America’s campaign finance regulations are already badly broken, but one candidate for the U.S. Senate has managed to find a way to push the limits of illegality even further.
A grassroots political action committee known as End Citizens United (ECU) has accused Florida governor Rick Scott of illegally using a Super PAC to funnel tens of millions of dollars into his bid to become the next Florida Senator.
End Citizens United filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission charging that Scott is directly involved with a Super PAC that is raising money for his campaign. Federal law says that PACs can raise as much money was they want and support any candidate — but the candidate himself or herself cannot be directly working within that PAC.
Rick Scott has raised an enormous $78 million for his campaign. Now it looks like he may have found a way to divert “soft money” from a Super PAC directly into his personal campaign coffers.
It has become just too easy for unscrupulous candidates such as Rick Scott to play fast-and-loose with a campaign finance regulation system that has become so vague and de-fanged almost anything goes.
End Citizens United was established in 2015. This was five years after the Supreme court issued its infamous and now clearly disastrous Citizens United ruling. The action opened the floodgates for special interest big money to flow almost without limit or regulation into the American election system.
End Citizens United has targeted what it calls the “Big Money 20” — twenty U.S. Senators and Congressmen that are the most egregious takers of big money from corporations and billionaires in exchange for unprecedented influence over the government of the people. ECU is working diligently for their defeat in the 2018 midterms.
To this end, and using a strictly grassroots model, ECU has raised $35 million to promote pro-campaign finance reform candidates. That money came via an average $14 donation from hundreds of thousands of average American voters who want to take their government back from wealthy corporate elites.
There has been a quiet battle raging at the highest levels of the American government for the past nearly a decade. The battle has raged on around the concept of campaign financing and the value of money in politics.
The catch phrase that politicians have been using is ‘campaign finance reform‘ but that pretties up the fundamental flaw in the whole situation. The reality is that in 2010 a conservative group named Citizens United essentially opened the floodgates for dark money to sweep into American politics. Since then the United States government has been on a downward slide and it all revolves around this issue. We’ve seen grassroots campaigns come up all over the nation to fight the Citizens United decision and one of those groups is a political action committee named End Citizens United.
End Citizens United is a special political action committee largely because they have been so much more successful than most and all while throwing off the shackles of big donors and special interests. Throughout the first couple of months of 2017 the PAC was able to tap right into the public’s distrust and anger at Donald Trump and this resulted in historic fundraising for their little committee. The team raised over $4 million in the first quarter while the average donation was just over $12. This momentum alone showed that people were ready to fight back to reclaim their part of America and have their voice heard once again. Still, grassroots campaigns cannot succeed without help from legislators in the government.
In order to try and render real and actual change at the highest levels of government the team at End Citizens United has begun to endorse legitimate candidates who believe in ending Citizens United. Most recently End Citizens United backed Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones who is competing in Alabama against Republican Roy Moore. Jones has become popular among progressives for his willingness to get vocal about important matters like campaign finance reform. Jones is a former US Attorney who was instrumental in helping to lock up KKK members who were responsible for bombing a Baptist Church which ended up killing four young girls.
End Citizens United knows that in order to actually take a swing at campaign finance reform they will need help from people like Doug Jones. Jones has been vocal in going after his opponent, Roy Moore, after getting prominent endorsements. It was pointed out repeatedly how Roy Moore has become a mouth piece and an extension of Donald Trump’s brash, racist, and ego-driven rhetoric. Moore also has become victim to the corruption of special interests which makes him a devout follower of the original Citizens United decision that has been tearing the USA apart for years.