Back in 2008, a man (James Bopp) who represented a small conservative political nonprofit organization, called Citizens United, appeared before a federal judge panel, fighting for the right for his organization to air a 90 minute movie on Hillary Clinton, a movie that sought to discredit her and to slander both her and her husband. The judges presiding over that case laughed him out of court when he tried to compare his movie to a 60 Minutes segment. In 2010 however, the Supreme Court overturned the federal panel’s decision, extending the right of the First Amendment to include corporations, giving them the right to spend as much as they want to support or oppose a certain political candidate in any race.
The consequences for this? Outside groups (political action committees or PACs), influenced by wealthy Americans and corporations can now spend as much as they want, without having to disclose the source of these funds, using the First Amendment as basically a loophole. And things are not looking better, as Bopp is taking on more cases to further dismantle campaign-finance laws, removing the public campaign system and letting the wealthy and corporations control campaign finance.
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End Citizens United is a PAC that aims to rid the campaign finance system of big money, money from the wealthy and corporations, and to bring it back to the public, so the public has the biggest influence as to who becomes elected. During the first three months of 2017, the organization has raised more than $4 million, and projections show that the group will raise $38 million before the 2018 mid term elections for Congress, $10 million more than was raised for the 2016 election.
End Citizens United is a PAC named after the Citizens United v. FEC case that James Bopp fought for and won back in 2010. End Citizens United works to elect “campaign finance reform champions” to office. As a standard PAC, End Citizens United cannot accept donations larger than $5000 per individual. However, in the start of 2017, approximately 100,000 people gave money to End Citizens United, 40,000 of which donated for the first time. The people who do donate feel as if the the system is rigged, and those with bigger wallets have a larger say than the average, regular American. The fight against corporate interests has long begun, and more and more Americans are joining the fight.