Julie Fancelli, a 72 year old senile fascist living in Tuscany, never accomplished a thing in her life after being born to George Jenkins, founder of the Piggly Wiggly and Publix grocery chains, financed the Trump coup attempt. The Jenkins family, 39th richest in America, has a net worth of $8.8 billion. Facelli married into an Italian fruit and vegetable wholesale business in 1972 when she wed Mauro Adolfo Fancelli. She's in the spotlight now because of the coup: Low-Profile Heiress Thrust Into Spotlight Over Jan. 6 Financing. Beth Reinhard, Jacqueline Alemany and Josh Dawsey wrote this morning that "Eight days before the Jan. 6 rally in Washington, a little-known Trump donor living thousands of miles away in the Tuscan countryside quietly wired a total of $650,000 to three organizations that helped stage and promote the event... Fancelli is facing public scrutiny as the House committee investigating the insurrection seeks to expose the financing for the rally that preceded the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Fancelli is the largest publicly known donor to the rally, support that some concerned relatives and others attributed to her enthusiasm for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The Washington Post previously reported that on Dec. 29, 2020, Fancelli donated $300,000 to Women for America First, a nonprofit group that helped organize the Jan. 6 rally, and $150,000 to the nonprofit arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association, which paid for a robocall touting a march to 'call on Congress to stop the steal.' On the same day, Fancelli gave $200,000 to State Tea Party Express," which was used for radio ads and social media urging Trump supporters to attend the rally and subsequent march.
Previous to all that money to help finance the coup attempt, Fancelli has given over 200 contributions to right-wing candidates and organizations in America, totaling over $2 million, often max donations to fascist-oriented congressional candidates like Pete Sessions (TX), Jim Renacci (OH), Josh Hawley (MO), David Valadao (CA), Andy Barr (KY), Claudia Tenney (NY)... Her biggest known contributions:
Oct. 27, 2020- American First Action- $500,000
Oct. 23, 2020- Voter Accountability Project- $150,000
Oct. 21, 2020- RNC- $106,500
Sept. 4, 2020- RNC- $106,500
July 15, 2020- RNC- $106,500
Oct 8, 2020- Voter Accountability Project- $100,000
The Post trio wrote that "Although much about it remains unknown, the funding of the protests-- including travel and hotel expenses for thousands of Trump supporters-- has been coming into focus slowly over the past 11 months. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the chairman of the House committee examining the events of Jan. 6, told The Post that he believes Fancelli 'played a strong role' in helping to finance the rally. 'We’re trying to follow the money,' he said."
Her family’s fortune comes from the fast-growing Publix supermarket chain, which has tried to distance itself from Fancelli’s involvement in the rally. Based in her hometown of Lakeland, Fla., Publix touts its reputation for customer service with a decades-old “where shopping is a pleasure” slogan.
After an initial report a few weeks after the rally that Fancelli had donated about $300,000, Publix released a statement saying that she was not involved in the business and that it could not comment on her actions. Last week, after The Post inquired about Fancelli’s contributions totaling $650,000, the company went further, saying it “cannot control the actions of individual stockholders” and issued an unusual rebuke of a member of the founder’s family. Because the company is privately held, Fancelli’s stake-- if any-- is not a matter of public record.
“We are deeply troubled by Ms. Fancelli’s involvement in the events that led to the tragic attack on the Capitol on January 6,” Publix said in a statement to The Post.
In the weeks leading up to the rally, Fancelli frequently emailed to her relatives and friends links to [Alex] Jones’s talk show, according to two people with knowledge of the emails who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications. Jones was a leading proponent of false claims that Trump’s reelection had been foiled by election fraud and that Congress could refuse to certify Biden’s victory.
“I don’t want Trump to step down,” Jones said during his show streamed on the Infowars platform on Dec. 28, one day before Fancelli donated to the rally. “Either by overturning the election and showing it’s a fraud and getting Congress to act on Jan. 6 to not certify for Biden, or whether we end up impeaching Joe Biden or getting him arrested as a Chi-Com agent, one way or another, he will be removed.”
Fancelli’s donations related to the rally were arranged by Republican fundraiser Caroline Wren, who was listed on the event permit as a “VIP ADVISOR,” according to records reviewed by The Post and a Republican with knowledge of the contributions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. The House committee has issued a subpoena to Wren seeking records and a deposition.
“The funding behind the First Amendment rally at the White House Ellipse was entirely lawful and consistent with the rights Ms. Fancelli has as an American citizen,” Wren said in a statement to The Post.
Fancelli had planned to attend the rally and had a room reserved at the Willard hotel [where the coup was plotted], but she decided not to go because of concerns about traveling during the pandemic, according to the Republican familiar with her donations.
Fancelli was a regular listener to Jones’s show and had an assistant make contact with him at his office in Austin to find out how she could support Trump’s attempt to undermine Biden’s victory, the person said. She and Jones talked by phone at least once between Dec. 27 and Jan. 1, the person said.
“I am not tantalized by that fellow, but apparently she is, and a lot of other people are addicted, to the detriment of the country,” Fancelli’s brother-in-law Barney Barnett, a retired Publix executive who describes himself as a conservative Republican, said in a recent interview with The Post. “Julie is one of the finest people I know, and I am sorry she got tied up with this guy.”
Fancelli’s sister Nancy Jenkins said they avoid talking politics and stick to topics like “the grandchildren and the nieces and nephews and how long she’s coming to Florida for Christmas.”
Of Jones, Jenkins said: “He’s kind of a rabble rouser, and I don’t listen to that. I listen to the regular news. That guy is crazy. Everybody knows Trump lost.”
Jones, who is among dozens of people subpoenaed by the House committee, declined to comment on Fancelli’s involvement.
A few weeks after the rally, top executives of the Republican National Committee called to check on Fancelli, according to a person familiar with the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a private conversation. Fancelli-- who records show had donated roughly $1 million to a joint account for the Trump campaign and Republican Party in 2019 and 2020-- told the RNC executives that she believed the election was stolen and backed the rally “to fight for Trump,” the person said. She also said she had no idea there would be violence at the Capitol, according to the person.
Fancelli has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to GOP candidates and party organizations over the past two decades but did not become a top-tier donor until Trump moved into the White House, records show. She worked with Wren as well as Kimberly Guilfoyle, the partner of Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr.
Guilfoyle declined to comment for this report.
“We’d never heard of her… She only came into the picture once Trump was president,” the person familiar with the RNC call to Fancelli said. “She is basically just a right-winger, smarter than a lot of donors, but has an affinity for Alex Jones and conspiracy theories and that sort of thing.”
In 2017, Fancelli met with RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and complained that the national party had not done enough to help Trump in the previous year’s election, according to a person familiar with that exchange, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Fancelli also sent party insiders emails supporting conspiracy theories about Trump’s political opponents, the person said.
Her political donations this year suggest continued support for the far right. In September, she gave $5,800 to Rep. Matthew M. Rosendale of Montana, who was among 21 House Republicans who opposed awarding the congressional gold medal to police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan 6. In July, Fancelli gave $1,000 to an unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Lakeland, Fla., who thanked the right-wing One America News for “correctly” referring to Trump as the president after Biden’s inauguration.
“She’s a wealthy woman who has lived a quiet life, mostly over in Florence, growing olives and grapes,” said Mel Sembler, a longtime Republican fundraiser in Florida who visited Fancelli in Italy when he served as the U.S. ambassador there during the administration of George W. Bush. “A nice lady from a nice family who writes checks for things that she thinks are important. I wonder if she even realized she was writing checks for Jan. 6.”
...Fancelli has never served on the Publix board of directors or as a company executive. She previously owned a business that sold millions of dollars worth of food to Publix at a time when family members were running the chain, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fancelli left that company, Alma Food Imports, Inc., in 2017.
Publix declined to disclose how many shares Fancelli owns in the private company. She does not appear in recent SEC filings that list individuals who own at least 5 percent of the company’s shares. The majority of shares, which are not traded publicly, are owned by employees, from store cashiers to truck drivers.
The company temporarily stopped making campaign donations after survivors of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school protested Publix’s contributions to the 2018 gubernatorial campaign of Republican Adam Putnam, an outspoken National Rifle Association supporter.
As Fancelli’s involvement in the Jan. 6 rally has emerged this year, some Publix shoppers have threatened boycotts on social media. Supermarket analyst David Livingston said Publix’s bottom line is unlikely to suffer because the chain is so popular in the Southeast, especially in Florida.
A friend of mine in Lakeland who has known Fancelli for decades, told me she was a nice woman, although a "normal run-of-the mill conservative rich person" before she went insane a couple of years ago, having become "severely addicted" to QAnon and all kinds of baseless conspiracy theories that took over her life. He told that all of her friends and most of her family now avoid her if they can. "Another life completely ruined by Donald Trump," he said.