CORRECTION: This article originally reported that Publix didn’t respond to a Spectrum News email that asked the company to help distinguish the George W. Jenkins Foundation that became Publix Super Markets Charities and the George Jenkins Foundation that Julie Fancelli ran as of 2019. In fact, Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous responded in a February 1 email in which she wrote: “The George W. Jenkins Foundation is not affiliated with Publix.” We amended the 17th paragraph of this article on February 12, 2021 to reflect Brous’s response.
The $300,000 or so that Julie Jenkins Fancelli reportedly donated to a January 6 Donald Trump rally represented a comparative fraction of her donations to the former president’s 2020 presidential campaign and to Republican and conservative election coffers last year.
What You Need To Know
- Julie Jenkins Fancelli gave $815K to Trump Victory committee in 2020
- Federal Election Commission: She gave about $2.5 million in all last year
- 2019 IRS document shows her as president of George Jenkins Foundation
- RELATED: Report: Publix Heiress Donated About $300,000 for Trump January 6 Rally
Fancelli, a daughter of Publix Super Markets founder George W. Jenkins, gave $815,000 to the Trump Victory fundraising committee in 2020 alone, according to online contributions data from the Federal Election Commission.
She also contributed broadly to political committees of Republican candidates or causes throughout the U.S., from Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi; to Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire; and to Arizona, Oregon and Alaska.
The Federal Election Commission shows contributions in 2020 of about $2.5 million from Julie Fancelli, Julie Jenkins Fancelli, Julia Fancelli, Julia J. Fancelli, Julia Fancelli II, and the Julia J. Fancelli Living Trust.
Some news reports and financial documents identify her as Julia.
The vast majority, at the very least, of that funding went to groups or political committees that supported Republicans or Republican and conservative causes. Contributions included $500,000 to America First, a pro-Trump political committee, and $150,000 to The Voter Accountability Project.
In previous years, Fancelli contributed to political committees of candidates including Trump, Florida Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, and North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr. She also contributed to the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney, who’s now a Utah senator and a leading Republican critic of Trump.
The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that Fancelli committed about $300,000 to Trump’s January 6 rally through a top fundraising official for the then-president’s 2020 campaign, according to organizers, the Journal said.
Her money paid for “the lion’s share of the roughly $500,000” for the rally that involved Trump, the newspaper said, citing organizers. The Journal said the donation came through the arrangement of far-right radio host Alex Jones.
At that rally, Trump urged supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol to contest the 2020 U.S. election results, which awarded Democrat Joe Biden the presidency.
Five people died during the attack on the Capitol, and the U.S. House of Representatives last month impeached Trump for an unprecedented second time.
Late Saturday, Lakeland-based Publix put out a statement on Twitter that said Fancelli wasn’t involved with its business operations and didn’t “represent the company in any way.” The statement called the January 6 violence at the Capitol “a national tragedy” and said those “deplorable actions” didn’t represent the “values, work or opinions of Publix Super Markets.”
For one 2020 contribution, the Federal Election Commission database lists Fancelli as a homemaker. In most other cases, it shows her as retired.
A 2019 Internal Revenue Service document shows Julia J. Fancelli as president of George Jenkins Foundation, Inc. The document shows support from the organization to multiple Lakeland-area organizations, including $95,000 to The Salvation Army in Lakeland; $100,000 to the United Way of Central Florida, $200,000 to Lakeland Christian School, and $500,000 to the Lakeland Regional Health Foundation.
It also shows $3.45 million for “Academy Prep of Lakeland” through the Lakeland-based Academy Prep Foundation.
Publix once touted that Publix Super Markets Charities began as the George W. Jenkins Foundation, established in 1966. A 2018 IRS document listed Carol Barnett, another daughter of George W. Jenkins, as chair and CEO of Publix Super Markets Charities.
Asked to help distinguish the George W. Jenkins Foundation that became Publix Super Markets Charities and the George Jenkins Foundation that Julie Fancelli ran as of 2019, Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous wrote to Spectrum News 13 in an email: “The George W. Jenkins Foundation is not affiliated with Publix.”
As for The Wall Street Journal, the newspaper on Sunday updated its Saturday report with a statement from Fancelli that said: “I am a proud conservative and have real concerns associated with election integrity, yet I would never support any violence, particularly the tragic and horrific events that unfolded on January 6th.”