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.
I believe that Betsy DeVos’ appointment as the 11th US Secretary of Education did not come as a surprise to many people. The philanthropist is known for her fight for the right to education. Her efforts have seen her finance several organizations seeking to ensure that people access quality education. President Donald J. Trump nominated her for this position. The US Senate went on to confirm her as the new Secretary of Education.
In the last three decades, Betsy has been an advocate for children. She has also acted as a voice for parents. Betsy has been passionate about educational reforms that are aimed at ensuring underprivileged children are provided with quality education. According to Betsy, her interest in education was sparked by her mother. The politician’s mother was a public school teacher. This way, Betsy was able to understand how the United States’ education sector operates and the various needs of school children. Her interest in the field was further boosted with the many leaders who worked hard to increase educational opportunities for children in her hometown, Holland, Michigan. I hope that she has continued to learn more about the industry by interacting with different stakeholders.
Mrs. Devos has been an in-school mentor for at-risk children in the Grand Rapids Public Schools. She has been able to interact with teachers, students, and families. I am certain that these interactions have significantly changed her perspective of the education sector and has convinced her to continue with her advocacy. In one of her movement, Betsy DeVos is working towards the creation of more educational choices for students in the District of Columbia and other 25 states. Betsy attended a local high school before joining Calvin College in Grand Rapids where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Betsy’ first involvement in philanthropy was through the Prince Foundation. Previously, the organization was known as Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation. Her parents founded it with the objective of helping the less privileged members of the society. She worked for the foundation as the vice president. After getting married, Betsy and her husband, Dick Devos, founded the Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation. The organization has donated millions of dollars towards education, leadership, justice, arts, and community causes. Some of the organizations that have benefited from these donations include Center for Individual Rights, Acton Institute, Pregnancy Resource Center, and Institute for Justice.
In addition, Mrs. Devos is a successful businesswoman. Before her confirmation her current position, she was the chairwoman of The Windquest Group, a renowned investment management firm. She has also worked with various organizations, including Kids Hope USA, ArtPrize, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Art as well as the Kendal College of Art and Design, and the Mars Hill Bible Church. Dick and Betsy are blessed with four children and five grandchildren. Visit dbdvfoundation.org to know more about their foundation.