Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the political scion and prominent vaccine skeptic who is challenging President Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, reported income of $7.8 million in the year before he entered the race, including nearly $ $1.6 million from his consulting work for a personal injury law firm known for drug litigation.
The details came in a financial disclosure form filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday. It shows that Mr. Kennedy earned $5 million at his environmental law firm, Kennedy & Madonna, and a $516,000 salary and bonus as president and chief counsel of Children’s Health Defense, a nonprofit group he formed that led a campaign against vaccines. (The disclosure says he’s been on leave from the organization since April, when he announced his campaign.)
Mr. Kennedy, a leading skeptic of vaccinations and prescription drugs, gained a foothold in the race even as he distorted the facts about vaccine development and public health authorities and increasingly embraced conservative figures and causes.
His support among Democrats has reached 20% in polls, although a more recent poll by the Saint Anselm College Survey Center in June he put his Democratic support in New Hampshire at 9%.. He also appealed to potential voters outside the party: A Quinnipiac University survey in June it found that 40% of Republicans viewed it favorably, compared with 31% of independents and 25% of Democrats.
Friday was also the last day of the second quarter fundraising campaign for the presidential race. Mr. Kennedy’s campaign sent out solicitations asking donors to help him reach a goal of $5 million by the end of the day. His campaign highlighted a $1 million haul in the 24 hours leading up to Friday’s final push.
The official numbers will be available in two weeks, when the campaign files its relationship with the FEC
In his disclosure form, Mr. Kennedy reported nearly $1.6 million in consulting fees from Wisner Baum, a Los Angeles-based personal injury law firm formerly known as Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman. The company’s website lists him as a co-counsel in ongoing litigation over Gardasil — an HPV vaccine manufactured by Merck — as well as lawsuits against Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and the California fires.
Mr. Kennedy also reported $150,000 in consulting fees from the Marwood Group, which describes itself as a New York-based health consulting firm. And he brought back $125,000 from Skyhorse Publishing, which publishes his books and, according to the disclosure, pays him as a consultant.
Dennis Kucinich, Kennedy’s former congressman and campaign manager, said the disclosure « speaks for itself. »