End Citizens United was launched in 2015. The non-profit advocates for the reform of election finance laws. The political action committee was established to counter the efforts of Citizens United. This is the group that prevailed in a Supreme Court decision allowing election candidates to obtain unlimited funding from corporate entities such as companies, unions, charities and other registered groups. Candidates are also not obliged to report some of the funds.
End Citizens United raised more than $2 million within months of launch. It had a target of $30 million. The group aims to mobilize support to get the Citizens United ruling reversed. The decision opened the floodgates to a multitude of super PACs and dark funding. End Citizens United partnered with “Ready for Hillary” to expand its reach. The organization seeks to support candidates who support election finance reform.
It supports their campaign strategies including media ads, online campaigns, and polling. Getting the right people elected is the first step in ensuring proper representation. Having the numbers will enable the group to achieve a constitutional amendment. This will change the prevailing applicable law as well as close the door on unlimited corporate funding and dark money.
A constitutional amendment is difficult to achieve. It must be voted in by more than two-thirds of both the House and the Senate as well as support from three-quarters of the total states.
Experts argue an easier route might be to target a new member of the Supreme Court. A sympathetic justice may shift the balance of the vote at the Supreme Court making faster headway. But progress is being lauded. The group’s efforts are working to increase public awareness on the matter. It is also achieving mid-term success by getting considerate members inside the House.
End Citizens United employs aggressive fundraising strategies. It seems the only way to beat big money in politics is to have some of your own to enable you to do it. The group hit the $4 million mark from a donation pool of around 100,000 supporters. About half of those were first-time donors. This is in the first quarter of the year. At this rate, the $35 million target for the 2018 election cycle is in sight.
The non-profit raised $25 million in the 2016 election cycle. The group targets scores of supporters who can contribute to the cause. The strategy is to get large volumes of small money aggregated to fight big money. Most of the funds are from grassroots members.
The Republican Presidential win seems to be working in their favor. More people who are not happy with the new administration’s stand and ideologies are joining the movement. End Citizens United has its work cut out. It looks poised to hit the target with its first goal of raising big money.