In 2015, an emerging political action committee fighting for campaign finance reforms said it wanted to be active in the 2016 election. The group, End Citizens United said it was ready to fund Democratic candidates in the various House and Senate elective posts across America.
The group was officially launched in August 2015, and as of 20th the same month, the group had raised over $2 million from small donors. The group was planning to raise between $25 million and $30 million in the entire election cycle, according to Ricardo Carbo, the group’s communications director.
The group is opposed to the 2010 Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that gave room for dark money use in politics. The group seeks to reverse this decision through a constitutional amendment. In its first month, over 325,000 people had signed the group’s petition requesting the passing of such legislation by the Congress. That number was expected to rise after the group decided to cooperate with “Ready for Hillary” and use its email list with over four million people.
As of August 2015, the DC-based PAC had announced the endorsement of 11 Democratic candidates among them the former Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Michael Bennet, the senator for Colorado.
Carbo said that End Citizen United is different from other PACs since it supports those candidates against the Supreme Court’s ruling. The group plans to support candidates by financing their television ads, direct mailers, and polling.
However, a constitutional amendment is not easy to achieve as it must be passed by two-thirds of the Senate and the House and must be ratified by three-fourths of the states. Carbo believes that $25 million to $30 million is enough to bring an impact to a House race.
The group is not supporting Republican candidates because the party’s leadership in the Congress is against overturning this ruling.
End Citizen United collects $4 million and plans to raise $35 million for midterms
In the first quarter of this year, End Citizens United had raised over $4 million and plans to raise over $35 million before the 2018 Congress Midterm Elections. 100,000 people contributed during this period, and 40 percent did it for the first time, according to the group’s president and executive director Tiffany Muller. Average contribution hit $12.
Recently, the group asked its members to raise $500,000 to finance congressional campaigns of Jon Ossoff. Over $4 million was raised to support the Georgia candidate. The group is still identifying the races that it will participate in 2018. The group has already identified two Democratic senators namely Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Jon Tester of Montana.
The group’s spokesman Adam Bozzi said the team built stronger ties with campaign-finance groups. He noted that the group collaborated with various groups to press Republican senators to vote against the appointment of Betsy DeVos by President Trump to the post of Education Secretary. The vice president had to cast the tie-breaking vote after the Senate voted 50-50.