The 2010 Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission started a fire. They ruled, in a controversial 5 to 4 decision, that free speech could be applied to corporations. More specifically that there is no difference between individual and corporation. The fire of election reform that started with that decision still burns today, and out of the ashes came End Citizens United. End Citizens United is the political action committee devoted to overruling the Supreme Court decision, and butting big business out of politics. But exactly how do you overrule a Supreme Court decision?
The answer is legislation. End Citizens United advocates for reform candidates who do not accept endorsements from big business. The goal is put reform candidates in public office, basically saturate congress and the Senate with them. In this way reform legislation can be passed that restricts and regulates corporations ability to fund political campaigns. Visit opensecrets.org to learn more about End Citizens United.
The main fear many have is that a lack of restriction on business campaign funding, means that candidates will be bought, elections purchased, and legislation afforded to the victor. Many across the U.S. fear that such a situation renders votes obsolete. This is why End Citizens United uses grassroots funding to support candidates that will attempt to make a difference. But in order for that difference to occur many sitting politicians have to lose their seats, and legislation has to actually pass. Even if it a bill is written does not mean it will pass into a law. So the journey is a very long and arduous one.
In fact, End Citizens United has an even bigger hurdle before it. It’s end game is to actually have the first amendment amended. A huge tax for any group regardless of political stance. The amended portion would redefine free speech as belonging to a person not company. This is about the only way the initial Supreme Court decision can be overruled, and it represents quite the accomplishment. ECU is dedicated, however, and keeps the fight alive every election, pushing its agenda to the bitter end.