The disastrous Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, ruled that campaign donations were a type of free speech. This ruling essentially deregulated limits on elections spending, allowing special interest groups and wealthy donors to spend as much as they wanted in campaigns without the need for transparency, thus permitting billionaires the power to control American elections.
The group End Citizens United (ECU) is working hard to change this. Headquartered in Washington D.C., ECU is a nonprofit political action committee, or PAC, built by grassroots donors with the goal to end all big money in politics. As a traditional PAC, it cannot accept donations larger than $5,000 from any individual donor. Despite the donation limit, its wide-ranging fundraising efforts have brought in many new donors and raised $25 million in 2016, even topping the lists of elections spending by Democratic-aligned groups. ECU has even higher aspirations for 2018 and is expected to raise and spend $35 million on reelection races.
End Citizens United has been active across the country, and their plan to accomplish election reform is to get “finance reform champions” elected. It endorses candidates who refuse to accept corporate PAC money like Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand. Senator Booker was praised for renouncing PAC donations in a statement by ECU’s president Tiffany Muller, “Senator Booker’s decision to reject corporate PAC money demonstrates his leadership in the fight to unrig the system that’s leaving too many Americans behind.” Of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Ms. Muller stated, “By taking the pledge, Senator Gillibrand is taking a firm stand against Big Money.” The number of candidates who have stopped using corporate PAC money has been growing with ECU endorsing more than 70 people running for office, including Senate candidates Beto O’Rourke, Elizabeth Warren, and Debbie Stabenow.
In addition to supporting candidates, End Citizens United has targeted a group of people in Congress it calls the “Big Money 20” it considers to be part of the problem. These are individuals who have favored special interests over their own constituents by repeatedly accepting big corporate donations or backing legislation that benefited big donors and opposing campaign reform. The list includes such individuals as Speaker Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz.
The End Citizens United stumbled on a revelation that a Russian Company was collectively involved in the 2016 presidential election. This was possible through the manipulation of purchased ads that targeted to steer the elections results in their favor. A foreign entity getting involved with political campaigns is illegal and, therefore, the Russian involvement raised question marks on the country’s election laws. Ignorance on the matter worked perfectly for Russia, enabling them to meddle extensively and intricately with the elections.
The organization has seen to it that Special Counsel Robert Mueller deems answerable to the offense and to clear the air on whether Donald Trump’s team was part of the fishy Russian involvement. Despite the fact that End Citizens United is confident about getting to the bottom of the matter, it is still not clear whether Washington will show corporation in stopping foreign interventions in during future elections. Over the past years, right-wing politicians have taken advantage of their allies to sabotage campaign finance laws. This has opened doors for undocumented donors to fund their missions massively thereby rendering that specific candidate at a better advantage.
Read more: End Citizens United Rushes to Protect Besieged Johnson Amendment
About End Citizens United
End Citizens United is a grassroots donor that targets to eradicate the use of big money in politics. They are the primary funders of Political Action Committee, whose main focus is mentoring campaign finance reforms to monitor Citizens United. The organization was formed on March 1st, 2015 and is based in Washington, District of Columbia. During this period, large political funding groups used their ulterior moves for one major malice course, to make the elections’ outcome go their way through huge funds. End Citizens United was determined to put a stop to this. With a belief that the country political system was rigged, they are positive that the reforms in place, will improve the political situation.
One strategy in place is ensuring that democrats get positions in Congress and thereby get an opportunity to achieve campaign finance reforms. With them in place, they can easily get involved in state elections where they will easily get loopholes to influence pro-reform schemes. End Citizens United’s main concern is having money as a political drive force. Therefore, prime importance is raising public awareness on knowing their decision and place in finding the truth on unlimited and untraceable donations. They started off with a $2 million small donors’ funding and are targeting to reach over $30 million. With this in mind, the organization is channeling its efforts to have a place in the national conversation.
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