In response to a 2010 Supreme Court decision addressing Citizens United vs. F.E.C., a new group felt compelled to counter what was a dramatic altering of the election landscape in the United States. End Citizens United viewed the ruling to have potentially devastating consequences to the way campaign funds are legally given to candidates. According to Citizens United vs. F.E.C., large corporations were considered individual people. What little accountability and transparency that did exist, was seen as obliterated by this ruling. In March 2015, the End Citizens United Political Action Committee was formed on the platform; it’s time to fight back.
Influenced by Dollars?
Their efforts to battle against the hidden, secret agenda of big corporations jumped into the spotlight last week. As the US Senate squabbles over healthcare legislation, it was discovered that Republican Senator Dan Heller had received over $8 million in donations from powerfully wealthy groups who benefit from the repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act. The investigation has uncovered even more instances of huge donations being gifted to conservative lawmakers in an effort to persuade their vote.
These situations are more publicly visible due to the massive exposure that the healthcare issue has received. What troubles End Citizens United as much, is all the situations that are not given the same focus in the public spotlight. How many more issues of dollars for votes are happening because there are no proper safeguards in place to stop them?
Election Financing Done the Right Way?
End Citizens United cited this as just one of many blatant examples of how the 2010 Supreme Court ruling was allowing big business to manipulate politicians. This money is not openly transparent like the $4 million recently generated by the End Citizens United PAC. Keeping with their promised commitment to oppose corporate money influencing elections, the group projects to raise as much as $35 million from transparent individual donors.
These donors have collectively felt as if the system as it stands today is purposefully rigged in favor of big corporations. The ruling pretty much insists that whoever can write the biggest check has the most influence on the political process. The system as it operates currently, is against the idea of true American democracy at its core.
As ironic as it might seem, one of the biggest decisions from the US government over the last quarter century, affects more Americans financially than most any other. It has also exposed the unscrupulous side of political donations, especially how a lack of transparency allows certain players to wretch control of decisions by stuffing legislators pockets with money. End Citizens United is attempting to show the country how campaign finances should be properly secured, removing the shroud of secrecy that has clouded our nation since the ruling was handed down in 2010.