End Citizens United Fights to Reform Campaign Finance

Prior to the Citizens United ruling in 2010, campaign spending was regulated by the Federal Election Committee and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which kept corporations from contributing to electioneering communications (political advertising) and other parties from producing their own communications without approval from the candidate. Citizens United challenged the laws and won based on their argument that the law was prohibiting free speech. The Supreme Court agreed with their argument believed the previous laws were meant to prohibit funding, not free speech.

Based on the precepts of the First Amendment, “The government may regulate corporate political speech through disclaimer and disclosure requirements, but it may not suppress that speech altogether.” Citizens United won the Supreme Court ruling with only one vote. The dissenting voices noted that there would most probably be a diminished voice for the individual when it was up against the extensive investment of corporations.

End Citizens United has been fighting that very outcome. Today’s corporations are huge, worth billions of dollars and willing to spend large portions of their wealth to support candidates. The chosen candidates are those who are willing to push the agendas of their big money constituents, like the recent tax cut that mainly benefitted corporations and the wealthy.

End Citizens United supports candidates mainly of the Democratic Party, because the big money is given to Republican candidates. Many Democratic candidates have vowed to fight for campaign reform and a reversal of the Citizens United decision. End Citizens United does not depend on donations from corporations; instead it raises funds through grassroots fundraising efforts. Individuals give as little as $14 each, yet End Citizens United has been able to give millions in support of certain Democratic candidates.

Some incumbent candidates for Representative who have been endorsed by End Citizens United include Elijah Cummings of Maryland’s 7th district, Eric Swalwell of California’s 15th district and Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania’s 18th district. Among the many Senators End Citizens United supports are Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

The majority of the public believes the Citizens United ruling was wrong. Now, its just a matter of the concerned organizations along with the voices of American citizens fighting to get this decision reversed. American politics is riddled with problems: financing irregularities, lengthy campaign terms and an inadequate system for the removal of inept, corrupt and/or otherwise unsuitable elected candidates. End Citizens United seeks to reform the political election process from finances to campaign terms.

To know more visit @: ballotpedia.org/End_Citizens_United_PAC

Grassroots Fundraising Remains Key For End Citizens United

In 2015, the traditional PAC End Citizens United was formed with an eye on reversing the controversial Citizens United decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. The arrival of the PAC came after the 2010 Citizens United decision which came about when the planned broadcast of a 90-minute television show, “Hillary: The Movie” was challenged by the Federal Election Commission. Attorneys for the FEC claimed the movie was a 90-minute campaign ad and was an unfair use of funds on the eve of the Democratic primaries by a group who consistently failed to reveal where their funding was coming from.

The 2010 Citizens United decision was a controversial one from the outset as court case initially arrived at a Federal Court which ruled on the side of the FEC. After moving to the Supreme Court, the decision came down in favor of Citizens United by a vote of 5-4 with the statement released on behalf of the four dissenters stating this was a clear attack on both free speech and the democratic process of the U.S.

Upon its establishment, End Citizens United made the decision to work under the restrictive measures of the traditional Political Action Committee limiting member donations to $5,000 per election cycle. In 2017, the PAC stated it was on target to meet its goal of raising more than $35 million in funds for the 2018 Midterms with an average donation at the time of $14; grassroots funding is an important strategic point for ECU President Tiffany Muller as it allows the PAC to steer clear of the political influence of special interest groups.

There are many reasons why the use of grassroots funding has become an important part of the work of End Citizens United including the creation of a national network of activists all working towards the goal of election finance reform. Other benefits of grassroots funding include the fact local activists can become linked through their work for End Citizens United and form a much larger local network which works together on a regular basis to back left-leaning candidates for political office.

For More info: docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/fecimg/?C00573261