End Citizens United PAC To Target The “Big Money 20” In 2018

A progressive political action committee (PAC) called End Citizens United has a top-20 list on which no elected officials want to find themselves. The PAC has identified members of Congress that it is working to defeat in 2018, noting that each politician is too friendly to monied corporate interests seeking to influence government at the expense of regular voters.

Three members of End Citizens United’s “Big Money 20” have already announced that they will no longer seek reelection this November. While there are a variety of reasons for why each one is retiring, certainly the pressure from groups like End Citizens United has had an impact.

Representatives Darrell Issa of California, Pat Meehan of Pennsylvania, and Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey have each given up their reelection fights. End Citizens United and other groups will seek to elect more progressive candidates to these seats.

In 15 of the 20 races relevant to the “Big Money 20” list, End Citizens United has already endorsed a specific candidate. Meanwhile, the PAC has also endorsed other incumbents and challengers across the country who will stand up for the cause that it believes in.

The organization was founded to combat the negative effects of a 2010 Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates for corporate money to be spent to influence elections. End Citizens United raises grassroots money to support candidates it endorses. Many of them are pledging to refuse corporate donations to their campaigns, and promise to fight for campaign finance reform that will undo the effects of high court’s decision in the Citizens United case.

In all, End Citizens United expects to raise and spend at least $35 million on the 2018 midterm elections.

Like End Citizens United on Facebook.

Recently, the group made headlines by securing pledges from Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey. Both lawmakers are big fundraisers for members of the Democratic Party, and each is expected to consider running for president in 2020.

End Citizens United has already endorsed numerous 2018 senatorial candidates, including incumbents Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Jon Tester of Montana, as well as challengers Beto O’Rourke of Texas and Jacky Rosen of Nevada.

The PAC, based in Washington, DC, has been fighting campaign finance reform for years, and intends to do so beyond the 2018 elections. Its goal is to ensure that Congress is constituted in a way that will better reflect the wishes of grassroots voters who want reform to reduce the power that corporations have on American government.

The president of End Citizens United is Tiffany Muller, the first openly gay elected official in Kansas who has served as chief of staff to several members of Congress, and as the deputy political director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

See: https://www.vogue.com/article/senator-kirsten-gillibrand-end-citizens-united-stops-accepting-corporate-pac-donations

Betsy DeVos: From Charity to Secretary of Education.

Betsy DeVos burst on the scene in Washington D.C. seemingly out of nowhere. For years she had labored as the chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, a spot of prestige but not one of much public recognition. In appointing Betsy DeVos to the Secretary of Education position, Donald Trump lived up to his promise of bringing outsiders into Washington D.C. Betsy DeVos’s appointment rocked much of Washington D.C. due in large part to how unexpected it was. However, as you will soon read, the move was as calculated as it was effective. Betsy DeVos comes into Washington D.C. armed with an outsiders toughness and an insiders ability to effectively plot the course to the actualization of change.

 

When Betsy DeVos was appointed to the position of Secretary of Education, many people in the public simply shrugged their shoulders. DeVos never made much of a public footprint during her years in Michigan politics, but she had established herself as a champion for the school choice system that had been touted by Milton Friedman. In fact, thanks in large part to DeVos’ hard work, Friedman’s concept of the private-choice school system had become closer to reality than it ever had been before.

 

A sit-down conversation with Betsy DeVos about her goals in Washington D.C. reveals a laser-focus and a calm demeanor. DeVos clearly cares deeply about the rights of families and their student children to find the best educational opportunities available. In a sitdown session with Philanthropy Roundtable, DeVos espouses how her heart broke for children struggling in poorly-funded and poorly-maintained public schools. DeVos went on to explain how a chance meeting at a private-choice school changed her perception completely. DeVos says, “When Dick and I had school-age children ourselves, we visited the Potter’s House Christian School.” DeVos cites this experience as a formative one in her pursuit of improving education on a more national scale, while also reducing the involvement of the government.

 

Of course, DeVos didn’t go straight from the Potter’s House Christian School into the political arena. She first worked alongside a pair of 501(C)(3) charities which included the Children First America and American Education Reform Council. Betsy and her husband, Dick DeVos, used these experiences to lay a foundation from which they’ve continued to build on their knowledge and expertise. With Betsy DeVos in the ear of President Trump, this experience can be rendered into real change.

 

 

http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/topic/excellence_in_philanthropy/interview_with_betsy_devos