Browse Category: Politician

End Citizens United Reforming Campaign Finance

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was a landmark case with long-term, controversial implications. The conservative group, Citizens United, sued the FEC for its decision to restrict the airing of an hour-long ad opposing then-candidate Hilary Clinton. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, overturned a lower federal court’s ruling granting free speech for corporations.

Corporations were now free to spend as much as they liked on elections through what is known as “Dark Money,” that is, money that cannot be traced back to the donor and is not legally obligated to disclose the source of their funding. Immediately afterward, the number of negative ads skyrocketed now that donors no longer needed to take direct responsibility for financing them.

While conservative groups pushed to further deregulate campaign finance, public polls show the majority of both Republicans and Democrats oppose Citizens United. A number of Democratic activist groups have stepped up to oppose it, including the nonprofit political action committee End Citizens United.

End Citizens United was recently founded in 2015 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. Under its president Tiffany Muller, the PAC has quickly grown into a major player, raising $25 million during the 2016 elections. Their objective is to bring campaign finance reform through grassroots fundraising. ECU collects massive amounts of small donations through digital platforms. This also serves to build up a contact list of willing supporters. ECU can offer an alternative source of campaign funding for candidates who are willing to swear off corporate cash.

The ultimate goal of End Citizens United is to pass a constitutional amendment that defines free speech as a right for citizens, not corporations, but amendments and Supreme Court decisions are difficult to obtain. For this reason, ECU is wisely working its way up from the state level, endorsing like-minded candidates and state ballot measures who will limit the influence of corporate money.

Looking forward, ECU has set a goal of raising and spending $35 million on this year’s elections. They have endorsed over 130 candidates from around the country, and they have a list, dubbed the “Big Money 20,” a group of Republicans who have actively favored the special interests, they are working to unseat. With groups like End Citizens United leading the way, there has never been a better chance of bringing campaign finance reform to reality.

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The President Of Venezuela Is Running On Fumes And His Socialist Party Is Crumbling According To Assemblyman José Manuel González

The United Socialist Party of Venezuela is in trouble. United Socialist Party governors from several states are about to be thrown out of office and President Nicolas Maduro, the leader of the party, is first in line. Maduro has single-handedly turned the oil-rich nation of Venezuela into a larger version of old Havana, where food, medicine, and electricity are almost non-existent. The opposition wants to hold new elections this year, according to the National Assemblyman from the state of Guárico, José Manuel González. But Maduro PSUV is holding onto the power using hard-nosed tactics. Maduro has called on the military to control the ports, ration food and detain opposition leaders.

José Manuel González has been trying to change Maduro’s policy direction for months through national agreements, but Maduro is hell-bent on doing things the old Hugo Chavez way. Hugo Chavez had oil money to play with until he passed away, but the oil money is gone. Maduro is a former bus driver and union leader that believes in his own brand of socialism. That brand has turned Venezuela into a shadow of its former self. González believes that the only way to get the country moving again is through a democratic election. Mr. González is one of the assemblymen that has been pushing for a democratic vote for months. After months of no food, medicine, and basic needs like toilet paper and diapers, the people are finally standing up and demanding a recall election. But Maduro plans to stay in office in one way or another. He is using every trick he can think of to take the spotlight off of him.

The massive million people protest that took place on September 1st is just the beginning of the unrest that is running through the country at warp speed, according to González. Another protest is in the works, and opposition leaders say this one will be bigger than the first one. The golden days of anti-imperialism are going down the Socialist drain, according to González, and there will be a new government soon. But Venezuela is paying a high price for that political move.