End Citizens United is a political action committee (PAC), established to support candidates and organizations, which advocate for campaign funding reforms. They endorse candidates that are against the decision by the Supreme Court to uphold Citizens United. That decision gives corporations increased power to pour “unlimited” amounts of money into political campaigns. This is referred to as “dark money.”
Because of his public positioning calling for transparency in political campaign funding, End Citizens United has announced their endorsement for Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Whitehouse said that he would seek retention of his current seat in the 2018 mid-term Congressional elections.
Senator Whitehouse has been active in the public spotlight because of his concerns regarding “dark money” contributed to the campaign of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. As a long time proponent of political funding transparency, Whitehouse wrote a book on the subject this year, entitled, “Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy.” The emphasis is on making all political donations by corporations, traceable.
As a PAC, End Citizens supports Senator Whitehouse efforts to establish traceability. An array of factors can influence political donors, but the 2010 Supreme Court decision to support Citizens United has launched a new breed of PACs. The decision made it possible for any PAC to receive unlimited donations from individuals. These are now called, super PACS, and they’re what End Citizens United fights against. End Citizens has set cap limit of $5,000, which is the most any individual is allowed to donate.
End Citizens United earlier this year, during the first quarter, raised $4 million and that figure is projected to climb to the $35 million mark, prior to next year’s midterm elections. This information was reported and published in USA Today as publicly released fundraising details.
In 2016, End Citizens raised $25 million total. The current funds raised have far exceeded the previous year, as a results of concentrated grassroots efforts, which saw donations from 100,000 people in January, February and March. Of this number, 40,000 of these political contributors were first time donors. Many people say that the reason they stand firmly behind End Citizen United is because they believe that the political donor system is flawed and as one put it, “this is our way of fighting back.”
End Citizens United is seeing the benefits of political anger, because the impetus behind more donations this year is that Democrats are mad about Donald Trump. This momentum is fueling the recent surge in donations, evident even in the campaign of first time political candidates. One such person to benefit from the increased donor participation is 30 year old, Georgia Democrat, Jon Ossoff, who received $300,000 in support funding for his congressional debut.