Ending the Citizens United Debacle

     The landmark decision by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United v. F.E.C. case changed the political landscape as far as campaign finance is concerned. The decision, which was given in 2010, states that corporations, labor unions, and other similar organizations are free under the first amendment to engage in political campaigning right up until Election Day. This right had been previously reserved for private citizens only, as it was felt that large corporations would be able to influence elections in a way the people couldn’t. Through the limitless and unregulated donations, large corporations can give to candidates through Super PACs, they are able to trade monetary support for political leverage after the election. This puts large corporations at an advantage over private citizens in terms of what policy decisions are being made in their names.

Combating this corruption that has spread through Washington is End Citizens United. They are a not-for-profit Political Action Committee that formed in 2015 with the mission to enact some common sense campaign finance reform in Congress. So far, under the leadership of Tiffany Muller, they have raised almost $35 million to help fund campaigns of candidates committed to campaign finance reform and staunchly opposed to taking special interest money of any kind. That $35 million comes from an average donation of $14, showing the grassroots nature of an organization committed to defending the voting power wielded by the average American.

One of the tools End Citizens United has developed involves disseminating information about some of the congressmen taking special interest money. The “Big Money 20” is a list of the worst offenders of this pay-to-play strategy that has become so rampant in Washington. They take money from Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Wall Street, and others, and in turn, play the role of advocate for their interests whenever a bill comes around that will be of benefit.

A great example of someone who belongs on the Big Money 20 is California representative Duncan Hunter. Hunter is a known Tobacco industry yes-man who earned the name “The Vaping Congressman” for his hard push on legislation easing regulations on the industry, while at the same time receiving a $50,000 bump in donation funds. Hunter is also known for trying to slash funds to the House Office of Congressional Ethics while simultaneously being investigated by said office for misusing campaign funds for personal expenditures including trips overseas and video games.

You may also check https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/how-to-reverse-citizens-united/471504/ for more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *