The anti-Super-PAC PAC “End Citizens United”, whose name is straightforward about their goals, isn’t waiting around for the Mid-Term elections to make waves in the democratic process.
The group, officially launched in 2015, has made its goal the repeal of Citizens United, the SCOTUS decision of 2010 that ruled money, specifically political contributions, constituted free speech under the first amendment. Since the decision the United States has witnessed the rise of so-called “Super PACs” where unlimited donations from corporations and individuals can be dolled out unfettered by the FEC.
“End Citizens United” was a response to the new climate, a Super-PAC that fights to undo what it perceives as damage by other, larger organizations, and a return to standards more in line with before the 2010 ruling, when elections were governed by the McCain-Feingold ruleset. The group, with the goal electing more Democrats to the Congress, anticipates over $30 million will be raised for the mid-terms.
But the group has begun to make moves that suggest they aren’t hibernating waiting for next year to roll around. When President Trump nominated Trey Trainor to the FEC, the group condemned the proposal, naming Trainor as a proponent of “dark money”, that is money that cannot be traced to its source.
Follow End Citizens United on Twitter.
End Citizens United also broke new ground when it endorsed a string of candidates in special House elections this past summer, the first time they had shown support to challengers to their seats, not just incumbents. The implications could be massive when the Mid-Terms come around, and if ECU is willing to put its neck out for Democratic underdogs, the organization is definitely showing strength to naysayers. Most important of those races was the House election in Georgia for Jon Ossoff, a race which got national media attention and eventually would become the most expensive House campaign ever, totaling $55 million in spending.
Though some races did not turn out as hoped for ECU, the races are helping them get the pulse of the electorate. One of the more significant special elections this year, that for U.S. Senate seat from Alabama vacated by Jeff Sessions, has been on activists watch lists, but with much more deliberate planning after previous special election defeats this year. There’s a lot of time between now and the December election, and strategy seems to be prevailing over passion in the fall season.
Regardless of how the remainder of the special elections go, End Citizens United is learning, adapting, and refining their message for 2018. When all their lessons from 2017 can be applied to the whole electorate, they may well make good on their promise, the one built into their name.
Find more about End Citizens United: https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00573261/