in this country," according to a post-war FBI memo.
Rockefeller has a long history of far-left activism. In 1968, she founded the radical feminist group Cell 16, a women’s separatist organization associated with the Marxist revolutionary movement.
Rockefeller and Kennedy did not respond to a request for comment.