End Citizens United Wants to Make a Name for Itself

End Citizens United is a newly formed political action committee committed to campaign finance reforms. Its ultimate objective is to pass a constitutional amendment that will reverse the decision of the Supreme Court about Citizens United, which brought a wave of dark money into politics and gave rise to super PACs in 2010. So far, millions of people have signed a petition demanding the Congress to pass End Citizen’s demands.

 

Although there have been several other PACs focusing on finance reforms campaign, this group is a bit different. It has a political side that will get people elected and change existing laws. This implies backing candidates in favor of finance reforms campaign, who will be against Citizens United and those under attack by Koch brothers, the billionaire conservative among other dark-money groups. End Citizens United has plans to set up an independent expenditure arm early next year. The arm will back the candidates financially through initiatives such as direct mailers, television ads, and polling. Although the group also wants to help pass campaign finance reforms at state and local levels, its primary goal is to enact a constitutional amendment that will overturn Supreme Court’s decision of 2010.

 

During the first quarter of this year, End Citizens United has collected over $4 million, and it is on a mission to raise more than $35 million before the 2018 Congress midterm elections. Approximately 100,000 people donated to the PAC during the first three months of this year. The leaders of the group say that their objective is to vote for finance reform campaign champions. In the past couple of weeks, the team has helped advice its contributors to contribute around $500,000 to the Democrat campaign of Jon Ossoff, Georgia’s first-time political candidate. 30-year-old Ossoff has caught the political establishment by surprise by raising over $4 million for the special election of April 18 to fill a suburban Atlanta seat left vacant by a Republican Secretary for Human and Health Services, Tom Price. The group says that it is still scrutinizing the races it will take part in 2018. However, it hopes to defend Democratic Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

 

The group functions as a traditional PAC and doesn’t accept contributions more than $5,000 from a single donor. Regardless of that donation cap, its 2016 fundraising helped leap it to the Democratic-aligned groups top ranks in elections spending last year. The group’s spokesman, Adam Bozzi, says that End Citizens United has managed to build more ties with campaign finance groups. For instance, the group partnered with over two dozen organizations to support Republican senators who were given campaign donations by Betsy DeVos to vote on her Education secretary nomination.

 

Is Russia Manipulating Republican Attacks on George Soros?

In this recent article on the Politico website, it’s alleged Russia is leading the anti-George Soros positions of some Republicans.

The two groups both perceive George Soros as an enemy. Though whether or not that makes them allies in the old-fashioned “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” point of view is open to debate. Republican lawmakers Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Representative Chris Smith of New Jersey have accused Soros of using his philothranpic spending to support his liberal political causes.

According to a letter the two politicians wrote on March 14 to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Soros is using his Open Society Foundations to further his leftwing, progressive agenda in Europe. Politico says that line comes from Moscow. During the Cold War, Soros did support anti-communist groups in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union that pressed for political freedom. The current government in Moscow views Soros’s continued support for civil groups as a plot to turn the former communist countries into pro-Western democracies that would oppose Moscow and its positions.

The Politico writer acknowledges that Soros’s efforts to promote democracy and get rid of corruption in Eastern Europe and Russia are aligned with traditional Republican positions. And traditional Republicans did have reason to oppose George Soros on American domestic issues. Soros has supported many Democratic political candidates.

However, the post-Trump victory Republican parties are more nationalist. And therefore some nationalist politicians in Eastern Europe are seeking more international support for their own campaigns against Soros and the many foundations he funds. Read more about George’s life story at biography.com.

The two Republican lawmakers are now focused on Macedonia and, to some extent, Albania. Macedonia is going through a political crisis where a rightwing party is contending for power with a leftwing party. Is the United States funding one group over another by funding a Soros-aligned group in that country?

The president of the Open Society Foundations, Chris Stone, has expressed the opinion that the election of President Trump encourages autocratic regimes to resist the reforms that the Open Society Foundations try to bring. Learn more on Discover the Networks about George Soros.

Meanwhile, Russia is trying to use the political turnoil in Macedonia to increase their influence in that country. The letter the two Republican lawmakers wrote gave them a propaganda victory. The State Department denies that they have taken sides in Macedonia’s political crisis. (Macedonia was part of the former Yugoslavia.)

The State Department does acknowledge that USAID gave three grants to Foundation Open Society – Macedonia over the past 15 years. Those are mainly to support iniatives to education the country’s Roma population. The Open Society Foundation has said it has worked with over the past 15 years with independent organizations to support human rights, accountability and good government in the country.

Know more: https://www.nytimes.com/topic/person/george-soros