In 2010 the US Supreme Court made a decision that completely overhauled how elections operate in the nation. The decision made in Citizens United v. F.E.C. was that corporations are people and as such limiting how much they can give politicians who are running for elections is a restriction on their first amendment rights. The end result of this ruling is that politicians and the wealthy can now give as much as they want which had led to their voices completely drowning out everyone else’s when it comes to politics and who wins elections.
In response to overwhelming public dissent with this ruling, End Citizens United was founded as a political action committee (PAC) in March 2015. This PAC is funded by hundreds of thousands of grassroots donors across the United States who want to put reasonable limits on what the wealthy and corporations are able to spend influencing who wins elections and what legislation there is. They support politicians who are for campaign finance reform and against unlimited money in politics.
End Citizens United supports Democrats because only politicians in that party care to provide meaningful reform of the country’s campaign finance system. They don’t support Republicans because politicians in that party stand in the way of reforming campaign contribution limits, even though their own voters support that happening. In order to determine which candidate the PAC will support in key contests, they have each candidate fill out a questionnaire that asks specific questions about campaign finance reform and their thoughts about it.
PACS like End Citizen United already have their eyes on the 2018 midterm elections. Through just the first three months of 2017 End Citizen United had already raised more than $4 million dollars through small donors giving an average of $12. They are expecting to raise at least $35 million before the race for the midterm elections begins in full. This is a big upgrade over the $25 million it had taken in during the 2016 election cycle.
Out of the 100,000 people who have made donations to End Citizens United since the start of the year, and remarkable 40% were making the first political contribution of their lives. Tiffany Muller is the Executive Director and President of the PAC. Talking about the citizens who have been contributing to her PAC, she said that people across the country can see that the system is rigged against everyone who isn’t rich and well connected.
End Citizen United is supporting Jon Ossoff who is the Democrat candidate running in a special election for the House seat vacated by Tom Price. Their contribution of $500,000 led to his strong showing in the first round of the election and possible if not likely win of this traditionally Republican seat.