The political action committee End Citizens United has been steadfast in their fight against the ever-increasing influence of under the radar big money flowing into election campaigns. In light of the state of affairs today that fight just got a little bigger. Since the United States Supreme Court 2010 ruling in favor of the misconstrued interpretation of the First Amendment argument put forth by Citizens United it is not just corporations and the most affluent of American society tipping the scale but foreign governments and their unscrupulous cohorts to boot.
The Federal Election Campaign Act and Commission regulations include a broad prohibition on foreign national activity in connection with elections in the United States. Despite these prohibitions, Russia, other foreign nationals, and their cohorts skirted those safeguards and inserted themselves unchecked into the 2016 election campaign cycle. Since January 2017, the United States Federal Elections Commission has identified and filed 15 separate cases involving foreign entities suspected of illegally contributing to election campaigns in the United States. This should prompt our legislative bodies to vigorously pursue closing any and all of the loopholes that made it possible to obscure these illegal contributions in the first place.
The writing is on the wall for all to see but Republicans hesitate, ignore, or resist doing what must be done to virtually end this dilemma. Making political donations completely above board would go along way in eliminating the furtherance of even greater violations of campaign financing. The 2016 election cycle exposed the vulnerabilities inherent in the ability to conceal donors. The integrity of the U.S. democratic election process has been tainted by uncertainty, this should not be. The Republican-controlled White House, House of Representatives, and Senate have the opportunity and ability to do something for the good of the people whom they were elected to represent. According to factcheck.org, House Democratic leaders drafted the By The People Reform Legislation Package which would strengthen the integrity and merit of our democratic election process to its former glory.
End Citizens United (ECU) PAC is not only supporting democratic candidates striving to eliminate big money from the political arena but it is helping to establish the 2018 policy issues platform. End Citizens United is also supporting the bipartisan legislative effort entitled the Honest Ads Act which deals with the abuses put forth via the internet. If Republicans truly believe in the constitution as they claim there would be zero tolerance for foreign outsiders or the extremely affluent few or billion dollar corporations to influence the outcome of any U.S. election. Closing those slippery slope loopholes would be a priority. So far there have only been a few Republicans bravely willing to put country before party.
Read more: Activist Investigations Uncover Russian Meddling According to End Citizens United
One of the things that were different about the last general elections was the level of involvement of PAC and other groups that advocate for social justice. Some organizations that have been thought to be inactive for decades seemed to have come out of the woodwork to have their opinion heard in the entire process. Even more important was the stiff competition which characterized the presidential election and the shock waves that hit after the Republican Candidate won. One PAC, End Citizens United has been very active before, during and after the elections and their ultimate goal is to have the constitutional amended. The PAC supported some candidates in the Democratic Party, but now that the elections are over, they are focusing on other issues.
One of the main issues that the group has been focusing on was the amendment of the constitution, which made it possible for Super PACs to get involved in the electoral process by funding the campaigns of their preferred candidate. The group feels that this move has been a negative impact on politics because it has made it possible for illegal money from sources such as the Koch brothers to make its way into the political scene, which in turn affects the objectivity of the decisions made by the leaders elected into power. The group has been raising funds to support an amendment to the constitution which will drive these super PACs out of the political scene.
It is therefore interesting to note that the group is making quite some big money of its own. When they started the bid to raise funds for awareness and other political activities, few believed that they could make the amount they needed to kick the process off. However, in the first three months of 2017, they have collected $4 million, and they are projecting that they could raise more than $35 million by the time of the congress election mid-terms in 2018. The amount is a significant increase from the $25 million that they had managed to raise before the last election.
Tiffany Muller, the president of the PAC and also its executive director stated that more than 100,000 people have contributed to the fund, 40,000 of them being first-time contributors. She added that people are angry about the Trump win and the manner in which he has polarized the country. They feel that the only way to hit back at Trump is by making a contribution to the PAC.
The bid to have the constitution amended may seem a little over-ambitious for the group because they need a million signatures to get a hearing from the Supreme Court. One thing that is sure about this team is that they are making a positive impact in the community and that is the most important aspect.
The Republican front runners for the 2016 presidential election are Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. However, political figures such as John Kasich are still in the running and, as Politifact reports, there is a new scandal surrounding his campaign. There may be a conspiracy by left-wing activists to bolster Kasich’s campaign and put a stop to Cruz and Trump’s bids.
According to conspiracy theorists on http://www.politifact.com/ohio/statements/2016/apr/04/trusted-leadership-pac/no-george-soros-not-bankrolling-john-kasichs-campa/, Kashich’s campaign is getting secret donations from a group of billionaires, including note businessman George Soros. Ads are not circulating claiming that Soros and others have donated hundred of thousands of dollars to Kasich’s Super PAC. Trusted Leadership, the Super PAC that is noted for supporting Ted Cruz for president, is running these ads in Wisconsin mere days before the state’s primary.
These allegations ring hollow to political science professor Tom Sutton. Campaign finance rules are clear in that there are no limitations on donations, and all donors are listed publicly.
Politifact took a look at the list of donors, to see if rumors of George Soros on theatlantic masterminding a Super PAC for Kasich could be true. Two people on the list could indeed be linked to Soros or his company. Nevertheless, these two individuals have given to a wide variety of campaigns over the years, and while Trusted Leadership confirms these two were the inspiration for the attack ads, there is no evidence showing a conspiratorial pattern.
George Soros himself has donated heavily to Democratic campaigns and to fund research in opposition to Republican candidates. The most damning evidence against the claim that he is masterminding a plot is the fact that, as of now, it is not working. There is nothing showing that these donations are actually helping Kasich’s campaign on opensocietyfoundatons.org, and it is unlikely that Soros would encourage others to keep throwing their money away. Indeed, a few networks in Wisconsin have already pulled the ad.
As Politifact concludes, the accusation that millions have been funneled through a George Soros on forbes controlled plot to Kasich’s campaign is utter fallacy. Kasich has not received that substantial of a sum, and Soros himself has only given heavily to the Democratic Party this season.