Since the landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Citizens United v. F.E.C. case brought before the court in 2010 that virtually eliminated any restrictions on campaign financing turning our election process upside down. Special interests on OpenSecrets.org, like the Koch brothers, are now allowed to spend millions of untraceable dollars to influence America’s elections. This total lack of transparency has led to the creation of a new political action group with the intention of eventually being able to reverse this decision.
End Citizens United, established in March 2015, with a stated mission to overturn Citizens United and end unlimited, and untraceable political donations. End Citizens United intends to support candidates that are pro-reform, making the issue a national priority and use the grassroots membership to expose the political power gained by unlimited amounts of money in politics. Democrats and a few independents will be the primary benefactors of this effort. End Citizens United feels that the Republican-controlled Congress will continue to obstruct any efforts to overturn this dreadful ruling, despite the fact many Republicans agree political spending is out of control. In particular, End Citizens United intends to support candidates on endcitizensunited.org who are under attack by the Koch brothers and other dark money groups. Their involvement will include direct mail and TV advertising, already attracting several hundred thousand supporters.
To overturn Citizens United might require a constitutional amendment; not been done since 1992, a constitutional amendment is extremely hard to pass on Facebook. It requires a two-thirds approval in both the House and Senate and must be adopted by three-fourths of the states. End Citizens United realizes, especially with Republican opposition, this is going to take time. Besides regaining a majority in Congress, they are going to have to hold majorities in many state houses. Recently Rick Hasen, an expert on campaign finance and law professor at UC-Irvine School of Law, had some discouraging words, he called getting a constitutional amendment passed as a pipe dream. That said, he felt a greater likelihood of overturning Citizens United was through the Supreme Court; he points out that groups like End Citizens United are providing an essential service on msnbc.com, they are raising public awareness of the situation, and hopefully politicians will not make matters worse.
End Citizens United, in keeping with their belief in the power of transparency in political spending, will file their expenditures regularly with the Federal Elections Commission. End Citizens United has received over 130,000 dollars in donations in a short time and is enthusiastic about the average donation being $14.86, proving their grassroots campaign is starting to work. End Citizens United and its small staff, five in all, will continue their efforts to elect public officials dedicated to overturning Citizens United.