When discussing campaign finance reform, it is impossible to do so without mentioning the 2010 Supreme Court decision known as Citizens United. The decision allowed for corporations to be treated as people and allows for special interest groups to contribute money to United States elections. As the corporate money is not possible to trace and does not have the same limits as private citizens, it is a decision that allowed for elections to be bought.
The group leading the charge to overturn this decision is End Citizens United. As of April 2017, the group has amassed more than $4 million for the year, and projects that going into the pivotal 2018 mid-term elections they will raise more than $35 million. This is a dramatic increase from the $25 million raised for the 2016 election cycle, which was the group’s first election season since being founded.
Over 40,000 people contributed for their first time to any Political Action Committee as part of the overall estimated 100,000 contributors to End Citizens United. With average giving around $12 per person, it is truly a grass roots effort for citizens to impact the way in which their government is run.
Tiffany Muller, the president and executive director of End Citizen’s United, states the group is focusing on helping champions of campaign-finance reform win elections in the House and Senate. She also states the primary reason most donors cite for giving is they feel the current political system to be unfairly biased against them, and that those “who can write the biggest checks get the biggest say. This is their way of fighting back.”
The Trump victory was a blow which the PAC is working to fight against. A recent benefactor of End Citizens United work is Democrat Candidate Jon Ossoff, running in his first election for a Georgia congressional seat. Ossoff surprised many political pundits by raising over $4 million in his campaign to win the April 18 special election to fill a then-Republican House seat in an Atlanta-based district recently left vacant by Tom Price accepting the position of Health and Human Services Secretary.
The group is also planning to back 2018 elections for Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Jon Tester of Montana. Operating as a traditional Political Action Committee (instead of a Super PAC), the group is limited to receiving a maximum of $5000 per donor; End Citizens United ability to achieve the amount of fundraising it has accomplished has sparked renewed interest among other grassroots organizations devoted to campaign finance reform.
The democracy of any nation is tested during the election process. The votes of all countries determine the future of the nation. This is because the leaders in charge of a country can either build or destroy a nation. The real leaders must be put in the authority through free and fair elections for the right leaders to be in power. The election process of a country is governed by the parties and the government. This tampers with the objectivity of the process. It is important to note that the elections are transparent if the electoral commission is outsourced. This is the case for End Citizens United. It is a body established in the United States of America to ensure that the elections are open.
It is almost impossible to point out an actual body that carries out this role. End Citizens United provides that the process is done with honesty and utmost fairness. The major aspect that this organization operates under is that willing donors fund it. This is an issue that promotes fairness as it creates objectivity. This is because the donors are not politicians. They do not have access to controlling the resource of the organization. Elections in the USA were conducted in a fair way in the past until the Supreme Court judged that corporations could fund campaigns for politicians. This is a primary reason for establishing End Citizens United. This body was created to function as a watchdog to facilitate the financing of campaigns. Corporations fund campaigns to use politicians for self-interest. End Citizens United is fighting this vice.
The company has more than 20,000 members. It has raised $26 million. This enables the company to function independently. It is in position to put the right leaders in power. End Citizens does not have a self-interest in the election process as opposed to corporations. The company does not have a conflict of interest. It serves the benefit of the society in general. Its donors are approximately 270,00. This has made it gain the power that it holds as a body during the election process. The donors are majorly grassroots. It enables the people to practice their democratic rights.
The board of directors at the End Citizens United are individuals who are top leaders. They are used because they are powerful enough to dilute the money that creates the conflict of interest during elections. This enables the campaigns to be driven by the felt needs of the people in the society rather than the needs of the corporations that fund the campaigns. The citizens will be in a position to practice their democratic rights fairly and put the right leaders in power.
Andrea McWilliams grew up Austin, which is the capital of Texas. She learned about politics at an early age which enabled her, at just the age of 21, to become a Chief of Staff. After serving in a public role she went into the private sector at Public Strategies, Inc. where she worked in public relations. She now works for McWilliams, a government affair consulting firm that she co-founded with her husband, Dean. As she is a Democratic lobbyist and he is a Republican lobbyist they are able to work both sides of the aisle in order to help get important legislation passed. Andrea McWilliams is also a skilled fundraiser that has not only raised funds to lobby but also to help various nonprofits around the state of Texas.
One of Andrea McWilliams most passionate causes is the fight against cancer, especially breast cancer. She has represented both the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and KillCancer, and has raised large sums of funding for their causes. Another breast cancer nonprofit she has served is Mamma Jamma Ride, for which she served as the honorary chair in 2012. In recognition of her efforts to cure breast cancer, Andrea McWilliams had the screening room at Seton Breast Cancer Center named after her.
Andrea McWilliams philanthropical efforts have also been directed towards other causes such as being a member of the St. David’s Toast of the Town Committee which promotes health communities. In addition to providing safety net clinics and health initiatives, this committee provides scholarships to students who are receiving an education to become health professionals. Andrea McWilliams is also one of the founders of the Long Center’s Notable Women which supports the performing arts in Austin. She continues to live not far from where she grew up in an historic home along with her husband and three children.