The Goal to End Citizens United

     During the year 2010, there was a very important case heard by the Justices of the Supreme Court. In that case, Citizens United sued the E.F.C. over being banned from distributing a video meant to sway public opinion within 60 days of an election. Before the ruling, only private citizens could participate in political speech meant to sway opinions within that time period. In their ruling, the accenting Justices said that the freedom of speech under the first amendment also applies to corporations, labor unions, and other similar entities. This ruling opened up the floodgates on political campaign financing because giving money is considered a form of giving assent to a political candidate. Through Super PACs, giant corporations and the special interest groups they belong to are able to dump endless supplies of cash into the coffers of any politician who will do their bidding. That bidding comes in the form of voting for or against legislation that will benefit the corporations regardless of how it will affect the American people.

Luckily not everyone in Washington is corrupted by the deep pockets of big business, and there are those who are trying to change things. End Citizens United is a grassroots Political Action Committee that was formed in 2015 to fight against the ramifications of the Citizens United ruling. The not-for-profit is led by Tiffany Muller and under her has raised almost $35 million to fund the campaigns of candidates who want to end the big money debacle in Washington. What’s even more astounding than the amount they’ve raised is how they do it. The average donation amount to End Citizens United is only $14. That means regular Americans are funding this action, not some big corporate interest that only wants to exploit it.

There are quite a few congressmen who have no qualms about taking special interest money in return for favorable votes on legislation, and End Citizens United is hard at work pointing them out with their “Big Money 20” list of the worst offenders. These are people who flagrantly abuse the loophole made by the Citizens United case to line their pockets with every piece of gold they can. There are famous names on their list like Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz who have voted against campaign finance or voted for the interests of their donors over and over again. There are also less-known people like Duncan Hunter who tried to cut all funding to the House Office of Congressional Ethics as they were investigating him for illicitly spending campaign donations on personal expenditures including overseas trips and video games.

If you wish to learn more, please read “The Man Behind Citizens United Is Just Getting Started.”


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