A nonprofit funded by Publix heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli appears to have spent about $180,000 on organizing and advertising the rally that preceded the Capitol insurrection, according to a tax return obtained by CREW. Last year, CREW reported that the State Tea Party Express was one of several groups that received funding from Fancelli in advance of January 6.
The State Tea Party Express’s 2020 tax return showed the group received $200,000 from Fancelli, but it didn’t show much spending. The State Tea Party Express began 2021 with most of that cash in the bank, which made up almost half of the group’s balance. The new tax document suggests they spent much of that money on rally planning. In a section of the filing used to flesh out the group’s expenses, the State Tea Party Express reported that they spent $179,879 on “Rally advertising production and advertising.”
That appears to refer to January 6 events. A website the group created, RallyForTrump.com, was accessible in the days before January 6th. The page included “Event Details” and an option to RSVP for the “March to Save America Rally” under the heading, “Stand with The President.” The bottom of the page says the site was “Paid for by State Tea Party Express.” The State Tea Party Express did not have any known other activity during 2021, and it largely ceased fundraising, taking in just $22,000.
Reports from the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post had previously identified Fancelli as a source of funding behind that day’s events. The week before the rally took place, she gave roughly $150,000 to the Rule of Law Defense Fund, which paid for robocalls urging “patriots like you” to attend the event and “call on Congress to stop the steal.” That same day, she gave about $300,000 to Women for America First, which helped fund event costs.
The State Tea Party Express is affiliated with Sal Russo, a prominent fundraiser for tea party-aligned political groups. It had kept a low profile for several years after the heyday of the tea party movement but sprang to life in 2018 to support Kevin McCarthy during his bid for House Speaker. Tax filings for that year showed that effort was funded by a Washington dark money group with ties to the energy industry.
January 6 was the culmination of months of effort from many different political and nonprofit groups. The details of each one’s involvement are still coming to light. The State Tea Party Express’s new tax document shows a group flush with cash from a prominent election denier spending six figures as it helped amass an angry mob in Washington, an integral element to what took place on January 6th.