In 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark decision that changed the political landscape of America and overturned more than a century of campaign finance law.
The decision in the case of Citizens United vs. the FEC case was narrow, 5-4, with all judges voting along political lines. The minority dissent was scathing and still quoted to this day. But the decision was made: Corporations could donate unlimited amounts of money with no requirement to report it to any political campaign they wished. Corporations were ruled to be just as important as individual citizens, though when it comes to having millions of dollars to spend on buying politicians corporations have a distinct advantage.
The PAC End Citizens United was formed in March of 2015. This organization has the goal over overturning this ruling wither through an amendment to the constitution or by passing a series of laws. End Citizens United tends to endorse liberal and Democratic politicians for election and re-election but this is not official policy. Their primary concern is with getting politicians elected at local, state and federal levels that support campaign finance reform. This is not a single-issue organization, but End Citizens United looks at finance reform as a primary issue.
End Citizens United focuses on Democrats mainly because, though some individual Republicans support finance reform, the party platform supports the Supreme Court decision. By design ECU is supporting Democrats to office to get enough support to actually take action to overturn Citizen’s United in the House and to gain support at state levels.
The organization rose more than $25 million in funds during the 2016 election and is anticipating $35 million for 2018, a remarkable increase in funding from a Presidential election to a mid-term election. They have doubled their office staff to help them process the donations and volunteer offers from over 380,000 individual contributors.
Many of the founding officials from the organizations beginning are still there and bring a wealth of political experience to ECU. It has endorsed over 130 candidates and asks its endorsed candidates to take the “No Corporate PAC Pledge.”