Despite campaign finance laws that have been greatly weakened over the past decade, it is definitely still illegal for a foreign government, foreign entity or agent of a foreign power to contribute money to political candidates in the United States.
But that didn’t stop the government of Russia, a country largely hostile to the U.S., from successfully buying at least $100,000 in ads that appeared on Facebook and reached millions of people. Some experts believe that the Russians spent far more than $100,000, and possibly millions as they worked to influence U.S. elections.
One recent action that made it easier for illicit foreign money to bleed into American politics was the disastrous 2010 Supreme Court ruling that came to be known as “Citizens United.” In short, the ruling said that “money is the equivalent of free speech” in America and so regulating it in political campaigns is not constitutional.
The ruling went further in suggesting that “corporations are people.” That means that any corporation can donate as much money as it wants to the candidate of its choice because, like any “person,” in the U.S., it has a right to free speech.
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While the 2010 Supreme Court decision did not make it legal for foreign governments to contribute to U.S. campaigns, it did make it far easier. That’s because the Supreme Court also ruled that the source of campaign contributions did not have to be made public – in effect, allowing unlimited sums of “dark money” to flow into our political process.
This is why a group of concerned citizens formed a new PAC called “End Citizens United.” As its name implies, ECU wants to overturn the 2010 Supreme Court decision which drastically weakened our campaign finance laws, inviting troublemakers from around the world to meddle in U.S. politics.
End Citizens United is conducting a vigorous grassroots fundraising effort to support candidates who oppose dark money and loose campaign finance laws. After forming in 2015, End Citizens United quickly raised $25 million – all from hundreds of thousands of small individual donations from ordinary citizens – with the average contribution being about $14.
The ECU PAC is on track to raise $35 million ahead of the 2018 election cycle. Again, it will support mostly Democratic candidates who oppose an out-of-control campaign finance system featuring mega-corporations and billionaires buying U.S. elections with unlimited dark money.
ECU would ultimately like to pass a Constitutional Amendment that would negate the 2010 Supreme Court ruling. A first step will be to flip the U.S. House from Republican to Democrat control in 2018. A new Constitutional Amendment is a long term goal that will require ratification by 35 states, and then approval from Congress on a three-fourths majority vote.
Learn more about End Citizens United: http://positivethefacts.com/2017/10/activist-investigations-uncover-russian-meddling-according-to-end-citizens-united/