End Citizens United (ECU) gets its name from the Supreme Court case “Citizens United v. FEC”, a landmark case in both constitutional and corporate law which enlarged the definition of a corporation as a person and assigned to it the same freedom of speech enjoyed by the general population. This facilitated big money groups such as super PACs in leveraging wealth into political influence.
With the aid of End Citizens United, the reform movement in American politics is accelerating rapidly. Emphasizing “the need for Democrats to fight back against a rigged system,” the group proclaimed it “an electoral necessity” for candidates to advocate forcefully for campaign finance reform.
ECU encourages and supports candidates in a variety of districts with the goal of advancing legislation “reducing the importance of money in politics.” Political commentator, Chris Frates, said on Sirius XM Radio: “What we have found is that the amount of money in politics has fundamentally eroded voters’ trust in the system.”
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In a recent article in “USA TODAY,” it was disclosed that the group raised $4 million from less than 100,000 people in the first quarter of this year. In the same fashion, the group plans to raise $35 million more in time for the 2018 midterm elections. Executive Director Tiffany Muller says that the aim is to support “campaign finance reform champions” for Congress, who will change a system where “those who can write the biggest checks get the biggest say.”
Recently, the group urged voters to contribute $500,000 to congressional candidate Jon Ossoff of Georgia. Ossoff, a first-time political candidate, raised an amazing $4 million for special election to be held April 18 to replace Tom Price, who resigned to become the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Although End Citizens United has engaged in aggressive fundraising, it has also allied itself with grassroots activist organizations. Recently, this alliance sought to advise Republican senators who accepted campaign contributions from the DeVos family to excuse themselves from voting on Betsy DeVos’ nomination as Secretary of Education due to a possible conflict of interest.
As the vote split 50 to 50, it fell to Vice President Dan Pence to break the tie by voting to confirm DeVos.