End Citizens United (ECU) is committed to ensuring every citizen has an equal say in the election of government officials. Strong advocates of the reversal of the 2010 Supreme Court decision that its group was named for, ECU believes that our current campaign finance system favors the rich and powerful and works against the everyday American. Since this ruling, powerful entities such as large corporations and the super rich can now funnel unlimited resources to aid political campaigns, potentially giving them enormous sway in their outcomes.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren shares this commitment to campaign finance reform and was recently endorsed by End Citizens United. Warren believes that this Supreme Court ruling endangers our democracy, and desires to put political power back into the hands of ordinary Americans. She is a strong proponent of full disclosure in campaign donations by corporations and government contractors. In addition, she has called for a reaffirmation of the People’s Pledge that she endorsed in her 2012 campaign. This pledge penalizes any candidate that benefits from outside advertisements by requiring a portion of each ad’s value to be donated to charity.
ECU has pledged to assist Senator Warren through a grassroots effort mobilizing its over 100,000 members in Massachusetts. They will also recruit help from their over 300,000 national donor base.
The 2010 Citizens United ruling has opened up the floodgates for large corporations, unions and special interest groups to spend unlimited funds in support of political candidates through super PACs (Political Action Committees). Political Action Committees like End Citizens United cannot accept individual donations exceeding $5,000. Nevertheless, ECU has raised over 4 million dollars during the first quarter of 2017 and is projected to raise 35 million prior to the 2018 midterm elections, with the average contribution being around $14.
Approximately 100,000 people donated to ECU during the first three months of 2017. Interestingly, 40,000 of them were first-time contributors, demonstrating that there is enormous support among everyday citizens to reverse this ruling.
End Citizens United has assisted other candidates in battleground states by exposing their financial ties to special interest groups. As the midterm elections approach, ECU will continue to support candidates like Senator Elizabeth Warren who will keep campaign finance reform at the forefront of her upcoming campaign.