End Citizens United, a political action committee (PAC) based in the nation’s capital that supports campaign finance reform, is not only aiming to have an enormous impact on this year’s midterm elections, but also to have a lasting effect on American politics. It is currently focusing on raising grassroots money to support candidates it endorses, each of whom pledges to fight to reduce the influence of monied interests on officeholders.
For the 2018 election cycle, End Citizens United has a goal of raising and spending $35 million to defeat members of Congress that it opposes. The PAC refers to these people as the “Big Money 20.”
The president of End Citizens United, Tiffany Muller, describes those officeholders as “the worst of the worst in Congress” with respect to their views on campaign finance according to crunchbase.com.
Muller previously served as the deputy political director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In addition to having been chief of staff to several members of Congress, she previously served on the city council in Topeka, Kansas. She was the first openly gay public official in the state.
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End Citizens United was formed in direct response to the Supreme Court’s controversial 2010 decision in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. In that decision, the court removed limits on how much money that groups can spend in favor of or in opposition to political candidates, allowing corporate interests to have more influence on elections. The mission of End Citizens United is to elect candidates to office who will reject corporate money and fight for campaign finance reform.
The PAC has already endorsed many candidates for office who have taken pledges to refuse corporate dollars or who otherwise have progressive views on campaign finance reform.
In addition to endorsing candidates who are running against members of the Big Money 20, End Citizens United has recently given its support to several big-name Democratic incumbents in the U.S. Senate. The group announced that it has endorsed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York as well as Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.
Senators Gillibrand and Booker have in common the fact that many people think they will be seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 2020. However, Senator Gillibrand is up for reelection to her current seat this year, while Senator Booker is not.
In terms of other sitting senators running for reelection this year, the PAC has previously endorsed, among others, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
Additionally, End Citizens United has endorsed Congressman Beto O’Rourke to challenge Senator Ted Cruz in Texas, and Congresswoman Jacky Rosen to challenge Senator Dean Heller in Nevada.
It is clear that the PAC seeks to increase its influence this year, and then aim even higher in 2020.