End Citizens United has endorsed incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida for re-election, according to TC Palm. ECU has pledged $35 million to help candidates like Nelson in the 2018 midterms.
The ECU endorsement allows Nelson to establish himself as the grassroots alternative to his likely opponent, current Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Scott spent $70 million of his own money to win election in 2010.
End Citizens United’s pledge of $35 million is an increase from the $25 million the organization contributed to candidates in 2016, when it quickly established itself as a leading liberal-aligned PAC. In 2017, End Citizens United has continued to solidify its status as a top-tier fundraising organization. The group hauled in $4 million of its $35 million goal in only three months, according to USA Today.
Over 100,000 people donated to End Citizens United during the first three months of 2017. 40,000 of those donors were first-time donors. According to the organization, the average donation was $12. ECU President and Executive Director Tiffany Muller thinks anger at President Donald Trump and a desire to “fight back” against his administration has motivated new donors to give to ECU.
Muller says End Citizens United speaks for citizens who “feel like the system is rigged against them, where those who can write the biggest checks get the biggest say.”
End Citizens United endorses “campaign-finance reform champions” who support legislation that curbs election spending, which has increased sharply since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision removed certain spending restrictions.
This year’s GA-6 special Congressional election was the most expensive Congressional election in history. The candidates spent more than $50 million, according to NBC News, and tens of millions came from super PACs. With both the House and Senate up for grabs in the 2018 midterms, elections are predicted to continue breaking spending records. This makes implementation of campaign-finance reform for 2020 and beyond a priority.
In addition to fundraising for candidates, End Citizens United has expanded its partnerships with other campaign-finance groups. In early 2017, ECU was part of a coalition that encouraged senators who had received big-money donations from the DeVos family to recuse themselves from voting on Betsy DeVos’s nomination as Education Secretary.