In 2010, the Supreme Court changed the American elections landscape by establishing the ideology of corporations are people. This resulted to billionaires and people with special interests spending untraceable and unlimited funds in American elections. End Citizens United was formed to reform the American campaign finance system by putting an end to billionaires wanting to buy the elections. It is a Political Action Committee that is funded by grassroots donors.
In January 2008, Citizens United went to court arguing that it should be allowed to air the movie, Hillary, on on-demand television. Represented by James Bopp, a lawyer from Terre Haute- Indiana, got literally laughed at in court for saying that the 90-minute movie wasn’t different from what was seen in 60 minutes, yet its creators received the First Amendment protection. The Federal Election Commission, FEC, declined to air the movie and its advertisements during the election primaries. The FEC had mentioned that the movie had amounted to a campaign advertisement that ran for 90 minutes and it had not identified its sponsors.
Two years later, the Supreme Court reversed the ruling in favor of Citizens Union. This decision abolished the 100 years of campaign-finance law. The court ruled that given corporations are already referred to as people for several constitutional reasons, they too have a First Amendment right the same as average voters. The court added that keeping corporations from using the money to support or defeat other candidates is wrong and unconstitutional. Election spending has been on the increase in the last several elections. Bopp argues that having contribution limits is counterproductive. This makes people committed to the use of the money during elections.
End Citizens United focuses on driving back the big money that is put out for politics. They do this by raising money on their own to support the campaign to Congress for finance reform champions. Their goal is to have them elected without huge billionaire finance support. They limit the maximum amount of donations acceptable from a single donor to $5,000. The group collected over $4 million in the first three months of 2017. They project that they will raise $35 million by the time the 2018 midterm Congressional elections is here.
About 100,000 people have contributed to this course during the first three months of the year. This shows the dislike of billionaires and corporates financing campaigns. End Citizens United fundraising has created attention with their course given that they have created ties with some campaign finance overseers. Dozens of groups collaborated to urge the Republican senators who had received donations from Betsy DeVos, for their campaigns, to restrain themselves from nominating her as the Education Secretary under Trump’s government. This ended up in Senate voting 50-50 on her confirmation, the Vice President had to end the stalemate and voted for her.
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