In fundraising data released to USA Today, political action committee End Citizens United has raised over $4 million during the first quarter of 2017. This puts the liberal PAC on track to raise a projected $35 million preceding the midterm elections in 2018, in which all House seats will be up for grabs. Their plans for that money are to support campaign finance reform and unseat and defeat pro-Trump candidates.
End Citizens United achieved this fundraising feat in the wake of the presidential election, which politicized many individuals who had not previously participated in the electoral process. The PAC’s grassroots origins have served them well again after great fundraising success and engagement in 2016; their average contribution in 2017 so far was only $12, according to a tweet from the group on April 11. A significant number of donors gave money for the first time.
The progressive group is already putting these donations to good use, giving $500,000 to the campaign of Democrat senate hopeful Jon Ossoff and endorsing the first-time candidate. One of Ossoff’s main campaign promises listed on his campaigin website, ElectJon.Com, is to fight corruption, a goal the Georgia congressional candidate shares with End Citizens United. Already experienced in exposing political corruption and other high-end crime in his work as an anti-corruption investigator and CEO, Ossoff fits hand in glove with End Citizens United’s core philosophy.
The controversial administration of President Donald Trump has presented an interesting opportunity for many progressive and liberal candidates. Trump has proved a divisive figure among Republicans and a uniting force for those on the left side of the political spectrum. Groups like End Citizens United understandably hope to exploit the unity of the left and the chaos in the GOP to gain as many seats as possible in 2018.
Given the growing wave of dissatisfaction with the Trump administration and its congressional supporters among progressives, End Citizens United’s projected $35 million, and winning congressional seats, is hardly a long shot. Though the midterms are still almost two years away, potential candidates, not to mention voters, are already preparing for the battle of a lifetime. Candidates willing to fight corporate corruption of the political process can hope for a little extra support from the PAC in 2018. The anti-Trump movement will definitely need as much help as it can get as battles wage in already divided districts.