In 2015 a new political action committee (PAC) was formed to raise millions of dollars for a political campaign – and this money will be used to stop the spending of billions of dollars on political campaigns.
Sound confusing? It’s not, really. It’s all about getting money out of politics, or more specifically, getting rid of hundreds of millions of dollars in so-called “dark money” – money contributed to certain politicians by powerful donors who would rather stay in the shadows.
It all began in 2010 when the U.S. Supreme Court issued what has become to be known as the “Citizens United” decision. The ruling basically allowed large corporations and extremely wealthy individuals to contribute as much campaign cash as they wanted to the candidate of their choice.
The decision also established the legal basis for the idea that “corporations are people,” a concept that is counter-intuitive to what makes for a true democracy composed of real people, critics say.
The problem for those fighting the Citizens United decision is that it gave too much power to big business and the super wealthy. Essentially, having no limits on political contributions allows just a few special interests to “buy politicians” and stack the U.S. Government with legislators who do the bidding of their wealthy patrons.
The result is that the average voter is being rendered increasingly powerless. Middle class and poor voters can’t donate large sums of money to politicians who will support the needs of working-class people.
Now a group called End Citizens United is determined to reverse the 2010 Supreme Court ruling. So End Citizens United is money-raising PAC, but one with a unique mission – it plans to raise money and then use that money to get big, “dark” money out of politics.
Since it was founded in 2015, End Citizens United has drawn a huge response. Almost from the beginning small donations began pouring in, quickly adding up to millions. In the first three months of 2017 the PAC raised $4 million, putting it on track to raise an estimated $35 million for the 2018 election cycle. That would beat the $25 million End Citizens United raised in the 2016 election cycle by $10 million.
It is significant to note that the average contribution to End Citizens United is just $12. This is the way political money should be raised, say the group’s leaders – small contributions given by tens of thousands of “ordinary, average citizens” who can make their voices heard with the small amounts of money they can afford. It’s a political fundraising system that spreads democracy fairly and evenly across a wide swath of the American population.