A 2010 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States has made it possible for corporations, labor unions, and other institutions to donate unlimited amounts of untraceable money to our elections. This decision makes it possible for billionaires and corporations to significantly influence our elections in their efforts to gain significant political power. This decision has attracted the attention and concern of millions of Americans who are aware of the potential ramifications of this ruling. To that end, they have formed End Citizens United, a political action committee dedicated to reversing this Supreme Court action. End Citizens United (ECU) realize this is going to be a long fight but are convinced by supporting like-minded political candidates, at all levels of government, they can eventually get this poor decision overturned.
In their April 25, 2017, press release ECU announced their first round of endorsements for the House of Representatives in the 2018 elections. ECU will make it possible for these candidates to connect with their over 3 million members and encourage them to make campaign finance reform a top priority of their campaigns. To date, ECU has endorsed candidates in 19 districts in 11 states. The list of endorsement for the House in 2018 includes Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Jerry McNerney, California, Peter DeFazio, Oregon, Ted Deutch, Florida and Pramila Jayapal of Washington. ECU will be endorsing candidates from every part of the country. The goal is to regain the majority in the House and put a stop to the efforts of the GOP, who support the interests of the super wealthy and corporate special interests. ECU will work with endorsed candidates to fight Super PACs and dark money groups that are attempting to hijack our democratic process.
An example of the kind of impact the ECU can have recently was in the Georgia 6th district special election. A little-known Democrat named Jon Ossoff forced a run-off election in an area that was once considered a GOP stronghold. The ECU and its members were able to raise over $825,000 to help Jon promote his progressive message. In 2016 the efforts of ECU were helpful in the election of two new members of the U.S. Senate, Maggie Hassan, and Catherine Cortez-Masto.
Besides the 11 House endorsements, April has been an exciting month for End Citizens United. The group announced they were projected to raise $35 million for the elections of 2018. Most of this money has been raised through small donations, averaging only $14, with over $4 million raised in Q1 of 2017. This amount will surpass the $25 million ECU was able to collect in the entire 2016 election cycle, making it the third largest PAC, with over 3 million members and over 330,000 donors. The ECU will continue their efforts to help elect majorities in both the House and Senate and return our election process to the people.