The stated goal of the political action committee End Citizens United is to reverse a 2010 decision by the United States Supreme Court to disallow any limits to campaign contributions by groups to specific candidates. The group is focused on forcing ‘big money’ out of politics by electing Democratic candidates that are in favor of reforming campaign finance policies.
ECU recently released a list, entitled the Big Money 20, of Republican politicians who they say have constantly favored the interests of big business over those of the people they were elected to represent. The political action committee says that these politicians show their favor for these special interests by either the acceptance of large donations, of giving support to legislation that benefits mega-donors or pushes- back against the reform of campaign finance policies.
Tiffany Muller, the executive director of End Citizens United, says that the list is comprised of members of Congress that are the “worst of the worst.” ECU plans to combat these offenders by spending $35 million on the various elections that these congressmen will be a part of in 2018. This is $10 million more than the PAC spent during the 2016 election cycle.
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Many of these incumbents that are being targeted by ECU are facing stiff competition in their bids for reelection. Two exceptions to this fact, however, are Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who are not expected to face any real threat according to most political analysts.
End Citizens United depends on small donations of the more than 3 million members of the organization to provide funding for their efforts. ECU considers this a tangible sign that people of America are seeking to change what they see as a corrupt political system.
One pollster studying the issue, Al Quinlan, reports that voters identifying themselves as independent are particularly interested in seeing money from special interests groups removed from the political process. Only job creation and protection from terrorism are seen as bigger priorities to independent voters.
Quinlan also says that research has shown that speaking up about the effect of big money in politics resonates deeply with voters. He cites the example of the Nevada Senate race of 2016 involving Joe Heck and Catherine Cortez Masto of the Republican and Democratic parties respectively.
The study polled voters on both conventional Democratic messages versus the message of reforming campaign finance policies. It was determined that the campaign finance reform message was much more effective at swaying the minds of voters than the traditional Democratic talking points proved to be.