In 2010 The United States Supreme Court completely upturned the future of American elections. It’s ruling, by a 5 to 4 vote, said that corporate spending on elections is a form of protected speech under the First Amendment. In the ruling government cannot keep unions or corporations from spending on or against political candidates for office. Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion and was joined by Justice’s Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Chief Justice Roberts. The dissent against this ruling was written by Justice Stevens and joined by Justice’s Ginsburg, Breyer, and Sotomayor.
Today there is no accountability and no transparency is who is giving money and to whom. The ruling opened the doorway for corporations and billionaires, such as the Koch Brothers, who seek to control political discourse in America through the vast sums of money that they have acquired. The Supreme Court ruling established the notion that corporations are people and as a person have a right to free speech.
In March 2015 a Political Action Committee (PAC) was formed to fight back against this ruling; End Citizens United. This PAC, which is supported by grassroots donors, seeks to reform the United States campaign finance system and counter terrible effects that the ruling has had on the country. Through their efforts End Citizen United is forming an opposition to the ruling and pressuring lawmakers to address the situation and through legislation return the political process to the people. The three-fold mission of the PAC are to elect pro-reform candidates, to raise the issue of money in political to the level of a national discussion on it, and to use their membership to show political power on this issue.
The main group that End Citizens United supports are Democrats. The reason for this is that, even if some rank and file Republicans don’t support the ruling, the Republican Leadership does because they are major recipients of the inflow of money from billionaires and corporations. As such Republican Leadership is preventing any type of reform from proceeding due to their own selfish interests. As such End Citizens United is supporting Democrats, especially Democratic leaders, who are seeking to produce legislation that will produce meaningful change in how money influences elections.
The Executive Director of End Citizens United is Tiffany Muller, who has had a long history of being involved in politics. She as been a member of the Topeka, Kansas City Council, having a position on the staff of Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, serving as Cheif of Staff on Capitol Hill, and other political positions. Another member of the leadership is Political Director Jody Murphy who has worked for the last 10 years with legislative caucuses at the state level.
Learn more about End Citizens United on their LinkedIn page.