End Citizen United (ECU) is a renowned Political Action Committee supported by millions of grass root donors, who want to see change in the US political funding laws. According to Endcitizenunited.org, the organization was established in March 2015 to protest the Supreme Court decision of 2010 that changed the American election landscape. In the landmark Citizen United vs. FEC ruling, the highest court in the land affirmed that corporations are people. The decision opened the doors for special interest groups and billionaires to spend huge, untraceable amounts of money in elections. End Citizen United aims to counter the effects of Citizen United by reforming the country’s finance system through legislative and people driven push.
Today, ECU prides itself as a Democratic leaning organization with 3 million members and over 270,000 donors. Looking now and into the future, End Citizen United has resolved to support Democratic Party candidates running for office in competitive Senate and House seats beginning in the past 2016 elections. According to an excerpt published on MSNBC on August 2015, ECU raised over $2 million during its launch in 2015 and was on track to raise close to $30 million to fund its election cycle budget. The other efforts being undertaken by the group is rallying citizens to sign up a petition demanding the US Congress to support the legislation. At the time of the report’s publication, over 320,000 people had signed the petition.
During the 2016 election cycle, the group endorsed 11 Democratic Party candidates with prominent names such as Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado and Senator Russ Feingold making the cut. The End Citizen United Communications Director, Richard Carbo told MSNC that unlike other campaign reform groups, ECU had gone further to support the election of candidates who support finance reform. The push is informed by the constitutional amendment rule requiring the approval of 2/3 of the members of the Senate and the House along with a nod from ¾ of state legislative assemblies. It is instructive to note that the last constitutional amendment was passed back in 1992 due to partisanship in Washington.
The DC based PAC believes candidates who support the fight against Citizen United will be more willing to fight dark money groups on the Republican side led by the likes of Koch brothers and his conservative think tank. The group announced the formation of an independent arm to identify the candidates to support through mass media advertising, polling and direct mailers. Mr. Carbo reiterated that his group is committed to support the Democrats because Republican Leaders in Congress continue to be the biggest stumbling block to overturning the Supreme Court decision on finance reform. End Citizen United is run by a lean team of 5 members.