End Citizens United (ECU), is a political action committee based in Washington D.C. whose mission is to raise the issue of Big Money’s influence in politics to the top of the nation’s political agenda. It supports political reform candidates and runs a campaign called “Big Money 20” to eliminate senators, who support corporate interests rather than their constituents.
They have already succeeded in raising their primary issue up the nation’s political agenda. The pollster, Al Quinlan, recently noted that the furthering of private interests through financial donations to political campaigns is the third biggest concern for Independent voters, ranking under protecting America from terrorism and job creation.
They were formed on March 1, 2015, in response to the Supreme Court ruling to allow corporations to be considered as individuals when donating to political campaigns, effectively making it impossible to see which corporation or individual, was financially supporting a candidate.
End Citizens United also seeks to remove elected officials who act in a manner that benefits Wall Street. Pharmaceutical and other Big Money corporations. It targets individuals such as Paul Ryan, for actively pushing large corporations’ interests. Earlier this month, ECU’s president Tiffany Mueller responded to the recent surprise announcement by Paul Ryan of his early retirement, by saying that Ryan consistently supported corporate interests as opposed to his local constituents since he was elected in 2011 as a senator. Before that, he worked with the Super PAC CLF or Congressional Leadership Fund. The CLF has benefitted from over $8 million in dark money. He has been a vocal opposer of campaign finance reform, and more recently, Ryan actively supported the $50 million tax reform bill which would ensure that the top 1 percent benefitted financially while more than 13 million middle-class Americans would suffer a tax rise over the next ten years.
ECU supports political reform candidates and has recently endorsed Sherrod Brown in Ohio, Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin and Jon Tester in Montana for the 2018 elections. This early announcement will enable ECU to connect their candidates with their 160,000, and counting, grassroots members across the three states. It will also run advocacy activities to elevate campaign finance as a critical campaign issue. ECU will also activate its small-dollar national donors to ensure that the candidates have the resources to win.
Muller states that she is proud to support reformers who have fought back against the destructive and divisive influences of Super PACs in election campaigns since the law changed in 2012. Grassroots organizations have successfully raised money to defeat Big Money candidates in the past, raising over $700,000 in the Georgia 6th district special election, to help elect Jon Ossoff.
End Citizens United aims to raise $35 million on re-election races in the 2018 elections, although as a traditional political action committee (PAC), it can’t accept donations larger than $5,000. Since it is now the fourth largest federal PAC with over 2 million members and has 330.000 donors, it stands an excellent chance of reaching its goal.