Back in 2010, a very important Supreme Court decision took place that is commonly referred to as Citizens United v. F.E.C. In that landmark ruling, the majority (5-4) found that the stipulation of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 forbidding independent expenditures by corporations, trade unions, and other associations to violate the first amendment of the constitution. In effect, this ruling grants the same freedoms that apply to private citizens to corporate entities amongst others and paved the way for unlimited campaign contributions by way of Political Action Committees. Now a small minority of the ultra-rich can wield far more political influence and power than the vast majority of the citizenship, and that strikes at the very notion of what it is to be a democracy.
The answer to this attack on democracy comes from the Political Action Committee End Citizens United. Formed in 2015, their mission is to collect donations from individual citizens through grassroots means which can then be used to help elect candidates who support the cause of campaign finance reform and ridding Washington of special interest money. Current projections for the midterms hover around $35 million with an average donation of just $14! That shows Americans are sick and tired of big money dictating what course their country is to take.
One of the ways End Citizens United combats political greed is by putting out their “Big Money 20” list of the biggest offenders who take special interest money. These special interests are familiar to anybody who even casually turns on the news, with names like Big Pharma, Big Oil, Wall Street, and the like. Their unlimited donations to buy off any politician who will accept them is the reason why campaign finance reform is necessary.
One of the most flagrant abusers of the lax restrictions on campaign finance is Duncan Hunter. The incumbent representative of California’s 50th district, Hunter is known for trying to cripple the Office of Congressional Ethics while being under multiple investigations for misusing campaign funds for personal use, including trips to Italy and Hawaii, as well as 68 separate charges for video games. Hunter has also received hefty donations from the tobacco industry that prompted his pushing legislation to protect e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.
Taking on Hunter in the midterms for the congressional seat is former Navy Seal Josh Butner. Josh raised his family in Jamul, California where he still resides sitting on the Union Board of Education. Josh is a born and bred leader who has seen the ill-effects of special interests in his current role. Josh’s main concern is the lack of government transparency that is prevalent in Washington today. In putting his money where his mouth is, Josh has pledged to refuse any corporate PAC money and instead get elected by being the best candidate to serve the public good.
Find more about End Citizens United: https://www.fec.gov/data/committee/C00573261/