During his 2016 presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders dedicated his platform to fighting big business and Wall Street corruption. While all of his rhetoric and proposals fall in-line with this theme, his most direct stance against corporate influence in politics is his stern opposition to the Citizens United decision. If Sanders was to win office, his plan was to appoint only Justices who oppose the Citizens United ruling. If you don’t already know, Citizens United is a Supreme Court decision that ruled the restriction of political donations unconstitutional. The Supreme Court handled this case in 2008 after a Super PAC attempted to run negative ads targeting Hillary Clinton.
Sanders’ fervent passion against corporate corruption resonated across the country, and the grass-roots movement he coalesced during his attempt to become the Democratic nominee shows this. Before and after Bernie’s defeat, passionate opponents of the Citizens United case fight against what they consider political injustice. These efforts against Citizens United are organized and dedicated, and one of the strongest examples is the political action committee known as End Citizens United (ECU). End Citizens United was established in 2015 and is designed to “combat big money in politics and dismantle our rigged political system.”
ECU is a significant force in the political scene, and just recently, they commented on the “By The People” reform package designed by key Democrats. While By The People does not come close to ending corporate corruption, ECU believes it to be an important stepping stone in eventually dismantling big money in politics. In particular, the reforms suggested in By The People fight to “ensure accountability in government” and maintain ethical behavior by those in government positions.
Proponents of ECU and anti-Citizens United movements are surely deflated by the recent events of the Trump presidency, but the fight against big money in politics continues on. According to USA today, ECU raised a whopping $4 million dollars during the first three months of 2017. ECU projects that this earning will continue and that by the 2018 midterms, the organization will raise $35 million dollars. It seems that the fighters against Citizens United are putting their money where their mouth is, and the result is a powerful force that threatens to shake up the political sphere during midterms. The resilient fight against corporate corruption showcases the dedication of those who oppose it, and hopefully advocates of ECU and similar groups soon see the fruits of their labor.