In the spring of 2015, End Citizens United became the first Super PAC, or political action committee, with the intention of fighting the growing, political clout of, well, Super PACs. The power these organizations hold over the political arena stems from a Supreme Court ruling in 2010. The Citizens United case extended the right of free speech, something previously viewed as applicable to individual citizens, to corporations. The result is an avalanche of corporate money now flowing freely into our political system.
Justice John Paul Stevens, a strong opponent of the ruling, summed up the long-term implications of the case with a reminder that for any free, democratic state to survive, its legal system cannot be built on the buying and selling of lawmakers. This ruling made that very idea, the commoditization of political influence, unlimited and anonymous. On the strength of a public that does not support the ruling, a number of organizations, like the ACLU and the League of Women Voters, have built a strong field of opposition, and into that stepped End Citizens United. Headquartered in Washington D.C., the goal of the PAC is in their name, clear and simple. They hope to overturn the ruling and, ultimately, to see the passage of a constitutional amendment enshrining free speech as a right of citizens, not corporations.
While the group’s goal may not be achievable in the short-term, the Super PAC is investing its resources in backing Democratic candidates who support their mission, as well as ballot measures that work towards campaign finance reform. The focus on Democratic candidates is born out of necessity; there are few Republicans who have voiced their support for finance limits and none amongst the GOP leadership. Under president Tiffany Muller, and executive vice president Matt Burgess, End Citizens United plans to raise $35 million for the 2018 election cycle, $10 million above their 2016 haul. The group has 380,000 grassroots supporters and has already endorsed 130 candidates for 2018.
The group intends to use its growing war chest to help fund candidates who make a “No Corporate PAC” promise. They also plan to spend resources this election cycle on the offense, fighting the biggest incumbent recipients of corporate funding, known as “the Big Money 20.” Democrats, hoping to cash in on a historically unpopular president this fall, will have End Citizens United at their side, as long as they are willing to do the right thing.
To know more visit @: www.youtube.com/c/EndCitizensUnitedOrg