In late 2015 a political action committee (PAC) was formed to address campaign finance reform. The PAC, called End Citizens United, planned to support Democratic candidates in key races across the nation who had pledged to this type of reform in their campaign promises. In the first month alone it gathered over $2 million in donations from grassroots supporters and expected to raise $25 million to $30 million overall during the 2016 presidential election cycle.
End Citizens United is an organization that seeks to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision which resulted in political campaigns becoming awash in money given by corporations and rich people who seek to have politicians elected will benefit them in office. The 2010 decision was that corporations are people and any restraint on their ability to give money to political campaigns was an unconstitutional restraint on their right to free speech. The end result that End Citizens United seeks is a constitutional amendment that reverses that decision and once again puts sensible restraints on what any one entity can give to a politician’s campaign.
The way that End Citizens United operates to overturn the Supreme Courts decision is different than other similar groups. They recognize that in order to achieve their mission they need to help elect politicians who agree with what they are trying to accomplish. A constitutional amendment faces high hurdles as it must be passed by both the Senate and Congress by a large percentage of representatives as well as being ratified by 75% of states which is why End Citizens United focuses its efforts on politicians who want to pass this legislation.
While End Citizens United did raise $25 million in the 2016 election cycle, they are on pace to surpass that amount for the 2018 midterm elections. In the first three months of 2017, they had already raised over $4 million. They are expecting to raise $35 million in all for the midterms which will be a huge increase over what they achieved in the last election cycle.
So far more than 100,000 small donors have contributed to End Citizens United. The average amount of money donated is about $12 and comes in from regular citizens across the United States. People have begun to recognize that the entire system is stacked against them and in favor of those who have huge sums of money. Corporation and wealthy people have taken over politics and it’s only what they want that gets addressed anymore.
Another factor that is bringing in donations is the reaction to Donald Trump being elected President. People are rightly furious that he won and his agenda which is to benefit rich people at the expense of everyone else.