End Citizens United continues to grow its grassroots movement to change the way political campaigns are funded. Founded in reaction to a 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizen’s United vs. Federal Election Commission. The landmark Supreme Court case eliminated the cap on spending by corporations and changed the way politicians raise money. End Citizen’s United is dedicated to both reversing this decision and proving that grassroots campaigns can still make a big impact.
The Citizens United decision ultimately created what is known as Super PAC’s or Super Political Action Committees. The Super PAC allow large, commercial donors to contribute unlimited amounts of money and have a large influence on politics and the outcomes of political campaigns. End Citizens United is a PAC that relies on grassroots donations for funding. Most of its donors are average citizens who donate an average of $12, to the campaign. The PAC raised $5 million in the first the months of 2017 through these small contributions and expects to raise $35 million by the end of the year.
Senator Bill Nelson is the second Senator that End Citizens United has endorsed since it was founded. Before contributing to Sen. Nelson’s campaign, the PAC helped provide funds and otherwise supported Democrat Jon Ossoff’s campaign to fill a GA seat in the House of Representatives during a special election in April.
With Senator Bill Nelson’s campaign, End Citizens United has continued their campaign to use grassroots efforts to fund and support political campaigns. Senator Nelson, currently a representative for Florida in the U.S Senate has raised $5 million through grassroots funding for his re-election campaign, including money from End Citizens United. He currently does not have a Republican opponent running against him, however, most people expect Governor Rick Scott to enter the race. Nelson is currently leading over Scott in the polls, proof that grassroots campaigns can still make a difference.
The $35 million figure is up from 2016’s fundraising effort, which raised $25 million. Many of the 100,000 people who contributed so far this year are new donors, according to Tiffany Muller, End Citizen United’s president and executive director. According to Muller, approximately 40% of the donors to the fund are new. Muller believes that the fund’s donors are people who feel like the system is rigged against them. These donors they know they afford to spend much money and are looking for a way to band together to fight back.