Beto O’Rourke has just done something astonishing running as a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas. O’Rourke raked in a record-breaking $38 million in just one quarter to bolster his campaign effort — but even more amazing is how he did it.
O’Rourke has refused all large contributions from giant corporations, Super PACs, special interest groups and various millionaires and billionaires who like to “buy” elections. Instead. Congressman O’Rourke is running a strictly grassroots fundraising model. He accepts only small donations from ordinary, average American citizens. More than 800,000 individuals donated to the O’Rourke effort in the past three months. Read more news about the group on USA Today.
A campaign finance reform group called End Citizens United is backing O’Rourke and taking inspiration from his amazing accomplishment. End Citizens United is a political action committee that is dedicated to getting big money out of politics — and if a candidate needs to raise tens of millions to get elected, he or she should do it the way Beto O’Rourke has done it.
End Citizens United was formed in 2015. It is based in Washington D.C. and helmed by CEO Tiffany Muller. The laser-like focus of the group is to stop giant corporations and other Big Money interests from donating huge amounts of cash to political candidates so that they can control them once they get into office.
Ultimately, End Citizens united wants a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the 2010 Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court which opened the way for any entity to donate as much campaign cash as they want to any candidate. That’s a big undertaking since it takes two-thirds of the 50 states to ratify a new Amendment and then a two-thirds approval vote in Congress. Such an endeavor could take years.
But there is a lot that can be done in the meantime, such as electing candidates like Beto O’Rourke. To that end, End Citizens United has endorsed dozens of people running — mostly as Democrats — who share the vision of large-scale campaign finance reform. Flipping the U.S. House and possibly the Senate from Republican to Democrat control would be a gigantic step forward.