A group that is trying to get money out of U.S. politics is successfully raising millions of dollars for a political action committee that wants to get money out of politics.
The End Citizens United PAC was formed in March of 2015 and quickly began to attract tens of thousands of donors who contribute very small amounts of cash. To date, the average donation is just $12 per person. At this rate, however, End Citizens United is projecting to bring in a record $35 million in 2017 alone. It raised $25 million in 2016.
The goal of End Citizens United is the same as its name – to overturn and get rid of a 2010 Supreme Court Decision which allowed the formation of something called Super PACs – entities that can raise unlimited amounts of cash from wealthy people and large corporations, and use that cash to support political candidates.
The result of the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision has resulted in the “buying and selling” of political offices in the United States, critics say. It means that only the wealthiest individuals and corporations have true political power now because they can “buy” any candidate they want.
This leaves the average voter – especially poor and middle class citizens – with little or no say in who will represent them in Washington.
Dumping the 2010 Supreme Court ruling was a major feature of the insurgent campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 election cycle. Candidate Hillary Clinton also supporting getting rid of Citizens United, although critics say she benefited greatly from using it to raise millions for her own campaign. Most Republican candidates favor keeping the Supreme Court ruling as it is.
Whatever the case, the strong performance of End Citizen United heading into the 2018 midterm elections is getting a lot of attention among political observers. If the group meets its projected $35 million haul, the money will be spent heavily to support mostly Democratic candidates for House and Senate seats. Large troves of cash will also certainly be spent on negative attack ads against Republican candidates.
The End Citizens United PAC has attracted 100,000 donors so far in 2017 – and 40,000 of those gave for the first time, indicating powerful momentum for the movement.
It remains to be seen how large of a role End Citizens United PAC money will play in the midterm elections, but a primary goal is to flip the House of Representatives from Republican to Democratic control.
If that happens, End Citizens United will have made a gigantic step forward toward achieving its ultimate goal of getting big money out of politics.