End Citizens United, a political action committee based in D.C., was born out of the need to combat the corporate money inundating our politics in the wake of a 2010 Supreme Court decision. Known as the Citizens United case, the decision is seen by many, on both sides of the aisle, as opening the financial flood gates. The contrast between this group and the PACs they are seeking to eliminate is simple: End Citizens United is funded entirely by grassroots donations.
The group, founded in 2015, accepts no corporate money or funding from big business and this doesn’t appear to be hurting their prospects. They expect to raise and spend close to $35 million on the 2018 mid-term election cycle. They are focusing this financial clout on a group of senate and house Republicans the group believes have most pointedly curried favor with special interests over that of their own constituents. Known as the Big Money 20, the group includes a number of sitting senators and representatives.
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At the top of that list is the reviled or, depending on who you are speaking with, beloved Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. End Citizens United has recently endorsed Cruz’s Democratic rival, Beto O’Rourke. O’Rourke was an obvious choice, having refused all corporate donations during his tenure as the Representative from Texas’s 16th District, in a not so obvious campaign. If the group can help overturn Texas’s most well-known Senator, seating a Democrat in his place, their reputation would be assured.
The group, led by President Tiffany Muller, someone well versed in congressional politics having served on the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and as Chief of Staff for several members of Congress, is also keeping an eye on campaign finance ethics. End Citizens United filed a complaint this month with the Federal Elections Commission against outgoing Florida Governor Rick Scott in his campaign to unseat the state’s long-serving Senator, Bill Nelson.
How that complaint and the mid-terms will turn out is yet to be seen but what is certain is that End Citizen’s United has the support and financial wherewithal to keep campaign finance reform in the spotlight for the foreseeable future.