The political climate in the US today is divisive and discouraging. Many voters were disillusioned in our last election as more and more facts come out about foreign countries attempting to interfere in elections. Robert Mueller, the appointed Special Counsel, is working hard to get to the bottom of this issue.
Mueller has already uncovered a $100,000 effort by Russia to donate and buy social media ads. Also, other countries like China have been demonstrated to donate as much as $3.5 million to campaigns such as Jeb Bush. Even wealthy people can beat the loopholes and have donated billions of dollars to influence elections. Such large donations come with strings as supporters expect returns on their investments.
There has been an explosion in growth of organizations dedicated to fighting the current system and campaign financing. The Democrats in the Senate and the House support candidates that reflect their ideals and views. One grassroot group, End Citizens United, has become a force in the fight against a corrupt system. ECU was started as a result of the 2010 Supreme Court Ruling which stated that campaign donations were the same as free “speech.” This decision opened the floodgates of buying favor to an even greater degree.
End Citizens United is supported by working Americans. Their numbers are impressive-raising $4million dollars in the first month after the election. Predictions showing the amount reaching $35 million by the 2018 mid term elections.
ECU uses this money to support candidates who will get elected and fight against corrupt campaign finances. One such candidate, is Randy Bryce, a Democrat from Wisconsin. Bryce has chosen to run his campaign differently, living up to his belief that big donations lead to big problems in elections. 82% of his donations have come from “small” donors with the average pledge being $25. Randy Bryce is proud of these statistics.
Bryce will run against Paul Ryan, the current speaker of the House. Ryan is a strong supporter of keeping the status quo. He believes that the Supreme Court got it right in their 2010 ruling. Bryce is running to change this attitude. He believes that the only way to change the institution from the inside out. ECU has endorsed Randy Bryce and will support him in his election bid.
Proponents of End Citizens United believe that such groups will finally give a voice to the regular people in the country. The current corruption in the political scene of our country cannot be an excuse to give up on effective change. People who unite to protest the problems with the integrity of politics can make a difference. If you don’t get involved and try to correct things, you don’t have the right to complain.