End Citizens United (ECU) is a political action committee dedicated to overturning the 2010 US Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Committee. The decision allowed unlimited financial contributions by groups for or against any political candidate. Before the court’s decision, these groups known as Super PACs did not exist, and there were rules limiting contributions to politicians. Following the ruling, Super PACs emerged and quickly multiplied. A Super PAC provides an avenue for a group or individual to funnel unlimited sums of money that can affect the outcome of an election. The Super PACs allow donors to remain anonymous.
ECU wants to reverse the court’s decision, and stop the influence of “big money” in politics. End Citizens United backs Democrats who support campaign finance reform like Hillary Clinton, Jon Ossoff, and Elizabeth Warren. The PAC has also helped re-elect many politicians, including Senators Maggie Hassan and Catherine Masto in 2016.
In preparation for the 2018 election cycle, ECU’s goal is to raise $35 million. To do so, the PAC has appealed to progressive voters on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and through the website EndCitizensUnited.org. The organization prides itself on having been built from grassroots participation.
ECU plans to address the tax bill recently passed by Congress. Independent studies suggest that the bill may not benefit lower and middle income people as much as some would argue. A struggling middle class means a struggling economy, the effects of which could be long term. A thriving middle class may allow businesses to flourish and wages to rise. End Citizens United will work on behalf of candidates for public office who believe the results of passing this tax bill will motivate people to vote not only their conscience and pocketbook, but for the promise of a better life for future generations.
ECU has identified 17 incumbent Republicans who voted in favor of the legislation who are linked to Super PACs making large contributions. There is no question that in a free society, citizens may exercise their right to support candidates of their choice, who support their causes. More important is to have in place a system that is fair so that all voices are treated equally and heard. One key component to ECU is to ensure reasonable limitations for financial donations are established, and that all money can be traced. Accountability is essential for the system to work as it was meant.
Should ECU succeed in overturning Citizens United, it will help to ensure elections can be won, but not bought. If the power is returned to ordinary citizens, it is the hope of End Citizens United that the politicians will work for all the people rather than just a few.
Learn More: endcitizensunited.org/about/