Representative Beto O’Rourke has had success raising money for his campaign in Texas to replace U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. O’Rourke is considered a longshot to unseat the Republican Senator as the state of Texas has not elected a Democrat for this position since 1994. However, he is having a lot of success raising funds nonetheless. In March he had only raised $535,000 for his campaign. As of mid-July, he had successfully raised this total to $2.1 million.
When announcing this sum that he had raised, Beto O’Rourke commented that all of the money he had raised had come from individuals. He has not received any money from special interests, political action committees (PACs) or corporations. His campaign has been supported by End Citizens United PAC, though, which has spread his message to their 157,000 members in Texas as well as their 330,000 donors across the United States. As he does not take PAC money in any form End Citizens United has not contributed financially to his cause themselves.
End Citizens United has also had a lot of success raising funds this year. In just the first three months of the year they collected over $4 million from small donors. They are now on track to raise $35 million for the 2018 election cycle which is a large increase over the $25 million they had collected for the 2016 elections.
Tiffany Muller, who is End Citizens United’s executive director and president, said that her organization has so far raised money from over 100,000 people. The average contribution, she said, was $12. The members of her PAC know that the political system has been rigged against the average American and supporting End Citizens United is part of their way of fighting back.
End Citizens United is an organization which came about due to the Supreme Court decision which allowed the massive flow of money into politics. The Supreme Court ruled that people and companies could give any amount they want to political campaigns as any restrictions financially placed on them, even entirely reasonable restrictions, amounted to a violation of their first amendment rights.
As this Supreme Court decision has resulted in limitless spending that comprises the election process, End Citizens United works to support politicians who want to enact meaningful political election reforms. They ultimately want to establish a new constitutional amendment which will limit how much any one person or corporation can donate to a campaign.
As a PAC itself, End Citizens United operates as a traditional one which means it will not accept any donation over $5,000. Despite this, they have become one of the larger Democratic PACs in operation. They are already laying the groundwork to support election reform-minded politicians in the upcoming midterm elections.