The End of Citizens United

     In the year 2010, there was a legal battle in which Citizens United sued the F.E.C. over being barred from airing a video lampooning Hillary Clinton shortly before the primaries. Out of that case came a famous Supreme Court decision that gives labor unions, corporations, and other organizations the same rights under the first amendment that private citizens have with respect to how they may campaign for a political candidate. With this new ability and the tool of Super PACs, big corporations and the billionaires who profit from them are able to funnel unlimited and untracked amounts of money into the coffers of any politician willing to do their bidding. It is a blow struck at the heart of democracy and needs to change.

In response to this infringement on the voting power of the constituents of the United States is End Citizens United, a grassroots-organized not-for-profit Political Action Group formed in 2015 with the expressed goal of reversing the Citizens United decision. This involves raising money to donate to the political campaigns of candidates who stand up against Washington’s greed and side with the people. Under the leadership of Tiffany Muller, End Citizens United has raised almost $35 million to fund campaigns during the midterms; a feat even more impressive by the fact that the average donation amount is only $14! Everyday Americans are raising their voices in opposition to an obvious situation of money influencing politics.

Who are these politicians that greedily grab up special interest money in exchange for votes? End Citizens United has put together their Big Money 20 list of the most flagrant offenders. They serve Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Oil, Wall Street, and all the other industries that would benefit from not being reined in by the regulations of government, regardless of the cost to American citizens.

Rep. Duncan Hunter is a shining example of the decay of greed that has spread throughout Washington. At one point Hunter was under investigation by the House Office of Congressional Ethics for misusing campaign funds for personal expenses, including trips to Hawaii and Italy, and 68 different charges for video games. While under investigation Hunter was simultaneously trying to slash all funding to the office rendering them a non-existent entity. Hunter is also known as the vaping congressman for his driven push for favorable tobacco legislation which coincided with a $50,000 increase in donations from that industry. Hunter is the example par excellence of what has gone wrong in Washington.

To learn more about this topic, please check http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/05/james-bopp-citizens-united/.