End Citizens United is raising big money thanks to its well-wishers and grassroots supporters. The PAC aims to drive out big money from the US political scene to create a fair playing ground for everyone. The group collected over $4 million within the first months of 2017 and expected to raise over $35 million before the 2018 Congressional midterm elections.
If the PAC is successful in its fundraising drive, it will surpass the $25 million that it received during the 2016 presidential elections. At least 100,000 people donated to End Citizens United in the first quarter of 2017 according to Tiffany Muller, its President and Executive Director. She added that about 40,000 people were first-time donors.
Muller further said that the average contribution End Citizens United received in 2017 hit $12. The PAC has received such overwhelming support because most of its donors feel that the present political system favors the wealthy. This is because those with the deepest pockets get the biggest say. The Pac’s leaders reiterate that their sole goal is to facilitate the election of campaign-finance reform champions into Congress.
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Adding to the donation momentum was the fact that Democrats are still furious that Donald Trump won the presidency. As a result, they are ready and willing to fight back by opposing his agenda and nominations including that of Judge Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Court pick.
Support for Democrat Jon Ossoff
In recent weeks, the PAC has urged its donors to contribute $500,000 to help Democrat Jon Ossoff’s congressional campaign. Ossoff is running as a first-time candidate in Georgia. The 30-year-old politician surprised many in the political scene after raising over $4 million during the special election held on April 18 to fill a vacant Atlanta Republican House seat previously held by Tom Price, the Human Services Secretary.
Muller added that End Citizens United is still considering the races it will actively engage in next year. However, it could play a huge role in defending the seats of Democratic senators Jon Tester (Montana) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio). The PAC cannot accept any donations above $5,000 from one individual donor. Despite the donation cap, it was able to raise millions of dollars in 2016.
The Lawyer behind Citizens United
Lawyer James Bopp was laughed out of court in January 2008 after presenting a case filed by his client Citizens United, a conservative non-profit. Bopp wanted his client granted the freedom to air a film titled Hillary: The Movie during the then Democratic presidential primaries. Bopp used the first amendment bill to argue that the nonprofit had the right to air the film but was laughed out of court by Judge Royce Lamberth.
Two years later the Supreme Court reversed Judge Lamberth’s ruling consequently wiping out 100 years of campaign-finance law precedent.