Gillibrand Heads 70 Democrats Completing End Citizens United Pledge

In most election years, well-known Democrats such as New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand would be looking for the support of special interest groups and corporate PACs to develop their own campaigns. However, 2018 is the first Midterm election cycle allowing End Citizens United the chance to make its mark on the U.S. political landscape; more than 70 Democrats have now pledged to refuse to accept funds from special interest groups and signed a pledge to only accept grassroots funding from supporters and traditional PACs such as End Citizens United which limit grassroots members to just $5,000 per election cycle.

Kirsten Gillibrand is seen as one of the rising stars of the Democratic Party and is said to be aligning herself as a progressive candidate for the 2020 Presidential campaign which she hopes will carry her through the nomination process. The New York Senator has joined some of the largest names on the left of U.S. politics in signing the End Citizens United pledges such as Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Maria Cantwell; these high-profile signatories are also pledging their personal PACs, such as Gillibrand’s Off The Sidelines will not accept funding from special interest groups.

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End Citizens United came into being in 2015 when a group of concerned citizens began to feel the problems caused by the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court in 2010 had reached a crisis point. The traditional PAC only allows grassroots funding as it believes the influence shown by special interest groups, corporate PACs, and wealthy donors willing to provide huge levels of campaign funding means the needs of these groups are being placed above those of a politicians constituents. For example, Kirsten Gillibrand would have received between $800,000 and $1 million in campaign funding if she had been willing to accept special interest group funding in her campaign during the 2018 Midterms.

The growing reputation of end Citizens United was forged quickly in 2015 and 2016 when the groups began looking at ways of electing candidates responsive to their calls for the reversal of the Citizens United decision of 2010. End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller has stated the PAC ran two campaign programs during 2016 with one focused solely on campaign financing and the second delivering a traditional Democrat message for candidates; the group eventually discovered the election finance message had a greater impact with undecided and Republican voters over the course of the 2016 election. The power of End Citizens United is not only shown in the number of high-profile politicians willing to sign the pledge but also in the sheer number of Democrats willing to sign the pledge which has reached more than 70 by March 2018 compared to just three signing prior to the 2016 election cycle.

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