After the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that was delivered for Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission, End Citizens United, a grassroots political action committee (PAC), immediately stepped into the arena to combat the lack of distrust that permeated the political process and alienated many of the constituents that candidates are supposed to represent. The PAC saw the ruling as a disastrous step in the wrong direction for transparency within the political system.
There are similar cases in the history of the Supreme Court that have generated the type of fierceness that America chooses to stand for as a nation. Examples of those cases are Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954 and Roe v. Wade in 1973. In the beginning stages, those cases were also seen as controversial and contentious within America.
The Supreme Court’s ruling stems from Citizens United, a conservative group, choosing to televise an hour-long movie against 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The movie was being represented as an ad, which attacked Clinton’s stand on various issues. A complaint was filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The complaint required Citizens United to disclose the responsible party for funding the ad, as mandated by federal law, which the group refused. Citizens United lost the case against them. Although Clinton was no longer a candidate, and Obama was already sworn in as President, Citizens United challenged the FEC ruling with the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ultimately overturned the FEC ruling with a five to four vote.
There has been a negative reaction to the ruling from groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union. However, the public-at-large has responded negatively to the ruling as well. Consistent polls indicate that Americans are disgusted by the lack of transparency with the millions of dollars that flows through the political system. The same polls indicate that Americans are in favor of limiting how super PAC’s use the money when supporting candidates.
End Citizens United has a two-part strategy that will not only overturn the ruling by the Supreme Court but also bring complete political funding transparency that voters deserve from their elected officials. The PAC plans to continue its pressure on candidates that are unsupportive of campaign finance reform, while also endorsing incumbents and challenger’s that are seeking a seat in Congress. End Citizens United has continued to identify members of Congress who are continuing to accept “dark money” and have identified the worst offenders by classifying them as the “Big Money 20.”
In 2016, End Citizens United raised more than $25 million from small donations, with averages of $14 per member. With endorsements of over 150 candidates, End Citizens United also garnered additional member support, resulting in a $35 million budget that is earmarked for the 2018 midterm elections.
It’s not just another organization that wants campaign finance reform. It’s the organization that is bringing a new weapon to the fight to give America’s elections back to the people, and wrestle control of our democracy from the hands of dark money and the likes of the billionaire Koch brothers.
End Citizens United has brought a weapon to the fight that other PACs with the same goal haven’t. The organization’s communications director, Richard Carbo, said that the new weapon is “actually getting people elected,” according to a 2015 msnbc.com article.
In addition to seeking a constitutional amendment and state ballot measures that would create fairer funding models for American elections, End Citizens United is supporting candidates who favor and would fight for campaign finance reform.
Citizens United is the 2010 Supreme Court decision that said “corporations are people.” The decision allows billions of dollars from wealthy donors, corporations and special interest groups to influence the outcome of American elections and place dangerous control on politicians. Money can be funneled in secrecy with no accountability and no transparency.
End Citizens United used its grassroots membership to raise more than $2 million in small donations in the first month of its existence in August 2015. That money went to support Democratic candidates who were willing to fight the good fight of reforming how American elections are funded. In addition to funding the champions of campaign finance reform, End Citizens United also comes to the rescue of candidates and elected officials who are being attacked by dark money groups who are allowed to do their nefarious work because of that 2010 Supreme Court ruling.
While End Citizens United acknowledges that there are Republican and Independent voters who are opposed to the Citizens United ruling, the organization made the decision to focus on supporting Democratic candidates because, its website states, “we believe meaningful change” can happen under the leadership of Democrats.
It determines who it will support and fund by having candidates fill out a questionnaire about their beliefs around Citizens United and their willingness to fight to dismantle it. Candidates’ answers can be viewed on the End Citizens United website.
End Citizens United also proves that it practices what it preaches by making its Federal Election Commission’s filings available on its website. These filings list the sources of the PAC’s funding and the names of individual donors and organizations, creating the kind of transparency and accountability necessary for elections to happen in a thriving democracy.
Soros is aware that the governments should play a role by providing the needed infrastructure on opensocietyfoundations.org. Soros believes that the private sector can give what others can not, because of restrictions. Soros launched this initiative because of Obama’s recent call for companies to play a larger part in the refugee crisis. George Soros has set aside $500 million for investments that target the needs of the migrants and their hosts.
While he is helping those displaced in America, his main concern and priority is the refugees and migrants flooding into Europe. While he is working with these displaced migrants and refugees on Forbes, George Soros will work with other organizations including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Rescue Committee.
George Soros’ foundation’s contributions cover various business sectors including digital technology, which is on the rise and will help migrant businesses to prosper and allow them access to financial and health services. George Soros’ actions have empowered the Democratic party and their response to the refugee and migrant crisis.