In 2010, the Supreme Court decided a case that completely altered the playing field in American elections. This case, Citizens United v. F.E.C., opened the gate for wealthy individuals and special interest groups to spend incredible amounts of money on election donations without a shred of transparency or accountability. One of the biggest talking points in 2016’s presidential election was the reduction of corruption in American government; both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump claimed to be the candidate on the side of the little people and against the Super PACs and billionaires. Unfortunately, the Citizens United decision is one that directly benefits politicians, and they cannot be trusted to end its negative influence.
That’s why End Citizens United was established.
End Citizens United is a PAC that aims to overturn Citizens United and curtail the influence of untraceable donations in American politics. They work to support reform candidates, ensure election reform remains in the national consciousness and demonstrate the political power of large groups of individuals against this style of corruption. Although politicians on both sides of the aisle are making efforts toward election reform, End Citizens United supports primarily Democratic candidates because Republican Congressional leadership often stands in the way of these reform efforts.
End Citizens United was established in August of 2015 with the explicit goal of becoming a major player in the 2016 elections. Their ultimate goal is to pass a constitutional amendment reversing the Citizens United decision. More than 300,000 people signed a petition urging Congress to pass such legislation. Communications Director Richard Carbo believes End Citizens United is different from other groups aiming to overturn the controversial decision because “there was a hole in the conversation addressing the political side of it and actually getting people elected”. End Citizens United fills this gap by directly backing candidates who will pass reform legislation.
Although End Citizens United does also work on the state and local level, a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United remains its primary goal. No constitutional amendment has been passed in the USA since 1992, and the bar to pass such legislation is extremely high. This would require support from two-thirds of the Senate and the House of Representatives; it would then have to be ratified by 38 states. However, even if End Citizens United fails in its efforts to pass an amendment, it can still have a positive impact. The PAC’s political activism and messaging efforts keep election reform in the public consciousness, which will keep political pressure on for years or even decades to come.
The Washington D.C. PAC boasts only five staff members. It’s incredible to think that just 5 people could change the course of America’s history, but that’s exactly what End Citizens United aims to do. You can visit their website at endcitizensunited.org.