The United States is currently sitting in a precarious balance. On one hand you have people like James Bopp and the conservative group, Citizens United, working to undermine the legitimacy of the United States government. On the other hand you have Tiffany Muller, the President of the End Citizens United political action committee. Citizens United has worked for decades trying to cut legislation that is meant to keep Washington D.C. honest and beholden to the voters in the United States. Let’s look at where these problems all began and just what it has done to our country.
James Bopp, a mild mannered lawyer, sat before the Federal Exchange Commission in 2008. His goal was to convince the FEC to allow his group, Citizens United, permission to air a piece of propaganda as a real documentary during the election campaign of Hillary Clinton. The film, which we won’t name to prevent publicity, was over an hour of lewd insults and slander directed toward Clinton and it was funded by the Republican party. The presiding FEC Judge Royce Lamberth literally laughed at Bopp’s argument saying, “You can’t compare this to 60 minutes. Did you read this transcript?” And that was that. Until 2010.
Bopp returned once more to the front of the public conversation regarding campaign financing when he appeared before the Supreme Court. This time the year was 2010 and Bopp was focusing on repealing legislation that prevents special interests from taking over the government. Bopp argued that corporations were people and by extension they should be allowed to donate as a part of their ‘freedom of speech’. Somehow the argument held enough water to sway enough judges and soon corporations would flood into Washington D.C. in order to buy off as many politicians as possible.
We’re seven years removed from that ugly decision and the government has never looked worse off. Donald Trump, a whiny reality star, managed to steal the Oval Office by way of hateful rhetoric, corporate money, and potential collusion with a foreign and hostile government. The Republican party has stood by allowing it to happen as it obviously lines up with their goals to de-regulate as much as possible. Despite these grim tidings there is good news in that Tiffany Muller and End Citizens United are getting more and more active trying to bring about change to the political realm.
Tiffany Muller and her PAC are raising money via a grassroots campaign in order to endorse legislators who are willing to fight for campaign finance reform while repealing the 2010 Citizens United decision. Through the beginning of 2017 they have earned over $4 million with the express goal of raising a smooth $35 million by the time 2018 rolls around.