In 2010, the Supreme Court heard the case of Citizens United vs. F.E.C. Citizens United argued that restricting corporations and unions from funding election campaigns was unconstitutional. The Court ultimately ruled in favor of Citizen’s United, paving the way for disastrous consequences in U.S. elections. This decision allows corporations, billionaires, and special interest groups to spend unlimited and untraceable amounts of money on American elections. As a result, American elections have become contests, and whoever has the most money wins.
Fed up with this trend, a group of individuals formed End Citizens United in March 2015. The group believes that the Citizens United decision must be overturned and campaign finance reform is necessary in order to restore fairness to the U.S. election system. End Citizens United plans to achieve these goals by supporting pro-reform candidates for election, working to pass laws that are pro-reform in individual states, keeping money in politics an issue that citizens are aware of, and demonstrating the power of grassroots organization in politics.
According to an article from MSNBC, the End Citizens United PAC partnered with “Ready for Hillary” in 2015, thus making public the group’s support for Clinton’s presidential candidacy. According to their website, End Citizens United specifically supports Democrats, especially those who are pro-reform candidates. As the Republican leadership stands in the way of election finance reform, the group cannot support candidates that align themselves with the party.
Richard Carbo, communications director for End Citizens United in 2015, pointed out that the organization is different from other PACs that support campaign finance reform. This is because End Citizens United addresses the political side of the equation and it focuses on electing officials who will support and pass reform legislation. Overturning the Supreme Court’s 2010 would require a constitutional amendment. Some individuals have been skeptical, and argue that a constitutional amendment passed is incredibly difficult and costly. However, Rick Hasen, a professor at UC-Irvine School of Law, states that groups such as End Citizens United keep the Supreme Court decision in the public eye, and it helps to keep political pressure on legislators to prevent things from worsening.
Despite the growing sway that corporations, special interest groups, and billionaires have in politics, End Citizens United is fighting for fairness in our elections. This fight is important for the average American and the heart of the country. If America wishes to see a return to greatness, it is imperative that legislators reign in financial contributions to campaigns.