Anyone who was keen enough during the period preceding the 2016 United States Presidential election would have noticed the ongoing concern about the huge amounts of money that went into supporting various candidates. This has been the trend since 2010 thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in the End Citizens case. More black money cartels such as the Koch Brothers and other individual and corporation billionaires have flooded the United States politics with money which is interfering with the voice of the Americans. These billionaires are leading to the election of their own people who will support their personal agendas as opposed to representing the interest of the common American.
In March 2015, a few more concerned people among them Jessica Vanden Berg, Christopher Massicotte, Lanae Erickson and Ron Barber came up with a Political Action Committee (PAC) called End Citizens United. These four form the board of directors of End Citizens United and thus work with their staff to make most of the major decisions in the organization. The aim of this PAC is to create a campaign finance reform that will control the amount of funds channeled into campaigns. The founders realized that the only way to achieve this reform is supporting House and Senate leaders who will push for it once they are elected. These are mainly Democratic candidates since most Republicans in Congress oppose the reverse of the End Citizens decision.
During the month of August, 2015, End Citizens United endorsed 11 Democratic candidates among them Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado and Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. In their support for these candidates in the 2016 elections, End Citizens United funded their television adverts, polling and direct mailers. One could wonder how an organization that had been only operation for one and a half years managed to pull this off. The organization has many grass root supporters; people who would want the US elections reformed. These supporters fund the organization. By the time of its official launch in August 2015, it had managed to raise over $2 million. It anticipated to raise up to $30 million by the 2016 election. By then the group had received about 136,000 donations.
End Citizens United also seeks to use grassroots membership to show political power on this issue. They have developed a petition that demands congress to pass reforms on the End Citizens United decision. Over 325,000 people had signed the petition during the official launch. Also, more were going to sign before the elections especially given the collaboration of End Citizens United and “Ready for Hillary”. The reforms will restore the long gone accountability, transparency and sanity surrounding money in US politics. The actions of the End Citizens United show that through unity, Americans can bring about the change that reflects their common interest and reduce influence of a few billionaires.