End Citizens United is a public action committee that was formed in March 2015 to fight for reforms in the U.S. campaign finance system. The public action committee was able to raise over $4 million in the first quarter of 2017, and has made projections that by the midterm elections which will be held in 2018, they will have raised $35 million. This is an increase of $10 million from the amount it raised for the 2016 election. The public action committee plans to use these funds to campaign for Democrats so as to have more of them elected into Congress during the next elections so that they can fight for reforms in the U.S. campaign finance system. Some of these include Jon Oscoff, Sherrod Brown, and John Tester, who are all vying for political offices in Georgia, Ohio, and Montana respectively.
Reforms to the election finance system
End Citizens United gets its funding from grassroots donors and does not accept more than $5000 per individual donor. This is part of its campaign to stop funding of political campaigns by huge corporations, something that the Supreme Court made legal in 2010 through its decision in a court case where it defined corporations to be people. This has had a huge negative impact on U.S. elections, and it is what End Citizens United is fighting tooth and nail to change.
According to Tiffany Muller, the president of End Citizens United, the amount they raised during the first quarter of 2017 was from contributions made by about 100,000 people and 40% of these were first-time donors. This is probably because most of these people are still very unhappy about President Donald Trump’s victory during the 2016 election, and are doing everything in their power to ensure he does not go back for a second term. Muller stated that the public action committee is yet to make a final decision on who they will be supporting come 2018. With more Democrats in Congress, they will be able to make the necessary reforms to the election finance system.
It is clear that End Citizens United is fighting for a good cause, and with the support they are receiving from the public, they are bound to make great reforms to the U.S. campaign finance system. Even with the cap on the amount that individual donors can contribute, End Citizens United was among the biggest spenders during the 2016 campaign period. This goes to show that public action committees do not need funding from corporations and unions. It creates a vicious cycle where the members of the public action committees feel indebted to their donors, as was evident in the way Betsy DeVos, the current education secretary, was voted in.