End Citizens United is a grassroots organization that was created on March 1st, 2015. The Political Action Committee is a direct response to the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling allowing corporations, special interest groups, unions and billionaires to donate unlimited money to the political campaign of their choice. This ruling came without regulations or guidelines to reign in donation money and there is no accountability in terms of where campaign money is coming from. End Citizens United’s mission is to overturn the Citizens United ruling of 2010. End Citizens United went full force with its grassroots campaign in 2016, raising two million almost immediately with the backing of individual donors.
Currently, End Citizens United is endorsed by seventeen vetted candidates from across the United States including Scott Peters (CA -52), Elizabeth Esty (CT-05) and Stephanie Murphy (FL-07). Having the backing of endorsed candidates is the impetus needed to change the Citizens United ruling. Candidates who support End Citizens United will in turn receive financial backing from the group. While the task of overturning a Supreme Court ruling may be a daunting task, the group’s efforts will bring public awareness to the problem of unlimited streams of money being dumped into political campaigns.
In the first quarter of 2017, End Citizens United received four million in donations. With the 2018 midterm elections for Congress coming, they are on track to get donations of thirty-five million, up from the twenty-five million donated in 2016. With the election of President Trump fueling the fire, democrats are contributing an average of twelve dollars in 2017. The first portion of the year saw forty-thousand first time donors to the cause with a total of one hundred thousand supporters donating cash. They can’t accept individual donations over five-thousand dollars since the group is a traditional PAC.
End Citizens United are actively promoting Democratic candidates such as Jon Ossof from Georgia. Newcomer Jon Ossof rocked the Georgia political scene when he raised four million dollars to fill a vacant seat held by a Republican. The group is eyeing the 2018 elections as an opportunity to support candidates who will back their agenda. End Citizens United made an impact in the controversial nomination of Betsy DeVos by President Trump as the Education Secretary. While Vice President Pence cast the tie breaking vote in the split Democratic vs. Republican Senate vote to confirm her, End Citizens United worked with other organizations focused on the specific Republican Senators who’d received campaign donations from Betsy DeVos. The group requested those Senators to recuse themselves from the Betsy DeVos vote. Though Pence cast the winning vote in this case, End Citizens United proved themselves as a powerful organization for change.
With the entry of End Citizens United, 2016 Senate and House elections in the United States were not business as usual. The political action committee (PAC) was created in August 2015 with the aim of bringing billionaires’ influence in the American politics to a halt. To do that, End Citizens United mobilized funds to their millions of dollars to fund Democratic candidates, who would, in turn, take the group’s ideologies to the Senate and the House. With their ideologies well represented in the two legislative chambers, the group would eventually manage to push for constitutional reforms that would overturn the Citizen United decision by the Supreme Court. According to Mr. Richard Carbo, End Citizens United’s communication director, Citizen United decision created an avenue for billionaires to influence elections by injecting their dark money into the elections campaigns. Carbo argued that this must be thwarted early enough for the sake of the future American democracy.
Funding and Petition Signatories
End Citizens United kicked off to a bright start; the reception from liberal Americans was overwhelming, to say the least. Within the first month, the group’s well-wishers had already made donations surpassing the $2 million mark. A few months down the line, the group had established a support base of close to 330,000 people. According to the group’s records, all these people had signed its petition that sought to compel the Congress to craft legislation that would overrule citizen united. The PAC’s efforts caught the attention of Ready for Hillary movement, which offered to assist the group with a list of its members and their emails. That was a major boost for End Citizens United for its petition received over 4 million signatures. As the group continued gaining ground, it endorsed the candidature of 11 Democrats among them Colorado’s Senator Michael Bennet and Wisconsin’s Senator Russ Feingold.
End Citizens’ Latest Activities
Fast forward to 2017, End Citizens United mobilized funds to the tune of $4 million within the three opening months. The group projects that by the time of Congress’ midterm elections next year, it will have collected over $35 million. According to Tiffany Muller, End Citizen United president and executive director, the majority of American liberalists are unhappy with the trend where checks controlled the elections. He revealed that the PAC had received donations from over 40,000 new donors by the end of March this year.
Early last month, End Citizens United launched a campaign in support of 30 years old Jon Ossoff who was vying for a House seat in Georgia. For the first time, the Democratic candidate shook the American political scene by managing to raise over $4 million in support of his bid to win the seat that was previously occupied by the current Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price.
The Democracy Alliance club sponsored a conference for the Democratic Party that was held in Washington two months ago. The three-day conference took place at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Some of the speakers at the event included Keith Ellison who is the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Senator Elizabeth Warren. George Soros was one of the biggest donors to the Democratic Party in the past election after a long silence. He started his foray into political funding during the 2004 election when he tried to stop George Bush’s re-election bid by backing John Kerry. Soros teamed up with some mega-donors of the Democratic Party to form the Democracy Alliance donor club after Bush had won. Members of the club include Donald Sussman and Tom Steyer at http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2014/11/20/wake-up-europe/. It has more than a hundred members. The club has given heavily to some key liberal groups such as the Center for American Progress and the Political watchdog by the name Media Matters.
The main agenda of the conference was an assessment of what happened on the day of the election. Hilary’s loss came as a surprise to many. The agenda was rebranded because of the outcome of the election. One of the other main topics of discussion was on how to fight back against Trump and a Congress which was mostly Republican. The conference on time.com was organized to plot the future of the Democratic Party and the steps that they would take to ensure that they were not surprised again. The role of the DA was also called into question and how the resources they provide could be used better.
George Soros has been very critical of Trump and the repercussions that would arise if he was elected president of the US. This might be the main reason why he was in attendance at the conference. Soros had attended only a few of these meetings in the past and the fact that he chose to go to this one speaks volumes about his stance on Trump. He has warned that Nazism or Communism could creep into the society with Trump at the helm. This is because Trump’s whole campaign on Politico was on the basis of fear which would lead to unforeseen consequences in the future.
Soros said that he would increase his contributions to the party since the stakes were too high before the election. Soros was among the biggest donors to super PACs affiliated with the Democratic Party such as American Bridge 21st Century, Voting Rights Trust, Priorities USA, and Senate Majority PAC on project-syndicate.org. He gave more than seven million dollars to Priorities USA Action. This is a PAC that supported Clinton. Immigrant Voters Win is a PAC that works to increase Hispanic voter turnout. It received $5 million whereas Senate Majority PAC received $1.5 million. He gave $1.5 million to Planned Parenthood Votes which backs candidates that support abortion rights, an issue that is important to liberals. Soros has been a great supporter of Clinton in recent years and praised her for being open to discussing policy.