End Citizens United is a political advocacy group that is dedicated to reforming the American campaign financing. Established in March 2015, End Citizens United was formed in response to the 2010 Supreme Court decision in the case of Citizens United vs. F.E.C.
The ruling, in this case, has effectively transformed the American electoral process. By establishing a legal foundation for the concept of ‘corporations as people’, the ruling has created a loophole for wealthy individuals and organizations to contribute unlimited and untraceable funds to campaigns. It has essentially removed accountability and transparency from the campaign funding process.
End Citizens United is funded by grassroots donors. It seeks to pressure legislators into taking definitive action that will reform campaign financing, all in an effort to decrease the chance of big money donors using campaign contributions to buy influence or sway elections. The group works towards this goal by:
- Electing candidates that are pro-reform into office
- Utilizing membership at the grassroots to show political power on the problem of campaign finance
The End Citizens United PAC plans to direct tens of millions of dollars to fund various Democratic candidates, who they feel are more in tune with their fight against Citizens United and the resultant dark money organizations.
Ultimately, the group wants to see an amendment reversing the Citizen United decision passed to the constitution. However, it is also working to enact such a policy change at both the local and state levels. More than 325,000 American citizens have so far signed the group’s petition to Congress demanding for such a change. The group’s recent partnership with ‘Ready for Hillary’ brought its cause more awareness among liberal supporters.
During the last elections, End Citizens United endorsed 11 candidates from the Democratic Party. In future, they also hope to set up an independent arm overseeing spending so as to back such candidates financially through activities like television advertisements polling and direct mailing.
Certain experts in campaign financing express skepticism that End Citizens United face an uphill battle in trying to go achieve their overarching goal. After all, constitutional amendments must be passed by two-thirds of the House and Senate.
However, the existence of the End Citizens United group serves a critical function in ensuring the public knows about the Supreme Court decision in question. It also keeps up the pressure to both legislators and the Court to keep the situation from getting worse.
So far, the group has received more than 130,000 grassroots donations, each averaging approximately 14 dollars. End Citizens United is based in Washington, D.C. It has five members of staff, most prominent campaign strategists Reed Anderson and Valerie Martin.