End Citizens United is a political action committee which was founded in 2015. They collect money from small donors which they then use to support Democratic politicians who have promised to support elections reforms designed to remove the big money from politics that began after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling which opened up the doors for corporations and wealthy people to buy elections.
For the 2016 Presidential Elections, End Citizens United raised $25 million which came from grassroots supporters according to the organization’s communications director Richard Carbo. The end goal of End Citizens United is a constitutional amendment which returns elections to the voting citizens of the United States. Super PACS raise huge sums of money from rich individuals and corporations which is then used to overwhelm opposition in elections across the United States. The Citizens United v. FEC ruling was that two-fold, first that corporations are people and second that putting a limit on what people can spend on elections is a violation of their free speech rights.
Concentrating the PACs money on competitive races, End Citizens United endorsed 11 Democratic politicians during the 2016 campaign cycle. There are other PACs that have focused on campaign finance reform but as Richard Carbo has said none of them focused on getting people elected who support it as they instead just lobbied existing politicians. His organization also supports those existing politicians who are being assaulted with attack ads by the billionaire Koch brothers who exclusively support Republicans.
Getting a constitutional amendment passed is a tall order. Any such amendment first has to receive two-thirds of the votes in both the House and Senate. Next, it would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the 50 states. In the meantime, End Citizens United is hoping to be able to have legislation passed which can blunt some of the effects of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
For the upcoming 2018 elections, End Citizens United has been achieving a lot of success raising funds, once again from small donors. They were able to bring in $4 million in just the first three months of 2017, in no small part due to people’s outrage at the election of Donald Trump as President. They’re expecting to raise $35 million in all which they will be using to support Democratic candidates running for office.
As a traditional PAC, End Citizens United cannot accept more than $5000 from any one donor. Thus, it is regular citizens who support this PAC. The average amount of a donation this year is $12. This is a far cry from the millions that the Koch brothers spend influencing elections across the nation.