End Citizens United: Goals, Strategies, and the Future

In 2008 a conservative group called Citizens United wanted to air a 90 minute negative campaign ad about Hillary Clinton during her primary bid to become the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. They were refusing to disclose the source of funding behind this ad, which at the time was illegal under federal law. Citizens United sued to have this law overturned and lost.

Two years later in the U.S. Supreme court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission this decision was overturned. This not only allowed groups to withhold information about where funding was coming from, but effectively extended the First Amendment of the Constitution, the right to free speech, to corporations. This basically revoked the ability of the government to limit corporations influence on the outcome of elections allowing corporate contributions to be not only unlimited but also anonymous. View the group’s profile on Politifact.com.

Numerous groups have formed in an attempt to fight this ruling. End Citizens United was one such group that was formed on March 1, 2015 and is headquartered in Washington D.C. The two main strategies that End Citizens United uses to attempt to counteract this ruling are to fund candidates that support stricter campaign funding laws and carrying out specific efforts to overturn the ruling. The group uses grassroots fundraising tactics to raise money to support these strategies. The end goal that End Citizens United is looking to accomplish is a clearly defined interpretation of the First Amendment that says that free speech only applies to individual citizens and not corporations.

End Citizens United is redoubling its efforts during the 2018 election cycle. They have doubled their staff and have a goal to raise $35 million to help support their efforts. With some key Republican incumbents retiring and the low approval rates of Republican President Donald Trump the Democrats, who are the main recipients of the funding from End Citizens United, are looking to make a big push to take seats in both the House and the Senate.

Visit: https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?strID=C00573261