Foreign Money Buying Campaign Ads In US Elections

Recently, it was learned that a Russian company that is tied to Kremlin bought some political ads that were intended to sway the US election. Despite having banned foreign spending in US campaigns, elections laws provided a way for Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. There is an investigation to determine whether or not Trump’s team helped the Russians.

Opening the Floodgates

Special interest groups and right-wing politicians have tried to undermine US campaign finance law for years. They have opened up all of the floodgates to allow unlimited and untraceable spending on political campaigns enabling big money donors to tilt scaled in their favor. A rigged system on steroids has been created.

Foreign Money Buying Political Ads

Finding out that a foreign government or company has bought political ads underscores how vulnerable the US elections have become. Foreign corporations, governments – even one billionaire with a narrow, self-serving agenda, can gain access to power in the US democracy.

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No Accountability for Corporations and Big Money

This $100,000 ad campaign from Russia in 2016 is probably just the beginning. It will be impossible to know how much money Russia or any other country spends to interfere with US elections. Loopholes have been created in the law that allows corporations and individuals to spend money with no accountability. A hostile country might’ve spent millions to affect the election last year alone.

Citizens United vs. F.E.C.

Citizens United vs. F.E.C. has changed the nature of American elections. It also helped to establish a legal basis that corporations are people which opened the door for the wealthy and special interest groups to be able to spend unlimited amounts of untraceable money in the American elections. Companies are now able to tip the balance in their favor when it comes to political power.

End Citizens United and Democrats Fighting Back

The secret nature of donations will make them difficult to track. The FEC reported earlier this year that 15 possible spending cases involving illegal foreign campaign spending exist. The DISCLOSE Act, proposed by Democrats this summer, requires that groups disclose political spending. This summer House Democrats also pushed forth a reform package that included a Constitutional amendment for overturning Citizens United. They also proposed the Get Foreign Money Out of U.S. Elections Act that would close loopholes allowing foreign money to interfere with elections.

End Citizens United wants to end big money in politics. They want to fix this rigged system by electing officials that are dedicated to financing reform. They work in partnership with these people to help overturn Citizens United ending the undisclosed and unlimited money in US politics.

Visit endcitizensunited.org for more details about the organization.

How Avaaz is Changing the World One Step at a Time

Avaaz is a civic organization that is based in the United States. Avaaz was launched in January 2007. It was founded by MoveOn.org and Res Publica. The word Avaaz means voice and it receives support from Service Employees International Union who are its founding partners. The firm promotes activism of global issues like animal rights, human rights, and climate change. Avaaz is considered as the most powerful activist network by The Guardian.

The organization is funded by its members’ contribution and it has a team of campaigners in more than thirty countries who manage its global campaigns. Avaaz communicates with the members to identify the best campaign tactics and sometimes uses advertisement to do so. The campaigns are done in fifteen different languages across six continents. Avaaz signs petitions, and organizes offline protests to ensure that the values of people inform the decisions which affect them and Twitter.com.

The main mission of Avaaz is to unite practical idealists who are fighting for causes such as climate change and building greater support for refugees. Avaaz is working towards closing the gap between the world we want and the world we have by empowering people to take action on the pressing national, regional and global issues that affect them like conflict and corruption. Avaaz uses the internet platform to combine individual efforts to create a massive force and what Avaaz knows.

Avaaz conducts polls each year to prioritize its activities. All the members have a chance to participate in the polls. The employees of Avaaz work with experts to develop an effective campaign which is member driven. The staff alert the Avaaz community through emails. Instead of coming up with an agenda and convincing the members to adopt it, Avaaz listens to suggestions from the members and takes them up. The staff recognise that it takes skills and vision to build a better world and Avaaz’s lacrosse camp.

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The Velocity Of Reform

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.