End Citizens United Aimed to Stop Big Money in its Tracks

In a press release dated May 3, 2017, End Citizens United announced their endorsement of Bob Casey (Pennsylvania), Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota) and Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island) for the midterm elections in 2018. Because of these endorsements, more than 143,000 ECU members in the three states will be reached, and ECU has also announced it’s tapping 330,000 donors to bolster the candidates’ resources.

 

Endorsing Senators Casey, Heitkamp and Whitehouse was an easy decision for End Citizens United—as these senators are known to be leaders who fight for campaign reform, according to ECU President and Executive Director Tiffany Muller. ECU is well known for its firm and pro-active stand against Big Money, or special interest money attempting to buy the elections. For example, in the recent race for Georgia’s 6th district, ECU helped elect Jon Ossoff by raising $900,000 for his campaign. Last year, ECU raised more than $15 million to elect fifteen new legislators, including Senators Catherine Cortez-Masto and Maggie Hassan. Although ECU is only two yeas old, it’s grown in influence by leaps and bounds, counting more than 3 million members. For last year’s elections, it was the third largest PAC.

 

This year, just from January to March, ECU was able to collect more than $4 million. In this time frame, 100,000 people donated money to ECU, of whom 40,000 were first-time donors. End Citizen’s United is expected to bring in $35 million for the midterm congressional elections next year. The group’s main aim is to elect legislators who are “campaign-finance reform champions,” according to Muller.

 

Muller also says that the average donation to ECU is $12. Members of the group are people who are fighting against the current system where the biggest donors carry the biggest weight in decision-making.

 

ECU’s name was taken from the Supreme Court Citizen’s United decision, a landmark decision in 2010 which allowed union and corporate donations to candidates, and was instrumental in the rise of super PACs, which have no limit to the amount of money they can solicit and spend. As a traditional PAC, End Citizens United is not allowed to accept donations greater than $5000 from single donors. That did not stop ECU, however, from becoming one of the largest spending groups in last year’s elections.

 

ECU has begun working closely with campaign-finance groups, as shown in the confirmation hearings of Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. ECU worked with many organizations to encourage Republican senators whose campaigns had received donations from DeVos and other members of her family. DeVos’ confirmation vote resulted in a deadlock, which Vice President Pence broke by voting for DeVos.

Fighting For A Fair Criminal Justice System Becomes The Goal Of George Soros

The 2016 U.S. election cycle may have been seen as a less than successful one for Democrat’s following the victory of Donald Trump in the Presidential election; however, major Democrat donor George Soros can be pleased his attempts to help liberal candidates succeed in state level elections proved successful across 2015 and 2016. Politico reports George Soros invested around $25 million in the campaign of Hillary Clinton, but also provided around $3 million in funding for the campaigns of criminal justice candidates from the Democratic Party.

During the 2016 election cycle George Soros was reported to be more engaged and excited about the political events of the world than he had in many, a return to the political coincided with a return to investing with his own Soros hedge fund on nytimes.com. After rekindling a 25 year political relationship with Hillary Clinton that had cooled after George Soros backed the candidacy of President Barrack Obama in 2008, the Hungarian born hedge fund expert with a personal fortune estimated at $25 billion began working closely with Clinton to discuss and form policy for her expected Presidency; George Soros eventually provided around $15 million for the Hillary Clinton campaign fund, and a further $10 million for Super PAC’s around the country campaigning on her behalf.

Despite the large sums of money donated by George Soros and other wealthy donors the 2016 Presidential election was eventually won by Republican Donald Trump, who George Soros had earlier in the campaigning season been accused of doing the work of ISIS. The Trump victory on nybooks.com has been seen by George Soros as being a major problem for those looking to protect the legacy of President Barrack Obama, which was a major topic of discussion for attendees at the Democracy Alliance event organized in the days after the election. The three day event for a group of wealthy donors had not originally been on the agenda of George Soros, but became a major aspect his diary as he looked to form a plan to stop the plans of the Republicans and bring the Democrat’s back to power.

The Democracy Alliance event saw George Soros detail plans for targeting a number of state and local level elections in 2017 and 2018, which is a plan Soros and his advisors at the “527” group have already put into practice. Throughout 2015 and 2016 a number of criminal just positions at state and local level have come to the ballot and been the subject of heavy backing from George Soros across six states. The aim of George Soros in targeting these lower level elections and the provision of major donations to candidates from minority groups have been made in a bid to create a fairer criminal justice system in the U.S. by taking control out of the hands of the dominating white male group of the current time period.

Learn more about George Soros:
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/george-soros-democratic-convention-226267
https://www.project-syndicate.org/columnist/george-soros