The United States political machine has been particularly beholden to special interests, corporate lobbyists, and dark money since the 2010 Supreme Court decision regarding Citizens United. Citizens United is a conservative group that essentially argued for the right to be bribed by big money backers during the election season. The Supreme Court, for no good reason in our mind, heard their argument and opened the doors for dark money in politics. Capital Hill has not been the same ever since. A political action committee aptly named End Citizens United has been working hard ever since in order to try and undo the damage caused by the disastrous decision and now their work seems to be getting new energy and motivation.
End Citizens United was established by Tiffany Muller with the core goal of making their name a reality. Muller wanted to put together a team of people who could invigorate the voting public to start the process of getting a constitutional amendment in place to overturn Citizens United. Obviously this is a huge objective and a long trek so it is going to take prolonged excitement and interest to happen. With the election of Donald Trump to the White House and the increasingly clear connection between his campaign and Russia, people are more motivated and angry than ever. This has turned End Citizens United into one of the more popular grassroots Political action committees around.
Over the first quarter of 2017 the team at End Citizens United saw incredible numbers come pouring into their PAC. Through the first quarter of 2017 the team raised nearly $4 million in total contributions off of 100,000 donations. Of these donations nearly 40,000 people were first time donors. While this is hard to parse for people who don’t pay attention to politics, a big increase in first time donors is a sign that people are becoming increasingly motivated to make change. Muller says that these donors primarily feel, “the system is rigged against them, where those can write the biggest checks get the biggest say.”
When it comes to making change in Washington D.C. you need to have legislators on your side. That is why Muller and End Citizens United have been making the rounds endorsing important political figures who have agreed to fight for ending big money in politics at a legislative level. Most recently End Citizens United decided to stand behind Senator Heinrich of New Mexico.
Senator Heinrich has been one of the leading SIC members during the Russia-Collusion hearings and he has always been a vocal opponent of dark money in politics. End Citizens United’s endorsement of Senator Heinrich will help him big time during the upcoming re-election campaigns in 2018.