Republicans and Democrats (mostly) both agree that money in politics is bad. Despite almost universal opposition, however, corporate interests continue to make a significant impact on American elections. The 2016 election showcases how intertwined the private sector and government currently are. Not only did a businessman billionaire win office, but his only relevant opponent was also a common target of criticism in regards to corporate corruption. Unfortunately, a number of passionate members of the political process were isolated by the General Election’s transformation into a Hillary vs. Trump affair.
But not everyone has submitted to pessimism and defeat. Instead, political action groups like End Citizens United (ECU) have stood up after the temporary defeat of 2016 and continue to wage war against corporate influence in politics. End Citizens United dedicates their mission to fighting against political corruption, and their primary objective is to eventually reverse or terminate the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision on the Citizens United case. Citizens United is, in many ways, the exact type of financial corruption that members of ECU and similar organizations loathe so intensely. Due to Citizens United, political contributions cannot be restricted and are therefore unlimited. The Supreme Court’s opinion on the Citizens United case essentially equates people to corporations, and in the minds of ECU, this comparison is faulty and results in injustice.
ECU doesn’t limit their battle to corporate corruption, though. Just recently, ECU, along with organizations Every Voice, Common Cause, and Daily Kos, sent 300,000 petitions to the Department of Justice. These petitions demand an investigation into Russian’s alleged interaction with the 2016 general election. This effort represents the broader issue that ECU seeks to illuminate and eliminate: unethical practices within government. Money in politics is an enormous ethics issue within America, but ECU tackles anything that threatens the integrity of our governing body.
Fortunately for those desperate for change, ECU is doing remarkably well at raising money. According to a USA Today article, ECU raised $4 million during the first quarter of 2018. If ECU continues this pace, they project their earnings will total $35 million before the beginning of midterms. This is a grassroots movement, with the average contribution coming in at around $12. 100,000 have donated, and 40,000 were first-time donators, which suggest an upswing within ECU. For those angry with the results of the 2016 election and the continued corruption of politics, End Citizen United serves as a viable outlet to put energy towards: their efforts are making an impact, and with help, they can make a sizable dent on the outcome of the 2018 midterms.